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Our Presidents

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Professor Loh Xian Jun, FRSC, FIET, FIMMM, FSNIC
2021 - Present

Professor Loh completed his basic and postgraduate studies at the National University of Singapore. A polymer chemist by training, he is currently the Executive Director of the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE), A*STAR. As a pioneer in the area of biodegradable thermogels, he is highly knowledgeable in developing these materials for various applications spanning biomedical, engineering, cosmetics, personal care and food. His scientific contributions have earned him the position of Fellowship in Fitzwiliam College in the University of Cambridge. He holds multiple Fellowships in the Royal Society of Chemistry, Singapore National Institute of Chemistry, Institution of Engineering and Technology and The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining. With his extensive experience in authoring >250 journal papers, 38 patents and know-hows, >30 book chapters and 7 books, he currently sits on several editorial boards of international journals as an expert in his area. He is a multiple Highly Cited Researcher awardee by Clarivate Analytics. He has also successfully helped in the commercialization of 8 different products and is always interested in the translation of science to products. He is also a co-founder of a spin-off, Vitreogel Innovations, a company which looks at developing thermogels for retinal detachment treatment.

Tan Choon Hong-
Professor Tan Choon Hong
2017 - 2021

Professor TAN is the Chair School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, Nanyang Technological University. Prof. Tan received his BSc (Hons), First Class from the National University of Singapore in 1995 and completed his PhD from the University of Cambridge in 1999. Following that, he carried out two years postdoctoral training at the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, Harvard University. Subsequently, he worked as a Research Associate at Department of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School for another year before joined the Department of Chemistry, National University of Singapore as Assistant Professor in 2003. He was then promoted to Associate Professor in 2010.  He joined Nanyang Technological University in 2012 as an Associate Professor and was promoted to Full Professor in 2016. Prof. Tan’s research interest is in the field of Synthetic Organic Chemistry and Catalysis. He is particularly interested in the development of new catalysts towards practical asymmetric synthesis.

Prof Andy Hor 2
Professor Hor Tzi Sum Andy
2004 – 2017

Professor Andy Hor is the Deputy Chief Executive (Research) of A*STAR. He oversees the scientific vision and strategy of A*STAR, and his role is to develop a framework to ensure quality, excellence and impact, as well as review policy and measures to safeguard research ethics, integrity, compliance and responsible conduct. He overviews the horizontal thematic and strategic research programmes, and develops collaborative links with public and private sectors in Singapore and strategic international partners. He is the national ASEAN COSTI (Committee on Science, Technology & Innovation) Chair representing Singapore.

Prior to this, Professor Hor was the Vice President and Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Chair Professor of Metallic Chemistry & Materials in the University of Hong Kong (HKU) from 2015 to early 2020; Board Member of its business arm Versitech Ltd, chaired the University Research Committee, and Director of its Knowledge Exchange Office. His portfolio covered research, innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology transfer of the University, crossing ten faculties. Among his responsibilities were management of the University’s competitive grants and performance in the Research Assessment Exercise in Hong Kong. He established the first university-level student-centric innovation and incubation centre, fostered a dual quality-first and impact-driven culture, as well as strengthened the global collaborations of HKU. He was a Board Member of the Singapore International School in Hong Kong. He a member of the ARMS (Australasian Research Management Society) Accredition Council.

Professor Hor graduated from Imperial College (B.Sc.(Hon)) and University of Oxford (D.Phil.), after which he was a postdoctoral associate at Yale University before he joined the National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1984, and developed his academic career therein. He spent five years as the Executive Director of A*STAR’s Institute of Materials Research & Engineering (IMRE) before his move to HKU. In NUS, he was Head of Chemistry for almost a decade and won numerous research and teaching awards, including the Educator Award of NUS and Outstanding Scientist Award of its Faculty of Science.

Among his accolades are the NSTB Young Scientist Award, ASEAN Achievement Award, the first SNIC Distinguished Chemistry Service Award, and numerous fellowship such as Humboldt, Commonwealth and ASAIHL. For his achievements and contributions, he was conferred D.Sc. by the University of London, and numerous academy fellowships, including the European Academy of Sciences, Royal Society of Chemistry, Singapore National Academy of Science, Singapore National Institute of Chemistry and NUS Teaching Academy, among others. His services included being the President of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies, President of the Singapore National Institute of Chemistry (SNIC), President of Jury of L’Oréal for Women in Science, Founding Chair of the Young Scientist Award, Chair of the Advisory Committee on Hazardous Substances and Toxic Wastes of the National Environment Agency, and Chair of numerous international conferences. He is on the advisory boards of a number of international journals and conferences, and has served on many grant and award review panels in Australia, Japan and Hong Kong as well as NRF and A*STAR, among others.

