NTU appoints new dean for Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine

Professor James Best, who currently heads the medical school at the University of Melbourne, will assume his new role at NTU from July 29.
PHOTO: NTU appoints new dean for Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine

SINGAPORE - Nanyang Technological University (NTU) has appointed a new dean for its Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine.

Professor James Best will be taking over the position from Professor Dermot Kelleher, who has been Dean of both LKCMedicine and Imperial's Faculty of Medicine for the last two years. Prof Best will assume his new role on July 29, 2014.

Prof Best is currently the Head of Medical School at the University of Melbourne in Australia, and has 30 years' experience in research, teaching and medical leadership.

Prof Kelleher, who will retain his position as Imperial's Vice-President (Health), will work together with Professor Best to ensure the activities of both institutions continue to be closely and strategically aligned, NTU said.

Welcoming the appointment, NTU President Bertil Andersson said: "Professor Best has an outstanding track record, including leadership at Australia's highest achieving medical school for research. He also has advanced experience in medical research funding through his engagement at the National Health and Medical Research Council in Canberra. This stands him in good stead to take medical training in NTU to new heights.

"Professor Best joins us at an opportune time to lead the School which is accepting its second cohort of top students and has already attracted a number of exceptional scientists. I believe he will deepen the school's foundation and build on the good work by Professor Dermot Kelleher who will continue to be our strongest link at Imperial."

He added that the university is grateful to Professor Kelleher for his leadership and dedication, especially for being a catalyst for research development at LKCMedicine.

Prof Best was selected from a highly competitive field of applicants after an extensive international search led by Sir Keith O'Nions, President & Rector of Imperial College London. 

A graduate of the University of Melbourne in 1972, Prof Best has practised endocrinology in Australia, Hong Kong, the US and the UK. He trained in Endocrinology at Melbourne's St Vincent's Hospital and in diabetes research at the University of Washington, Seattle, US.

He joined the University of Melbourne staff as Deputy Head of the Department of Medicine (St Vincent's Hospital) and in 1999 was appointed as Professor of Medicine and Head of Department. He was also the Deputy Dean of the Faculty from 2004 to 2006 and subsequently Associate Dean (Resources).

In July 2007, he was appointed as Head of Melbourne Medical School (MMS) - a school that was established in 1862 and today ranks among the top 20 medical schools worldwide by the Times Higher Education.

Prof Best has taught extensively during his career, especially on the topic of diabetes and metabolism, as well as on the medical interview. His current research is predominantly in healthcare delivery for diabetes prevention and management.

The author of over 200 publications, Prof Best is a Fellow of the Royal Australasian College of Physicians, Royal College of Pathologists, Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and Honorary MD from St Andrews University.