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U.S. Oncologist to Head Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program at New Medical School


SINGAPORE – David Virshup, M.D., an internationally recognized cancer researcher, has been appointed as director of the Cancer and Stem Cell Biology Program at the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore (GMS). Cancer research is one of the school’s four signature research programs, and it will benefit from close interactions with Duke University’s Comprehensive Cancer Center.

Virshup, formerly the Willard Snow Hansen Presidential Professor of Cancer Research at the Huntsman Cancer Institute at the University of Utah, will join the GMS July 1, 2007.

“Singapore is an exciting place to do science,” Virshup said. “Their tremendous investment in the biomedical research base over the past decade has attracted world-class researchers in many disciplines. The development of the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School Singapore is a natural extension of this effort. A key mission of the GMS is to help move this research into the clinic in collaboration with gifted basic scientists, expert clinicians and the private sector, while training the next generation of physician- scientists. Singapore has the resources and commitment to be a pre-eminent biomedical research center in Asia. It is an honor to contribute to this dynamic enterprise.”

Virshup received his medical training at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where he also did subspecialty training in pediatrics and hematology/oncology, as well as advanced research training. In 1990, he joined the faculty at the University of Utah and was appointed to the Huntsman Cancer Institute in 2000.

The appointment of Virshup at the GMS follows closely that of Ranga Krishnan, M.D., chairman of psychiatry at Duke University School of Medicine and a well-known physician-scientist, who will assume the position of executive vice dean on July 1.

The GMS will soon be accepting applications for its fall 2008 M.D. program from prospective students – those who have already completed an undergraduate degree, a master’s degree or a Ph.D. They may submit their applications online via the school’s website at in July.

The GMS curriculum is based on that of Duke, which is rated amongst the top ten medical schools in the United States. Applicants must have an excellent academic record and be able to demonstrate clear evidence of leadership, scholarship, creativity and a strong inclination towards research.

The Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School represents a new option for medical training in the region as it will seek university graduates, masters and Ph.D. degree holders to enter training to become physician-scientists. Scholarships for M.D. students and a stipend for M.D./Ph.D. students are available from the school. Graduates of GMS will receive a joint degree from Duke University and the NUS.

The GMS will also welcome its inaugural class of medical students on its Singapore campus in August.


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