Laboratories have been growing skin for transplant onto patients for several years now, but there is hope that in the future more can be done for other damaged or ageing organs and tissues.

Professor Lee Seng Teik, Emeritus Consultant at SGH’s Department of Plastic, Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgery, said, “In an ageing population, regeneration of body parts is increasingly crucial.

“We know tissue and organ regeneration is possible but we have a long way to go before we can achieve it.   I believe that if researchers are given the time and resources for further study, such regeneration can become reality.”

Such trust in the potential and power of medical research is the reason Prof Lee Seng Teik and a close family friend, Mr Lee Hoo Leng, jointly contributed $2.5 million towards the set-up of a new Professorship in Plastic Surgery and Regenerative Medicine.   Launched at the SGH 21st Lecture and Formal Dinner in April this year, the new Professorship has been established in the Surgery ACP and will be matched dollar-fordollar by the government, bringing the total endowed fund to $5 million.

The Professorship aims to build a critical mass of investigators whose research in regenerative medicine could result in new therapies relevant to ageing populations – such as tissue engineering of organs, tissues for replacement therapy and also translational research in both acute and chronic wound healing.

It will also strengthen collaborations with Duke University’s Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Program and tap into its network of world-renowned centres offering a wide range of expertise in regenerative medicine.  

“I have always firmly believed in the importance of research and education. A good grounding in both can help a clinician to address clinical challenges in a holistic way. I wanted to do my part and it is my hope that others will follow suit,” said Prof Lee.

Prof Lee Seng Teik has held various posts in SGH such as the Head of Plastic Surgery and Burns. He also founded SGH’s National Burns Centre’s skin culture lab and was the Founding Director of the SGH-Postgraduate Medical Institute and the Founding Director and Advisor for the SGH Museum.

The Lee Seng Teik & Lee Hoo Leng Professorship in Plastic Surgery & Regenerative Medicine is the first to recognise and support an outstanding individual’s work in Plastic Surgery and Regenerative Medicine. The recipient will provide academic leadership in medical research and teaching within SingHealth and Duke-NUS. A prestigious appointment in Academic Medical Centres, Professorships further the extraordinary achievements of the distinguished recipients.

Philanthropy 101 - Did you know…
Gifts can be pledged in several forms: monetary and gifts in kind. Monetary gifts are divided into two categories: Expendable gifts can be used entirely during a specific period of time. Annual gifts such as staff giving are usually expendable. Endowed gifts refer to funds meant to exist in perpetuity, such as a Professorship. These gifts are invested for the long term and are intended to provide a permanent source of funding for the specific cause. Each year, a portion of the fund is paid out – generated from the interest accrued from the investment – and used for the purposes that the donor and the institution agreed upon when the gift was made.