In the Year of Celebrating SG Women, we present stories which showcase and celebrate women’s multi-faceted contributions and progress at SNEC and SERI.
Join us to honour and acknowledge our team of amazing women who have made impact in the field of Ophthalmology, inspiring those around them with their brand of ethos in life.
Dr Preeti GuptaSenior Clinical Research Fellow, Population Health Research Group, SERI
Why did you choose to become a researcher?When I was working in a clinical setting, I used to wonder why some people are more susceptible to diseases than others. This turned my curiosity towards research to better understand the underlying risk factors and pathogenesis of various diseases, and to devise novel medical diagnostic and disease management techniques to link patients up with healthcare services early for appropriate and timely management of their conditions.
How has family support helped you get to where you are in SERI?I am blessed to have a strong family back-up, especially my husband, who is extremely understanding and has made supporting my work a priority. He has been solidly in my corner for the past 20 years. As we both belong to the same profession, he constantly provides clinical input to my research. My in-laws and parents help care for my young child. Truly, without my family’s constant participation and motivation, I would not have been able to progress from being an Optometrist to a Post-doctoral Research Fellow over my 10 years here at SERI.
What research are you working on now, and how will it benefit patients?My research interests include the epidemiology of age-related sensory deterioration, particularly the public health impact of age-related eye diseases, and associated changes in the ageing visual function system.
My current research focuses on understanding how impairment in the components of the visual function system impacts functional health in the elderly. This work, which is aligned with the Ministry of Health’s campaign to promote successful ageing, seeks to improve our understanding of the pathobiology of functional ageing. Moreover, these insights have the potential to shape interventions and systems of care, influence programme delivery, and guide policy improvements to enable older Singaporeans to live independently.
What is the most memorable thing that has happened to you while working as a researcher?That would be when my first scientific paper got published — it took almost a year! I started writing scientific papers in 2012. Today, when I look back at my journey — which I once thought was not my cup of tea — I feel proud to have published more than 70 papers in high-standard international journals. Thanks to my mentors, Prof Wong Tien Yin, Prof Ecosse Lamoureux and Prof Cheng Ching-Yu, for their endless support and guidance.
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Women of Vision series.
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