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NUS and KDF to find solution for kidney disease

FIGHTING KIDNEY DISEASE: Dr Gordon Ku (left) and Prof John Wong at the announcement of the establishment of the KDF-NUS Kidney Research Fund.
RESEARCH into finding a long-term solution to kidney disease will be getting a boost from the KDF-NUS Kidney Research Fund. Established at NUS in November, 2007, the Fund will support research projects in this area at the University. Dr Gordon Ku, Chairman of the Kidney Dialysis Foundation (KDF) said that they have just received a firm commitment of $900,000 for the Fund, to be dispensed over three years.

The first project to be supported by the Fund is targeted at diabetes, the most common cause of kidney failure in Singapore which has one of the highest rates of diabetes in the world at 9 per cent. Led by leading transplant surgeon Prof Sir Roy Calne, Emeritus Professor at Cambridge University and Alumni Association Distinguished Visiting Professor at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, the research team will work on gene therapy to help them regulate the level of sugar in the blood due to a lack of insulin which is normally produced by beta cells in the pancreas.

GENE THERAPY: Prof Sir Roy Calne will lead the first project under the KDF-NUS Kidney Research Fund.
The co-investigators of the project are Prof Lee Chuen Neng, Head, Department of Surgery, NUS and Chief of Department of Surgery at National University Hospital (NUH); Prof Lee Kok Onn, Department of Medicine, NUS who is also Head, Division of Endocrinology at NUH and Dr Gan Shu Uin, Research Fellow, Department of Surgery, NUS.

Dr Gordon Ku, Chairman of KDF
"One dollar used in subsidising kidney dialysis is one dollar spent, and we can only treat one patient at a time. In research, one dollar spent may result in many dollars in return, and the benefit will be spread to humanity. We intend to capitalize on this multiplier effect of successful research. We also wish to capitalize on this to further promote the development of bio-medical technology in Singapore."

Mochtar Riady Building marks new chapter for Biz School

- Koh Eng Beng

GROUNDBREAKING: (From left) Prof Christopher Earley, Dean, NUS Business School; Mr James Riady, CEO, Lippo Group; Prof Shih Choon Fong, NUS President; Dr Mochtar Riady, Founder and Chairman, Lippo Group; Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, Minister for Education and Second Minister for Finance; Mr Wong Ngit Liong, Chairman, NUS Board of Trustees; Dr Stephen Riady, President, Lippo Group, Prof Tan Chorh Chuan, NUS Senior Deputy President; Mr Peter Tay, President, NUS Business School Alumni Association.
MOCHTAR RIADY Building when completed in 2009 will be NUS Business School's new flagship building. Named after the founder of the Lippo Group which had donated $21 million to the School, the 16,000 sq m structure at Kent Ridge will feature a glass façade and reed-like columns, reflecting the School's resilience and impetus for innovation in the business world.

A key feature is the five-storey atrium which forms the living room of the School, with a series of informal interaction zones for easy discussion. Classrooms, study spaces, alumni lounge, cafe and business centre facilities are cleverly integrated to facilitate exchange of ideas and knowledge.

At its groundbreaking ceremony (12 Nov), guest-of-honour Education Minister Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam said the new building marks a new chapter in the life of the School. "I am confident that the School will capitalise on these new facilities to build up its quality to new heights and a leading school globally," he said.

The Mochtar Riady Building will serve as a gateway to the NUS Business School Complex.
Said Prof Christopher Earley, Dean, NUS Business School: "Whether it is small group theory-to-practice seminars, meetings with alumni, conferences for the business leaders or student-led activities, come 2009, the enhanced environment will foster greater cohesion among faculty, students, alumni and the business community."

To deepen the bond between the School and its 27,000 strong alumni, a bridge will link the new building to the upcoming Shaw Foundation Alumni House.