Trailblazer in the field of pharmacy
Professor Lucy Wan's long and illustrious academic career boasts many pioneering achievements. She was the first to obtain a doctorate in pharmacy at the National University of Singapore (NUS), the first local graduate to be appointed Professor of Pharmacy, and the first woman to be awarded the Doctor of Science degree by NUS.
Her standing as an eminent scientist was further affirmed when she was awarded the DPharm (honoris causa) by the Albert Einstein International Academic Foundation, and honoured at the NUS Distinguished Science Alumni Awards in 2005.
Lucy graduated from the University of Singapore with a BPharm in 1958. She first worked as a pharmaceutical chemist for Malaysia's Ministry of Health before embarking on her teaching and research career at NUS. For almost 40 years, Lucy taught pharmaceutics at the university's Department of Pharmacy, playing teacher and mentor to generations of local pharmacists and laying the foundations for the development of the field of pharmacy in Singapore.
As head of the Pharmacy department from 1988 to 1994, she played an important role in the growth of its pharmaceutics unit from a tiny laboratory with basic equipment into the high-tech research centre it is today. Lucy undertook much research work in the field of pharmaceutical technology, resulting in more than 200 publications.
In recognition of her contributions to the field, the Professor Lucy Wan Outstanding Pharmacist Award was established by the Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore in 1995. It is the highest award given by the society to pharmacists who have excelled in their area of practice. At the NUS’ Pharmacy Department, the Lucy and Alfred Wan Pharmacy Fund was established in recognition of the pioneering work of Lucy and her husband, Dr Alfred Wan.
Lucy also sat on numerous committees and boards during her career, such as the Singapore Health Ministry’s Quality Control Assurance Committee and Medicine Advisory Committee, as well as the Pharmacy Board of Singapore.
After her retirement, Lucy turned her attention to writing poetry and developing her own style of calligraphy which she calls ‘OOS’ – Occidentally Oriental Strokes.
"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. 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."