We are delighted to announce that Dr Fu Siong Ng will be leading the intercalated medicine BSc programme, Cardiovascular Sciences.
Dr Fu Siong Ng has been appointed as the new programme director of BSc Cardiovascular Sciences, taking over from Professor Cesare Terracciano.
“The opportunity to shape the way the next generation of doctors approach science really appeals to me” Dr Fu Siong Ng
The programme is part of the intercalated BSc which offers an opportunity for external medical, dental and veterinary students to study at Imperial.
Fu kindly took the time to talk to us about his research, his reaction to his new role, and the importance of adopting diverse approaches to educational delivery at this current time.
What is your background and role at NHLI?
I am currently a Clinical Senior Lecturer in Cardiac Electrophysiology at NHLI, and Honorary Consultant Cardiologist at Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital NHS Foundation Trust. My first degree is in Medicine and I then did a PhD at Imperial on Cardiac Electrophysiology. I currently divide my time between leading a research group focused on research into arrhythmogenic mechanisms, leading on teaching on the intercalated BSc in Cardiovascular Sciences, and treating patients with heart rhythm disorders, including performing invasive cardiac ablation procedures and implanting pacemakers and defibrillators.
How did you feel when you found out you had been appointed as Programme Director?
I was delighted to be offered the role, but at the same time felt slightly apprehensive. This has been an excellent and very popular course over the last few years under my predecessor Professor Cesare Terracciano, so there is a lot of pressure to maintain the very high standards of this course!
What is your research about?
My research interests are on understanding the mechanisms of, and developing treatments for, arrhythmias. One major interest is on understanding the mechanisms of atrial fibrillation, the most common arrhythmia. We recently developed novel signal processing methods to analyse complex electrophysiological signals to show there is in fact a range of mechanisms that sustain atrial fibrillation, which manifest as different “electrophenotypes”, and this approach can be used to tailor treatments on an individual level. Another interest is on understanding the role of adipose tissue in arrhythmias, and we are currently studying patients before and after bariatric surgery with a non-invasive mapping technique called electrocardiographic imaging (ECGI).
Why is teaching an important part of the Department’s work?
I feel strongly that teaching is important for a research-focused Department such as NHLI because it can enhance ongoing research activity. Students from across our undergraduate and postgraduate courses contribute significantly to the research work at NHLI through their projects. Plus those academics who teach are often better at communicating their science which benefits their own research endeavours.
What do you enjoy about teaching?
I particularly enjoy teaching on this intercalated BSc programme because our course helps medical students to transition from the mindset of the early years of medical school, where they are often taught established facts, to adopt an inquisitive approach that accepts and embraces the many uncertainties in science. As a result of this course, students are left with an enduring scientific curiosity, with many of them continuing to participate in research within the Department. The opportunity to shape the way the next generation of doctors approach science really appeals to me.
What advice would you give to your student self?
I would stress the importance of work-life balance. We all have tendencies to work too hard and need to make sure we have some downtime.
How are the changes driven by Covid-19 likely to impact higher education and teaching in the future?
We have had to make a lot of changes to how we deliver our teaching this year because of the Covid pandemic. Some of these changes have enhanced the course, and they will be retained in part even after the pandemic. One example is asynchronous online teaching. The things that we have learnt and the experience gained in the last few months will allow us to consider developing new online-only and hybrid (online and face-to-face) courses to add to the College’s existing educational offering.
More information on the BSc programme can be found on the Faculty of Medicine webpage.
For information on all of the programmes run by NHLI, please visit our Study Page.
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