Heart disease – the leading cause of death in the world and a pressing health concern – was given greater emphasis at the recent SingHealth Duke-NUS Scientific Congress 2014 thanks to a S$3 million gift from the Tanoto Foundation and the launch of the National Heart Research Institute Singapore (NHRIS).
The Congress is a biennial event and this year’s Congress – entitled “Academic Medicine – Transforming Vision into Reality” – showcased the latest medical developments and scientific advances in clinical care, research and medical education.
The gift from the Tanoto Foundation will support research in human genetics to identify new ways of diagnosing, stratifying and testing patients with cardiovascular diseases, thereby allowing early prevention for those who are genetically pre-disposed to the disease. Out of the S$3 million gift, S$2.5 million will be used to set up the Tanoto Foundation Professorship in Cardiovascular Medicine and S$500,000 will fund the Tanoto Foundation Initiative for Genetics and Stem Cell Research at NHRIS.
Tanoto Foundation has, over the years, been a strong supporter of medical research that has the potential to bring about transformative impact to society. Chairman of Tanoto Foundation Board of Governance, Mr Bey Soo Khiang says, “We are particularly delighted to contribute to the advancement of research in cardiovascular medicine for the Asian community, as we believe the breakthrough results will enable healthcare practitioners to address the region’s medical needs more effectively, in relation to heart diseases. To this end, Tanoto Foundation hopes to continue to play a positive role in helping to improve the quality of people’s lives.”
NHRIS, a dedicated cardiovascular research institute to advance treatment for heart disease, was launched by President Tony Tan. The Institute’s key research focus areas are heart function and genetics, regenerative medicine and metabolic heart disease and cardiac imaging.
World-renowned cardiovascular research expert, Professor Stuart Cook from the Duke-NUS Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Signature Research Programme, will head up the Institute. He says, “The vision for NHRIS is to be a premier regional centre for cardiovascular research to drive excellence in patient care. Our research in the Asian population will help us better understand the disease manifestation – this will change the way we treat cardiovascular disease and create a positive impact on outcomes for our patients.”
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