Dear Friends,

The NUS medical school has produced close to 10,000 graduates over the course of its 113-year history. All have gone on to serve the nation and community in a variety of roles. Some have risen to the highest posts in the land, others have assumed various public and leadership duties, while most have worked faithfully and quietly in the background. Whatever their calling after medical school, it would be fair to say that generations of the men and women of Singapore’s oldest and foremost medical school have played significant roles in the development and transformation of the country’s healthcare system.


While the heads of the School during the early years were British expatriates, our own alumni have held the post of Dean since 1956. They served their alma mater with dedication and distinction, each helping to take the School to higher levels of academic standards.


I am pleased to inform you that this tradition continues as I hand over the reins shortly to my successor. The new, 17th Dean of our School is an alumnus, a clinician-scientist who heads Singapore’s largest and most comprehensive birth cohort study of how mothers' diets and lifestyles during pregnancy affect their babies' growth after birth. Associate Professor Chong Yap Seng is an obstetrician whose research programme, Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes (GUSTO), is an important nation-wide medical study that gathers data from mothers and their babies, from pregnancy till their children are three years old. The study has already provided us with insights and understanding in the prevention and management of important diseases like obesity and diabetes in Singapore.

I am confident that under Yap Seng’s able leadership, Singapore’s oldest and foremost medical school will remain true to its time-honoured calling and continue to serve the nation and the community through our dedication to teaching and research excellence.


Welcomes are in order too for the incoming Class of 2023: may these young men and women also embody the values that we hold dear and like their seniors, become compassionate and skilled doctors and healthcare professionals. We also congratulate the graduating Class of 2018! They enter an exciting world of medical and nursing practice, where their skills and knowledge will be complemented and supported by a host of new medical technologies that are transforming the way healthcare is delivered. Their qualities of leadership will be called upon to help lead in the transformation of healthcare delivery to further improve services to our people. .


Our work also continues apace in our classrooms and laboratories. Recently, researchers from the Department of Microbiology and Immunology found the protein that the EV71 virus rides on to infect the central nervous system in Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease, while another team from the Department of Physiology, the Cancer Science Institute and the Department of Biomedical Engineering has developed a way to grow liver cancer cells in synthetic scaffolds made of a plant-based hydrogel. Their stories are told in this issue of MediCine and I hope you will enjoy learning more about their work.


Thank you for your support for the School and happy reading.


Khay Guan