Seen and heard this week


Seen and heard this week is a weekly column highlighting thought leadership from the NUS community


In The Straits Times’ Science Talk on 13 September, NUS Pharmacy Dean’s Chair Associate Professor Eric Chan and his PhD student Eleanor Cheong discussed the use of virtual modelling and simulation in drug trials to drive towards individualised medicine. The increase of user-friendly software platforms that integrate human population databases and drug attributes has encouraged the adoption of technologies such as physiologically based pharmacokinetic (PBPK) modelling, the writers explained. PBPK uses mathematical representations of a biological system to quantify how health and disease variability affect drug exposure and therapeutic outcome in various individuals. This technology can facilitate precision dosing for each unique patient. The writers imagine a future where healthcare and technology converge, with individuals having a virtual persona with their genes and characteristics who can participate in drug trials, allowing researchers to determine individualised dosages.

NUS Business Associate Professor Sandy Lim penned a commentary for Channel NewsAsia on 14 September examining workplace aggression and what companies can do to manage it. With the increasing demand for cross-team collaboration, greater staff interaction could lead to growing friction and incivility, wrote Assoc Prof Lim. This in turn could result in a significant impact on the overall productivity and morale in an organisation. Assoc Prof Lim offered three effective steps employers can take to curb bullying behaviour in the workplace. Firstly, firms could build intervention mechanisms into policies to reduce and prevent incivility. Secondly, managers should be encouraged to intervene and point out inappropriate behaviour, and lastly, prompts and reminders for civil exchange could be added into organisations’ internal messaging system.

In an opinion piece for The Straits Times on 14 September, NUS Psychology PhD candidate and co-investigator of the “Study on the Perception of Singapore’s Built Heritage and Landmarks” by the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy’s Institute of Policy Studies Mr Mike Hou pondered the ways to increase public appreciation of Singapore’s heritage sites. The general public is more likely to evaluate heritage sites as important if they are relevant and useful to their lives, shared Mr Hou. If a site is relevant, it is easier for the public to interact with it, generate fond memories and enhance its perceived importance, Mr Hou explained. One way to preserve the relevance and importance of a site would be to repurpose its use to one that is part of everyday life, such as dining or leisure spots, Mr Hou added. He pointed out that much of the current built heritage sites are those that possessed high utility and relevance in people’s lives in the past. He added that uses matter and that it is important to pay close attention to how the relevance of a site might make or break its future.

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