Cover James Chih-Hsin Yang

These doctors, researchers and professors have dedicated their lives to ending the threat of critical illness

The doctors, researchers and professors on Asia’s Most Influential 2022 are dedicating their lives to the preservation of life. Through research, experimentation and innovations that include the application of artificial intelligence, these great minds are developing new ways to respond to serious illnesses such as cancer and heart disease, and even the viral pandemic that is Covid-19. Some others are taking leadership roles in various health organisations to provide knowledge, raise funds and protect the most vulnerable people in the world. Here are just a few of the many visionaries on this year’s list working hard to vanquish disease and improve global health.

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Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Malaysia

Dedicated to safeguarding life in Southeast Asia and beyond, Dr Adeeba Kamarulzaman is among the authors of a Delphi study that aims to end the global threat of Covid-19, which has resulted in 6.6 million deaths as of November 2022. The multinational consensus published on recommends, among other things, a whole-of-society and whole-of-government approaches to pandemic preparedness, a vaccine-plus approach that includes the promotion of prevention measures and clear and careful communication to combat misinformation. 

The infectious diseases expert is also a well-known leader in HIV and AIDS research and response. In partnership with Sunway Group, the Malaysian AIDS Foundation—which Adeeba heads as its chairman—raised RM2.55 million at its recent Red Ribbon Gala. The funds will support the organisation’s medication subsidy programme for in-need Malaysians living with HIV. In 2022, Adeeba was also appointed as a commissioner of the Global Commission on Drug Policy—the first Malaysian to hold the post. 

Read Adeeba Kamarulzaman’s full profile on Asia’s Most Influential

Dean Ho, Singapore

Dean Ho is at the forefront of artificial intelligence applications for medicine. At the World One Health Congress held in Singapore in November 2022, the digital health thought leader shared how the artificial intelligence platform IDentif.AI can determine the optimal combination of drugs and dosages for infectious diseases—a breakthrough that can curb future outbreaks faster. 

Prof Ho, who holds numerous leadership positions in the medical field, has also led a team that developed the CURATE.AI platform, which optimises dosages for, say, different stages of chemotherapy. Ho is currently the Provost’s Chair professor; the director of The Institute for Digital Medicine (WisDM); director of The N.1 Institute for Health; and head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the National University of Singapore.

Read Dean Ho’s full profile on Asia’s Most Influential

James Chih-Hsin Yang, Taiwan

For his scientific contributions to thoracic cancer research, Dr James Chih-Hsin Yang was honoured with the Paul A. Bunn, Jr. Scientific Award by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer in 2022. Yang, the director of the Graduate Institute of Oncology at National Taiwan University, has focused his work on lung cancer treatments, including the development of new drugs. He helped establish Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitors (EGFR TKI) as the frontline treatment for lung cancer patients with EGFR mutation, and also led the approval of the second-generation afatinib and the development of the third-generation osimertinib, which are targeted treatment options for lung cancer.  

Noting that cancer “is the leading cause of death in Taiwan for several decades” in a letter published by the National Taiwan University Cancer Center, Yang says, “Our ultimate goal is to reduce the burden of cancer patients and their families and bring them [hope].”

Read James Chih-Hsin Yang's full profile on Asia’s Most Influential

Tatler Asia's Most Influential is the definitive list of people shaping our world today. Asia's Most Influential brings together the region's most innovative changemakers, industry titans and thought leaders who are driving positive impact in Asia and beyond. View the full list here.


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