The practice of surgery has changed dramatically in recent history and will continue to do so in the foreseeable future. The Department of Surgery, as the principal academic surgical centre in Singapore, aspires to be at the forefront of such change, not for its own sake, but, ultimately, for the sake of our patients. The primacy of our patients’ interests is easily forgotten, cannot be overemphasized, and must guide all action. Our research mission flows from this guidance. On the one hand, we will explore avenues of inquiry that deepen our understanding of disease processes that have an impact on, or are impacted by, the practice of surgery. On the other, we seek ways to extend our reach, to benefit more patients than we can possibly operate on. The latter can only happen through innovation, and then by bringing innovation to the patient. To this end, we intend to devote significant resources to the development of innovative medical devices, an endeavour which I believe will draw upon, focus, and crystallize our competitive advantage as surgeons. As we move forward, we look forward to collaborating with our colleagues in the other medical specialties, the other faculties in the larger University community, as well as researchers in other institutions of higher learning and research institutes. We firmly believe that free and frequent exchange of ideas across disciplines will bring the academic community together, foster innovation, and make us all better at what we do.