President Tony Tan launches new research centre to seek cures for heart diseases

SINGAPORE- A new research institute to improve treatment and seek cures for cardiovascular diseases was launched on Friday.

The National Heart Research Institute Singapore (NHRIS) will focus on research themes like blood vessel functions, genetics and metabolic heart diseases, said President Tony Tan in his address at the opening of the third SingHealth Duke-NUS Scientific Congress. It is a collaboration between the National Heart Centre Singapore and Duke-National University Singapore (NUS).

He also highlighted two scientific breakthroughs. The Singapore Eye Research Institute, in partnership with Duke-NUS and the Genome Institute of Singapore at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research, has recently discovered novel genes for age-related cataract, a global leading cause of blindness.

This may lead to therapies that delay cataract formation or growth progression. It is estimated that if the onset or progression of cataract is delayed by 10 years, the burden of cataract surgeries would be reduced by half.

The National Cancer Centre Singapore also found that breast surgery in safe for patients over 80.

"As the incidence of breast cancer among our population is set to rise as we age, the elderly should not be deprived of a chance to receive this definitive treatment," President Tan said.