Associate Prof Tay
YLL School of Medicine

The Singapore Neuroscience Association (SNA) was formed without any fanfare on 29th January 1988 as an interim society by Associate Professor Laurence Garey (who was elected as the first President) and Associate Professor Tan Choon Kim as its first Secretary. The President was supported by a Vice-President, honorary treasurer and 6 committee members.

Although a Society of Neuroscience has existed already, it was aimed at mainly clinicians. It was felt that there were sufficient non-clinician neuroscientists then who might wish to be associated with an organization whose aim was to further the interests of the whole of the neurosciences. It was hoped that the new society (SNA) would be active in encouraging dialogue and even collaborations between neuroscientists, both basic and clinical. The society also envisaged a program of seminars by local and foreign speakers, exchanges of expertise and ideas, the organization of international meetings and the publication of a newsletter on a periodic basis.

The Singapore Neuroscience Association was only finalized on 27th August 1988 and announced in the Singapore Government Gazette of 9th September 1988.

When Associate Professor Laurence Garey left the services of NUS, he was succeeded by Associate Professor Tan Choon Kim as the 2nd President of SNA in 1991. Professor Tan and his council members organized at least 2 colloquia during his tenure as President of SNA and invited several renowned speakers to present their research findings in neurosciences to members of the SNA, most of these seminars were jointly hosted by the Department of Anatomy.

Associate Professor Tan Choon Kim stepped down from the Presidency of SNA in March 1994 and was succeeded by Professor Ling Eng Ang, who became the 3rd President of SNA.

During the tenure of Professor Ling Eng Ang as President of SNA, numerous conference fellowships were awarded to deserving members to attend international conferences related to Neurosciences. The SNA was fortunate to secure donations from the private sectors to help in the defraying of the cost of running its activities. When Professor Ling Eng Ang assumed the Headship of the Anatomy Department, he passed the baton of SNA to Associate Professor Samuel SW Tay who became the 4th President of SNA in March 1998. Upon assuming the duties of SNA's President, Associate Professor SSW Tay connected SNA to the Federation of Asian Oceanian Neuroscience Societies (FAONS) in March 1999. SNA also subsequently became part of the International Brain Organization (IBRO) when its President was elected as a member of the Governing Council. In his tenure as President of SNA, joint Annual Meetings were conducted with the Clinical Neuroscience Society (CNS) and Microscopy Society (Singapore) [MS(S)] on an ad hoc basis. The first joint meeting with MS(S) was held at the Arana Country Club, Pasir Ris in December 1999; which was subsequently followed by several other joint meetings with MS(S). A joint meeting with CNS was held at the Rasa Sentosa in April 2000.

Another successful joint meeting was the International Biomedical Science Conference held in Kunming (China) in December 2004, supported by local co-host MS(S) and the Kunming Medical College, China as well as the Yunnan Neurosurgery of China Medical Societies. This meeting attracted more than 300 participants from all over the world. SNA also tied up with the International Society of Neurochemistry (ISN) to organize and co-host the 7th Biennial Meeting of the Asian Pacific Society for Neurochemistry (APSN 2006). This was held at the Suntec City Convention Centre in early June 2006, and it attracted more than 300 participants worldwide. The 6th National Symposium on Health Sciences (2006) was held at the Palace of Golden Horses, KL in June 2006. This was jointly organized by SNA, MS(S) and the Faculty of Health Sciences, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Another planned joint meeting with the Microscopy Society (Singapore) and the Department of Anatomy, NUS is the International Anatomical Sciences and Cell Biology Conference to be held at the NUS Cultural Centre in May 2010. Associate Professor SW Tay has always advocated succession planning and left the Office of Presidency of SNA in March 2009 and was succeeded by Associate Professor ST Dheen, who has since spearheaded several new initiatives for SNA, so as to imbibe vibrancy into SNA.