Newshub - NUS' News Portal

NUS researchers recognised for R&D contribution

31 October 2012

Prof Ho (left) receiving the President's Technology Award from Singapore President Dr Tony Tan Keng Yam Photo

Asst Prof Chen (left) receiving the Young Scientist Award from Mr S Iswaran, Minister, Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade & Industry

Photos: A*STAR

A team comprising an NUS clinician-scientist and a Nanyang Technological University engineer has been recognised at the President's Science and Technology Awards 2012 ceremony on 30 October. The two partners received the President's Technology Award, which acknowledges research scientists and engineers in Singapore who have made outstanding contributions to research and development resulting in significant new technology or innovative use of established technology.

Professor Lawrence Ho Khek Yu, Chair of University Medicine Cluster, National University Health System, together with Associate Professor Louis Phee, Head of Nanyang Technological University's Division of Mechatronics and Design, collaborated on groundbreaking work that has led to the development of the world's first robotic flexible endoscopy system.

Called the Master and Slave Transluminal Endoscopic Robot, the innovation can conduct minimally invasive surgery with high precision, eliminating external incisions. Clinical trials on patients in India and Hong Kong showed shorter operation time, faster recovery and no scarring. Prof Ho, who is also Head of NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine's Department of Medicine, noted that the platform will be more easily adopted by practitioners and can provide substantial cost savings.

The duo have set up Endomaster Pte Ltd to commercialise their invention, which is expected to hit the market in 2015.

At the presentation event, another NUS researcher was named one of three winners of this year's Young Scientist Awards, bestowed on promising research scientists and engineers below 35 years old who have demonstrated world-class potential in their fields of expertise.

Assistant Professor Chen Wei, who is attached to the University's Departments of Chemistry and Physics, conducts research focusing on surface and interface science. The recipient of numerous research awards, his achievements include the development of rational design approaches to self-assemble molecular nanostructure arrays over macroscopic areas, the invention of a simple non-destructive surface transfer method to effectively dope graphene for nanodevices, and the identification of interface properties for organic solar cells.