Imperial College London

Singapore’s Deputy PM celebrates Imperial collaborations on return to alma mater


Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean with President Alice Gast at Imperial

The Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Teo Chee Hean (MSc Computing 1977) visited Imperial on Friday.

Mr Teo and a delegation including Singapore’s High Commissioner to the UK Ms Foo Chi Hsia, Senior Parliamentary Secretary Ms Low Yen Ling, and Member of Parliament Mr Zaqy Mohamad met President Alice Gast, Provost James Stirling and academics from across the College.

The visit took place on the eve of Singapore Day, a massive reunion for Singaporeans held in London on 24 March.

Mr Teo discussed cybersecurity with Dr David Birch
Mr Teo with data scientist Dr David Birch

Mr Teo has been a champion of Imperial’s exceptionally strong ties to Singapore. In August he attended the official opening of LKCMedicine, Imperial’s joint medical school with Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, and in September he met hundreds of fellow Imperial graduates as the Imperial College Alumni Association of Singapore celebrated its 40th anniversary.

Alice Gast and DPM TeoReturning to the College, Mr Teo was impressed to learn that Imperial researchers have published 670 papers in collaboration with Singaporean peers within the last five years, including work with NTU, the National University of Singapore, Singapore University of Technology and Design, and A*STAR.

DPM at ImperialProfessor Gast led a discussion on Imperial’s innovation system, including the rapid growth in student and academic entrepreneurship, initiatives like WE Innovate and the Venture Catalyst Challenge, as well as the latest developments at White City Campus.

Martin Lupton, Associate Dean and Head of Undergraduate Medicine, gave an overview of LKCMedicine. The school’s first doctors will graduate this summer, living up to LKCMedicine’s mission of “Equipping doctors who advance the science and practice of medicine for the good of humanity.”

Martin Lupton presenting on LKCMedicine

More than 700 academics from Imperial and NTU have helped shape LKCMedicine’s curriculum, with many emerging research collaborations. In November, Imperial’s School of Medicine will hold a major conference in Singapore with LKCMedicine on transforming medical education.

Synthetic biologist Dr David Bell explained how his team’s collaborations with Singapore are helping to “design and re-program cells at the genetic and DNA level for biotechnology applications” in fields such as diagnostics, therapeutics, crops and soil, bioremediation, bioenergy, and biomaterials.

Mr Teo discuss synthetic biology with students Sean Lee and Garret Wong
Mr Teo discussed synthetic biology with students Sean Lee and Garret Wong

This includes Imperial’s SynbiCITE and the London DNA Foundry collaborating with partners like SynCTI at the National University of Singapore. Two Singaporean students of synthetic biology also presented to the Deputy Prime Minister: Sean Lee and Garret Wong.

Professor Emil Lupu and Dr David Birch showcased Imperial's cybersecurity research, including many collaborations with Singapore, in the Data Science Institute. 

Professor Emil Lupa presented on cybersecurity research
Professor Emil Lupu presented on cybersecurity research

Natural partners

Professor Alice Gast, President of Imperial College London, said: “Imperial and Singapore are natural partners. Our shared commitment to scientific discovery, technological advancement, innovation and creativity shine through in all of our connections and collaborations.

“The Deputy Prime Minister has been a great supporter of Imperial’s growing ties to Singapore, spanning educational partnerships like LKCMedicine, research collaborations with institutions like A*STAR, and our brilliant alumni community. These connections are strengthening science and innovation in Britain, Singapore and around the world.”

Mr Teo and Singaporean students

Mr Teo took the chance to meet a group of Imperial students from Singapore, including SingSoc president Jacelyn See.

DPM with students

First year Biochemistry and Management student Jacelyn said she was enjoying studying in London “because it’s such a diverse place, so full of culture… and Imperial is a place to make friends from all over the world.”

A student takes a selfie with Mr Teo
Imperial has more than 400 Singaporean students: the greatest portion at any UK university


Andrew Scheuber

Andrew Scheuber
Communications Division

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