Professor Soo Khee Chee named Benjamin Sheares Professor of Academic Medicine

Duke‐NUS awarded the Benjamin Sheares Professorship in Academic Medicine to Professor Soo Khee Chee at an event that marked the completion of four years of medical study by its pioneering class of Doctor of Medicine (M.D.) students. The professorship recognises Prof. Soo’s pioneering contributions to research, scholarship and clinical service that has significantly impacted the practice of medicine in Singapore.

Prof. Soo Khee Chee is the founding Director of the National Cancer Centre Singapore and Deputy Chief Executive Officer of the Singapore Health Services, and the Vice Dean for Clinical and Faculty Affairs at Duke‐NUS. A visionary leader, he was one of the original group of doctors who advocated for the creation of a second medical school in Singapore. Throughout his prolific career, Prof Soo has achieved outstanding international distinctions in research, scholarship and clinical services. He has made significant contributions to the healthcare sector, specifically in the training of young clinicians and the establishment of a conducive clinical and research environment. His contributions to the community are evident from the many illustrious awards and accolades that he has garnered, including the National Outstanding Clinician Mentor Award in 2008, as well as the Public Administration Gold Medal, a prestigious National Day Award conferred to him in 2003 for his praiseworthy contributions to Singapore.

Prof. Ranga Krishnan, Duke‐NUS Dean and chairman of the selection committee for the professorship, said “Prof. Soo is a tremendous asset to the institution. His foresight and expertise as Vice Dean for Clinical and Faculty Affairs at Duke‐NUS has led to its rapid development and success. He is an excellent clinician‐scientist and revered educator. His continued role at Duke‐NUS and SingHealth will further enhance the building and establishing of Duke‐NUS as a key component of the academic medical centre at Outram.”

In a letter supporting Prof. Soo’s appointment, Dr. Edward Holmes, Chairman of the National Research Council, Ministry of Health, called Prof. Soo “one of the most prominent and influential leaders in Singapore academic medicine”, citing his vision and leadership that was critical in the development of the National Cancer Centre.

Prof. R. Sanders Williams, President, The J. David Gladstone Institutes and Founding Dean of Duke‐NUS, commended Prof. Soo’s significant contributions to Singapore’s medical landscape.

He said, “As a medical educator, he exemplifies the master clinician. I have personally seen him exert a positive influence on trainees and colleagues during rounds and clinical care conferences in Singapore General Hospital. As an investigator, he collaborates effectively in academic pursuits with fellow surgeons and doctors, and has published a considerable number of contributions to improve the care of patients with cancer.”

The newly endowed Benjamin Sheares Professorship in Academic Medicine is made possible through a S$2.5 million seed gift from Tote Board and SingHealth Foundation as well as a significant donation from the Sheares family. This prestigious professorship is said to be the first professorship to be named in honour of the late Benjamin Sheares. As a founding father of Singapore Medicine and Singapore’s second President, Dr. Benjamin Sheares is a sterling role model for Singapore’s younger generation of clinicians and clinician‐scientists.

Said Prof. Soo, “I am personally inspired by the legacy of the late Dr. Benjamin Sheares and am honoured and humbled to be conferred this professorship. Teaching and mentoring medical students constantly energizes me and enables me to witness their growth. Their vigour, thirst for learning and enquiring minds are constant reminders for me to stay curious, innovate and improve on the practice of medicine. I will endeavour to fulfill the expectations that come with this professorship and serve the community like Dr. Benjamin Sheares did.