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SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC experts

SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC experts contribute to fight against COVID-19

 

SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC experts

Duke-NUS Medical School

 

Dr John P. Ansah is an Assistant Professor of the Programme in Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS Medical School and a faculty fellow at Residential College 4, National University of Singapore. Asst Prof Ansah holds a PhD degree in Systems Science methodology of System Dynamics, and has 10 years’ experience in the application of simulation modelling to complex health policy issues.

His recent work includes modelling the trajectory of the Covid-19 outbreak in Singapore, to understand how different interventions (such as containment, social distancing and attainment of herd immunity) may impact on the community spread of COVID-19 in Singapore. The study uses Susceptible-Exposed-Infectious-Recovered (SEIR) model to simulate the dynamics of COVID-19 infection, accounting for the impact of asymptomatic infections.

Assoc Prof Angelique Chan

Dr Angelique Chan holds joint tenure appointments as Associate Professor in the programme in Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS, and in the Department of Sociology at the National University of Singapore. She has developed and nurtured a strong research portfolio in ageing research. A/Prof Chan and team are studying the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare utilisation and health outcomes in medically vulnerable patients and their unmet needs through multi-stakeholder interviews and questionnaire. Findings will inform the evaluation of current policies and strategies to optimise and improve healthcare delivery, patient outcomes and population health in the current COVID-19 pandemic and for future public health emergencies.

Prof Eric Finkelstein

Dr Eric Finkelstein is a Professor of Health Services and Systems Research programme and the Executive Director of the Lien Centre for Palliative Care, at Duke-NUS. His research focuses on the economic causes and consequences of health behaviours, with a primary emphasis on the use of traditional and behavioural economic incentives to influence those behaviours in ways to improve health outcomes. His team is studying citizens’ compliance behaviours to COVID-19 preventive measures in Singapore and also looking at the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on non-COVID-19 patients in Singapore.

Prof Gregory C. Gray is an infectious disease epidemiologist and a Professor in the Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases and the Global Health Institute at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore. He also serves as a Professor in Division of Infectious Diseases, Global Health Institute, and School of the Environment at Duke University and as a Professor of Global Health at Duke Kunshan University in China. He manages research teams with infectious disease laboratories in China, Singapore, and the USA.

Much of his work has involved identifying risk factors for occupational diseases, particularly for respiratory virus infections. He has studied numerous occupational groups including farmers, animal breeders, veterinarians, military personnel, turkey workers, poultry workers, horse workers, hunters, and pig workers.

Dr Duane Gubler is an Emeritus Professor and Founding Director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) Signature Research Programme at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore. As founding director, Prof Gubler led the establishment of the EID Programme in 2007 and to institutionalise and advance on the lessons learned from Singapore’s experience with SARS in 2003 and H1N1 influenza in 2009.Thanks to this effort, Singapore’s response to COVID-19 has been lauded by many around the world for the country’s high level of readiness and efficiency.

Dr Nicholas Graves is the Deputy Director of Health Services and Systems Research programme and SingHealth Duke-NUS Health Services Research Institute. His areas of knowledge include health economics, health services research, decision making and cost-effectiveness. His team is currently examining the economic impact of COVID-19 on tertiary Singapore hospitals. This will help to accurately quantify the associated economic costs to hospitals and health services and the information generated will help to guide policy responses for future outbreaks in Singapore and internationally.

Prof Tazeen Jafar

Dr Tazeen Hasan Jafar is Professor of Health Services and Systems Research programme at Duke-NUS. Her research focuses on prevention and management of vascular disease (including hypertension, diabetes, cardiovascular, and kidney disease) that are of high significance to clinical practice and relevance to public health and policy, using rigorous implementation science methodologies and framework, designing, evaluating, and scaling-up models of care. Her team is focusing on identifying risk factors for the psychological impact of COVID-19 and help countries around the world to design and implement effective psychological interventions.  Prof Jafar is also studying the psychological impact, knowledge, attitudes, and emotional responses of kidney transplant recipients and their living kidney donors during the COVID-19 pandemic, which will generate important clinical and public health implications informing patient care and designing effective intervention programs for vulnerable patients.

