Professor Lee Seng Teik and Mr Lee Hoo Leng (’52) have made a joint gift to establish the Lee Seng Teik & Lee Hoo Leng Professorship in Plastic Surgery & Regenerative Medicine at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, under the Surgery Academic Clinical Program. This is the first professorship in Singapore that recognises and supports an outstanding individual’s work in Plastic Surgery and Regenerative Medicine. The gift will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the government.
The confluence of Regenerative Medicine and Plastic Surgery has the potential to truly transform advances in patient care. Regenerative Medicine is the discipline focused on the use of living, functional tissues to repair or replace tissue or organ function that is lost due to age, disease, accident, or congenital defects. This broad medical field encompasses a variety of research areas including cell therapy, tissue engineering, biomaterials engineering, growth factors and transplantation science. Plastic surgery is the medical specialty concerned with the correction or restoration of form and function. It includes many types of reconstructive surgery, hand surgery, microsurgery and the treatment of burns. Many of the reconstructive techniques and procedures can benefit from harnessing the regenerative potential of stem cells.
The vision of this academic chair in Plastic Surgery and Regenerative Medicine has productive collaborations in mind, and also the basic research which straddles these two related medical disciplines.
This Professorship will build a critical mass of investigators whose work in regenerative medicine will provide new insights into tissue and organ regeneration. Collaborations with Duke University’s Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Program will tap into its network of world-renowned centers offering a wide range of expertise in regenerative medicine. These discoveries can result in new therapies that are relevant to ageing populations, tissue engineering of organs, tissues for replacement therapy and also translational research in both acute and chronic wound healing. The recipient will also provide academic leadership in medical research and teaching within Duke-NUS and SingHealth.
Through the gift of Prof Lee and Mr Lee, this prestigious endowed academic chair will place the SingHealth – Duke-NUS partnership in a stronger position to make extraordinary progress in regenerative medicine and plastic surgery. Prof Lee is currently the Emeritus Consultant of SGH’s Department of Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery. He was the Head of SGH’s Department of Plastic Surgery and Burns from 1985 to 1998. In 1990, he founded the National Burns Centre’s skin culture lab at SGH. He was the Founding Director of the SGH-Postgraduate Medical Institute (SGH-PGMI) from 1994 to 2001. A Clinical Professor with the Faculty of Medicine at the National University Hospital from 2001 to 2006, Prof Lee served as Chairman of Education and Training of the SingHealth cluster from 2001 to 2004. He is also the Founding Director and Advisor for the SGH Museum. He continues to lead many humanitarian missions and hold appointments in many professional bodies in Singapore and international societies. A close family friend of Prof Lee, Mr Lee Hoo Leng is also an alumnus of National University of Singapore (1952).