Professor Russell Gruen


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Professor Russell Gruen
Professor of Surgery, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, NTU
Exe​cutive Director, NTU Institute for Health Technologies






Professor Gruen is Professor of Surgery in the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine), and Executive Director of the NTU Institute for Health Technologies (HealthTech NTU), at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He is also a Consultant General Surgeon at Tan Tock Seng Hospital.

He obtained his MBBS from the University of Melbourne in 1992, and completed surgery training in Australia and the University of Washington in Seattle, United States of America. Prior to coming to Singapore in August 2015, Prof Gruen was Professor of Surgery and Public Health at Monash University, Director of Australia’s National Trauma Research Institute, and a trauma surgeon at The Alfred, the busiest trauma centre in Australia.

Prof Gruen’s research training included a PhD in health systems research from Flinders University in 2004, a Harkness Fellowship in Health Policy at Harvard School of Public Health, a Fellowship in Medical Ethics at Harvard Medical School, and the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School.

In Australia, as lead investigator, he secured  over $16 million of competitive research funding, including a program grant in brain injury research, two national randomised trials, the Australian Trauma Registry, and an Australia-India trauma system development program. He has published over 160 articles, including 18 as first or senior author in high impact journals. He held Medical Postgraduate, Career Development, and Practitioner Fellowships from the National Health and Medical Research Council, and received the John Mitchell Crouch Fellowship, the highest academic award of the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons. He chaired the NHMRC Research Translation Committee for Injury Prevention, the Evidence and Research Committee of the WHO Global Alliance for Care of the Injured, he led a Clinical Series on Trauma in the Lancet, and was a Lancet Commissioner in Global Surgery.

His work is by its nature interdisciplinary, bringing together ideas and expertise from diverse fields such as medicine, engineering, philosophy, and economics. It is also highly translational, with strong emphasis on what works best for the benefit of patients. In 2012 he was profiled in The Lancet under the headline “Russell Gruen: Precision and Progress in Trauma Care” (Refer to article).

NTU Institute for Health Technologies
The NTU Institute of Health Technologies (HealthTech NTU) accelerates the development and translation of new technologies to solve health problems and improve quality of life.

Harnessing the breadth and depth of engineering that makes Nanyang Technological University one of the world’s top universities, along with the progressive Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, and Singapore’s state-of-the-art health services, HealthTech NTU provides a place where excellence in health, science, engineering, business, and policy converge.

Research focus

Every healthcare system worldwide faces challenges in providing its people with access to safe, effective care that is affordable and locally appropriate. As a clinician scientist, for 25 years Prof Gruen’s research has tackled a number of aspects of healthcare, including providing high performance trauma care for seriously injured people, improving access to surgery and anaesthesia in low and middle income countries, planning for health system sustainability, improving the use of evidence in clinical and policy decision-making, and supporting medical professionalism. As a Lancet Commissioner in Global Surgery, Prof Gruen is a  part of a worldwide movement to achieve, by 2030, access to affordable safe surgery and anaesthesia when it is needed by everyone, as part of universal health coverage.

There are many challenges in achieving such goals – political, economic, logistic and technical. Weunderstand much, but not everything, about the challenges, and we have some, but not all, of the answers. There is great need for research and development to improve healthcare in countries at all levels of development. A major focus of Prof Gruen’s work at NTU involves bringing the technological expertise across all of NTU to bear on major health and medical problems, in surgery, and in other clinical areas. It leverages the interdisciplinary structure of the Nanyang Institute of Technology in Health and Medicine, links LKCMedicine with other Colleges and Centres across NTU, and with other universities and international agencies, and focuses on technological innovations for hospitals and community settings.

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The surgical system is an interdependent network of individuals and institutions that reside within the health system. 

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Proportion of the population without access to safe, affordable surgery and anaesthesia by Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation region (selective tree with baseline assumptions).

Key Publications

  1. Meara JG, Leather AJ, Hagander L, Alkire BC, Alonso N, Ameh EA, Bickler SW, Conteh L, Dare AJ, Davies J, Mérisier ED, El-Halabi S, Farmer PE, Gawande A, Gillies R, Greenberg SL, Grimes CE, Gruen RL, Ismail EA, Kamara TB, Lavy C, Lundeg G, Mkandawire NC, Raykar NP, Riesel JN, Rodas E, Rose J, Roy N, Shrime MG, Sullivan R, Verguet S, Watters D, Weiser TG, Wilson IH, Yamey G, Yip W. Global Surgery 2030: evidence and solutions for achieving health, welfare, and economic developmentLancet. 2015;386(9993):569–624.
  2. Elliott JH, Turner T, Clavisi O, Higgins JPT, Mavergames C, Gruen RLLiving Systematic Reviews: An Emerging Opportunity to Narrow the Evidence-Practice Gap. PLOS Medicine. 2014 Feb 18: doi: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001603.
  3. Gruen RL, Brohi K, Schreiber M, Balogh ZJ, Pitt V, Narayan M, Maier RV. Haemorrhage control in severely injured patients. Lancet. 2012;380(9847):1099-108.
  4. Rosenfeld JV, Maas AI, Bragge P, Morganti-Kossmann MC, Manley GT, Gruen RLEarly management of severe traumatic brain injury. Lancet. 2012;380(9847):1088-98.
  5. Gruen RL, Pitt V, Green SE, Parkhill A, Campbell D, Jolley D. The effect of provider case volume on cancer mortality: Systematic review and meta-analysis. CA Cancer J Clin2009;59(3):192-211.
  6. Gruen RL, Elliott JH, Nolan ML, Lawton PD, Parkhill A, McLaren C, Lavis JN. Sustainability science: an integrated approach for health-programme planning. Lancet. 2008;372(9649):1579-89.
  7. Gruen RL, Campbell EG, Blumenthal D. Public roles of US physicians: community participation, political involvement and collective advocacy. JAMA. 2006;296(2):2467-75.
  8. Gruen RL, Bailie RS, Wang Z, Heard S, O’Rourke IC. Specialist outreach to isolated and disadvantaged communities: a population-based study. Lancet. 2006;368(9530):130-8.
  9. Gruen RL, Pearson SE, Brennan TA. Physician-Citizens: public roles and professional obligations. JAMA.2004;291(1):94-8. 
  10. Gruen RL, Jurkovich GJ, McIntyre LK, Foy HM, Maier RV. Patterns of errors contributing to trauma mortality: lessons learned from 2,594 deaths. Ann Surg. 2006 Sep;244 (3):371-80.
Please click here for Prof Gruen’s list of publications on pubmed.