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Prof Lawrence Ho Khek-Yu

Photo of Prof Lawrence Ho Khek-Yu
MBBS (Hons 1, Syd), MD (NUS), FRACP, FRCP (Glas), FAMS (Gastroenterology)
Senior Consultant, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, National University Hospital
Senior Consultant, Division of Surgical Oncology, National University Cancer Institute, Singapore
Professor, Department of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore (NUS
Director, Centre for Innovation in Healthcare
Cancer, Medicine
Sub Specialty:
Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Medical and Surgical Conditions:
Bile Duct Cancer, Colonic Diverticulosis, Colorectal Cancer, Esophageal Cancer, Functional Dyspepsia, Gallbladder Cancer, Gastric Cancer (Stomach Cancer), Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), Gastrointestinal Stromal Tumour (GIST), Helicobactor Pylori, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), Liver Cancer, Pancreatic Cancer, Ulcerative Colitis
Special Interest:
GI Oncology
Image-Enhanced Endoscopy (EUS, Confocal)
Therapeutic Endoscopy (ERCP, Stenting, ESD)
Functional GI disorders (GERD, BE) 
Stem Cell Therapy for Gastrointestinal Inflammatory Conditions and Associated Cancer
Innovative Endoscopy, including Confocal Endomicroscopy, EUS, Raman spectroscopy, Robotic Endoscopy
Cost Effectiveness 
National University Hospital
National University Cancer Institute, Singapore
National University Health System
Professor Lawrence Ho graduated with first-class honours from the University of Sydney, and undertook his training in therapeutic gastrointestinal endoscopy and endoscopic ultrasound at the Brigham and Women's Hospital, and Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, USA. Besides being an accomplished endoscopist who has been invited to perform live case demonstrations in numerous international endoscopy workshops, he is an effective educator, winning the Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards, National University of Singapore, in 2000 and 2003 respectively, and being conferred the honorary International Life Membership of the Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy of India to recognise his contribution to endoscopic training in India. He chairs the Asian Endoscopic Ultrasound Group, which is a platform for leading EUS experts to promote endoscopic ultrasound training and professional development of endosonographers in the Asian region. 

Prof Ho was the President of THE Gastroenterological Society of Singapore from 2005-6. His regional standing as an academic leader is evident in the invitations he received: as an orator at the Francisco Roman Memorial Lecture (Philippine Society of Gastroenterology and Philippine Society of Digestive Endoscopy, twice in 2003 & 2013 respectively), Seah Cheng Siang Memorial Oration (Gastroenterological Society of Singapore, 2012), Nihal Marcus Memorial Oration (Sri Lanka Gastroenterological Association, 2012), and the Macau Society of Digestive Endoscopy Lecture (2013). In 2010, he was conferred the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation Emerging Leadership lecturer at Asia Pacific Digestive Week. 

Perhaps what defines him is his ardent pursuit of innovation in medicine. In pursuit of bringing together regional experts with collaborative research in Barrett's oesophagus, he assumed the leadership as current Chair of the Asian Barrett's Consortium, a post he still currently holds. In collaboration with the Genomic Institute of Singapore, the team has made important strides in the cloning of oesophageal stem cells from patients with Barrett’s oesophagus. He has published more than 180 peer-reviewed papers, more than 10 book chapters, co-edited 2 books, and held 15 patents in translational products. In recognition of his achievement in clinical and translational research, he was awarded the Inaugural National University Health System Leadership Award - Clinical Innovator (Individual) Award in 2011. As co-inventor for the ground-breaking technology of the Master and Slave Transluminal Endoscopic Robot (MASTER), he was part of the team who developed the world's first flexible robotic endoscopy system, which was successfully used to perform endoscopic submucosal dissection in human patients. Both the inventors co-founded a start-up company, Endomaster Pte Ltd, and received in 2012 the President’s Technology Award, the highest honour bestowed on exceptional research scientists and engineers in Singapore for their excellent achievements in science and technology. Working with the Department of Bioengineering, NUS, the team pioneered the world’s one-of-a-kind In-Vivo Molecular Diagnostic System, which can make realtime objective diagnosis of GI cancer simpler. He co-founded a second start-up company, Endofotonics Pte Ltd, to develop this product. 

