Categories: Student Life

A Peek Into Dr Lisa’s Life

Take “A Peek Into” Dr Lisa’s Life, head of school for the School of Life Sciences (SLS) and find out what interesting stories about campus she has to share.

What do you do as the HOS of SLS?

I manage a team consisting of staff with different roles including – Lecturing, Lab preparation, Student Coordination, Timetabling, various admin work to keep the School of Life Sciences running on a daily basis.

What first interested you in life sciences?

Observing nature. I was fascinated, looking at flowering plants and fishes in a pond. How they grow, how they develop, how they move, and I always wondered, how they work. How did a mimosa clamp up? What triggers the motion of the leaves to close, and later open again? Small things like that.

Any interesting stories on campus?

Recently, a Taiwanese student who had just arrived for the IFD programme (staying in the MDIS Hostel) came to the SLS office to give us a lovely box of Tai Yang Bing (translation: Sun Biscuit). This is a Taiwanese biscuit that is popularly given as a souvenir. I went back to my workstation and took what I have in my cupboard to share with her, so that she would know what a typical local would eat for a snack. All I had were some biscuits that were individually packed and I gave her some. We had a chit chat and she left. I later returned to my workstation and took a good look at the package of individually packed biscuits I shared with her -the font on the packaging was very small, printed in Chinese, and then I realised they were from Taiwan too! 

I was hoping to share something that is typically from Singapore, but all I had were snacks from Taiwan. I guess I should get ready some “Made In Singapore” snacks in my workstation, just in case I bump into her again, I can share them with her.

What are your dreams for SLS?

I hope the programmes that we teach will be appreciated by the students and that it would serve them well when they move on to work in the future or when they embark on the next phase of their education.  I hope that our staff and students will be able to enjoy the journey together. When we teach, we also learn from our students. We spend so many hours together for a few years, we might as well make the journey a happy and fulfilling one.

Doctors will rely more and more on technology to help them make more accurate diagnoses and better decisions on how to treat patients. Discuss the future of biomedical engineering.

It is inevitable that technology will continue to be a big part of Medicine. Lots of medical devices, diagnostic machines, pharmaceutical products, and new health care services will be developed in the years to come. The aging population will require a lot of man-hours of care and attention, and hospital staff will have to be savvy with technological advances to be productive and yet cost-effective. Diagnostic tests will be able to be more precise and informative, giving more accurate and pertinent information on the correct dose of medicines to be used, based on specific patient information, instead of a one-size-fits-all method of prescription. Biotech will bring about new products, not limited to pharmaceutical or therapeutic products, but also products that will impact our daily lives, be it new ways of raising agricultural products, or different ways of processing current industrial wastes.

What is your go-to comfort food?
A nice cup of tea.

Are you an early bird or a night owl?

I am definitely an early bird. I enjoy going for morning walks. These are photos of the Tiger Orchid I saw when I took a walk at the Upper Peirce Reservoir. These huge orchids are the largest orchid species in the world, and they flower only twice a year – January and July. Look at the colouration of yellow and brown -they resemble the colours of a tiger. These rare orchids are native to Indonesia, Singapore, Thailand, Malaysia, the Philippines and New Guinea.

You may also be interested in:
A Peek Into Dr Alby’s Life

A Peek Into Dr Tham’s Life
A Peek Into Dr Rama’s Life


Founded in 1956, the Management Development Institute of Singapore (MDIS) is Singapore’s oldest not-for-profit professional institute for lifelong learning. MDIS has two main subsidiaries: Management Development Institute of Singapore Pte Ltd which oversees its Singapore academic operations, and MDIS International Pte Ltd which focuses on MDIS’ globalisation strategy. MDIS offers internationally-accredited courses in Business and Management, Engineering, Fashion and Jewellery Design, Health and Nursing, Information Technology, Languages and Education, Life Sciences, Media and Communications, Psychology, Tourism and Hospitality Management, and Safety and Environmental Management.

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