Prof Kua Ee Heok

MBBS (Malaya), FRCPsych (UK), MD (S'pore), BBM, PBM

Tan Geok Yin Professor in Psychiatry and Neuroscience

Department of Psychological Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University Singapore (NUS)

Emeritus Consultant

National University Hospital (NUH)

Vice Chairman

Mind Science Centre

Vice Chairman at Mind Science Centre, Professor Kua Ee Heok is the Tan Geok Yin Professor in Psychiatry and Neuroscience at NUS and Emeritus Consultant at NUH.

His early education was at Batu Pahat and Muar in Malaysia. He graduated as a doctor from the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, in 1973 and was in national service with the Malaysian army as a captain in the medical corps. His training in Psychiatry was at Oxford University and he obtained the Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK) in 1980. Prof Kua returned to Singapore where he was a junior specialist at Woodbridge Hospital, before he was invited to join NUS in 1982.

Prof Kua was awarded a scholarship from the Rockefeller Foundation in New York for Geriatric Psychiatry training at Harvard University in 1984. He was then invited by the WHO team to join the global study of dementia. Later, he was invited by the UN in New York to speak at the World Forum on ‘Depression’.

He received an MD for research from the National University of Singapore in 1992. Prof Kua’s psychiatry research training was at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) USA in 1992. He became a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (UK) in 1992.

Over the years, Prof Kua has held multiple titles. While serving as Head of the Department of Psychological Medicine, National University of Singapore (1998 – 2009), he started the first memory clinic in Singapore in 1990. He was the CEO and Medical Director, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore (1999 – 2002). He also served as the Chairman of the SAF Psychiatry Advisory Board (2013 – 2019).

His special interests include psychological disorders in old age including dementia and depression, and he has wide clinical experiences, particularly in psychotherapy and stress management.

Prof Kua is also involved in international psychiatric organizations and international journals. He was the President of the Pacific-Rim College of Psychiatrists, and the editor of Asia-Pacific Psychiatry. Prof Kua has published 350 research papers and 30 books on mental health, ageing, stress, and addiction. His first novel, ‘Listening to Letter from America’ is used in a course on anthropology at Harvard. He is one of the Editors-in-Chief (with Professor Norman Sartorius) for the 7-volume ‘Mental Health and Illness Worldwide’ to be published by Springer Nature in 2017.

He has received multiple awards, including Sandoz Research Award for Gerontology (1990) and First Prize in ASEAN Psychiatry Research (1992). He was awarded the Public Service Medal (PBM) in 1993 for service in the Woodlands Home for the Elderly. In 2015, he was conferred the Distinguished Psychiatrist Award 2015 by Singapore Psychiatric Association and Lifetime Achievement Award by the Singapore Gerontological Society. In 2018, he was also awarded the Public Service Star (BBM) for service as an advisor for mental health in the Singapore Armed Forces.

Selected Books

Selected Publications