Prof Ho chairs the Gastroenterology Residency Advisory Committee, and sits on the Joint Commission on Specialist Training, Ministry of Health. He is a member of the Specialist Accreditation Board, Ministry of Health. He has just stepped down as Chair, University Medicine Cluster, National University Hospital and Head, Department of Medicine, National University of Singapore, following 6 illustrious years of leadership where he was instrumental in enhancing the academic culture, and growing the next generation of academic leaders within the university department. He now leads the research enterprise in NUHS as the Group Director, Research Office, and Vice Dean, Research, NUS.

Awards and Honours

Faculty Teaching Excellence Awards, NUS, in 2000 and 2003
Fellow of the Academic Medicine Development Award, NUHS, 2011
Inaugural National University Health System Leadership Award - Clinical Innovator (Individual) Award, 2011
President’s Technology Award 2012
Public Adminstration Medal 2017

Research and Publications

  1. Ho KY, Kang JY, Seow A. Prevalence of gastrointestinal symptoms in a multi-racial Asian population, with particular reference to reflux-type symptoms. American Journal of Gastroenterology 1998; 93: 1816-22.
  2. Ho KY, Chan YH, Kang JY. Increasing trend of reflux esophagitis and decreasing trend of Helicobacter pylori infection in patients from a multi-ethnic Asian country. American Journal of Gastroenterology 2005; 100: 1923-8.
  3. Song GH, Leng PH, Gwee KA, Moochhala SM, Ho KY. Melatonin improves abdominal pain in irritable bowel syndrome patients who have sleep disturbances ─ a randomized double blind placebo controlled study. Gut 2005; 54: 1402-7.
  4. Fernandes ML, Seow A, Chan YH, Ho KY. Opposing trends in incidence of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma and adenocarcinoma in a multi-ethnic Asian country. American Journal of Gastroenterology 2006; 101: 1430–6.
  5. Ho KY, Phee SJ, Shabbir A, Low SC, Huynh VA, Kencana AP, Yang K , Lomanto D, So BKJ , Wong JYY, Chung SCS. Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection of Gastric Lesions Using a Master And Slave Transluminal Endoscopic Robot (MASTER). Gastrointest Endosc. 2010 Sep;72(3):593-9.
  6. Wang X, Ouyang H, Yamamoto Y, Kumar PA, Wei TS, Dagher R, Vincent M, Lu X, Bellizzi AM, Ho KY, Crum CP, Xian W, McKeon F. Residual Embryonic Cells as Precursors of a Barrett's-like Metaplasia. Cell. 2011 Jun 24;145(7):1023-35.
  7. Xian W, Ho KY, CrumCP, McKeon F. Cellular Origin of Barrett's Esophagus: Controversy and Therapeutic Implications. Gastroenterology. 2012 Jun;142(7):1424-30.
  8. Phee SJ, Reddy DN, Chiu PW, Pradeep R, Rao GV, Wang Z, Sun Z, Wong JY, Ho KY. Robot-Assisted Endoscopic Submucosal Dissection is Effective in Treating Patients with Early-Stage Gastric Neoplasia. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012 Oct;10(10):1117-21.
  9. Xian W, McKean F, Ho KY. Biomarkers and Molecular Imaging in GI cancers. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2014 Jan;12(1):126-9.
  10. Bergholt MS, Zheng W, Ho KY, Teh M, Yeoh KG, So JBK, Shabbir A, Huang ZW. Fiber-optic confocal Raman spectroscopy for real-time in vivo diagnosis of dysplasia in Barrett's esophagus. Gastroenterology. 2014 Jan;146(1):27-32.