James Best - Biography#

James Best was appointed in 2014 as Dean of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine), a Joint Medical School of Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) and Imperial College London, a year after admission of the first medical students to its MBBS programme in 2013. He held that position until 2021 and is now Visiting Professor to LKCMedicine and Professor Emeritus at the University of Melbourne.

Graduating in medicine from the University of Melbourne in 1972, he trained in Endocrinology at St Vincent's Hospital Melbourne and in diabetes research at the University of Washington, Seattle, USA. Previously, from 2007 to 2014, he was Head of the Medical School at the University of Melbourne and was responsible for the introduction of Australia’s first MD degree as a professional entry to practice qualification. At a national level, he was a member of Australia’s National Health and Medical Research Council and Chair of the NHMRC Research Committee from 2006 to 2012 and was a board member of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Australia from 2015 to 2021.

He was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Medicine from St Andrews University in 2011 and in 2016 was made an Officer in the Order of Australia (AO) for distinguished service to medicine, particularly in the area of endocrinology, to medical education as an academic, researcher and administrator, and to rural and Indigenous health. He was awarded the Imperial Medal and Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland in 2019 and the Nanyang Award for Meritorious Achievement from NTU Singapore in 2021. The James Best Distinguished Lecture Series at LKCMedicine was established in 2022 and will be held twice yearly in Singapore.

His work in diabetes research has included physiological studies of insulin secretion and action with modelling of glucose metabolism, risk factors for cardiovascular complications of diabetes and more recently diabetes prevention and management at population and primary healthcare levels. He has published over 200 original journal articles in the field of diabetes and metabolism.

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