Internationally renowned biostatistician Professor Teo Yik Ying has been appointed as the next Dean of the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH) with effect from 1 January 2018. He will succeed Professor Chia Kee Seng, who has served as the founding Dean of the School since 2011.
Prof Teo is currently Vice Dean (Research) at SSHSPH and holds a joint appointment at the Department of Statistics and Applied Probability under NUS Science. He is also the iOmics Programme Leader at the NUS Life Sciences Institute and previously served as Director for the School’s Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research as well as founding Director of its Centre for Health Services and Policy Research.
Prof Teo’s work focuses on the development and application of mathematical and statistical techniques to understand the genetic causes of human diseases and genetic evolution in worldwide populations. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Outstanding Young Persons of the World Award (Academic Leadership and Achievements) in 2015.
NUS President Professor Tan Chorh Chuan said, “NUS is pleased that after a rigorous global search, Prof Teo has been selected to be the next Dean. He has a true passion for high quality education, which will drive innovative programmes that enhance teaching and learning in the School. As an accomplished researcher, I am confident that he will bring research at the School to new heights of international excellence. At the same time, he is strongly committed to translational public health research that impacts national policies and programmes, and addresses the increasingly complex public health challenges that Singapore and the world face.”
He also expressed his appreciation for Prof Chia’s vision, strong commitment and dedication to SSHSPH. “Under Prof Chia’s leadership, the School has transitioned successfully from an academic department to a full-fledged Faculty in the last six years. He has established solid foundations, spearheaded several strategic initiatives and placed the School on the international Public Health map,” said Prof Tan.
On his term as Dean, Prof Chia commented, “Over the last six years, I have had the remarkable privilege and opportunity to work with my colleagues to translate research into national health promotion and disease prevention with societal impact. In its next phase of growth, the School will need to be even more active in translating its research into more public health policies and programmes to improve the health of Singaporeans. I am very confident that Prof Teo will very effectively lead the School not only in its translational research enterprise, but also raise the School’s academic standing internationally.”
“I am both honoured and humbled by the opportunity to lead SSHSPH, particularly building on the good work of Prof Chia. The School might have been established for only six years, but it has already earned its national mandate and achieved an international outreach in education and research focused on improving population health,” said Prof Teo. He added that in the face of many national and global health challenges such as obesity and diabetes, there is a need for evidence-based approaches that are both sustainable and cost-effective to guide public policies in healthcare. “Our ability to contribute with impact will rely on how nimble and ready we are to embrace the right technologies and approaches, and apply them to health promotion, surveillance, prevention and planning,” he said.