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NCCS-led team awarded S$10 million to advance lymphoma research

SYMPHONY programme’s Prof Lim Soon Thye (front, second from left) and Dr Ong Choon Kiat (back, third from left) together with other OF-LCG winners. Source: MOH facebook

Malignant lymphomas are now the fifth and sixth most common cancers among males and females respectively in Singapore. Despite considerable research efforts by many groups over the years, clinical management of patients with these cancers remains challenging. Efficiency of current treatment strategies is limited, thus there is an urgent need to develop better diagnostic and prognostic strategies for better outcome.

To advance the study of lymphomas, the Ministry of Health’s (MOH) National Medical Research Council (NMRC) recently awarded S$10 million to the Singapore lYMPHoma translatiONal study (SYMPHONY), under the Open Fund-Large Collaborative Grant (OF-LCG) programme.

SYMPHONY is led by Professor Lim Soon Thye, Deputy Medical Director (Clinical) of the National Cancer Centre Singapore (NCCS). It builds on the team’s existing NMRC Translational Clinical Research Flagship Programme, which has provided major research breakthroughs. SYMPHONY will also bring together clinicians and scientists across Singapore to work in collaboration with local biotech companies, international pharmaceutical companies as well as international academic centres to address the global unmet clinical needs in the management of these malignancies.

The OF-LCG represents a unique opportunity to bring together the best teams of researchers from public institutions to advance health and wellness. SYMPHONY is a multi-institutional collaboration between NCCS, Singapore National Eye Centre, Singapore General Hospital, Duke-NUS Medical School, National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, National University of Singapore Health System, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, and A*STAR, where the team will coordinate and leverage one another’s research capabilities.

Besides SYMPHONY, the OF-LCG has also been awarded to three other projects targeted at Parkinson’s disease, gastric cancer, and cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Apart from the OF-LCG, NCCS is also proud of our clinician-scientists who won the NMRC talent development awards, including the Clinician Scientist Awards and Transition Awards. These awards are presented to outstanding researchers who do internationally-competitive translational and clinical research. Dr Wang Fuqiang has also been recognised under the MOH Healthcare Research Scholarship programmes.

Clinician Scientist Awards – Investigator (CSA-INV)

Asst Prof Melvin Chua

Asst Prof Dr Iain Tan

Transition Awards

Asst Prof Dawn Chong 

​Asst Prof Tiffany Tang

MOH Healthcare Research Scholarship – Master of Clinical Investigation (MCI) Programme

Dr Wang Fuqiang