Department of University Medicine Cluster [Close x]
Prof Lawrence Ho Khek-Yu
MBBS (Hons 1, Syd), MD (NUS), FRACP, FRCP (Glasgow), FAMS (Gastroenterology)
Senior Consultant, Division of Gastroenterology & Hepatology

Vice Dean (Research), Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore

Group Director, Research Office, 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 Gastroenterological Society of Singapore in 2005-6. His regional standing as an academic leader is exemplified by invitation as an orator in 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 Macau Society of Digestive Endoscopy Lecture (2013). In 2010, he was conferred the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation Emerging Leadership lecturer in the 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 assumes the leadership as current Chair of the Asian Barrett's Consortium. In collaboration with 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 & 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 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, in 2012. Working with the Department of Bioengineering, NUS, the team pioneers 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 the second start-up company, Endofotonics Pte Ltd to develop this product.

Prof Ho chairs the Gastroenterology Residency Advisory Committee, and sits in the Joint Commission on Specialist Training, Ministry of Health. He is a member, Specialist Accreditation Board, Ministry of Health. He had 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.

Specialty and Research interests:

  • GI oncology,

  • Image-enhanced endoscopy (EUS, confocal)

  • Therapeutic endoscopy (ERCP, stenting, ESD)

  • Functional GI disorders (GERD, BE) •Cost Effectiveness

  • Stem cell therapy for gastrointestinal inflammatory conditions and associated cancer

  • Innovative endoscopy, including confocal endomicroscopy, EUS, Raman spectroscopy, robotic endoscopy

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


  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.

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