In research, he specializes in organometallic materials and heterometallic catalysis and has published over 430 international papers with more than 1,000 annual citations in recent years, and filed patents in areas like nanostructures and battery materials. He has delivered numerous plenary, keynote and invited lectures in major conferences and seminars, and trained over 100 doctorate and Master’s students apart from many more research students in NUS and schools in Singapore. He is Concurrent Professor of Fudan University, Adjunct Professor of the Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering of NUS and Division of Chemistry & Biological Chemistry of NTU.

Professor Lee Soo Ying
2000 – 2004

Professor LEE Soo Ying graduated from University of Malaya (B.Sc. (Hon, I)) and University of Chicago (PhD), followed by post-doctoral work at the University of California, Los Angeles. He was Head of Chemistry at NUS in 1996-1997, Dean of Science in 1997-2000, Director of Research in 2000-2001, and Vice Provost in 2001-2003. He was President of the Singapore National Institute of Chemistry from 2000-2004. In October 2004 he crossed over to NTU to be the Founding Dean of the School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences at NTU. He was also the Founding Dean of the College of Science at NTU. He is currently the Director of the Institute of Advanced Studies, NTU. His fields of research are nonlinear molecular spectroscopy, molecular reaction dynamics, and glycoproteins. He has published 110 papers in refereed international journals.

Dr Ng Tju Lik
1996 – 2000

Dr NG Tju Lik is a Senior Scientific Adviser, Health Sciences Authority in Singapore. He was graduated from the then University of Singapore and the University of Dundee in Scotland (PhD) and has since made contributions in the public health and Forensic Science. Formerly, he was the Assistant Director (Science) at the Ministry of Science and Technology, Head of the Pharmaceutical Science Section of the Department of Scientific Services (DSS) and later became the Director of DSS. In this capacity, he set in motion new programmes to strengthen the forensic capabilities of the department, including the new DNA fingerprinting laboratory to improve criminal investigations. He also led the development of a laboratory-wide quality management system which culminated in the accreditation of the forensic, as well as the food and drug laboratories. Dr NG was also closely involved in the development of pharmaceutical and medical devices regulation in the Ministry of Health. He set up the Ministry’s Product Regulation Department, and also the Centre for Drug Evaluation. He has published 47 scientific papers on analytical chemistry, drugs, toxicology, health science, radiation science, and forensic science.

Professor Sim Keng Yeow
1975 – 1978, 1992 – 1996

Professor SIM Keng Yeow obtained his BSc (Hons) degree and MSc degree from University of Malaya, followed by his PhD from University of London. He was an Associate Professor of Chemistry in NUS and was appointed as Acting Head. During his immense contribution as head, the Department achieved a status as a top and highly respected research entity not only in comparison with departments of chemistry in Asian universities but also in the world. His research interest has focused mainly on structural and synthetic aspects of natural products and has contributed 2 US Patents and over 150 publications/conference papers, 108 of which are published in international refereed journals. He was elected to the Fellowship of the Royal Institute of Chemistry (RIC), served as the Vice-President of the Singapore National Academy of Science, was a FACS Treasurer and Secretary General and was conferred the FACS Citation Award for his contributions to the development of chemistry in Asia.

Emeritus Professor Huang Hsing Hua
1973 – 1974, 1978 – 1992

Emeritus Professor HUANG Hsing Hua is renowned for his research in the field of physical organic chemistry and spectroscopy, and his career is as distinguished as the awards he has won: the Queen's Scholarship, the University Council Fellowship tenable at the University of Cambridge, the Gold Medal for Public Administration, the NSTB Science Award among them. He has published over 140 papers in refereed international journals and he has supervised some 9 PhD students and 21 MSc students, among them another fellow recipient of this award, Dr YEO Ning Hong. He was a graduate of University of Malaya (B.Sc. (Hon)) and University of Oxford (DPhil/ PhD). Professor HUANG started scholarships for 'O' and 'A' level pupils to encourage and reward achievements in the subject. He also played an active role in the affairs of the Federation of Asian Chemical Societies (FACS), in which he served as President from 1985 to 1987. As Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the National University of Singapore from 1981 to 1994, he worked with Professor LIM Pin to oversee a sharp rise in student enrollment, in research activity and funding, as well as an increase in the number of staff. He was a driving force in the promotion of multidisciplinary research and the setting up of such centres.