Susan Lim

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For the Malaysian biologist, see Susan Lim (parasitologist).
Susan Lim Mey Lee
Dr Susan Lim Mey Lee.jpg
Alma mater Monash University
University of Cambridge
Occupation Surgeon
Dr Susan Lim

Susan Lim is a Singaporean surgeon who performed the first successful liver transplant in Singapore in 1990.[1]

Early life[edit]

Lim was born in Singapore and was educated at Singapore Chinese Girls' School and Raffles Institution.[2] In 1974 she was awarded a scholarship under the Colombo Plan to study medicine at Monash University in Australia.[3] From 1977, during her studies, she was resident at Trinity College attached to the University of Melbourne.[4]


On 29 September 1990, Singapore's first liver transplant was successfully performed on Surinder Kaur, a female production worker. The team of four surgeons and two anaesthetists was led by the head surgeon, Dr Susan Lim. Susan Lim was also the second woman doctor in the world to perform such a transplant.[5]

The other three surgeons in the team were - Professor Abu Rauff, chief of National University Hospital's department of surgery; Associate Professor K. Prabhakaran; and Professor Ti Thiow Kong. The anaesthetists were Associate Professor Ashok Kumar and Lai Fook Onn (Dr). Susan Lim was chosen as the lead surgeon as she had been trained in transplant technology at one of the world's leading organ transplant centres, the Addenbrookes Hospital in Cambridge, Britain.

In 2001, Lim started treaing the sister of the Queen of Brunei for cancer of the left breast.[6]

In 2003, Lim started the biotechnology company, Stem Cell Technologies.[7] The following year she became a Fellow of Trinity College (University of Melbourne). She is the youngest person, and first Singaporean, to receive this honor.[8]

Lim established the Indiapore Trust with her husband Deepak Sharma, the Citigroup Private Bank global chairman, and her friend Satpal Khattar. The trust issued $50,000 to the Straits Times School Pocket Money Fund, which assists struggling parents to meet their children's school expenses. The trust has also donated a science laboratory to Raffles Junior College and provided scholarships to underprivileged children in Singapore and India.[8]

Lim sits on the Global Advisory Council of the International Society for Stem Cell Research.[9] In April 2011 she gave a presentation at TED on Transplanting Cells, Not Organs.

In October 2011, Lim was included in The University of Newcastle's book 100 Women, which celebrates the achievements of 100 remarkable and inspirational women, both in Australia and globally.[10][11]

Controversy and suspension[edit]

In February 2011, the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) presented a case to the Ministry of Health, in which Lim was accused of overcharging one of her patients, the sister of the Queen of Brunei, Pengiran Anak Hajah Damit Pg Pemancha Pg Anak Mohd Alam.[12][13][14] The fees were approximately $24 million SGD and were charged for 110 treatment days from January to June 2007.

In August 2012, Lim was convicted of professional misconduct in respect of the overcharging, and was given a 3-year suspension from practising, fined $10,000 SGD and be censured in writing. Lim appealed her sentence and was allowed to continue practising, pending the outcome of the appeal.[15][16]

On 28 June 2013, the appeal court dismissed her appeal and confirmed the sentence in all respects.[17]


  1. ^ MEDIA RELEASE IWD2007 - Australian High Commission
  2. ^ Susan Lim Surgery[dead link]
  3. ^ Susan Lim - Prominent Monash Alumna
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  5. ^ Ahmad, Nureza. "First liver transplant". Singapore Infopedia. National Library Board Singapore. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
  6. ^ "SINGAPORE MEDICAL COUNCIL DISCIPLINARY COMMITTEE INQUIRY FOR DR SUSAN LIM MEY LEE HELD ON 21, 22, 23 MAY, 21 JUNE AND 17 JULY 2012" (PDF). Ministry of Health. Ministry of Health Singapore. Retrieved 26 May 2015. 
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  14. ^ Phang Boon Leong, Andrew; Rajah, Vijaya Kumar; Tan, Lee Meng. "Lim Mey Lee Susan v Singapore Medical Council [2013] SGHC 122". Singapore Academy of Law. Retrieved 17 May 2015. 
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  17. ^ Lim Mey Lee Susan v Singapore Medical Council [2013] SGHC 122.