Emeritus Professor Hew Choy Leong was presented with two distinguished awards for his lifelong contributions towards Life Sciences

On behalf of the Department, I would like to extend my congratulations to Emeritus Professor Hew Choy Leong who was presented with two distinguished awards for his lifelong contributions towards Life Sciences on 30 June 2018 by Xiamen University, School of Life Sciences in recognition of his assistance to their University. The 2 awards are:

1. Outstanding Contribution Award

For all the contributions in fostering the research collaboration with Xiamen University which ranges from teaching protein chemistry and molecular biology in 1982 as well as in later years, academic staff visits of Xiamen faculty staff to University of Toronto and NUS, recruitment of graduate students  to Department of Biological Sciences, NUS and the establishment of the Xiamen Winter Symposia which evolved from previously the annual Sino-Singapore Symposium.

2. Special Contribution Award

For establishing the joint Xiamen-NUS Biomedical Research Laboratory, funded by the Project 111 under the Ministry of Education, China. The program received its initial funding in year 2008. However, discussions were initiated much earlier on where NUS President Tan Eng Chye witnessed the signing ceremony in year 2004 when he was Dean, Faculty of Science, NUS. The program was recently renewed again for another 10 years in 2018 with an annual budget of RMB 1 million per year.

The award ceremony was held in conjunction with their 12th Life Sciences Conference where he was also invited to give a talk. A special invitation was extended to A/P Low Boon Chuan, Deputy Head of Department of Biological Sciences who represented the Department at the ceremony.

The School of Life Sciences at Xiamen University was founded in 1999 and has evolved over the years to become one of the leading research and teaching centers in China. Professor Hew has been actively engaged since the 1980s where he has been invited to give lectures at Xiamen University from time to time and even until today. He has provided immense support to them through the exchange and sharing of his scientific expertise and experience which served as one of the impetus for its rapid developments. The strong friendship and collegiality between both institutions were cultivated through Prof Hew’s altruistic interest to leverage on the strengths of both institutions and to bring the level of research and life sciences to greater heights.  

The partnership with Xiamen has led to the trilateral MoU with Xiamen University and Tsinghua University since 2005 which resulted in the establishment of an open lab in Xiamen University, jointly set up between Xiamen University and NUS where a handful of NUS  Life Sciences academic staff are engaged with joint research and joint graduate student supervision at this Open Lab in the areas of proteomics, bioinformatics, structural biology and bioimaging. The Annual Sino-Singapore Symposia with the Schools and Departments of Life Sciences from most of the top Chinese universities and NUS was also established and in 2010 evolved to the Xiamen Winter Symposium.  The DBS Graduate Programme has also recruited at least 15 of their top students over the years.

Professor Hew is very well respected by their faculty staff and students alike. Over the years, he has cultivated long lasting friendships with several colleagues in Xiamen University. We hope that the department will continue what Prof Hew has established and further strengthen our partnership with Xiamen University.

Prof Yu Hao,
Head of Department