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Tribute to Late Chair 2021
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The Sir Alasdair Breckenridge Lecture Series celebrates the illustrious career and legacy of the late Professor Sir Alasdair Breckenridge, a highly respected and globally recognized clinical pharmacologist, international scientist, and visionary regulatory professional.


This Lecture Series will address and foster dialogue on global biomedical and regulatory issues, challenges and advances, with a forward-looking perspective on the themes of improving health systems and policies, enhancing biomedical innovation, and promoting access to good, safe and effective health products.

The 2021 inaugural Sir Alasdair Breckenridge Lecture was delivered by Professor Sir Jeremy Farrar, Director of the Wellcome Trust on the topic of “Science, Innovation and Society”.  Sir Jeremy highlighted the importance and inter-connectedness of these three themes in the context of COVID-19.  This is very apt with the Lecture Series being launched during the pandemic as a hybrid event with a small in-person gathering in Singapore and a large online international audience.

Following the inaugural lecture, Dr Margaret Hamburg, Chair of CoRE introduced the Alasdair Breckenridge Fund which will provide study awards for regulatory and healthcare professionals from South-East Asia and Asia-Pacific national regulatory authorities and ministries of health to attend courses tenable at CoRE. 

In keeping with Sir Alasdair’s interest in promoting regulatory capacity building and professional excellence, the lecture will be organised in conjunction with the graduation ceremony of CoRE’s Health Products Regulation Graduate Certificate Programme, to celebrate the achievements of each graduating cohort and affirm their commitment to pursuing regulatory excellence.

Through these initiatives, Sir Alasdair’s legacy will continue to make a lasting impact on future generations of regulatory science and health professionals in and around the Asia-Pacific. 


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2nd Sir Alasdair Breckenridge Lecture

 5th April 2022
 7.30PM to 9.00PM

Lecture Highlights


From left: A/Prof Silke Vogel (Deputy Director, CoRE), Prof Thomas Coffman (Dean, Duke-NUS Medical School), A/Prof Kenneth Mak (DMS MOH), Prof John Lim (Executive Director, CoRE), Dr Cheong Wei Yang (Deputy Secretary (Technology), MOH)
Prof John Lim giving the welcome remarks

The Sir Alasdair Breckenridge Lecture was graced by Guest-of Honour A/Prof Kenneth Mak (Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health Singapore).


An abridged moving video tribute to Sir Alasdair from many of his colleagues and friends was shared.

Prof John Lim, Executive Director, CoRE, gave the welcome remarks and opened the lecture.

Click here to watch.

Dr Penny Heaton, Former CEO, Medical Research Institute, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Global Therapeutic Area Head, Vaccines, Janssen Research & Development, LLC.,  giving the Lecture
Dr Margaret Hamburg, Chair of CoRE Advisory Board and Former Commissioner U.S. Food And Drug Administration, sharing about the Alasdair Breckenridge Fund

Dr Penny Heaton, Director, Former CEO, Medical Research Institute, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; Global Therapeutic Area Head, Vaccines, Janssen Research & Development, LLC., delivered the keynote on the topic of “Successes and Opportunities in the Pandemic: Revelations from the Global COVID-19 Response to Help Us Prepare for Future Pandemics."

Click here to watch.

Dr Hamburg, Chair CoRE, & Former US FDA Commissioner, shared about the CoRE Campaign #Thankstoyou which invites stakeholders to donate through the Regulatory Excellence Fund and the Alasdair Breckenridge FundGive now!

Click here to watch.

A short video of our graduates sharing a few words and reflecting on their time at the Duke-NUS CoRE Graduate Certificate in Health Products Regulation Programme.

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A/Prof Silke Vogel giving the closing remarks and congratulating the graduates

Congratulations to our 2021/2022 graduating cohort of the Graduate Certificate Programme in Health Products Regulation!  

Click here to view photos and here to watch the ceremony.

A/Prof Silke Vogel, Deputy Director, CoRE, closed the  lecture by congratulating the graduates and thanking the in-person guests and international audience who joined virtually. 

Click here to watch.

Missed the 2022 Lecture? Click here to watch the full video.


Past Lectures









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Professor Sir Alasdair Breckenridge was a highly respected and globally acclaimed clinical pharmacologist, international scientist, and visionary regulatory professional during his lifetime. He was associated with many scientific, academic and policy achievements around the world, and one of these was his close association with Singapore and the Centre of Regulatory Excellence (CoRE) at the Duke-National University of Singapore Medical School (Duke-NUS).

Professor Sir Alasdair’s unparalleled leadership and guidance as the inaugural Chairman from 2014 to 2019 contributed in a significant way to establishing CoRE’s unique position as an influential contributor to regulatory thought leadership and capacity building in the Asia-Pacific, and increasingly at a global level. His invaluable encouragement and advocacy helped nurture an enterprising and innovative culture and has laid a strong foundation for its continuing growth to guide CoRE’s values and future development.

At numerous national and international committees and organisations, Sir Alasdair was well-recognised for his tireless dedication towards health care, patients and populations.

Notably, he was actively engaged with the administration of the UK National Health Service and was highly regarded for his commitment as Chairman of the UK Medicines & Health products Regulatory Agency. Prior to this, he was the inaugural Chair of Clinical Pharmacology at the University of Liverpool, an institution he continued to maintain close academic ties with, and was Foreign Secretary at the British Pharmacological Society. His research contributions were extensive, with many publications in prestigious journals including The Lancet, Nature Reviews Drug Discovery and the British Medical Journal. Recognised for his significant contribution to UK academic medicine, Sir Alasdair was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1995 Birthday Honours for services to medicine and to health care, and knighted in the 2004 New Year Honours for services to medicine.

On the international stage, Sir Alasdair served on several official committees of the World Health Organization in addition to being closely involved with the International Union of Pharmacology where he served as a councillor. His global contributions were well recognised by the international fraternity through the award of international prizes such as the Paul Martini Prize in Clinical Pharmacology and the Poulson Medal of the Norwegian Pharmacological Society. As a leading champion of international regulatory collaboration and harmonisation to promote access to safe, effective and high quality health products, he was actively involved in the establishment of the International Coalition of Medicines Regulatory Authorities and chaired the Scientific Advisory Committee of the Centre for Innovation in Regulatory Science for many years. From this perspective, he enthusiastically supported the establishment of the Centre of Regulatory Excellence at Duke-NUS in 2014 to advance capacity building and thought leadership in health regulatory, policy and systems excellence in the Asia-Pacific and South-East Asia.

There is much to celebrate about Professor Sir Alasdair’s extraordinary achievements, work ethic, and vision, and the Centre wishes to honour his memory and continue his mission by launching the Alasdair Breckenridge Lecture Series.