AsianScientist (Mar. 27, 2018) – Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, has launched a nationwide research initiative on lung health, The Academic Respiratory Initiative for Pulmonary Health (TARIPH). The initiative will be spearheaded by NTU’s Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine).
Respiratory disease is a major contributor to disease burden in Singapore, with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease emerging as a leading cause of death. With a rapidly aging population and contributing factors such as environmental pollution, the prevalence of respiratory disease in Singapore looks set to increase.
Existing research and treatment recommendations for lung diseases focus on data from Caucasian populations. Yet, lung diseases affect different ethnicities in different ways. TARIPH was established to understand the unique characteristics of lung diseases in Singapore.
The findings from TARIPH could aid policymakers and the healthcare sector to better implement medical interventions for lung disease. The promotion of lung health and disease awareness in Singapore, and potentially throughout Asia, could also be improved.
For a start, TARIPH will bring together more than 30 investigators from local and international institutions to generate evidence on how lung diseases present and develop in local patient populations. TARIPH investigators will come from diverse academic backgrounds, including physiology, engineering, data analytics, epidemiology and clinical medicine.
“With our strong track record of successful industry and academic collaborations, NTU is well-placed to lead this new initiative that aims to promote better lung health for Singaporeans,” said Professor Lam Khin Yong, NTU Vice President (Research).
Slated to start this year, TARIPH’s flagship project ‘Phenotypes of Respiratory Disease’ will detail the characteristics, behaviors and progression of respiratory diseases specific to Singapore. The findings will also be used to develop new DNA-based tests for common lung infections. Additionally, the economic and social costs of respiratory disease in Singapore will be examined.
“TARIPH will focus on the full spectrum of research—from bench to bedside and to the population. Its flagship research effort will characterize lung diseases at the molecular level to understand the cause of illness in Asian patients. At the same time, clinical data from hospitals and clinics in Singapore will allow clinician scientists to address pertinent questions that will improve clinical care in the near future,” said Professor James Best, Dean of LKCMedicine.
Source: Nanyang Technological University; Photo: Shutterstock.
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