While preparing for a recent talk, I did a brief search for articles on bacterial antibiotic resistance prior to the development of modern day antibiotics. We understand that bacteria predate humans by a few billion years, and many of today’s antibiotics are derived from molecules made by fungi (i.e. penicillin and cephalosporins) and soil bacteria […]

I attended an overseas panel review for health research professorships recently where the issue of declining rates of applications from “non-doctor clinicians” (nurses, pharmacists, other allied health professionals) was discussed. The funding body had already set in place measures to promote gender equality (if two candidates were nominated by an institute for the professorship, at […]

Managed to squeeze in some reading towards the end of the year. These include the celebrated pair of books by Israeli historian Professor Yuval Noah Harari – Sapiens: A Brief History of Humankind and Homo Deus: A Brief History of Tomorrow. Written as “popular science” books, with engaging simplicity, the first book provides a broad […]

I was directed to this recently published Science article by a Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine clinician-scientist while we were discussing the Dengvaxia debacle. As highlighted in a previous post, Sanofi Pasteur had reported that dengue-naive people would be at higher risk of a more severe infection if they were infected with dengue following vaccination […]

I was privileged to be invited for the Singapore Centre for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering (SCELSE) annual scientific retreat last Thursday and Friday. Unfortunately, I was only able to attend the Thursday sessions, but I was very impressed by the work done there. It is virtually all basic science, but the results of the metagenomics […]

The World Health Organization (WHO) has been visibly busy this month in the area of antimicrobial resistance (AMR). The agency released a report on the global pipeline of new antibiotics (including anti-tuberculosis drugs) on 19th September. It can be downloaded here. There is also a new infographic on what WHO considers priority pathogens in addition […]

An article published in the venerable British Medical Journal (BMJ) on Wednesday has been picked up by several news agencies. I had described this culture of doctors recommending that “antibiotic courses should be completed” in an earlier post on URTI, and how the doctors I had encountered all felt that failure to finish antibiotics would “result in […]

The first entries for the student essays are starting to trickle in, which is great (at least there are entrees now!). The closing date for the essay contest is 30th August 2017 (2359H), and more details are available on the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health website. We would certainly welcome more entrees from […]

We have spent over 15 years in Singapore pushing clinicians – and more recently other health professionals – to become more involved in research, to compete for grants, and to publish academic papers (and file for patents). A little “cottage industry” of clinician-scientists has emerged, with their own chapter within Singapore’s Academy of Medicine. They […]

A whimsical piece below, with the caveat that different major outbreaks pose different investigative challenges and scientific questions. Good to have the opinions and thoughts of others. I have been involved in a few major outbreaks in Singapore over the past decade-and-half, and have often wondered whether it is better to organise and write up […]