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Foo Keong Tatt Professor in Urology, October 2023 – Current
SingHealth Duke-NUS Surgery Academic Clinical Programme
Senior Advisor, Executive Office, SingHealth
Senior Consultant, Urology, Division of Surgery & Surgical Oncology, SKH, SGH & NCCS
The Foo Keong Tatt Professorship in Urology was established to achieve the peaks of excellence in research, education, and practice as to strengthen Singapore's position as a thought leader in Urology globally. The appointment of this Distinguished Professorship recognises Professor Cheng as an exceptional urologist who has made substantial contributions to clinical practice, education, research, and administrative leadership.
He currently holds the position of Senior Advisor in SingHealth Board of Advisors and serves as a Senior Consultant Urologist at SKH, and SGH.
Professor Cheng places a strong emphasis on teaching, believing that being a teacher is an opportunity to learn twice. He structures his teaching activities with clear learning objectives and personalised content to stimulate curiosity and self-reflection among students. He also emphasises the importance of assessment and continuous improvement in teaching methods. He not only imparts technical knowledge but also mentors students on attitude and conduct, helping them develop into future educators themselves. He has played a pivotal role in developing urology curricula, training programs, and assessment processes, and has trained numerous junior surgeons who have become established urologists contributing significantly to the field. Since 2004, he has been actively involved in undergraduate and postgraduate medical education, serving as a lecturer for post-basic nursing courses and as a Visiting Professor at Zhongshan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China. Additionally, he teaches "mindfulness self-care" to first-year students at Duke-NUS and serves as an examiner for local medical schools. In 2022, he received the Master Academic Clinician Award from Duke-NUS.
Professor Cheng is a pioneer in the development of robotic urological surgery, starting in 2003. He holds a patent for a robotic biopsy device and has authored over 90 peer-reviewed publications, with an h-index of 24. More than 60 of these publications list him as the first or senior author. He has also contributed to several chapters on urology in local and international publications and serves on the editorial boards of journals, including the Journal of Robotic Surgery, Oncology & Haematology News, and the Journal of Men's Health & Gender. He played a key role in establishing the multidisciplinary transplant center at SGH. He received the ICRA Best Conference Paper Award at the IEEE International Conference on Robotic and Automation in 2005.
Professor Cheng is renowned for his clinical and surgical expertise in uro-oncology, minimally invasive surgery, and renal transplant. He is recognised for introducing cutting-edge technology for diagnosing and treating urologic diseases, particularly prostate cancer. He pioneered the technique of laparoscopic donor nephrectomy locally, which has become a standard procedure. He also contributed to the development of a patented prostate biopsy robot named "Mona Lisa" which has become a commercial device adopted by leading centers worldwide. With support from NMRC and SPRING grants, he introduced the first da Vinci robotic prostatectomy in Asia, widely used in urological centers across Singapore. His achievements have been nationally recognised with awards, including the National Outstanding Clinician Award at the National Medical Excellence Awards (2017), the Public Administrative Medal (Silver) at the National Day Awards (2015), and the GCEO Excellence Award for Outstanding Clinician (2011).