Asst Prof Sean Lam

Asst Prof Sean Lam is currently the Head of Data Science in the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre, overseeing a team of data scientists for the enhancement of patient care and outcomes through health services research. He is also an Assistant Professor at the programme in Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS.  Asst Prof Lam and team are using mathematical modelling and simulation techniques to develop a fast, deployable and adaptable dynamic simulation model that can describe the response that health systems should embrace in consideration of the dynamic evolution of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Ecosse Lamoureux is a Professor with the Health Services and Systems Research programme at Duke-NUS.  He is the Principal Investigator (PI) of the population-based study investigating the knowledge, attitude, and practice about COVID-19 and the circuit breaker response; and the associated personal, psychological, and economic impact in elderly Singaporeans of varying socioeconomic status. Internationally, Prof Lamoureux collaborated on a cluster RCT evaluating the effectiveness of a peer-to-peer live streaming social media intervention that encourages regular physical activity and relaxation of accommodation (near focusing) on anxiety syndrome and digital eye strain among children during the COVID-19 home schooling period in the Guangdong Province, Southern China. This paper is now being considered for publication in the Lancet journal.

Prof John Lim
Prof John CW Lim is founding Executive Director of the Centre of Regulatory Excellence (CoRE) at the Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS), and Policy Core Lead of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Global Health Institute (SDGHI). A medical doctor with graduate degrees in Public Health from NUS and Health Policy and Management from Harvard University, Dr Lim is Professor of Practice at Duke-NUS and the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, Senior Advisor at Singapore’s Ministry of Health (MOH), and Chairman of the Singapore Clinical Research Institute(SCRI).

In the current COVID-19 pandemic, he is working with his colleagues in CoRE and SDGHI to provide advice, share knowledge, and facilitate collaborative discussions among international and national stakeholders on relevant issues to promote regulatory cooperation, including vaccines development and access.
Assoc Prof Liu Nan

Dr Liu Nan is an Associate Professor at Centre for Quantitative Medicine and Programme in Health Services and Systems Research programme, Duke-NUS. His research focuses on health services research, emergency and prehospital care, cardiology, medical informatics and health innovation. A/Prof Liu and team are examining the impact of COVID-19 on Emergency Department (ED) workflow and investigate the delays in healthcare provision and their impact on health outcomes at ED, by comparing the data of pre-COVID-19 and COVID-19 periods. The insights obtained from this research will aid in the redesigning of the ED workflow, enabling it to rapidly adapt to an outbreak scenario.

Dr Chetna Malhotra is an Assistant Professor at Lien Centre for Palliative Care and the programme in Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS. Her work focuses on conducting health services research in the area of palliative and end-of-life care for patients with advanced serious illnesses including those with advanced cancer, heart failure, renal failure and dementia, with the goal of improving delivery of palliative care services to these populations. She is studying the impact of COVID-19 outbreak on healthcare seeking behaviours and end of life outcomes among patients, and the pathways that mediate these outcomes. This will give information about the direct and indirect, and negative and positive consequences of COVID-19 outbreak on end of life care outcomes in Singapore.

Dr Rahul Malhotra is an Assistant Professor at the programme in Health Services and Systems Research and Head of Research at the Centre for Ageing Research and Education at Duke-NUS. His research focuses on the vulnerability – i.e., increased risk of adverse outcomes – associated with ageing. Asst Prof Malhotra is currently assessing the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic on the use of healthcare services for chronic and acute health conditions among older adults with (or without) functional limitations and their primary family caregivers (or future caregivers), and on the use of intermediate- and long-term care (ILTC) services (such as home care or day care) by older adults with functional limitations. The self-perceived change in health status or in care provision subsequent to any change in healthcare or ILTC use due to the COVID-19 epidemic is also being assessed.

