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Congratulations to Our Researchers for Winning the Prestigious American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Team Science Award!

This year’s winning team is an international collaboration led by colleagues from the SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC - Professors Patrick Tan, Bin Tean Teh, Steve Rozen, Lim Soon Thye, Ong Choon Kiat as well as, collaborators from Japan, Taiwan and Thailand. The focus of the winning’s team’s research is on cancers that are prominent in Asia but less studied in the West.

This is the first time an Asian team, focused on common cancers in Asia, receives the AACR Team Science Award. Since inception, teams from the US have won the AACR Team award eight times, and a team from the UK won in 2012.

The team studied numerous cancers, including gastric cancer, Asian-prevalent lymphomas such as natural killer T-cell lymphomas, bile-duct cancers, and cancers associated with exposure to aristolochic acids. Prior to their work, little was known about these cancers. Their work helped to identify new genes and pathways, which if disrupted may represent new avenues for further therapies. For example, the team identified major genetic abnormalities in stomach cancers, a leading cause of global cancer death, and were able to translate these findings into clinical trials targeting these abnormalities. They also showed how parts of DNA affected by carcinogens can be used as screening tools to identify previously undetected carcinogen exposures.

 About the Team Members

AACR Team Award 2018 – list of members

Patrick Tan

  • Professor, Programme in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology, Duke-NUS Medical School
  • Deputy Executive Director, Biomedical Research Council, Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR)
  • Director, SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Precision Medicine (PRISM)
  • Director, Duke-NUS Genome Biology Facility
  • Senior Principal Investigator, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore
  • Principal Investigator (Adjunct), National Cancer Centre Singapore
  • Professor (Adjunct), Department of Physiology in National University of Singapore

Teh Bin Tean

  • Deputy Director (Research), National Cancer Centre Singapore
  • Deputy Director (Scientific), SingHealth Duke-NUS PRISMProfessor, Programme in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology, Duke-NUS Medical School
  • Senior Principal Investigator, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore
  • Senior Principal Investigator, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore
  • Principal Investigator, National Cancer Centre Singapore
  • Adjunct Professor, Baylor College of Medicine, USA
  • Adjunct Professor, Karolinska Institute, Sweden

Steve Rozen

  • Associate Dean, Research Informatics, Duke-NUS
  • Professor, Program in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology, Duke-NUS
  • Director, Centre for Computational Biology, Duke-NUS
  • Associate Professor, Duke University Medical Center
  • Research Scientist, National Heart Research Institute Singapore
  • Faculty Member, National University of Singapore Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering

Lim Soon Thye

  • Senior Consultant and Head of Division of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore
  • Director, SingHealth Duke-NUS Blood Cancer Centre, Singapore
  • Professor and Assistant Dean Office of Education, Duke-NUS Medical School
  • Tanoto Foundation Professor of Medical Oncology
  • Chairman, SingHealth Central Institutional Review Board

Ong Choon Kiat

  • Principal Investigator, Division of Medical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore
  • Senior Research Scientist, Genome Institute of Singapore, A*STAR

Khor Chiea Chuen

  • Senior Principal Investigator, Genome Institute of Singapore, A*STAR

  • Adjunct Clinician Scientist, Singapore Eye Research Institute

Tatsuhiro Shibata


  • Professor, Human Genome Center, The Institute of Medical Science, The University of Tokyo
  • Chief, Division of Cancer Genomics, National Cancer Center

Chawalit Pairojkul


  • Associate Professor Emeritus, Consultant in Pathology, Khon Kaen University, Thailand

Narong Khuntikeo


  • Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Thailand
  • Vice-President, Cholangiocarcinoma Foundation of Thailand Head of Cholangiocarcinoma Screening and Care Program, Khon Kaen Unversity
  • Director, Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Center, Khon Kaen University
  • Director, Cholangiocarcinoma Center of Excellence, Srinagarind Hospital, Khon Kaen University

Jacob See-Tong Pang


  • Professor and Vice-Superintendent Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, Linkou, Taiwan
  • President, Taiwan Urological Oncology Association

Hsieh Sen-Yong


  • Professor and Director, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Chang Gung Memorial Hospital
  • Professor, Internal Medicine, Chang Gung University College of Medicine
  • Professor, Microbiology and Immunology, Chang Gung University College of Medicine Council Member, Gastrointestinal Society of Taiwan
  • Council Member, Taiwan Liver Cancer Association

About AACR and the Team Science Award

The AACR Team Science Award is an internationally prestigious award that recognises an outstanding interdisciplinary research team for its innovative and meritorious science that has advanced our fundamental knowledge of cancer, or has applied existing knowledge to advance the detection, diagnosis, prevention or treatment of cancer. The award was established by the AACR and Eli Lilly and Company to acknowledge and catalyse the growing importance of interdisciplinary teams to the understanding of cancer and/or the translation of research discoveries into clinical cancer applications. The AACR is the world's oldest and largest professional association related to cancer research, founded in 1907 with more than 34,000 members in over 90 countries (the AACR Annual Meeting regularly attracts about 20,000 attendees). The AACR Scientific awards (including the Team Science award) are one of the most prestigious awards in cancer research, honouring researchers for their global impact on cancer research. Previous AACR awardees have included Nobel Prize (Mario Capecchi, Harald zur Hauzen, Phillip Sharp) and Lasker Prize winners (Janet Rowley, James Allison, William Kaelin).


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