Tikki joined the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy after 13 years at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland as Director of its Research Policy & Cooperation department. In this capacity he worked with countries to strengthen their national health research systems, developed mechanisms and initiatives to improve the efficiency and transparency of global health research, and helped formulate an Organization-wide research policy. Prior to his WHO career, Tikki was Professor of Biomedical Sciences at the Institute of Postgraduate Studies & Research, and Associate Professor/Lecturer at the Faculty of Medicine, the University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
After following a traditional academic career path in Malaysia, his experience at the WHO convinced him that the generation of knowledge must be accompanied by its translation and utilization, and the bridging of the ‘know-do’ gap into effective and sustainable public policies in order to improve the health of humankind, especially in the developing world. In turn, and in order to ensure its effective implementation, effective public policies must exist in a climate of good global governance as health in a globalized world is increasingly becoming a trans-national issue which knows no borders. As a corollary, good global health governance is dependent on strong national governance. In an increasingly globalized world, healthy, evidence-informed public policies are crucial for sustainable human development and its development must involve and engage politicians and civil society. Health, as a microcosm of the world’s problems, can also act as a vanguard to address and analyze governance challenges in other sectors of the economy.
Tikki’s main research and academic interests are in infectious diseases, the impact of genomics on public health, global health governance, national health research systems, knowledge translation, research transparency & accountability, and the use of evidence in health policy development. In these areas he has published more than 200 scientific articles and 12 books, edited volumes and reports. This includes several major WHO reports, including Genomics and World Health (2002), the World Report on Knowledge for Better Health (2004) and a History of Research in WHO (2010). His involvement with the LKY School of Public Policy began in 2009 through the ST Lee Project on Global Health Governance.
Tikki holds a BSC (Honours) and PhD degrees from the Australian National University in Canberra, Australia in the fields of biochemistry and microbiology/immunology. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (UK), American Academy of Microbiology (USA), Institute of Biology (UK) and the Academy of Medicine of Malaysia. He was the Founding Editor of Health Research Policy & Systems and the Asia-Pacific Journal of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology.
“Knowing is not enough, we must apply; willing is not enough, we must act (Goethe)”