A/P Chong is directior of SiNMeD, a springboard for the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS, and the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, A*STAR (SICS) to jointly conduct research at the interface between human development, metabolic disease and nutritional sciences.
This collaborative approach and shared access to resources made it possible to publish over 90 peer-reviewed publications (30 > IF5) and draw in industry contracts of over $25M and another $102M in competitive research grant funding that is helping to translate developmental origins of health and disease (DOHaD) science into advances in prevention and intervention strategies targeting healthy early development, and reducing the risk of metabolic and neurodevelopmental disorders.
We saw the successful renewal of the TCR flagship Programme in early 2014 and this has enabled the launch of a new cohort (Singapore PREconception Study of long Term maternal and child Outcomes or S-PRESTO) to study pre-conceptual influences on maternal and offspring health.
Together with EpiGen, we partnered a reputable MNC, to stage a new 22 million Swiss franc multi-centre randomised control trial of a nutritional intervention to prevent maternal and child metabolic disease (PI: A/P Chan SY). These have created opportunities for more than 35 multi-disciplinary clinicians and scientists from NUHS and SICS to work together with international partners on cutting-edge cohort studies that combine multi-ethnic asian participants with detailed records of ante and post-natal data and biological specimens from both mother and child. SiNMeD is well positioned between academia and industry to catalyse translational research that will change tomorrow’s health, today.
A total of 18 contracts with 11 different industry partners are currently active. Several important management mindset-shifts have occurred in response to the data uncovered in the course of GUSTO, most notably adoption of universal screening for GDM and prenatal anxiety/depression with the aim of early surveillance for long-term consequences. Two White Papers have been presented to the Ministry of Health regarding this. The current cohort is still underutilised regarding data-mining for preconception risk factors and this represents a significant opportunity to change and influence prenatal obstetric care.