With strong support from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health in Singapore, as well as its parent universities, Duke-NUS Medical School remains steadfast in furthering the pursuit of its vision of transforming medicine and improving lives.

Duke University and the National University of Singapore (NUS) reaffirmed their commitment to Duke-NUS Medical School—Singapore’s flagship graduate-entry, research-focused medical school—by renewing their partnership agreement.

Marking this important milestone in their almost two decade-long collaboration, a ceremony was held on 13 October 2022 at Duke University’s Allen Building in Durham, USA. The Phase IV Agreement was signed by Professor Vincent E Price, Duke University President; Professor Tan Eng Chye, NUS President; and Duke University Chancellor for Health Affairs Professor Eugene Washington, who is also President and CEO of Duke University Health System. The inking of the agreement, which is for the next five years, was acknowledged and supported by Duke-NUS Governing Board Chairman Mr Goh Yew Lin. Representatives from Singapore’s Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health joined the signing ceremony virtually.

“Duke-NUS has been one of Duke’s most successful global ventures, bringing together the best in medical education, translational research, and innovation from the two world-leading universities,” said Duke University President Professor Vincent E Price. “The partnership has enriched the Duke community and broadened our expertise through the exchange of faculty and students, knowledge, and local insights. I am particularly proud of the Duke/Duke-NUS Research Collaboration Pilot Project Grant, which further strengthens ties between our two institutions with continuous collaborations between Durham and Singapore researchers to advance translational and clinical research.”

Since its inception in 2005, Duke-NUS has played an important role in training competent clinicians and clinician-scientists by bringing together students from diverse backgrounds. Through its conditional admissions pathways, which enable talented students with a passion for medicine to first pursue other interests, the School continues to enrich the diversity of its student body as it supports the national pipeline of clinician-scientists and expert clinicians who are poised to take on leadership roles in the health and biomedical sciences ecosystem.

Duke-NUS’ focus on academic medicine to translate cutting-edge research discoveries into real- world healthcare solutions has grown it into a key player in Singapore’s dynamic biomedical ecosystem, contributing to the nation’s vision of being the biomedical hub of Asia through its innovative medical education and impactful translational research.

“Duke-NUS has distinguished itself as an innovative education and research powerhouse that develops high-potential individuals to become not just exemplary clinicians but also capable researchers and critical thinkers,” said NUS President Professor Tan Eng Chye. “As the School moves into its next phase with renewed commitment, Duke-NUS, through its unique “Clinicians First, Clinicians Plus” pedagogy and highly interactive flipped-classroom educational philosophy, is well positioned to be part of NUS’ strategic priority to offer multidisciplinary educational pathways and support Singapore’s aspirations for a healthier nation and develop an ecosystem of support for better health for all Singaporeans.”

Playing a leading role in combatting COVID-19, Duke-NUS has demonstrated its scientific excellence through innovations, including the first authorised surrogate virus neutralisation test, cPassTM. The School also pioneered innovative solutions in medical education, such as its COVID- safe methods for conducting high-stakes clinical examinations.

Beyond COVID-19, Duke-NUS scientists have a distinguished track record of delivering scientific breakthroughs for novel therapeutics and potential cures of debilitating diseases such as fibrosis and cancer, and advancing our understanding of the most pertinent issues faced by Singapore’s rapidly ageing population.

“Duke-NUS is an admired leader in accelerating discovery and its translation and in training the next generation of pioneering clinicians, researchers and educators,” said Duke University Chancellor Professor Eugene Washington. “Our enduring partnership is creating innovative pedagogy that is transforming medical education and greatly amplifying the impact that our learners have in our respective countries and around the world.”

Attuned to the demands tomorrow’s doctors will face, Duke-NUS recently expanded its focus on population health through the inclusion of social prescribing. It has also enhanced its focus on innovation through the launch of the Duke-NUS Health Innovator Programme, where medical students team up with peers from NUS’ business and engineering programmes to immerse themselves in the full innovation cycle with the guidance of clinical mentors and industry partners.

In addition, Duke-NUS, along with its academic medicine partner SingHealth, has nurtured a rapidly growing pool of clinician-scientists, clinician-researchers and innovators practicing across the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre.

“Duke-NUS’ many accomplishments and growing reputation are a testament to the attractiveness of the School’s education model, which is unique in Singapore’s higher education landscape, and to the quality and impact of its research,” said Duke-NUS Governing Board Chairman Mr Goh Yew Lin. “Working with national and global partners, Duke-NUS is well positioned to continue our leadership in key focal areas that underpin the future of healthcare in Singapore and beyond through ground-breaking discoveries and innovative solutions.”

The School’s mandate for the next five years is to continue its pursuit of academic excellence in medical education and research and ensure the translation of breakthroughs into innovations that reach the public domain to improve lives.

“Since its founding, Duke-NUS has grown from strength to strength, and the signing of the Phase IV Agreement reflects the robust confidence our stakeholders have in the School,” said Duke-NUS Dean Professor Thomas Coffman. “As we embark on the next chapter of our journey, we remain steadfast in our commitment to supporting Singapore’s vibrant biomedical ecosystem by combining education with care, and research with innovation to enable our students, scientists and clinicians to transform medicine and improve lives.”