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Estate of Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat Announces S$80 Million Gift to Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School

Estate of Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat Announces S$80 Million Gift to Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School
Estate of Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat Announces S$80 Million Gift to Duke-National University of Singapore Graduate Medical School


Duke Health News Duke Health News

SINGAPORE – The Estate of Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat today announced a gift of S$80 million to the Duke-National University of Singapore (NUS) Graduate Medical School Singapore (GMS) to grow the school's biomedical research initiatives. The gift, the largest single donation granted by the Estate to date, will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Singapore government, bringing the total sum to S$160 million.

In addition, the GMS is pleased to announce that graduates of the four-year GMS program will be awarded a joint Medical Degree from both Duke University and the NUS. This follows the recent decision by the Duke University Board of Trustees to approve the granting of the joint degree, ahead of schedule.

The Estate's generous gift will enable the GMS to substantially accelerate and strengthen its planned research programs which are focused on medical and health care problems of significance to Singapore and Asia. It will also increase the potential for these programs to produce quantum improvements in patient care. The gift will support groundbreaking research across GMS' four Signature Research Programs (SRPs) in infectious diseases, cancer and stem cell biology, neurobehavioral disorders, and cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. For each of these SRPs, there will be a particular emphasis on Health Services Research.

It is expected that this ambitious research agenda will attract internationally renowned medical researchers while also developing a pool of talented clinical and basic science researchers in Singapore. At the same time, GMS' research will contribute significantly to Singapore's Biomedical Sciences Initiative, which aims to make Singapore the biomedical hub of Asia.

Minister for Education Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam said: "The Estate of Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat's gift to the GMS is exemplary in showing how private philanthropy can partner our universities and the Government in taking education and research onto a new plane of excellence."

"We are also greatly encouraged that the Duke University Board of Trustees has also granted the award of joint medical degrees for graduates of the GMS program. This is a tremendous endorsement for the GMS from one of the world's leading medical universities - one that makes a strong statement about the leadership and faculty that the school is attracting, and the caliber of students that it has the potential to attract and develop. Coming together with the substantial gift that the GMS is receiving from the Estate of Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat, this is a very important day for medical education, health care research, and philanthropy in Singapore," he added.

Ms. Mavis Khoo, Tan Sri Khoo's daughter said: "My late father believed passionately that advances in medical research, education and health care will make a real and substantial difference to the lives of people in Singapore, and around the world. By supporting the GMS, we will help GMS and Singapore grow the pool of outstanding clinician-scientists and researchers, and to develop cutting edge research and clinical care programs that will lead to better health care outcomes that will benefit patients and their families."

"The GMS program, like its sister program in North Carolina, recognizes the important role that biomedical research and medical education programs must play in helping to develop tools that allow for better understanding, prevention, and treatment of disease. The Estate's extraordinary philanthropic gesture will enhance the GMS' ability to train excellent physician-scientists to create new knowledge, and translate that knowledge into important health care practices that lead to better clinical outcomes and reduce the burden of disease in Singapore and around the world," said R. Sanders Williams, MD, Dean of the GMS.

Mr Tony Chew, Chairman of the GMS Governing Board said: "I cannot emphasize enough the importance of the Estate's very generous gift to GMS and the award of the joint Duke-NUS degree. They will empower the GMS to excel in research, to attract the very best students and to provide the finest medical education that will produce clinical and academic leaders. These represent the core of the GMS mission."

"The joint M.D. degree offered by the GMS exemplifies the deep commitment and close partnership between the NUS and the Duke University School of Medicine. This partnership is founded on the rich traditions of educational and research excellence at both the NUS and Duke, and leverages on the complementarities of our respective programs. We are confident the GMS will evolve into an important pillar of Singapore's health  care infrastructure, that will make a compelling difference for our patients," said Professor Tan Chorh Chuan, NUS Deputy President and Provost.

In recognition of the Estate's generosity, the GMS will name its new signature building on the Outram Campus, the "Khoo Teck Puat Building." To be completed in 2009, the building will house state-of-the-art research, educational and administrative facilities. It will be the permanent home of the GMS, and marks the return of medical education to the Outram Campus, the original site of Singapore's first medical school.

An innovative collaboration between the Duke University School of Medicine and the National University of Singapore, the GMS has a distinctive research-intensive curriculum that is based on the Duke model of medical education that has been consistently recognized as being among the very best programs in the United States. It is designed to produce physicians with a good grounding in research, who can be further trained as physician-scientists. This new breed of physician-scientists will have the distinctive ability to bridge the basic sciences and clinical medicine and spur robust research within Singapore's biomedical sciences sector. The GMS, established in April 2005, will enroll its first students in August 2007; the expected size of the inaugural intake is 25, while subsequent classes will comprise 50 students each year.

