Published on 29 May 2024

LKCMedicine’s TARIPH Secures $10million Grant to Boost Asian Respiratory Disease Research

For the first time, a national team led by LKCMedicine Vice-Dean (Research) Associate Professor Sanjay Chotirmall secured a highly competitive SG$10million research grant to deliver a national translational research programme that will find better ways of treating Asian respiratory disease.

Awarded under the Open Fund-Large Collaborative Grant (OF-LCG) programme by the Singapore Ministry of Health’s National Medical Research Council (NMRC), the grant is a boost to this multi-party study which will address knowledge gaps in Asian respiratory disease. The focus is on improving the understanding of Asian endophenotypes of lung disease to address a key area of unmet need.

TARIPH (The Academic respiratory Initiative for Pulmonary Health) research programme at LKCMedicine will bring benefits to Singaporeans living with lung disease such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and position Singapore as a key academic respiratory hub for the Asian-sub-continent.

The multi-party team led by LKCMedicine comprises partners from SingHealth, Duke-NUS, the National Healthcare Group, National University of Singapore, National University Health and A*Star among others.  

Assoc Prof Sanjay Chotirmall said, “Respiratory disease represents half of the top six causes of global mortality. Most research in respiratory disease focuses on non-Asians and few studies include Asian participants. Consequently, many questions remain unanswered, such as is the disease the same in Asians and do Asians respond the same way to medications. Through TARIPH, we aim to address these questions that hamper the ability of our lung patients to breathe freely.  We want to find better treatment and practical solutions to improve outcomes for our patients.”

The national team would approach this transformation of respiratory medicine research through five themes. The programme incorporates research assessing early to established respiratory disease (Theme 1) including post-critical illness (Theme 2). The team will develop “lungs in a dish” to study Asian disease and understand why some patients don’t respond to steroids (Theme 3), and will develop methods to warn patients of adverse weather conditions to reduce hospitalisations (Theme 4) and perform studies assessing how the environment contributes to developing allergies (Theme 5).

The Theme Principal Investigators are as follows:

Theme 1 Principal Investigators

Assistant Professor Tiew Pei Yee, Singapore General Hospital

Associate Professor Sanjay Chotirmall, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Clinical Associate Professor Mariko Koh Siyue, Singapore General Hospital

Associate Professor Tang Wern Ee, National Healthcare Group Polyclinic


Theme 2 Principal Investigators

Dr Matthew Cove, National University Hospital

Associate Professor Jason Phua, Alexandra Hospital


Theme 3 Principal Investigators

Associate Professor Sanjay Chotirmall, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Associate Professor Thai Tran, National University of Singapore

Professor Wang De Yun, National University of Singapore


Theme 4

Associate Professor John Abisheganaden, Tan Tock Seng Hospital

Associate Professor Angela Chow, Tan Tock Seng Hospital

Assistant Professor Lim Jue Tao, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

Associate Professor Steve Yim Hung Lam, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore


Theme 5

Associate Professor Chew Fook Tim, National University of Singapore

Dr Evelyn Loo Xiu Ling, National University of Singapore