SingHealth's deputy group chief executive of research and education Soo Khee Chee, 67, will be retiring from SingHealth on Sunday after serving in public healthcare for nearly three decades.
In his role, Professor Soo steered collaborations with industry partners that led to improvements in clinical care. He also built a strong academic culture and laid a strong research foundation, SingHealth said in a statement yesterday.
He was instrumental in SingHealth's partnership with North Carolina's Duke University, and in bringing Duke-NUS Medical School to the Singapore General Hospital Campus.
Under his partnership with Duke-NUS, joint institutes such as the Academic Medicine Education Institute and Academic Medicine Research Institute were set up to facilitate learning and exchange.
Prof Soo was also the founding director at the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS) since 1998, an appointment he relinquished with effect from Nov 26 this year.
He led the growth of NCCS to its current position as a leading cancer institution both in Singapore and abroad.
He also had a passion for nurturing the next generation and led clinician scientists to achieve breakthroughs in research.
As a result, NCCS is recognised for its research in lymphoma, head and neck, nasopharyngeal, liver and lung cancers.
Prof Soo has won many awards, including the National Day Awards' Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2003, the National Outstanding Clinician Mentor Award in 2008 and the President's Science and Technology Medal in 2011.
SingHealth group chief executive Ivy Ng said Prof Soo's "distinguished career in public healthcare has earned him respect as a visionary clinician-leader, outstanding surgeon and researcher".
"His foresight and mastery in building a sustainable research ecosystem and gaining philanthropic support has enabled the growth of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre," she said.
"His passion for advancing medicine, developing people and most of all, patient care, is inspirational. We are pleased that he will continue to practise at NCCS and share his wealth of experience with us."
Prof Soo will continue to contribute as senior visiting consultant at NCCS and SingHealth, and remain as lead principal investigator in the Tan Chin Tuan Laboratory of Optical Imaging and Photodynamic Therapy of Cancer at NCCS.
In his place, Professor Wong Tien Yin will be appointed SingHealth's deputy group CEO in research and education with effect from Jan 1 next year.
Prof Wong, 49, is also medical director of the Singapore National Eye Centre and academic chair at the SingHealth Duke-NUS Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences Academic Clinical Programme.
He has previously served as SingHealth's group director in research as well as executive director of the Singapore Eye Research Institute, where he continues to chair the board.
Separately, blood cancer expert Associate Professor William Hwang Ying Khee, 50, was appointed medical director of NCCS and academic chair of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Oncology Academic Clinical Programme on Nov 26.