Round-up of Duke-NUS’ latest people news

From honorary citizenship for two stalwarts of Duke-NUS to a £30 million research grant, this round-up has much to celebrate. Recognising its clinical faculty who are the lifeblood of the Academic Medical Centre (AMC), Duke-NUS honoured not only those who had served the School for 15 years but also its latest newly promoted and appointed senior clinical faculty at a ceremony in July; while just two weeks later, individuals across the AMC received National Day honours for their service to the School, AMC and nation. In a nod to his commitment to healthcare, a Duke-NUS PhD in Clinical and Translational Sciences candidate received the Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship Award, while the MEDICUS team celebrated winning two awards for a feature on inflammation from a past issue. And in a different form of celebration, medical students from all three medical schools in Singapore came together to bring back Camp Simba after a two-year hiatus.

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Duke-NUS pioneers bestowed with Honorary Citizenship Awards

Former Duke-NUS Dean Professor Ranga Krishnan and Duke-NUS Emeritus Professor Duane Gubler received the Honorary Citizen Award—Singapore’s top honour for foreigners—for their valuable contributions to the country during a ceremony held at the Istana on 9 June 2022. Singapore President Madam Halimah Yacob presented the award to the two Duke-NUS pioneers, thereby inducting them into an illustrious group of recipients which also includes fellow Duke-NUS trailblazer Professor Victor Dzau, who received the award in 2019.

Former Duke-NUS Dean Professor Ranga Krishnan receives Honorary Citizen Award
Duke-NUS Emeritus Professor Duane Gubler receives Honorary Citizen Award

L-R: Former Duke-NUS Dean Professor Ranga Krishnan with President Madam Halimah; and Emeritus Professor Duane Gubler with Madam President after receiving their honorary citizenships // Credit: Ministry of Health

“Singapore gave me a unique, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be part of building a new medical school and a truly outstanding academic health system. I am thankful for that opportunity and for the chance to participate in the transformation of Singapore’s health system and biotech sector to be a true global leader.”

Professor Ranga Krishnan on the opportunities that Singapore has offered him

Prof Ranga Krishnan

Emeritus Professor Duane Gubler

“I have watched Singapore evolve into a global public health and economic leader, becoming a model for other countries to emulate. I am proud to have been a part of this evolution but any contribution I may have made must be attributed to the many Singaporean colleagues and friends whom I have worked with over the years.”

Emeritus Professor Duane Gubler on his contributions to Singapore

National Day Honours for Duke-NUS and SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre 

After two years of disruption because of the pandemic, National Day celebrations returned to normal on 9 August. The celebrations kicked off with honours for those who dedicated themselves to serving the nation. The top National Day Award honour given out this year was the Distinguished Service Order, given to three individuals. Among them was former Duke-NUS Governing Board (GB) Deputy Chairman Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, now the Chief Health Scientist at the Ministry of Health.

Prof Tan Chorh Chuan
Professor Tan Chorh Chuan who delivered the keynote address to the Class of 2022 at their graduation is among three individuals who received the Distinguished Service Order at the National Day Honours 2022

He was joined by more than 50 other recipients of National Day honours including Public Administration (Silver) recipients including former GB members Dr Benjamin Koh Khay Wee and Mr John Lim; Duke-NUS Professor Patrick Tan, who is the director of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Precision Medicine; Clinical Associate Professor Ng Kee Chong, who is a senior associate dean with the Office of Academic and Clinical Development; and Adjunct Associate Professor Raymond Chua; as well as Senior Vice-Dean and Group Director for Corporate Services Ms Karen Chang, who received the Public Administration Medal (Bronze).

Duke-NUS recognises pioneer clinical faculty and celebrates  new appointments and promotions

Duke-NUS celebrated the promotion and new appointment of senior clinical faculty at the School’s Amphitheatre on 27 July 2022. During the same celebrations, the School also recognised its very own pioneer clinicians who have served Duke-NUS since its inception and received their 15-year long service award.

Newly promoted and appointed senior faculty
15-year long service award recipients

L-R: The newly promoted and appointed senior faculty join Vice-Dean for Academic and Clinical Development Clinical Associate Professor Chow Wan Cheng (front, centre); and the 15-year long service award recipients gather for a commemorative photo with Clin Assoc Prof Chow (front, centre) as well as Senior Vice-Dean for Corporate Services Ms Karen Chang (second left) and Vice-Dean for Education Professor Ian Curran (right)

Duke-NUS clinician-scientist part of team winning £30 million to end a fatal type of heart disease

“Genetic heart muscle diseases are serious cardiovascular diseases, responsible for cardiac arrest in young people. I am honoured to play a part in this opportunity to help put an end to the suffering caused by these conditions. I am especially proud of the research discoveries made by my team in Singapore at Duke-NUS and NHCS, which have helped lay some of the groundwork underpinning CureHeart’s mission.”


Paul Yen

Tanoto Foundation Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at Duke-NUS Stuart Cook, a clinician-scientist with the School and the National Heart Centre Singapore, is part of an international team awarded £30 million by the British Heart Foundation to develop an injectable cure for genetic heart conditions that kill young people.

MEDICUS story wins Gold at CASE awards
MEDICUS story wins Gold at CASE awards

The science writer behind many MEDICUS stories, Dr Chua Li Min made the editorial team proud with a special win. Her story titled “Inflammation – the fires that burn within” published in MEDICUS 2021 Issue 3 won GOLD at the CASE Circle of Excellence Awards 2022. The results were announced online on 22 June 2022.

The story also received a nod at the APEX 2022 Awards, receiving an Award of Excellence for feature writing.

Duke-NUS PhD candidate receives Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship Award

“I feel honoured as it is an acknowledgement and recognition of my past contributions as well as my ability to contribute further. I’m now creating the largest perioperative and critical care relational database of patients undergoing surgery in the region and state-of-the-art machine learning models to predict surgical complications. When completed, it would be the backbone for many real-world healthcare data science-related research coming out of Singapore. In the next few years, I will also focus on mentoring my team to scale up the sub-specialty of perioperative medicine in Singapore as a way to pay it forward, for I had many good mentors when I was still a junior doctor."


Prof Chow Wan Cheng

Dr Hairil Rizal Abdullah, Duke-NUS PhD in Clinical and Translational Sciences and a senior consultant with the department of anaesthesiology at Singapore General Hospital, said on receiving the 2022 Lee Kuan Yew Scholarship Award.

Camp Simba is back after two-year hiatus

After a two-year hiatus and some six months of planning, Duke-NUS medical students alongside their undergraduate peers from NUS Medicine and the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine brought their collaborative community project, Camp Simba, back to bring joy to the children of families who are living with cancer.

Thirty campers aged seven to 16 enjoyed the two-day camp which was run by more than 50 student facilitators from the three medical schools. While the last COVID-19 restrictions made overnight camping not feasible, the student facilitators focused on organising a fun and meaningful programme during the day. From loud fun to quiet time spent learning a new skill such as tie-dying.

“We couldn’t plan for overnight stays since we would have to take our masks off when sleeping, which might put our campers and medically vulnerable members of their families at risk. But we were still able to retain other vital elements of the camp, like the station games and psychosocial activities, while adding in new elements such as the tie-dye workshop,” said Ms Meenakshi Siddharthan, Duke-NUS Camp Simba project director and Year Two MD student.

Camp Simba campers
Camp Simba campers

L-R: The campers get ready for an adventurous scavenger hunt that featured lots of team bonding; making jars filled with motivational statements for their future selves

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