Distinguished Science Alumni Awards 2005
Lucy WAN
DipPharm 1957, BPharm 1958, PhD 1965, DSc 1988
Head, Department of Pharmacy, NUS (1988-94)
Dr Lucy WAN graduated from University of Singapore with a BPharm in 1958. She later obtained her PhD in 1965 and was awarded a DSc from NUS in 1988, DPharm (honoris causa) from Albert Einstein International Academic Foundation, Professor and Head of Department (1988--1994), retired.
Educator, researcher, and above all, a friend to all the students, Dr Lucy WAN is remembered for her deep empathy for the students throughout the years. Students could always depend on her support for their activities and during their respective years of headship, she made it a point to attend the Orientations, Inter-Year Games and D&Ds organized by the Pharmacy Students Society. Many pharmacy graduates will remember Dr WAN as more than a teacher: for the counselling, guidance and just simply lending a sympathetic ear to their many problems, academic as well as personal.
Dr WAN taught pharmaceutics at the National University of Singapore, Department of Pharmacy, from 1961 to 1999. She was made Professor of Pharmacy in 1985, the first local pharmacy graduate to be appointed so. Her research interests were initially in the field of solubilisation and surface activity. Later, she expanded to pharmaceutical technology aspects of granulation and tabletting, fluidization, spheronisation, pelletisation and microencapsulation. She was also interested in modifying the formulation of old traditional BP preparations to improve their stability. Her improved formulations of calamine cream, oily calamine lotion and turpentine liniment are listed in Martindale’s Extra Pharmacopoeia. Under her guidance and leadership the pharmaceutics unit of the Department progressed from a tiny laboratory with basic equipment in the Nissen Hut in McAlister Road to the modern laboratories in Kent Ridge with some of the latest research equipment. Her research work in the field of pharmaceutical technology has resulted in more than 200 publications.
Prior to her university appointment, she was Superintending Pharmaceutical Chemist, Johore State, Ministry of Health, Federation of Malaysia. Her duties included traveling all over the state to inspect dispensaries in district hospitals and premises of poison licence holders (mainly arsenicals).
Dr Lucy Wan's many appointments have included:
  • Public Service Commission Selection Committee for President & Merit Scholars, Member
  • Quality Control Assurance Committee, Ministry of Health, Chairperson
  • Medicine Advisory Committee, Ministry of Health, Member
  • Pharmacy Board of Singapore, Ministry of Health, Member
  • Eusoff College, NUS, Fellow
  • Advisory Panel, Journal of Bioscience, Malaysia, Member
  • Advisory Board, S.T.P Pharma Sciences, France, Member
She retired as Head of Department in 1994. During her distinguished academic career she scored many firsts: first NUS Pharmacy PhD, first local graduate to be appointed Professor of Pharmacy, and the first woman to be awarded the DSc by NUS. For excellence in her field of work and study, Professor Lucy WAN was awarded the DPharm (honoris causa) by the Albert Einstein International Academic Foundation.
In recent years, Dr Lucy Wan has turned her talents to writing poetry and developing her own unique brand of calligraphy art which she has named "OOS" -- Occidentally Oriental Strokes. She has been delighting friends and former students with the fruits of her literary and artistic endeavours in three recently published books.
"I love my students, they give me the passion for my work."