Adj Asst Professor Koh Poh Koon is the Medical Director and Senior Consultant Colorectal Surgeon of Capstone Colorectal Surgery Centre at Mount Elizabeth Medical Centre. He is also the Director of Colorectal Surgical Oncology and Cancer Genetics Service at Fortis Colorectal Hospital, a dedicated group practice that offers comprehensive integrated colorectal care which aspires to be Southeast Asia’s leading centre for colorectal diseases. Dr Koh continues service in the public sector as a Visiting Consultant Surgeon at the Department of Colorectal Surgery in Singapore General Hospital (SGH), where he was previously the Director of the Colorectal Cancer Molecular Genetics Research Laboratory as well as the founding Director of the Colorectal Cancer Genomic Health Service. Dr Koh is also currently a Visiting Consultant Surgeon to the Department of Surgery, Changi General Hospital where he continues to mentor surgical trainees undergoing Advanced Specialist Training in Colorectal Surgery and lends his expertise on surgical treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.
Prior to starting his own practice, Dr Koh was also a Visiting Consultant to the Division of Surgical Oncology at the National Cancer Centre of Singapore. He was a member of the Core Faculty for the SingHealth General Surgery Residency Program. His surgical expertise relates to the use of minimally-invasive laparoscopic as well as robotics-assisted techniques for disorders of the colon and rectum, with emphasis on sphincter-preservation surgery. He has been an accredited Console Surgeon for the Da Vinci Robotic Surgical System since 2009. In recognition of his outstanding and exemplary clinical service, Dr Koh was awarded the SGH 10 years Long Service Award in 2007, SingHealth Quality Service Award (Silver Award) in 2010 and the SingHealth Service With A Heart Award in 2011.
He received advanced training in surgical treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases in Edinburgh, UK (2002 - 2003) as well as the renowned Cleveland Clinic in Ohio, USA (2006 - 2007) through a HMDP Scholarship funded by the Ministry of Health, Singapore. He was a member of the multidisciplinary care team at the Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Center in SGH and has lectured at national and international forums on various aspects of IBD surgery. He is a member of the Asia Pacific Consensus Workgroup on Management of Inflammatory Bowel Disease in 2011, formed under the auspices of the APAGE (Asia Pacific Association of Gastroenterology) and helped in the creation of the Asia Pacific Consensus statements for management of IBD in the Asia Pacific region. He is also a member of the Singapore Cancer Network guideline committee for Cancer Genetics, Risk and Prevention formed under the auspices of the Academy of Medicine, Singapore.
He has specialized interests in the clinical management and surgical treatment of patients and their families with Hereditary Colorectal Cancers. For this, he was awarded a second HMDP Scholarship in 2010 to pursue further training on “Clinical Gene Testing and Personalized Medicine in Colorectal Cancer Management” at the Genomic Medicine Institute, Cleveland Clinic (Ohio), USA. Following his return, he became the founding Director of the Colorectal Cancer Genomic Health Service at the Singapore General Hospital. This new service is a first in Asia and provided comprehensive multi-disciplinary care for those at high risk of developing colorectal cancers through the setting up of an integrated High Risk Family Clinic, Genetic Counseling Service and the initiation of clinical genetic testing services. Dr Koh has been invited to speak on this topic in national and international conferences.
Dr Koh is active in clinical and molecular research and has published widely in both clinical and basic science peer-reviewed journals. For his outstanding research work on rectal cancers, he was award the Young Investigator’s Award (Medical), at the 13th SGH Annual Scientific Meeting, in 2002. He has served as a reviewer for the Journal of Cancer Research and Therapeutics, World Journal of Gastroenterology as well as Diseases of the Colon and Rectum. In addition, he served as a reviewer for the SGH Research Grant as well as an ad-hoc grant reviewer for the NMRC (National Medical Research Council) Grant.
He held academic appointment as Clinical Lecturer in the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine (formerly Faculty of Medicine) at the National University of Singapore. He is also appointed as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School. As a Co-Supervisor of the Graduate Program, Dr Koh guides post-graduate students towards achieving their PhD thesis in the Department of Pharmacy, Faculty of Science, National University of Singapore. He has special research interests in genomic and metabonomic profiling of colorectal cancers and has active research collaborations with various A*Star institutions on biomedical innovations and product development. He is also a member of the International Mismatch Repair Consortium (IMRC) researching into the genetic basis of Lynch Syndrome via a world-wide collaborrative research project.
He has served on the Executive Committee of the Society of Colorectal Surgeons, Singapore (SCRS) and was elected as the Treasurer for 2009 – 2010. Dr Koh is currently a Committee Member of the Gastroenterological Society of Singapore (GESS). He is also a Council Member of the International Council of Coloproctology and a member of the American Society of Colon and Rectal Surgeons (ASCRS) where he serves to promote international training and collaboration amongst Colorectal Surgeons.
Dr Koh has served in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) with distinction, having been awarded 1 Letter of Appreciation and 2 Letters of Commendation. A Guards Officer with Airborne qualifications, he holds the rank of Lieutenant-Colonel and is presently the Commanding Officer (CO) of a Combat Service Support Battalion (CSSB). As a testament to his leadership skills and strategic thinking, he attended the 10th National Service Command and Staff Course (NS-CSC) in 2009 at the Singapore Armed Forces Command and Staff College, where he emerged as the Top Graduate in this pinnacle course for Officers in the SAF. For his dedication towards National Defence, he was awarded the Guards Formation NSman of the Year Award (2011).
In recognition of his leadership abilities, Dr Koh was appointed as a Committee Member in the SingHealth Sub-committee on Leadership and Succession Planning, responsible for creation of a framework for leadership development in the entire SingHealth Cluster. He also served as a Committee Member in the SGH Clinical Research Committee, responsible for the research infrastructural development in the Outram Campus. In addition, he was a member of the SingHealth Tissue Repository Committee, with oversight responsibilities for tissue bio-banking and utilization of human biological specimens in translational research within SingHealth. In 2011, he started the Fortis-IBN Tissue Bio-repository to further translational research on colorectal cancer at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology where he is appointed as an Adjunct Clinician Scientist.