No scientist can make it on his or her own. To achieve research success, one needs a team with people who have different skills and play different roles.

SingHealth Duke-NUS holds the Research Appreciation Awards every year to honour individuals who have been nominated by their colleagues for being the "Mad Scientist", "Yoda Grant Master" or "Most Coordinated Coordinator."


These titles may sound wacky, but have a serious aim – to shine the spotlight on research team members who work behind the scenes at our Academic Medical Centre (AMC) and make research possible.


From the scientist with remarkable leadership to the young staff member combing through grant applications, here are the winners of the Research Appreciation Awards 2018:

Peace Prize Award:

Prof Ecosse Lamoureux


Director, Population Health,
Singapore Eye Research Institute

Health Services & Systems Research Programme, Duke-NUS

What is a team without a leader?   A good leader or principal investigator values team work and collaboration, and make working together – within or with other teams – a great experience. 


Prof Lamoureux is known to be a leader who provides invaluable opportunities to staff, an appreciative boss, a mediator and strong collaborator with other research teams. He is even known to organise yummy team lunches as a stress buster when work gets overwhelming.


Mad Scientist Award:

Dr Chen Yong


Staff Physician,
Department of Paediatric Surgery, KK Women's and Children's Hospital

Every person working in a lab knows that one scientist who is passionate about science and dedicated to his research to the point of distraction.


Known to have a very active spirit of inquiry, Dr Chen Yong constantly has new ideas to translate clinical encounters into research studies.


He is also the go-to person for any unusual or complex research questions, and is always ready to search out an answer


The Lab is My 2nd Home Award:

Lin Xiaotian



Research Fellow,
DMS - Tan Chin Tuan Laboratory of Optical Imaging and Photodynamic Therapy of Cancer,
National Cancer Centre Singapore

There are many researchers and laboratory staff who, though behind the scenes, take pride in their work and are relentless in making a positive difference to their team.


This year's winner works long, hard and fast, and goes beyond his duty to help in big and small tasks.


His nominator even shared that the lab is his first home, not his second, because he practically lives there!



The Most Coordinated Coordinator Award:

Teh Ee Mei


Senior Clinical Research Coordinator,
Department of Clinical Trials and Research Centre,
Singapore General Hospital

A research or clinical trial coordinator ensures that each research study and trial is carried out smoothly and successfully.


Ee Mei is said to be the "soul of Haematology clinical trials". She had an overwhelming number of nominations, with nominators praising her dedication, professionalism and ability to oversee many trials at a time. 


In fact, she is one of the reasons why the department has a track record of securing high clinical trials recruitment numbers!



Can't Do Without You Research Admin Award:

John Huang


Assistant Manager,
Office of Research, Operations, SingHealth

Behind the scenes, research administrators play a crucial role in enabling the work of the research community.


John is an excellent administrator who supports over 25 research groups and departments and more than 20 shared facilities in the day to day operations of the discovery tower in Academia! 


He had a record number of nominations from across institutions and departments, and one nominator shared plainly – they simply cannot do without him.


The Ethical Enforcer Award:

Phang Wee Lee


Office of Research,
Integrity and Compliance, SingHealth

To ensure that research meets high ethical standards, the ethical enforcer excels in ethical compliance and monitoring, always.  


This winner is known to be approachable, responsive and patient. 


He doesn't just answer surface questions on ethical compliance, but often takes time to share knowledge and explain the rationale behind the practices.


The Yoda Grant Master Award:

Iris Soh Sze Jia


Senior Executive,
Office of Research, SingHealth

This "grant master" is well-versed with the research grants landscape, and is the go-to person for all matters relating to grants application and grants management.


Iris handles the SingHealth wide grant calendar comprising both national and AMC grants, and is a walking bible for researchers looking for grants. 


She is knowledgeable and meticulous, and has been instrumental in helping many Principal Investigators secure both national and cluster-wide grants.


The Most Caffeinated Award:

Nanthakumahrie D/O Gunasegaran


Nurse Clinician, Ward 73,
Internal Medicine,
Singapore General Hospital

In research, one needs to have a never-give-up attitude – carrying a positive spirit and always going the extra mile both in their work and when working with others.


Nanthakumahrie has been a nurse clinician for 13 years and an active researcher on top of her clinical work.   


She is a PI and collaborator in various research projects, and leads her team of nurses in improvement of research practices through monthly journal club meetings and regular research and evidence-based care updates.


The Bunsen Burner Award:

Dr Andrew Ho Fu Wah


Year 3 Resident,
SingHealth Residency Emergency Medicine Programme

This aspiring junior researcher is passionate, enthusiastic and conscientious about his work - a bright flame in the research community.


People say that Dr Ho spends 9 hours at work and 15 hours on research activities each day. In fact, no one knows how he makes time for eating, sleeping or any other activities!

The Most Sensei Master Award:

Prof Wang Jie Jin


Professor of Epidemiology,
Centre for Clinician-Scientist Development,
Duke-NUS Medical School

To keep research going, a "sensei" needs to give guidance and mentorship to build a pool of younger researchers.


Prof Wang is known to be a great mentor to junior scientists who are either struggling or aiming to move to the next level of their research. 


Over the last few years, she has been helping her mentees in their research journeys and grant applications, and persistently supports them to pursue their research interests despite setbacks.