The SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre announced today that the Tanoto Foundation Professorship in Cardiovascular Medicine has been awarded to Professor Stuart Cook, Senior Consultant, Department of Cardiology and Distinguished Clinician Scientist of the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS), and Director of the National Heart Research Institute Singapore (NHRIS) at NHCS. Prof Cook is also Deputy Program Director of the Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Signature Research Program at Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School and Professor of Clinical and Molecular Cardiology at Imperial College, UK. The Professorship recognises Prof Cook as an outstanding clinician and researcher who has demonstrated academic leadership and is a pioneer in advancing the frontiers in cardiovascular medicine. 

Prof Cook is a leading cardiovascular research expert with extensive work and innovations in human genetics, heart muscle disease and cardiac imaging. His research focuses on identifying new ways of diagnosing, stratifying and treating patients with cardiovascular diseases. His work in Singapore is particularly relevant as the genetic makeup of Asians differs from other genotyopes, indicating that research focusing on the Asian population is needed to better understand and develop treatments that are more suited for them. 

Prof Cook has shared knowledge of his research innovations with more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific papers published in high impact journals including Nature, New England Journal of Medicine and Nature Genetics. The quality of his groundbreaking work is further reflected in the funding he has received from internationally-recognised organisations such as the National Institute for Health Research (UK), Wellcome Trust, Medical Research Council (UK), British Heart Foundation and Leducq Foundation. Since relocating to Singapore from the UK, he received the Singapore Translational Research Investigator (STaR) Award in 2012. Prof Cook is regularly invited to present his work at international meetings such as the American Heart Association, European Heart Failure Society, ESC Congresses and Keystone Symposia. In addition, his active role as a clinician mentor supports clinicians who want to embrace both clinical and research work and helps to grow the critical mass of local researchers for heart disease. 

Prof Ranga Krishnan, Dean of Duke-NUS and Chairman of the selection committee for the Professorship said, “Prof Cook’s work is important because it is a multi-pronged patient-oriented approach to examining a complex disease, advance knowledge and develop novel applications to improve patient care and treatment.” 

Prof Ivy Ng, Group Chief Executive Officer, SingHealth and member of the selection committee for the Professorship said, “We are confident that Prof Cook’s pioneering research using cutting-edge imaging and data analysis tools will help Singapore lead the way in instituting early prevention and treatment for Asian patients who are genetically pre-disposed to cardiovascular disease.” 

Adjunct Professor Terrance Chua, Medical Director of NHCS and Academic Chair of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Cardiovascular Academic Clinical Program said, “Prof Cook’s innovative research and network of international collaborators will help the cross-disciplinary team at NHRIS define human heart disease mechanisms with the aim of identifying new targets for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.” 

The Tanoto Foundation Professorship in Cardiovascular Medicine was established as part of a S$3million gift from the Tanoto Foundation to advance research in cardiovascular medicine. It will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Singapore Government.