As Singapore's second medical school, the GMS will work with and complement the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine with each having their own particular focus. While adding diversity to the local educational landscape, both schools will be an integral part of the Singapore biomedical community and will produce the physicians and clinician-scientists that Singapore needs to meet increasing demands for quality health care in the country. The "bench-to-bedside" research approach will help to develop new treatments and clinical procedures that will benefit not only the people of Singapore, but people around the world.

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For more information, please contact:

The Estate of Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat:
Andrew Thomas
Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide, Singapore
(o) +65-62137855
(m) +65-92738654

Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore:
Wee Lai Ming
Corporate Relations
(o) +65-65167258
(m) +65-90230279

About the Estate of Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat

The trustees of the Estate have taken over the baton from Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat following his death in February 2004, and continue his legacy through the distribution of funds centered on medical (including research projects), health care and education – areas of great personal interest and passion to the late Tan Sri Khoo.

In line with Tan Sri Khoo's pioneering spirit and international outlook, deserving causes in these three areas would be considered by the trustees regardless of geographic boundaries. Some of the Estate's recent philanthropic projects include donations to the Autism Resource Center; the National University Hospital Center for Advanced Surgery Training; National Neuroscience Institute (NNI) Integrated Operation Suites; the International Institute for Strategic Studies; St. Joseph's Institution (International), Peking University; and the Kidney Dialysis Foundation (KDF). The Estate has also donated generously towards the procurement of the 9th Century Tang Treasure for Singapore's Maritime Heritage Foundation.

About the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore

The Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore is a collaboration between the Duke University School of Medicine, located in the United States, and the National University of Singapore. The Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore offers a graduate-entry medical program based on the unique Duke model of education, with one year dedicated to independent study and research projects of a basic science or clinical nature. As part of the Singapore's biomedical community, the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore is committed to realize Singapore's vision of becoming a center of excellence in medical education, clinical research and health care delivery in the region. For more information of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore, visit

About Duke University

Duke University is one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in the world. Its graduate and professional schools -- in business, engineering, law, medicine and nursing are world-renowned in their fields. The university is also widely recognized for cross-disciplinary education and research, with faculty and students collaborating on numerous ground-breaking initiatives.

The Duke University School of Medicine, one of the top medical schools in the United States, was ranked 6th in the most recent rankings of U.S medical schools by U.S News & World Report. Duke University Hospital was ranked 7th in the most recent rankings of America's Best Hospitals by the U.S News & World Report.

The Duke medical program is unique in that students experience patient contact a year earlier than their peers and are able to dedicate on entire year to independent research. The School of Medicine is also one of the largest biomedical research enterprises with highly respected research programs in the areas of basic sciences, clinical trials and health policy research. Duke University is also home to America's first and largest academic clinical research organization -- the Duke Clinical Research Institute and the Institute of Genome Sciences and Policy.
The Duke University website is at

About the National University of Singapore

The National University of Singapore (NUS) is a multi-campus university of global standing, with distinctive strengths in education and research and an entrepreneurial dimension. NUS is ranked among the top 20 universities in the world. A growing university, NUS now spans three locations - its principal 150-hectare Kent Ridge campus, Bukit Timah campus and Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore. It has an enrollment of 22,000 undergraduate and more than 6,000 graduate students from 80 countries.

NUS offers a broad-based curriculum underscored by multidisciplinary courses and cross-faculty enrichment. There are 13 faculties offering courses from architecture to medicine to music. A special feature of NUS education is the global dimension of its courses in partnership with some of the world's best institutions. NUS also enjoys a close teaching-research association with 13 national-level, 11 university-level and 80 faculty-based research institutes and centers. Research activities are strategic and robust, and a 'no walls' collaborative culture forms the bedrock of NUS' research-intensive vibrancy. A spirit of entrepreneurship and innovation promotes creative enterprise university-wide. This is aided by a venture support eco-system that helps students, staff and alumni nurture the development of start-ups into regional and global companies.

NUS plays an active role in international academic networks such as the International Alliance of Research Universities (IARU) and Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU). It is ranked amongst the best universities in the world, and is well-regarded for disciplines such as Technology, Biomedicine and the Social Sciences.

The NUS website is at

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