​New NTU President visits LKCMedicine

Published on: 12-Jan-2018

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​​As part of his listening tour, new NTU President Professor Subra Suresh, who assumed office on 1 January, paid his first visit to LKCMedicine today. He was accompanied by his wife Mrs Mary Suresh and NTU Provost and Vice-President for Academic Professor Ling San.

LKCMedicine Dean Professor James Best and Executive Vice-Dean Professor Lionel Lee welcomed the new president at the Clinical Sciences Building (CSB) Plaza, where Prof Suresh took in the striking view created by the modern glass skyscraper framing the historical heritage Headquarters (HQ) building.

After settling into the HQ Boardroom, Prof Best kicked off the packed programme with an overview of LKCMedicine's governance and structure. The strategic partnership between NTU Singapore and Imperial College London that underpins the School was next on the agenda. LKCMedicine Governing Board Member and NTU Senior Advisor for Medicine Professor Jan Carlstedt-Duke, who was instrumental in setting up the School right from the start, outlined the framework set out in the Collaboration Agreement which was signed in 2010.

While the Collaboration Agreement set out the basic structure of the partnership, many more initiatives have since come to life, creating a rich and diverse network between the two institutions. Prof Suresh listened intently, following up with pertinent questions that led to a lively discussion.

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With the briefing on the strategic partnership complete, Prof Suresh, Mrs Suresh and Prof Ling then headed to the CSB, led by Prof Best and Prof Lee.

They first dropped in on a Team-Based Learning session to observe a vibrant discussion on sound conduction and transduction of the vestibular system. They were then met by Vice-Dean for Education Professor Naomi Low-Beer, who introduced LKCMedicine's innovative medical curriculum and highlighted what sets it apart from other medical curricula. To bring the overview to life, Prof Low-Beer together with Vice-Dean for Faculty Affairs and Assistant Dean for Years 1 & 2 Professor Michael Ferenczi and Assistant Dean for Year 4 Associate Professor Wong Teck Yee led the visitors on an interactive tour of the School's bespoke learning spaces, where mini-showcases brought the defining elements of the School's teaching approach to life. Stops included the Practical Skills Lab and Communication Suite as well as the Anatomy Learning Centre, where the anatomy team introduced the novel resources used in teaching. These technology-enabled learning spaces are key examples of how NTU leads the nation in developing smart technologies, leaving Prof Suresh who announced his vision to transform NTU campus into Singapore's first smart campus, impressed.

An overview of the different medical education research projects, through which the School continues to set best practices in modern medical education, and a stop to introduce LKCMedicine's student support structure, the House System, were also part of the programme.

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With the thorough introduction to medical education complete, the visitors headed up to the research laboratories. Briefing the visitors on the School's specialist research facilities at its Experimental Medicine Building on NTU's main campus, Professor of Developmental Biology Philip Ingham FRS and Neuroscience & Mental Health Research Programme Director Professor Balázs Gulyás talked about the zebrafish and cognitive neuroimaging facilities among others.

Research in action was the next item on the agenda and the group toured key research labs and facilities at the CSB before meeting LKCMedicine’s other senior research faculty namely Professors George Augustine, John Chambers and Josip Car, as well as several junior research faculty, who had the chance to introduce their work. 

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The president's first visit to the School ended at the CSB Medical Library with a tea reception with faculty, students and staff. While enjoying the panoramic views from the 20th floor, Prof Suresh, Mrs Suresh and Prof Ling mingled freely with researchers and students.

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Throughout his visit, Prof Suresh, an eminent scientist and NTU's first Distinguished University Professor, took particular interest in the unique features of the School that would mark NTU as a leader among medical schools. Addressing the faculty and students, he said, "Do let me know the constraints you face, be in in funding, resources or space, so we can look into the support needed. I'd like to see NTU as a living lab for our smart campus ambitions and the medical school is an integral part of this."   

Two commemorative photos – one with students and one with faculty and staff – marked the end of the visit.

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