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Duke-NUS: Towards building Singapore as a medipolis

22 July 2008


TOPPING UP: From left: Health Minister, Mr Khaw Boon Wan; Ms Mavis Khoo; Mr Tony Chew, Chairman, Governing Board, Duke-NUS; Prof Tan Chorh Chuan, NUS Senior Deputy President and Deputy Chairman, Governing Board, Duke-NUS; and Prof Shih Choon Fong, NUS President. Below: From left: Prof Ranga Krishnan, Dean, Duke-NUS; Group CEO, SingHealth; Prof Tan Ser Kiat; Dr Tony Tan, Chairman, National Research Foundation; and Ms Elizabeth Khoo.

TOPPING UP DUKE-NUS Graduate Medical School (Duke-NUS) is now closer to moving into its new campus with the completion of structural works. The School with 24,000 sq meters of space, will house some 500 researchers, faculty, staff and students when it begin its 2009 term next August. The School's building will be named after the late philanthropist Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat who had high regard for the importance of medicine and education. His Estate had donated $80 million to Duke-NUS in his memory.

Officiating at the topping-up ceremony (22 July), Mr Khaw Boon Wan, Minister for Health, said: "With the excellent infrastructure in place, we can now push forward the rapid transformation of the Outram Campus as a 'medipolis', integrating clinical service, teaching and research in a holistic patient-centric manner. There are many stakeholders in this campus: Singapore General Hospital, various national centres and Duke-NUS. We need to deepen existing collaborations and make them stronger partnerships, without which they may not succeed. We need to pull different stakeholders together to align their missions and values. We can be an unbeatable medical hub in this part of the world."

He added that the Government is keen to explore a longer term engagement with Duke University. "Along the way, we decided to form an inter-agency committee to brainstorm on how we can deepen our collaborations further. We have an existing agreement with Duke which has led to the formation of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School. Let's explore a possible Phase II Agreement with Duke: for a longer term engagement, a broader and deeper collaboration."

Also addressing the audience at the ceremony, Prof Ranga Krishnan, Dean, Duke-NUS, said that the School exists today because "the leaders in government, medicine, science and education, believed in their potential to transform medicine in a way that has the greatest positive impact on Singapore's healthcare".

"The development of cutting-edge research programmes is a critical element in any medical school that aims to produce physician-scientists," he said, adding that the visionary leadership of Singapore leaders such as Dr Tony Tan, Chairman, National Research Foundation and the Health Minister Mr Khaw have laid the groundwork for Duke-NUS' success.

Said Ms Mavis Khoo, Trustee of the Khoo Teck Puat Estate: "The Trustees are confident that students will benefit from the opportunity to be involved in some of the world's most innovative and ground-breaking medical research programmes during their study here at Duke-NUS. As the next generation of clinical researchers in Singapore, they will spearhead efforts to develop new treatments for diseases and better methods of delivering healthcare. We believe that through our gesture, we can help alleviate the suffering of patients in Singapore and around the world. This is what my late father would have wanted."