Professor Yap Hui Kim graduated from the University of Singapore in 1978 and obtained the Master of Medicine (Paediatrics) in 1981 and Doctor of Medicine (Singapore) in 1995. She has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medicine (Singapore), the Royal College of Physicians (Edin), the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health and the American Society of Nephrology. She pursued training in paediatric nephrology at the UCLA School of Medicine, Los Angeles, California. Upon returning to Singapore, Prof Yap set up the paediatric renal service with dialysis and renal transplantation programme at NUH.
Prof Yap is the Head of the Division of Paediatric Nephrology. In 1999, she was appointed Professor of the Department of Paediatrics, NUS. She is very active in research with numerous scientific publications and has received several awards. She serves in many National and International Scientific advisory boards as well as editorial boards of medical journals. She travels widely, being invited to lecture at various congresses. She is now the President of the International Paediatric Nephrology Association.
An internationally respected paediatrician, Prof Yap has been bestowed the NKF Gift of Life Award in 1996 for her pioneering work in paediatric dialysis and transplantation. In 2012, she received the Healthcare Humanity Award and the Outstanding Asian Paediatrician Award from the Asian-Pacific Paediatric Association for her contributions to paediatrics and the development of paediatric nephrology in Asia. She was also awarded the National Medicine Excellence Awards 2008 – National Outstanding Clinician Award for her exceptional contributions on the clinical front and the Lee Foundation NHG-NUHS Lifetime Achievement Award 2013.
Prof Yap’s research interest is in the immunology of kidney diseases, in particular childhood nephrotic syndrome. She has been the principal investigator in grants totalling more than $5 million and her research group was the first to describe the role of interleukin-13 in childhood minimal change nephrotic syndrome. Her group has also developed an interleukin-13 overexpression animal model of nephrotic syndrome in order to further study the molecular mechanisms of the disease. Her current work is focusing on a serious form of nephrotic syndrome, namely focal segmental glomerulosclerosis, and her group has identified an immunological abnormality in patients with this disease that predicts response to treatment with an anti-B lymphocyte monoclonal antibody, resulting in prevention of progression to kidney failure.