Inaugural YYLSoM Graduate Scientific Congress  :
Innovations for Tomorrow's Medicine

Through 3 grant calls, and armed with a budget of S$25 million for each disease area over 5 years, the National Research Foundation’s (NRF) Translational and Clinical Research (TCR) Flagship Review Committee awarded a grant to each of these 5 disease areas:

Disease

Title

Lead PI

Host Institution

Date of Award

Cancer

The Singapore Gastric Cancer Consortium - Improving Outcomes for Our Patients

Yeoh Khay Guan

NUS

Aug 2007

Neuroscience

Vulnerability, Disease Progression, and Treatment in Schizophrenia and Related Psychoses

Chong Siow Ann

IMH

Jul 2008

Eye Diseases

Singapore Eye Research Institute TRIOS Programme (Translational Research Innovations in Ocular Surgery)

Donald Tan 

SERI

Jul 2008

Cardiovascular/ Metabolic Diseases

Developmental Pathways to Metabolic Disease

Chong Yap Seng

NUS

Dec 2008

Infectious Disease

Scientific exploration, translational research, operational evaluation of disease prevention and preventative measures through new treatment strategies against Dengue (STOP Dengue)

Leo Yee Sin

TTSH

Dec 2008

NMRC encouraged each TCR Flagship Programme, in their first year or so, to hold its own symposium in its NMRC Plexus Series and so we did, on the 2 March 2010 in the Matrix building in Biopolis.  We called our event “DevOS Symposium:  Untangling the Mysteries of Metabolic Disease” and are happy to share our photos here.

Barely 3 months after our first DevOS Symposium, we were pleasantly surprised by fresh instructions that instead of each TCR holding its own standalone symposium, on 6 October 2010, all 5 TCR Flagship Programmes were to present their projects at a single event in the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in the Suntec/Marina Bay area.

We worked very closely indeed with Mr Joshua Woo, Ms Karen Hay, Mr Ma, Ms Selly Julianty, Mr Seth Chow and more staff from NMRC, in playing our part in this event. 

Investigators from all TCRs really put their best foot forward by presenting the absolute highlights of their work:  project progress, most recent findings, commercial successes and so on.

Mr Joshua Woo, NMRC’s Manager (Media Relations), to his credit, worked his socks off to sift out the most exciting news from each TCR, present them all fairly to the Press, then artfully direct television, English & Mandarin newspaper coverage, so that there would be an even spread of TCR news before and after this inaugural symposium.

Since NMRC had worked hand in glove with the Economic Development Board (EDB) in organising this, there was a healthy mix of local & international industry presence at this event.  This gave rise to many handshakes, new connections and fresh leads for collaborations with industry. 

There also appeared consensus within the TCR community that while most TCRs were still in the thick of the process of maturing, having grasped a better understanding of each others’ projects, TCR Investigators looked forward to the time when their projects become ripe for TCR-with-TCR collaborations.  Not bad for a first outing - when 5 TCRs stood together, shoulder-to-shoulder, at a symposium.

 

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First time the 5 TCR programmes stood together, shoulder-to-shoulder