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Dr Joshua Tay

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  • Consultant, Department of Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery (ENT), National University Hospital


MBBS (S’pore), PhD (Stanford), MRCS (Glasgow), MMed (ORL), FAMS


Otorhinolaryngology / Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) Surgery

Clinical Disciplines/Programmes:

Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery

Special Interests:

Nasopharyngeal Cancer

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Dr Joshua Tay completed his undergraduate medical training at the National University of Singapore in 2007, achieving a distinction in the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme and winning the Outstanding Undergraduate Researcher Prize.

He underwent speciality training in Otolaryngology – Head & Neck Surgery in Singapore and was awarded the College of Surgeons Gold Medal for the best performing resident at the Otolaryngology Exit Examinations in 2015.

Dr Tay was awarded the Ministry of Health Healthcare Research Scholarship, during which he completed a PhD in Cancer Biology at the Stanford University School of Medicine focusing on molecular subtypes of nasopharyngeal cancer, under the guidance of Professors John B. Sunwoo and Robert B. West. Dr Tay's research involves classifying tumors based on their gene signatures and matching them with targeted therapies for personalized treatment. Together with A/Prof Thomas Loh, he leads a Head and Neck Cancer Genomics laboratory at NUS, with special expertise in microdissected gene expression profiling from paraffin specimens.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, Dr Tay led multi-center clinical diagnostic studies to validate 3D-printed and injection-molded nasopharyngeal swab prototypes for SARS-CoV-2 testing. He also works closely with biomedical engineers and researchers to improve the outcomes of diagnostic tests and cancer screening.

Dr Tay is currently a Consultant in the Department of Otolaryngology. In his clinical practice, Dr Tay sees patients with nasopharyngeal cancer as well as patients with general Ear, Nose and Throat conditions.


  • 2021 - NUSMed Bench 2 Bedside Collection Grant
  • 2021 - National Medical Research Council Transition Award
  • 2019 - NCIS Annual Research Meeting Best Poster (Clinical Science - Others)
  • 2018 - Gordon Research Conference on Nasopharyngeal Cancer, Outstanding Poster Award
  • 2016 - College of Surgeons Gold Medal (Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery)

Journals & Publications

1. Tay JK, Chan SH, Lim CM, Siow CH, Goh HL, Loh KS. The Role of Epstein-Barr Virus DNA Load and Serology as Screening Tools for Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma. Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery. 2016;155(2):274-80.
2. Tay JK, Khoo ML, Loh WS. Surgical Considerations for Tracheostomy During the COVID-19 Pandemic: Lessons Learned From the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Outbreak. JAMA Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery. 2020;146(6):517-518.
3. Tay JK, Lim WS, Loh WS, Loh KS. Sustaining Otolaryngology Services for the Long Haul during the COVID-19 Pandemic: Experience from a Tertiary Health System. Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery. 2020;163(1):47-50.
4. Tay JK, Siow CH, Goh HL, Lim CM, Hsu PP, Chan SH, Loh KS. A comparison of EBV serology and serum cell-free DNA as screening tools for nasopharyngeal cancer: Results of the Singapore NPC screening cohort. International Journal of Cancer. 2020;146(10):2923-2931.
5. Moreno-Nieves U*,Tay JK*, Saumyaa S*, Horowitz NB, Shin JH, Mohammad IA, Luca B, Mundy DC, Gulati GS, Bedi N, Chang S, Chen C, Kaplan MJ, Rosenthal EL, Holsinger FC, Divi V, Baik FM, Sirjani DB, Gentles AJ, Newman AM, Freud AG, Sunwoo JB. Single-cell Landscape of NK cells and Innate Lymphoid Cells in Head and Neck Squamous Cell Carcinoma. *joint first authors. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). 2021;118(28):e2101169118.
6. Tay JK, Cross GB, Toh ST, Lee CK, Loh J, Lim ZY, Ngiam N, Chee J, Gan SW, Saraf A, Chow WTE, Goh HL, Siow CH, Lian DWQ, Loh WS, Loh KS, Lim CM, Chua YY, Tan TT, Tan HK, Yan B, Ko K, Chan KS, Oon L, Chow VTK, Wang Y, Fuh JYH, Yen CC, Wong JEL, Allen DM (2021). Design and Multicenter Clinical Validation of a 3-Dimensionally Printed Nasopharyngeal Swab for SARS-CoV-2 Testing. JAMA Otolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery. 2021; 147(5):418-425.
7. Tay JK, Cross GB, Sun L, Chia A, Chee J, Loh J, Lim ZY, Ngiam N, Khang WP, Yeap S, Goh HL, Siow CH, Loh WS, Loh KS, Lee CK, Yan B, Chow VTK, Wang Y, Boey F, Wong JEL, Allen DM. Clinical Diagnostic Study of a Novel Injection Molded Swab for SARS-Cov-2 Testing. Infectious Diseases and Therapy. 2021; 10:1015-1022.
8. Wu X,Tay JK, Goh CK, Chan C, Lee YH, Springs SL, Wang DY, Loh KS, Lu TK, Yu H. Digital CRISPR-based Method for the Rapid Detection and Absolute Quantification of Nucleic Acids. Biomaterials 2021;274:120876.

A full list of publications can be found here.

Professional Memberships

  • Academy of Medicine, Singapore
  • Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons, Glasgow

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