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Medical school to tackle healthcare needs of Singapore's ageing population

Alzheimer’s, dengue, diabetes and eczema are some common diseases that Singapore's Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine will study as part of its long-term research strategy, aimed at addressing the needs of Singapore's ageing population.

SINGAPORE: Alzheimer’s, dengue, diabetes and eczema are some common diseases that Singapore's newest medical school will study, in a bid to offer new solutions.

It is part of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine's long-term research strategy, aimed at addressing the needs of Singapore's ageing population.

The research will tackle four areas -- infectious disease, metabolic disease, neuroscience and mental health, as well as dermatology and skin biology.

It is hoped the school, which is a collaboration between Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and Imperial College London, will help pioneer new therapies.

The school will spend S$250 million on this front, covering infrastructure and manpower.

Its research capabilities are expected to be fully up and running by 2016.

Professor Dermot Kelleher, dean of Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at NTU, said: "If you look at the areas that we've chosen, they are areas that are going to be of critical importance for the people of Singapore. We're hoping that we'll find increasing solutions for diabetes and neuro-degeneration over the next five to 10 years, but it may take longer."

The school also announced that it expects to enrol at least 66 new medical students under its undergraduate programme.

This is more than its inaugural intake of 54 last year.

It will also start a new graduate programme which will take off later this year at the earliest.

The school hopes to attract at least 300 students, who will be exposed to actual clinical cases, as well as research stints in London.

NTU’s Provost, Professor Freddy Boey, said: "The school has just been set up. We focused on the undergraduates, and I think that has had a very smooth start, so we're very happy with that. I think 2014, going to 2015, we definitely will build up the graduate programme, particularly with PhD programmes so that more research can be done in the longer term."

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