Japanese scientist made honorary Singapore citizen

Dr Yamada (centre) receiving the 2016 Honorary Citizen Award from President Tan at the Istana yesterday for his contributions to Singapore's biomedical sciences sector, as Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran looks on.
Dr Yamada (centre) receiving the 2016 Honorary Citizen Award from President Tan at the Istana yesterday for his contributions to Singapore's biomedical sciences sector, as Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S. Iswaran looks on.PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO

A Japanese scientist has been named honorary citizen of the year for his contributions to Singapore's biomedical sciences sector.

Dr Tadataka Yamada, venture partner at Frazier Healthcare Partners, was yesterday given the highest form of recognition bestowed by the Singapore Government on foreigners who have contributed to the country's growth.

It is the 11th year the award has been conferred. Dr Yamada, 71, who has been active in Singapore science for more than a decade, said he was honoured to receive the prestigious award from President Tony Tan Keng Yam at the Istana yesterday.

"Singapore has achieved significant success over the years to become a world-class R&D hub. I am pleased to have played a part in this journey and contributed to (its) vibrant biomedical sciences research and enterprise ecosystem."

Dr Yamada graduated from Stanford University with a Bachelor of Arts in history and obtained his medical degree from New York University School of Medicine.

He moved to Singapore in 2002 at the invitation of then chairman of Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*Star), Mr Philip Yeo. Dr Yamada was on A*Star's board from February 2003 to January this year.

As chairman of the Project Review Committee of the experimental therapeutics centre under A*Star, he guided clinical research efforts that developed ETC-159 - a novel small molecule drug candidate that targets a range of cancers, and the first publicly funded drug candidate discovered and developed in Singapore to reach trials on human subjects.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 12, 2016, with the headline 'Japanese scientist made honorary S'pore citizen'. Print Edition | Subscribe