News: Charting the next chapter for LKCMedicine

On 12 October, LKCMedicine Dean Professor Joseph Sung unveiled the future developments for the School at his second Townhall this year aptly titled “Charting Our Next Chapter”.

Originally to be held as a hybrid event, the Townhall was moved to fully virtual to keep with the latest advisories from the government and the university. The online session brought the LKCMedicine community together to hear from the core leaders about the latest developments and to discuss topics that are significant to the School.

Addressing over 220 staff and faculty, Prof Sung opened the event by sharing LKCMedicine’s Key Thrusts for 2025 as well as his thinking and strategic plans for the School. He invited feedback from fellow colleagues so as to collectively work towards achieving the desired goals.

“It is time for us to look back on how much we have achieved. To move ahead, we should continue to work on the important domains of our School’s development. At the same time, revise some of the directions and put in some more concrete plan for our next five years of development,” he said.

Prof Sung also highlighted the importance of enhancing the School’s visibility in the community and the academia, “In the past, we have been doing a lot of good things, but the community may not know what we are doing. If we can relate this message to Singapore, our neighbouring countries and the international arena of academics, we will be making a big name for our medical school.”

Vice-Dean for Education Professor Jennifer Cleland followed up to present the upcoming plans for LKCMedicine’s innovative education.

On supporting MBBS students to work in a rapidly changing healthcare landscape, Prof Cleland said, “We are preparing people for working life and lifelong learning, not stuffing their heads full of knowledge. They do need some knowledge of course, but we have to teach them the attitudes and skills.”

Vice-Dean for Research Professor Lim Kah Leong then gave an overview of the research team’s goals towards transformative research. Prof Lim encouraged the audience to identify with these goals, which are broad and inclusive.

“For research, we need to be intentional about pursuing excellence. Indeed, to me, the relentless pursuit of excellence should be in our blood, in our DNA. I often say that research is an extremely tough job where the rewards do not often commensurate with our efforts. For excellence to happen, we definitely need to have passion and we need all of us here to create a community for everyone to share their passion.” 

After the Vice-Deans’ presentations, the five newly-appointed Research Programme Directors introduced their respective flagship programmes.

  • Professor George Augustine on Neuroscience and Mental Health
  • Associate Professor Yusuf Ali on Nutrition, Metabolism and Health
  • Professor John Chambers on Population and Global Health
  • Professor Laurent Renia on Respiratory and Infectious Diseases
  • Professor David Becker (on behalf of Professor Maurice van Steensel) on Skin Disease and Wound Repair

This was followed by a Q&A session with LKCMedicine’s core leadership moderated by Prof Lim. Among the questions raised were areas of improvement for the School, the role that LKCMedicine can play in bringing researchers and clinicians together, and keeping the community safe and the School on mission as Singapore likely transitions to an endemic phase of COVID-19.

In his closing address, Prof Sung shared the School’s support for World Mental Health Day and declared a half-day time off on 15 October. He encouraged staff and faculty to make use of the time to participate in Run It Forward 2021, LKCMedicine’s virtual charity run, which is ongoing until 15 December.

On the evening of 15 October, LKCMedicine Governing Board Chairman Mr Lim Chuan Poh and Prof Sung paired up to kick off Run It Forward 2021. Joined by student members of the organising committee, Hafez Sorouri Zanjani (M2) and Raelene Chong (M3), the two pairs of runners ran a lap in the area around the School’s Novena campus. Watch the highlights of the launch in the video below.


Run It Forward 2021

Run It Forward 2021 is the School’s second virtual charity run. The first was launched last year to commemorate LKCMedicine’s 10th anniversary. Over 660 participants have registered for this year’s run and pledged to cover more than 62,000km. In addition to renewing LKCMedicine’s support for President’s Challenge, the 2021 run celebrates NTU’s 30th anniversary and aims to raise funds for NTU Priorities Fund.

You can support Run It Forward 2021 by making a gift to President’s Challenge or NTU Priorities Fund. Gifts above $10 will attract a 250 per cent tax deduction. With your support, we can achieve our goal of $150,000!