Prof David Matchar

Prof David Bruce Matchar is the Inaugural Director of the programme in Health Services and Systems Research (HSSR) (2008-2018) at Duke-NUS. He is also Professor of Medicine at Duke University in the United States. His work primarily relates to stroke and other chronically disabling neurological disorders, as well as clinical and public policy analysis. Prof Matchar is currently studying the effectiveness of public health interventions against COVID-19 and has developed a model to estimate the number of COVID-19 infection cases and deaths in Singapore, under different public health interventions compared to the containment interventions implemented in Singapore. 

Ian Mendenhall

Ian H Mendenhall was awarded his B.S. in Entomology and Zoology from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and then worked as the laboratory supervisor at Clarke Mosquito Control where he directed arbovirus surveillance in mosquitoes and birds in the greater Chicagoland area from 2000-2003. He then attended the Tulane School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine where he was awarded a Ph.D. in Parasitology with a focus in Vector Borne Infectious Diseases and was a Fulbright Scholar for his dissertation research in Colombia.

In 2010, Ian joined the Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School in Singapore as a Research Fellow. He is currently a Principal Research Scientist in the Laboratory of Virus Evolution run by Dr. Gavin Smith. His research interests focus on the ecology, evolution, and epidemiology of infectious diseases, specifically zoonotic pathogens and arthropod borne parasites.

Eugenia Ong
Dr Ong Zi Ying Eugenia is a Senior Research Fellow with the Emerging Infectious Diseases programme at Duke-NUS Medical School, and Viral Research and Experimental Medicine Centre @ Singhealth Duke-NUS (ViREMiCS). She is among the inaugural class of PhD students at Duke-NUS Medical School, graduating with a PhD in Integrated Biology and Medicine in 2015. She drives the development and validation of genomics assays that have been applied to characterise the dynamic immune response in COVID-19 patients during disease progression and recovery. She is working towards bringing this know-how to bear on monitoring safety and efficacy risks for COVID-19 therapeutic and vaccine candidates in clinical trials. In doing so, she hopes to determine molecular endpoints that can be used objectively to assess therapeutic and vaccine safety and efficacy.

Dr Semra Ozdemir is an Assistant Professor at Lien Centre for Palliative Care and the programme in Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS. Her main research areas are medical decision making and health economics. She is interested in understanding preferences for health services and technologies and the decision-making process between patients, family caregivers and physicians, especially in decisions related to advanced serious illnesses. Her research also focuses on developing interventions and decision aids to help individuals make decisions that align with their preferences and treatment goals. She is currently studying citizens’ compliance behaviours to COVID-19 preventive measures in Singapore.

ooi-eng-eong

Prof Ooi Eng Eong is the Deputy Director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme at the Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore. He also holds an appointment as Professor at Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore.

Prof Ooi plays a key role in ongoing efforts by Duke-NUS to develop a vaccine for SARS-COV-2, the COVID-19 coronavirus. He was instrumental to the partnership signed between Duke-NUS and US biotech Arcturus Therapeutics, which will see the development of a COVID-19 vaccine based on the Arcturus’ STARR technology™ and take advantage of a unique platform developed at Duke-NUS allowing rapid screening of vaccines for effectiveness and safety.

Dr Ooi Yaw Shin is an Assistant Professor and principal investigator of the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Virology in the Emerging Infectious Diseases programme at Duke-NUS Medical School. He has a long-established interest in discovering and mechanistically understanding how RNA viruses use host cell machinery to effectively replicate in human cells. The focus of his team is currently centered on studying mosquito-borne and bat-borne RNA viruses that pose major public health threats.

Dr Gavin Smith is a Professor in the Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme at Duke-NUS Medical School Singapore. His research integrates ideas from a number of scientific fields, including evolutionary genetics, virology, ecology, and infectious disease epidemiology. He conducts human and animal disease surveillance, virus isolation and characterisation (genetic and phenotypic), then conducts large-scale analyses to generate hypotheses that are tested in the laboratory using tissue culture and animal models.

In the context of COVID-19, Prof Smith has been engaged in research on genetic changes in the SARS-COV-2 virus and their potential implications for the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Ashley Lauren St. John is an Associate Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School and Principal Investigator of the Laboratory of Immunity and Immune Pathology in the Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases. Her research focuses on immunity to vector-borne pathogens. Recent projects have examined viral immunology, including understanding how mast cells contribute to immune protection and pathology during infection. She also has a long-standing interest in lymphotropic pathogens that target to lymphoid tissue as a virulence strategy. Additional studies have focused on developing novel vaccination strategies, diagnostics, and therapeutics for infectious diseases.

Yvonne Su

Dr Yvonne Su is an Assistant Professor in the Emerging Infectious Diseases Programme at Duke-NUS Medical School. Asst Prof Su’s research at the Laboratory of Virus Evolution focuses on the evolution and emergence of respiratory pathogens, particularly fast evolving influenza viruses. Asst Prof Su is currently leading research on analysing the genomic data of SARS-COV-2 virus through next-generation sequencing and conducting phylogenetic analyses to track viral evolution and to monitor genetic changes in the SARS-COV-2 virus and their potential implications for the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Dr Sharon Sung

Dr Sharon Cohan Sung is an Assistant Professor at the programme in Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS, Senior Clinical Psychologist, Department of Developmental Psychiatry, Institute of Mental Health and Senior Clinical Psychologist, Department of Psychological Medicine, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. She is involved in several collaborative projects related to the psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include survey studies examining mental health and burnout among local healthcare workers, qualitative studies examining the psychosocial needs of frontline emergency medical staff and quarantined individuals, and a randomised controlled trial of an online resilience training intervention to prevent depression and posttraumatic stress among paramedics working during the outbreak.

Dr Irene Teo is an Assistant Professor at the Lien Centre for Palliative Care and the programme in Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS.  Her research and clinical interests include coping and adjustment to emotional distress and disease symptoms (e.g., pain, fatigue) in the areas of oncology and development of psychosocial interventions aimed at alleviating distress for patients and their families. Asst Prof Teo and team are doing a prospective study to continually assess and monitor the psychological health of healthcare workers, given the expected long-term nature of the COVID-19 effects.

wang-linfa

Prof Wang Linfa is a Professor in the Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School, Singapore. is an expert in the field of zoonotic diseases, bat immunology and pathogen discovery. His early research was at the Monash Centre for Molecular Biology and Medicine. In 1990, he joined the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL) where he played a leading role in identifying bats as the natural host of the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) virus. His research then extended from bat-borne viruses to better understand virus-bat interaction and how bats co-exist with a large number of viruses without developing clinical diseases.

His recent research contributions include developing antibody based serological tests to detect the SARS-CoV-2 virus, responsible for the COVID-19 outbreak, and the early and successful culture of the virus from an infected patents sample. His team is also working together with local and international partners to develop new vaccines and therapeutics for COVID-19. He is a member of multiple World Health Organization committees on COVID-19.

Dr Sungwon Yoon

Dr Sungwon Yoon is an Assistant Professor at the programme in Health Services and Systems Research, Duke-NUS. Her main research interest lies in understanding individual and population health behaviour, which may have public health significance. Asst Prof Yoon and team are currently studying the impact of COVID-19 pandemic on healthcare utilisation, health outcomes and unmet needs in medically vulnerable patients. Asst Prof Yoon is also assessing the experience of and needs for psychosocial support among front-line healthcare workers involved in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore. The study will generate valuable data that can inform the development of a personalised and adaptive mobile application with features that mitigate burnout and acute stress and promote adaptation to a public health emergency.

SingHealth

 

Prof Salvatore Albani

Professor Salvatore Albani, M.D., PhD, is Professor of Medicine at Duke-NUS Medical School and the Director of the Translational Immunology Institute at SingHealth-Duke-NUS AMC. Prof Albani is also Senior Consultant, Division of Medicine, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

His fundamental research interest is in understanding human immunity and contributing the knowledge to therapeutic and diagnostic advancements. Development of high throughput technology platforms is also part of his scientific career. These platforms aim to provide tools for knowledge-based diagnostic and therapeutic decisions.

His new promising international project is related to SARS-CoV-2 is under way. It spans from babies to octogenarians, and will include some collaboration with Duke-NUS.

