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The Department of Endocrinology is actively involved in a wide range of academic research, ranging from clinical trials, to health services research, to basic science. Our Physicians are recipients of national and institutional research grants, and are closely partnered with a strong team of researchers and clinician scientists from Duke-NUS to explore new frontiers of knowledge. 

Specific areas of research conducted by our department include:


Our long-term research objective is to improve patient care by developing precision management in diabetes management. Our strategy involves the collaborative effort in several related domains that will capitalise on the clinical and scientific expertise of a carefully assembled team of clinicians, scientists and allied health providers. Our diabetes-related research themes and projects include:

  1. Diabetes Clinic of The Future
    A partnership between SingHealth and A*STAR, aiming to combine clinical expertise and cutting-edge medical technology to improve clinical outcomes in diabetes. The Clinic will use smart technologies to improve diabetes care across the disease continuum, and will provide opportunities for tech developers and industry experts to trial their innovations alongside SingHealth and A*STAR clinicians and researchers.
  2. Pre-Diabetes Interventions & Continued Tracking to Ease out Diabetes (Pre-DICTED) Programme
    This study aims to evaluate the effectiveness of a diabetes prevention programme in Singapore, and is a collaboration between SingHealth Duke-NUS Diabetes Centre and the Health Promotion Board, endorsed by the National Diabetes Prevention and Care Taskforce and funded by the Ministry of Health. 
  3. SingHealth Diabetes Registry (SDR)
    SDR holds patient data, from 2007 onwards, collected from SingHealth Institutions including 9 Polyclinics, 4 Hospitals and 3 National Specialty Centres. Subjects with diabetes are identified through diagnosis codes (ICD 9, ICD10 and SNOMED) and medications. As of June 2017, there are approximately 193,000 unique subjects within the SDR. The data fields include subject demographics, duration and subtype of diabetes, smoking history, co-morbidities, retinal screening data, mortality data, visit locations, clinical measures, laboratory tests, prescribed and dispensed medications and attendances for diabetic complications screening. The SDR also contain data (i.e. date, diagnosis, length of stay) for visits to Emergency Departments and hospital admissions as well as amputations data. It is linked to other data sources (e.g. financial) via the SingHealth Electronic Health Intelligence System (eHINTS).  
  4. Hypoglycemia unawareness and risk for severe hypoglycemia 
    This study aims to evaluate the prevalence of hypoglycemia unawareness and the impact of abnormal ACE genotype in local insulin-treated diabetes patients.
  5. Diabetes foot complications
    We aim to evaluate the burden of diabetes foot complications and examine factors which contribute to poorer outcomes. In development is a comprehensive Diabetes Foot Care Pathway which seeks to improve outcomes and quality of life for our patients who encounter diabetes foot problems. 
  6. The Role of Bile Acid Gene CYP8B1 in Glucose Metabolism
    This bedside and bench project aims to identify CYP8B1 mutation carriers in Singapore and determine its impact on various aspects of metabolism. It is conducted jointly by SGH and the Translational Laboratory in Genetic Medicine of A*STAR and in collaboration with Singapore Eye Research Institute, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health.
  7. Acute Metabolic Effect of Fenofibrate Administration in Patients with Diabetic Nephropathy
    This study aims to study the effects of fenofibrate, which has been shown to slow diabetic nephropathy progression, on fuel metabolism patterns in patients with diabetic nephropathy. 
  8. The Self Care on Health of Older Persons in Singapore with Diabetes Mellitus Project
    This project is a collaboration between the SingHealth Duke-NUS Diabetes Centre and the Tsao Foundation, assessing the effectiveness of techniques to improve self-care in older patients with type 2 diabetes in improving diabetes-related outcomes and quality of life. 


Our clinicians involved in thyroid research are the recipients of National Medical Research Council (NMRC) Centre, Singapore National Eye Centre Research Health Endowment Fund (SNEC HREF) and SingHealth Foundation grants. Our thyroid-related research themes include:
  1. Autoimmune thyroid disease
    Developing biomarkers for diagnosis, prognostication and identifying new potential treatment targets for thyroid eye disease.
  2. Thyroid nodules and cancer
    The utility of ultrasound risk stratification of thyroid nodules before fine needle aspiration biopsy in routine clinical practice.

Osteoporosis and Bone Metabolism

Physicians of The Osteoporosis and Bone Metabolism Unit have a large number of publications in international peer reviewed journals, with more than 40 publications directly related to the field of Osteoporosis and Bone Metabolism. The Unit has also conducted numerous presentations including oral communications at various international and regional conferences. The International Osteoporosis Foundation’s 2013 Young Investigator Award of the Year was conferred for our research on Pharmacompliance to Osteoporosis Medications.  

Our areas of osteoporosis and bone metabolism research include:
  1. Epidemiology and Pharmaco-compliance
  2. Secondary Osteoporosis
  3. The link between Diabetes and Bone
  4. Renal Transplant Bone Disease
  5. Rare Bone Disorders 
  6. New bio-imaging modalities focusing on bone
The Osteoporosis and Bone Metabolism Unit has ongoing fruitful research collaborations with multiple departments within Singapore General Hospital, including Nuclear Medicine, Renal Medicine, Orthopedic Surgery, and Pharmacy. We also partner with institutions outside Singapore General Hospital, such as DUKE-NUS, Singapore University of Technology and Design (SUTD). Our collaboration with SUTD focuses on providing novel bio-imaging modalities for fracture risk assessment in osteoporotic patients. The Osteoporosis and Bone Metabolism Unit was awarded grants totaling approximately SGD $70,000 between the years of 2010-2012. The unit was also the recipient of the first SingHealth Transplant Grant of SGD $36,000, awarded in 2016 for our study exploring the evolution of Trabecular Bone Score (a novel imaging modality) in patients undergoing renal transplantation.