SINGAPORE - The National University of Singapore (NUS) has appointed Professor Teo Yik Ying to be the next dean of its Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.
He will take on the post on Jan 1, 2018, said NUS in a statement on Thursday (Aug 10).
Prof Teo does research in biostatistics, population genomics and genetic epidemiology.
He is currently vice-dean for research at the school, and holds a joint appointment at the department of statistics and applied probability under the NUS Faculty of Science.
Prof Teo will succeed Professor Chia Kee Seng, who is the founding dean of the school, which was established in October 2011.
Prof Chia specialises in molecular epidemiology - which is a scientific field that studies how genetic and environmental factors cause or prevent disease - with a focus on chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes.
When he steps down next year, Prof Chia will return to teaching and his research.
NUS presidentTan Chorh Chuan said that under Prof Chia's leadership, the school has transitioned successfully from an academic department to a full-fledged faculty in the past six years.
"He has established solid foundations, spearheaded several strategic initiatives, and placed the school on the international public health map," Professor Tan said.
This includes the integrated Total Workplace Safety and Health approach, which is now driven by a tri-partite committee involving the ministries of health and manpower, to enhance the safety, health and well-being of employees in the workplace.
The school has also led the Singapore Population Health Studies - a population-based health research initiative that aims to discover how lifestyle, physiology, genes and their interactions impact the development of common health conditions. Some 50,000 community-based participants have been recruited.
Prof Tan said that Prof Teo was selected to be the next dean of the school after a rigorous global search. He added that he is confident Prof Teo will drive good research, including in areas that will impact national policies and programmes.
Current dean, Prof Chia, said: "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."
Indeed, Prof Teo said that addressing important, complex public health issues will remain an integral part of the school's mission as Singapore faces big national and global health challenges such as obesity and diabetes.
"There will be the increasing need for evidence-based approaches to guide public policies in health and healthcare that are both sustainable and cost-effective," he said.