Dr Shirin Kalimuddin is clinically trained as an infectious disease specialist and currently holds the position of Consultant with the Department of Infectious Diseases at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH). She is also an Assistant Professor with the Emerging Infectious Diseases programme, Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS).

Dr Kalimuddin’s research spans basic, translational and clinical sciences. She is currently at the forefront of clinical trials to study the safety and efficacy of therapeutics, for the treatment of COVID-19. She is also engaged in research to study the role of virological and host factors in determining COVID-19 outcome.
Leung Wing Hang

Prof Leung Wing Hang holds the position of Chair for Tan Cheng Lim – CCF Distinguished Professorship in Paediatric Oncology and Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School. He is a Senior Consultant in the Department of Haematology Oncology at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, Director of Paediatric Bone Marrow Transplant and Cell Therapy Centre and Director of Research, SingHealth Duke-NUS Transplant Centre.

Prof Leung’s research spans basic, translational and clinical sciences. He is currently studying SARS-CoV-2-specific T cells for therapeutics and diagnostics of COVID-19.

Jenny Low

Dr Jenny Low is a Board Certified Senior Consultant with the Department of Infectious Diseases in Singapore General Hospital and Associate Professor with the programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases, Duke-NUS Medical School. Concurrently, she is the Co-Director of the Viral Research and Experimental Medicine Centre@ SingHealth Duke-NUS (ViREMiCS) in the SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC and Deputy Clinical Director at the SingHealth Investigational Medicine Unit (IMU).

Her current research focus is on early phase adaptive clinical trials of viral therapeutics and vaccine development, as well as the role of the innate immune responses in modulating the outcome of infection or vaccination, thereby improving therapeutic interventional strategies for infectious diseases, such as COVID-19.

Michael H. Merson, M.D., is the founding director of SingHealth Duke-NUS Global Health Institute (SDGHI) and the Wolfgang Joklik Professor of Global Health at Duke University. As SDGHI Director, he works actively with local and international media to convey knowledge about the pandemic. He provides advice to multinational companies on various aspects of the pandemic and is developing proposals in collaboration with colleagues from Duke Global Health Institute on training health care workers in patient safety and research on coronavirus surveillance in the Asian region.

Prof Marcus Ong is a Senior Consultant, Director of Research, and Clinician Scientist, at the Department of Emergency Medicine in Singapore General Hospital. He is also the Director of Health Services Research Center (HSRC), SingHealth Services; Professor and Director, Health Services and Systems Research (HSSR), Duke-NUS Medical School. Prof Ong also serves as Medical Director, Unit for Prehospital Emergency Care (UPEC) and Senior Consultant, Ministry of Health, Hospital Services Division. Finally he is Chairman, Pan Asian Resuscitation Outcomes Study (PAROS).

Prof Ong’s research studies focus predominantly on pre-hospital emergency care, medical devices, data science and health services research. To minimise effects of the COVID-19 disease outbreak on Singapore health systems’ outcomes, he is currently leading a research project to understand system-wide effect using existing local data and computer simulation techniques. The team will use sophisticated simulation modelling and analyses to inform current and future policy decisions locally and even globally.

Dr Indumathi Venkatachalam

Dr Indumathi Venkatachalam is an Infectious Diseases Consultant at the Singapore General Hospital (SGH). She has an interest in the surveillance epidemiology of infectious diseases with a focus on the prevention and control of healthcare associated infections. Her main research is in the epidemiology of carbapenem resistant enterobactericeae where she hopes to bridge existing gaps between basic science, healthcare epidemiology, clinical medicine and health policy.

Dr Indumathi is currently spearheading the SGH contact tracing teams and developing surveillance systems for COVID-19 in SGH.

Yung Chee Fu

Dr Yung Chee Fu holds the position of Consultant with the Infectious Disease Service at KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital and Adjunct Assistant Professor at Duke-NUS Medical School. Dr Yung is involved in local and international research to understand the clinical epidemiology, transmission dynamics, immunology and pathogenesis of COVID-19.