The President's Science and Technology Awards (PSTA) is the highest honour bestowed on exceptional research scientists and engineers in Singapore whose work have resulted in significant scientific, technological or economic benefits for the country. The winners were picked by a distinguished panel of representatives from industry, academia and research. The winners received their awards from President Halimah Yacob during a ceremony at the Istana on 17 October 2019.
This year, the SNEC and SERI are proud to have a team receive the President's Science Award:
The team from SERI – comprising Assoc Prof Audrey Chia, Prof Saw Seang Mei, Prof Roger Beuerman, and Adj Prof Donald Tan – is recognised for their pioneering work in the field of myopia research that has contributed to a decrease in the prevalence and severity of myopia in children over the last three decades.
The team carried out translational research and clinical trials that established the role of low-dose atropine in controlling myopia in young children; as well as epidemiological studies that have led to practical recommendations for better eye health. Both strategies have contributed to decreasing the severity of myopia in children.
The SERI team was the first to identify low-dose atropine eyedrops as a viable treatment option that is both safe and effective for long-term use in children. This work has triggered many other interventional trials globally. This led SERI to develop its own eye drops to reduce the development and progression of myopia and this is now available in many countries.
The team also developed the FitSight watch that encourages children to spend more time outdoors, as studies have shown that this is effective in reducing the occurrence of myopia. The team’s work has impacted education, clinical care, optometry guidelines, clinical interventions and preventive measures, leading them to be recognised as an international leader in myopia research.
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