Jan 2017 marks the end of the first year of my headship and it was a year of many transformative changes. The departmental organisational structure was revamped, and the roles of the Domain Leaders and the Domains (Pharmaceutical Chemistry; Pharmaceutical Biology and Pharmacokinetics; Drug Delivery and Pharmaceutical Technology; and Clinical Pharmacy and Pharmacy Practice) were solidified. A major educational change in 2016 was the release of Unrestricted Electives (UE) space in our Pharmacy degree programme. This will provide our students with flexibility and more opportunities and as such, better equip our students for the future. We have also been blessed with the success of a number among us who have won external research grants as PIs. They are A/P Eric Chan, A/P Giorgia Pastorin, Dr Lau Aik Jiang, Dr Kang Lifeng, Dr Yau Wai Ping, A/P Victor Yu, A/P Rachel Ee and A/P Joyce Lee. The last three persons won grants in excess of >1M each! Congrats to them all! In the context of research, we are working on several research initiatives, internally with a new platform in which staff is able to come together to discuss ideas, and externally with increased engagements with universities and industries. We continue to fare extremely well in the QS world subject ranking 2016, i.e. 9th in the world for Pharmacy and Pharmacology.
Last year also saw the promotion of both Christine Teng and Priscilla How to Associate Professors. Congratulations to both! We also welcome Honorary Professor John Climax, who has a joint visiting professorship with Pharmacology. Professor Climax is a distinguished alumnus of the Department and is a successful entrepreneur – a founder and CEO of a number of companies. We also give our best wishes and thanks to Dr Cheong Han Hui, Dr Tan Kuan Boone and A/P Brian Dymock who have left the Department to pursue other career opportunities.
As we look back on the year that was with thanks, we look forward to the year ahead. We will continue to work towards providing the best opportunities for our students so that they are ‘’future-ready’’ – this includes overseas student exchanges and internship positions. We will also continue to strengthen our research and through our research, we will make a difference to society as our new discoveries will lead to improved quality of life through new medicines, discovery of disease targets, formulation and delivery, improved knowledge of drug usage, and so on. Afterall,
“Success isn’t about how much money you make. It’s about the difference you make in people’s lives”, quote by Michelle Obama.