Keynote & Plenary Speakers

Keynote Address 1

Waging a war against NCDs on all fronts: lessons from a city state

Yik Ying Teo

Dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore


The rising burden of non-communicable diseases (NCD) threatens the resilience of health systems and the sustainability of Universal Health Coverage globally. The confluence of increasing life expectancy, ageing demography, and rising obesity has produced the conditions for a perfect NCD storm that most countries are unprepared for. LMICs struggling to cope with mortality from maternal-child undernutrition, the triple burden from HIV-malaria-TB, as well as vaccine-preventable infections are now concurrently facing pressures from early-onset of diabetes, hypertension, and cancers. My talk will highlight the use of global and local information systems to guide the setting of health priorities in a country, as well as the importance of a whole-of-government approach beyond just health, ranging from fiscal policies to food environment, from the design of transportation networks to the design of outdoor spaces, to systematically and comprehensively address the problem of NCDs.  




Professor Teo Yik Ying is Dean of the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore, and concurrently the iOmics Programme Leader at the Life Sciences Institute, and an Associate Faculty Member of the Genome Institute of Singapore.


Professor Teo majored in statistical genetics, having completed his doctoral training at the University of Oxford after obtaining a Distinction for his Masters in Applied Statistics at Oxford and graduating top of the cohort for in the Bachelor programme in Mathematics at Imperial College, UK. He pursued his postdoctoral training with the Wellcome Trust Center for Human Genetics, where he was concurrently appointed as a Lecturer at the Statistics Department in Oxford University.


A keen researcher by nature, Professor Teo has gained international recognition for his work in genomics, where his focus is in the development and application of mathematical and statistical techniques to understand the genetic causes of human diseases and genetic evolution in worldwide populations. He has conducted large scale genomic studies on populations from Africa, Europe and Asia, and currently chairs an international consortium investigating the genetic diversity of cosmopolitan and indigenous populations in Asia.

Professor Teo has served as the Director for the Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Research, where the Centre works closely with the Ministry of Defence to develop capabilities for disease surveillance, consultation and research to deter and to control potential infectious disease outbreaks. He was also the Founding Director for the Centre for Health Services and Policy Research, which approaches systems-level healthcare issues from a multidisciplinary perspective, connecting healthcare workers, patients, researchers, policy- and decision-makers to tackle complex themes in the fast-changing nature of health services delivery.

For his contributions and achievements to academic and public health, Professor Teo was the recipient of numerous awards, including the Singapore Youth Award (2011), the Young Scientist Award by the Singapore National Academy of Science (2010), the NUHS-Mochtar Riady Pinnacle Young Achiever Award (2015), and the Outstanding Young Persons of the World award in the category of Academic Leadership and Achievements (2015). He was also conferred numerous scholarships during his education, including the Public Service Commission scholarship (1997), the Shell Centenary Scholarship (2000), the Lee Kuan Yew Postgraduate Scholarship (2003) and the NUS Overseas Graduate Scholarship (2003). Growing up in a family of educators, Professor Teo is both a passionate and exceptional educator, and has won numerous faculty and university awards for teaching excellence from both NUS and Oxford.

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