Thoughts on Duke-NUS

A Message from the Dean 

In my first official week as Dean, I appreciate this opportunity to share my thoughts about Duke-NUS, where we have been and where we are going.

In the relatively short span of ten years, Duke-NUS has accomplished great things and has built a solid foundation for future achievement.During this time, we have graduated five classes of MD students, and our first MD/PhD and PhD students finished up their studies this May. These graduates are the product of the innovative programmes of our Education team. Our pioneering TeamLEAD learning model, anchored on self-directed learning, continues to impress and inspire educators and institutions here and abroad. More expansive learning and teaching innovations are on the way. A number of these innovations are featured here.

On the research side, our faculty has also been innovative and productive – over 2,000 papers have been published in international peer-reviewed journals; over 40 national research awards* have been garnered, and collectively, over S$290 million research funding have been raised locally and overseas. Just a few days ago, two breakthrough studies on dengue were published online in the prestigious journal Science (July 3). This work by Duke-NUS investigators is very likely to enhance the clinical treatment and prevention of dengue and accordingly, was well-covered by the media. As such, this research reflects our school’s strong commitment to finding better treatments for diseases of concern to Singapore and our region. (Breaking News)

I am very excited about assuming the role of Dean at Duke-NUS. This presents a rare opportunity to work with an outstanding group of individuals. From our students who continue to impress with their scholarship and academic achievements as well as heartfelt, dedicated efforts in community service, to our faculty and staff with their terrific ‘will do and can do’ spirit.It will also be a privilege to work with our partners at SingHealth as we continue to develop the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre. The AMC provides a requisite vehicle for our education and translational research programmes, allowing full expression of our efforts to positively impact patient care here in Singapore.

I also look forward to working with our dedicated Governing Board, consisting of stakeholders and prominent individuals from our community, who donate their talents and valuable time to help us achieve our objectives of transforming medicine and improving patients’ lives.             

Finally, I want to acknowledge and thank Professor Ranga Krishnan, who has provided superb leadership as Dean of our school over the past 7 years. The myriad achievements of Duke-NUS during this time are a testimony to his creative thinking and exceptional abilities as a leader. I also want to personally thank Ranga for his generosity and wise mentoring during my transition into this job. I will certainly do my best to build on his impressive legacy.

With best wishes,














Thomas Coffman, MD