SMS Lecture Series

The Foundational Role of Statistics in the Future of Medicine


This lecture series will feature eminent local mathematicians or mathematics educators to share with the public some of their interests and ideas.


Teo Yik Ying , National University of Singapore

Teo Yik Ying is Associate Professor in the Department of Statistics & Applied Probability (Faculty of Science) and the Department of Epidemiology & Public Health (School of Medicine) at the National University of Singapore (NUS). He also heads the Biostatistics Domain at the Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (NUS) and is Adjunct Visiting Group Leader at the Genome Institute of Singapore, A*STAR. He graduated from Imperial College in 2000 and obtained his M.Sc. and DPhil. from the University of Oxford in 2001 and 2006 respectively. Among his many accolades, he most recently won the National Research Foundation Research Fellowship (2010), the 2010 Young Scientist Award and the 2011 Singapore Youth Award. Professor Teo is also an excellent teacher, having won several teaching excellence awards from Oxford and NUS.


The advent of genomics began the digitization of modern biology, progressing from the observational and empirical nature of medicine and biology to a more deterministic nature of science, where physical traits, disease risks and drug responses are expected to be quantifiable, within realistic boundaries of confidence and uncertainty. The capacity to process genomic information – digitized biology – underpins the next phase in medical advancement, moving clinical medicine towards precision medicine or future medicine. Future medicine foundationally relies on understanding, interpreting and utilizing genomic information for addressing disease risk, drug efficacy and dosage, and appropriate modifications to lifestyle factors for promoting good health and minimizing adverse health outcomes. This ranges from the micro-level of personalized medicine, personalized nutrition and personalized lifestyle management, to the macro-level of social and governmental policies to address public health burdens. The interpretation and application of genomics fundamentally rely on statistics and methodological developments in handling complex genetic datasets. Clinicians, healthcare workers and policy makers need to be trained to understand, interpret and use genomic information in future medicine. In this talk, I will describe the changing landscape for medical practice, and to discuss the importance of mathematics and statistics in future medicine. I will also highlight the role that Singapore has to play in future medicine, with its population demography that is representative of more than half of the world’s populations.


General (Suitable for students at JC Level and above)


March 7 (Wednesday) 2012 / 4.00-5.00pm



Registration Fee



For catering purposes, we request all attendees to register. School teachers may do group registration for their students and teachers by choosing the “group registration” option and indicate the number of people attending the lecture in the online registration form.


Dr Ng Kah Loon