First-time Clinician Scientist Award (Investigator) November 2020 Grant Call Awardees
Their achievements were celebrated at a special Zoom event organised by Duke-NUS' CCSD—formerly led by Founding Director Professor Koh Woon Puay, and now under the leadership of Professor Roger Vaughan, who recently assumed the directorship of the Centre, and Professor Wang Jie Jin, Deputy Director of CCSD, who served as Interim Director before then. The work of the Centre is well supported by senior scientists at Duke-NUS who mentor the junior clinician-scientists within CCSD grantsmanship programmes with valuable guidance.
At the frontline of CCSD are Chen Meixuan, Fion Farn and Angie Tan, the Centre’s Clinician-Scientist Managers, who provide critical support to the ACE-in-Grants and Research Skill workshops, the various Khoo grants and the Centre’s day-to-day administration.
Like the previous event last year, this year’s event was conducted online, with each winner taking turns to share their research journey. The event was opened by Prof Wang, who served as host and introduced the various speakers, including Prof Vaughan, the TA and CSA winners.
Prof Vaughan, still newly-minted as CCSD Director, called research “the quintessential team sport” and shared how much he looked forward to being part of the team. He further highlighted plans to broaden the mission of the Centre, going forward.
Prof Wang reflected on the achievements of the winners, remarking that the journey is “not always easy but, in the end, is highly rewarding”. She noted how some of the women award recipients were in fact holding three jobs – as clinicians, scientists and mothers.
As each TA and CSA winner took turns to say a few words about their work and accomplishments, a common theme was their gratitude to the CCSD team, particularly Prof Koh and Prof Wang, and the wider team of mentors in Duke-NUS, which has helped them overcome the challenges they faced in combining their passions in clinical practice and research.
As in previous years, Duke-NUS and AMC leaders graced the event to congratulate and encourage the winning cohort to greater heights in their journey as clinician-scientists, including Dean Thomas Coffman, Senior Vice-Dean for Research Patrick Casey, Vice-Dean for Academic & Clinical Development Wong Tien Yin, and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Medicine Chow Wan Cheng.
Dean Coffman particularly called out Prof Wang as the School’s “ace-in-the-hole” for her role in nurturing new clinician-scientists and helping them secure grants, in reference to Prof Wang’s ACE-In-Grant intensive mentorship programme that has played a major role in boosting the success of CCSD’s participants in gaining NMRC Talent Development support grants. He highlighted that Duke-NUS will continue to develop programmes and support CCSD to help aspiring clinician scientists enter “what I think is a fantastic career path” that not only bring personal returns but also have an impact on others.
In closing remarks, Vice-Dean Wong Tien Yin picked up on Prof Vaughan’s earlier ‘team sport’ analogy and called on the TA and CSA winners to consider themselves elite sportsmen, with the aim of achieving “a podium finish, if not the Gold Medal” in the Olympics. And, he reminded, in time, they will be the ones helping to mentor the next generation of clinician-scientists.