​Dr Iain Tan is awarded the Singapore Youth Award, the Nation’s highest youth accolade for his contribution in his roles as a specialist doctor and research scientist and for his efforts to cultivate an environment conducive for translational research.   He has been actively involved in translational research seeking to improve outcomes for patients with cancer and in mentoring and inspiring young students and doctors to pursue careers in scientific research.

NCCS doctor wins Singapore Youth Award 2014 

Consultant Medical Oncologist Dr Iain Tan has been recognised for his strong contributions as a specialist doctor and research scientist in the field of cancer and his efforts to cultivate an environment conducive for clinical research.   This time, he has been named winner in the prestigious Singapore Youth Awards 2014. 

Dr Tan is currently a consultant oncologist leading the colorectal cancer service within the Division of Medical Oncology at National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS).   He is concurrently a clinician scientist at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), A*STAR, where his research focuses on new ways in the early detection and diagnosis of colorectal cancers.   His research has been recognised with various awards and grants such as the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) Young Investigator Award in 2010, Terry Fox Foundation grant in 2013, and National Medical Research Council (NMRC) Individual Research Grant in 2014. 

Dr Tan emphasises that translational bench-to-bedside research is a “team sport”.   With the strong support from both NCCS and GIS, he is able to work closely with fellow clinicians and scientists towards a common goal of translating scientific advances into potential clinical applications.   His expertise in both fields also offers him an opportunity to provide meaningful mentorship to his students and apprentices from both disciplines. 

He has personally mentored junior doctors and has been engaged in lecturing positions in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine and at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School.   Several of Dr Tan's junior doctor trainees through his mentorship have chosen to enter the clinician investigator track after becoming certified medical specialists.   In his various 2 capacities, he is a mentor to PhD students, university undergraduates and secondary school students, providing him the opportunity to interact with youth and inspire them to strive in pursuit of excellence in their respective fields and how they can make a positive impact on society. 

Humbled by his latest award, Dr Tan said, “I am fortunate to have achieved success and contributed to society in two disciplines I care deeply about – clinical medicine and scientific research, especially when cancer is a growing public health concern and the leading cause of death in Singapore.”

Explaining his passion as a clinician scientist, he said: “As a scientist, I can combine clinical and scientific insights to identify specific opportunities where translational research can take advancements in science and technology into discoveries that can improve treatment outcomes for patients.”

Prof Soo Khee Chee, NCCS Director, commenting on Dr Tan's award said; "As a young doctor and scientist, Dr Iain Tan has been able to relate well to the people of his age and younger. He becomes an inspiration for them as they could see through him the pathways that are open in medical science and clinical work.   We are proud of Iain and his achievements." 

Prof Patrick Tan, GIS Senior Group Leader and scientific mentor of Dr Tan commented, "Dr Tan's passion to help patients and society goes beyond his professional duty as a clinician. He has embarked on a journey to seek out, through research, solutions for challenging biomedical problems and to positively impact human health. This is truly admirable and he is a wonderful role model for other youths.”

Established in 1975, the Singapore Youth Award honours exceptional young people who enrich the hearts and souls of the community and bring distinction to the nation.