HomeNews EventsNewsNew Vice Deanery Appointments

New Vice Deanery Appointments

09 Nov 2017

The School is pleased to welcome its new vice deanery leadership, with effect from 01 January 2018.

Appointment of Associate Professor Rob van Dam as Vice Dean (Academic Affairs) and re-appointment as Domain Leader (Epidemiology Domain)

Associate Professor Rob van Dam has been appointed as the new Vice Dean (Academic Affairs). He will formally assume his new role with effect from 01 January 2018.

Prior to joining NUS in 2010, Rob was a faculty member at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, and the VU University Amsterdam. He currently leads the School’s Epidemiology Domain and is Director of the PhD/ MSc programme. He also serves as a member of the Faculty Promotion and Tenure Committee. Rob’s main research focuses on the role of nutrition in the development of type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and determinants of dietary behaviours. He is currently co-principal investigator of the “Physical activity and nutrition determinants in Asia” (PANDA) research programme and leads the Singapore Population Health Studies as its principal investigator.

As Vice Dean (Academic Affairs), Rob will focus on creating an overarching School strategy for developing and implementing initiatives to respond to talent acquisition and management, leadership development, and other faculty life-cycle needs of the School’s faculty. He will also lead the Academic Affairs Office in establishing the School’s goals and strategies for aligning its faculty policies and processes with the strategic vision and mission of the School. He will also continue to lead the Epidemiology Domain as its Domain Leader.

As we prepare to welcome Rob, we would also like to, on behalf of the School, give our personal thanks to Associate Professor Chia Sin Eng who has acted in the role of Vice Dean (Academic Affairs) since 01 October 2011. During his tenure, Sin Eng was instrumental in setting up the Academic Affairs Office and putting in place procedures and governance as well as helped cultivated the family culture of the School. Sin Eng has also actively championed collaboration among faculty members and this has led to initiatives including, the mentoring of junior faculty members with the School’s faculty mentorship programme.

He will formally step down from the role on 31 December 2017 to assume his new role in implementing Total Workplace Safety and Health (Total WSH) at the national level.


Re-appointment of Associate Professor Jeannette Lee as Vice Dean (Education)

Associate Professor Jeannette Lee has been extended as Vice Dean (Education), with her re-appointment taking effect from 01 January 2018.

Jeannette has helmed the Education Office and served as the Master of Public Health (MPH) programme director since 15 October 2012.

During her decanal leadership, the School’s postgraduate education and training curriculum was revised to allow for better integration across the different disciplines, providing a breadth of knowledge, skills and hands-on experiences to students seeking a more robust curriculum and educational experience in public health. Drawing upon the expertise of the faculty, she initiated and completed programme reviews and curriculum revision for the graduate coursework and research programmes, expanded the scope of undergraduate medical teaching in global health, and raised awareness of public health among NUS students through the minor in public health. Jeannette’s leadership has taken the minor in public health, with only 56 places offered in 2013 to a record high of more than 2,000 expected in AY2017/2018, including a summer programme tie-up with Christian Medical College, Vellore, and internship programmes with various healthcare organisations.

She has played an active and instrumental role in the engagement of the various central NUS offices, benchmarked programmes against the best practices adopted by various faculties, and continues to develop industry relevant education for public health students. Her genuine concern for the growth and development of our students is widely recognised, seen not just in her wholehearted championship of the fostering of strong bonds between students and the School, but also in her passion to personally mentor our students. Her clinical specialty is in family medicine with research interests in the area of cardiovascular disease epidemiology.


Appointment of Associate Professor Alex Cook as Vice Dean (Research) and Domain Leader (Biostatistics and Modelling Domain)

Associate Professor Alex Cook has been appointed as the new Vice Dean (Research) and Domain Leader (Biostatistics and Modelling Domain). He will formally begin his roles with effect from 01 January 2018.

Alex first joined the School as Assistant Professor in 2011 and has been a critical member of the School’s Biostatistics and Modelling Domain ever since. His main research interests are infectious disease modelling and statistics, in particular applied to influenza and dengue, but his work also spans other infectious diseases and increasingly non-communicable diseases.

He led his team in the prediction of one million diabetics in Singapore by 2050 using individual-based microsimulations incorporating demographic, ethnicity and genetic factors as well as rising obesity rates. His team’s projection was one of the School’s crucial projections on diabetes which helped inform the Ministry of Health’s decision to declare a national “war on diabetes” in April 2016, and highlighted the urgent need to increase the capacity of current health systems, and step up prevention efforts to prevent the development of diabetes.

Alex collaborates closely with the Ministry of Health, National Environment Agency, Ministry of Defence and several local hospitals. He is also the principal investigator of the Population Health Analytics Core at the Singapore Population Health Improvement Centre, National University Health System. He has also held the administrative position of the School’s Director of Student Life since 2016.


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