Dr Judith Wong (left) receives her MOH Healthcare Research Scholarship – Master of Clinical Investigation Programme from Mr Chan Heng Kee, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Health.


Dr Judith Wong, Consultant, Children’s Intensive Care Unit, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH), has been awarded a Ministry of Health (MOH), Healthcare Research Scholarship – Master of Clinical Investigation Programme for research into paediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome (PARDS), at the recent National Medical Research Council Awards Ceremony and Research Symposium 2019.

A significant and challenging disease entity in paediatric intensive care units globally, PARDS is associated with oxygenation failure and a high mortality rate of up to 65 per cent1.

“Pneumonia is the most frequent cause of PARDS, and the progression of this disease from mild to severe occurs unpredictably with no current methods of prognostication,” shares Dr Wong. “Other causes can include drowning, sepsis and burns. A proportion of patients with PARDS deteriorate and require extracorporeal membrane oxygenation (ECMO) life support.”

Dr Wong’s study team will look into differentiating the global lipid landscape of patients with PARDS to identify potential prognostic markers correlating to the clinical phenotype of mild, moderate and severe disease. The team also aims to characterise and compare the lipidomic profile of viral and viral/bacterial-coinfection-induced PARDS to better understand the pathogenic interplay between virus and bacteria, and shed more light on disease severity.

“The findings would be of great utility in informing condition diagnosis and prognosis, and the planning of intensive care therapies – which can ultimately aid us in improving the overall health outcomes in critically-ill children,” adds Dr Wong.



  1. Wong JJ, Loh TF, Testoni D, Yeo JG, Mok YH, Lee JH. Epidemiology of pediatric acute respiratory distress syndrome in singapore: risk factors and predictive respiratory indices for mortality. Frontiers in pediatrics. 2014;2:78. PubMed PMID: 25121078. Pubmed Central PMCID: PMC4110624. Epub 2014/08/15. eng.