News In Brief: June 2021

LKCMedicine and Imperial College London held a joint neuroscience workshop on ‘Imaging and Data Visualization’
On 25 May, faculty from LKCMedicine and Imperial College London (Imperial) held a joint neuroscience workshop on ‘Imaging and Data Visualization’. Imperial’s Edmond and Lily Safra Chair, Head of Department, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Brain Sciences, Professor Paul Matthews and LKCMedicine’s Irene Tan Liang Kheng Chair, Professor of Neuroscience & Mental Health George Augustine began the workshop by welcoming and highlighting the collaborative avenues between the schools to over 130 participants who attended.

The workshop featured presentations by LKCMedicine faculty, including Assistant Professor Victoria Leong, who spoke about ‘Dyadic-EEG of parent-infant social interactions and learning’; Nanyang Assistant Professor Hiroshi Makino, whose talk was on ‘Learning in intelligence systems’; Nanyang Assistant Professor Ch’ng Toh Hean, whose talk was on ‘Nuclear Signalling dysfunction in Alzheimer’s Disease’; and Nanyang Associate Professor Ryo Kitada, who spoke about ‘Functional relevance of the lateral occipito-temporal cortex in body recognition’. The event also featured short talks from early career researchers.

There is great enthusiasm from researchers at LKCMedicine and Imperial for future collaborations in neuroscience, and additional virtual workshops will be held later this year.

LKCMedicine hosts workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for the Care of Elderly
On 23 April, LKCMedicine co-organised a workshop on Artificial Intelligence and Robotics for the Care of Elderly together with the College of Engineering and the National Healthcare Group (NHG). Co-hosted by Vice-Dean for Research Professor Lim Kah Leong and College of Engineering (CoE) Professor Guan Cuntai, the workshop began with an opening address by LKCMedicine Dean Professor Joseph Sung and CoE Dean Professor Louis Phee. Professor Lam Khin Yong, Senior Vice President for Research, NTU Singapore then spoke about how inter-disciplinary collaborations can help NTU’s progress towards the NTU2025 goals.

Next, Professor Chin Jing Jih, Chairman of the National Health Service, spoke briefly about how clinician-scientist collaborations can serve to resolve healthcare needs in an emerging ageing population. This was then followed by presentations on caring for the elderly in 2021 by presenters from LKCMedicine, Tan Tock Seng Hospital and NTU Institute of Science and Technology for Humanity (NISTH). Researchers from the CoE and NISTH then presented on different emerging technologies that could serve to fulfil needs in caring for the elderly.

After a break, all participants were divided into different groups for breakout sessions on three distinct themes: Early Diagnosis for Infectious and Chronic Non-communicable Diseases, Health Promotion and Disease Prevention, and Rehabilitation, where potential research topics to collaborate on and methods to resolve the potential obstacles these collaborators could face were presented.

The event then ended with closing remarks from Prof Sung, who emphasised the significant collaborative potential between LKCMedicine and CoE and expressing the hope that the event would be the start of more collaborations to come.

LKCMedicine Collaborates on the National Precision Medicine Research Initiative
Precision medicine is recognised as a priority by the Ministry of Health with the aim of understanding how genomic, phenotypic, lifestyle and clinical factors contribute to the health of Singaporeans, and LKCMedicine is proud to announce its collaboration with Precision Health Research Singapore (PRECISE) as part of Singapore's National Precision Medicine (NPM) research initiative. Phase II of the SG100K programme, in which the School will participate, kicks off this April and will analyse the genetics of 100,000 healthy Singaporeans, as well as 50,000 with specific diseases. The genetic data will be integrated with detailed lifestyle, environmental, and clinical data to yield rich insights into factors that contribute to Asian diseases and conditions.

Professor John Chambers, Chief Scientific Officer of PRECISE and one of the principal investigators supervising and coordinating the SG100K population cohort study, said, “A study with this degree of genetic diversity of the population, coupled with this level of phenotyping, is unparalleled. This is a powerful approach for identifying factors which determine why some Singaporeans, but not others, develop certain diseases. With insights into these disease-causing factors, researchers and doctors can develop new approaches that will not only benefit patients in the short term but for decades to come. Additionally, as this will require big data analysis to generate insights, we have also stepped-up efforts to ensure a secure and trustworthy data environment by actively working with various government agencies to build a robust infrastructure with safeguards in place to preserve data security and privacy.” Read more here: