Jason Lee

Director, Heat Resilience and Performance Centre, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore

Current Position:

Director, Heat Resilience and Performance Centre, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore



Career Experience:

Jason Lee obtained his first degree from Loughborough University, UK. Following the award of G V Sibley Memorial Prize. He stayed on to complete a PhD in Exercise Physiology under sponsorship from the UK Overseas Research Scholarship and Faculty Studentship. Jason is a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine. He studies the physiological demands associated with passive and exertional heat stress and how humans adapt to ensure optimum performance and survival. A key outcome of his research is the formulation of a holistic heat management system. Knowledge gained from his research has also benefitted several other governmental agencies. Jason completed his 12-year tenure at the DSO National Laboratories in 2018 by directing the Human Performance Programme in his final appointment. He has delivered more than 150 invited presentations locally and internationally. He provides consultancy to enhance performance of military and elite sports personnel. He is currently an Associate Professor in Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine at the National University of Singapore, co-leading the Human Potential Translational Research Programme and directing the Heat Resilience and Performance Centre. He is a member of the WHO and WMO Report on Climate Change on Workers’ Health and Productivity. Jason chairs the Scientific Committee on Thermal Factors at the International Commission on Occupational Health and is on the management committee at the Global Heat Health Information Network.

Special Honor

1. Friends of Ministry of Culture, Community and Youth Award (2022)

2. SAF National Servicemen of the Year Award (2017)

3. SAF Commando Formation National Serviceman of the Year Award 2014 and 2016

4. DSO Big Idea (dBi) Award 2013 and 2017

5. Friend of Raffles Institution Award (2013)

6. Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (2012)

7. DSO Group Performance Award 2008, 2013, 2015 and 2016

8. UK Overseas Research Scholarship (2004 to 2006)

9. Halliwell Development Studentship (2004)

10. G V Sibley Memorial Prize (2003)

Speaking Topics

Personalised assessment of heat exposure

To fully address the multi-faceted challenges of heat stress, it is paramount that humans are placed at the center of the agenda. This is manifested in a recent shift in heat studies that aim to achieve a 'human-centric' approach, i.e. focusing on personalised characteristics of comfort, well-being, performance, and health, as opposed to the one-size-fits-all solutions and guidelines. Responding to this complexity, methodologies to monitor heat exposure impact can be distinct in their integration of the human factor, focusing on one of the three critical subsets of heat exposure impact: (a) thermal discomfort and heat stress (through monitoring of physiological responses such as heart rate, heart rate variability, skin temperature, and conductance as well as subjective feedback using automated surveys obtained from smartphones, smartwatches, and interactive screens) (b) heat-wellbeing impact (through monitoring of self-reported wellbeing factors as well as indirect contributors to health impacts such as sleep quality and exposure to natural environments, or (c) heat injury caused by physiological strain (through monitoring of physiological responses, particularly core temperature). Two emerging sensing methods stand out in all three categories: (a) wearables technologies (i.e. devices that can be worn or integrated into clothing) that measure the physiological response (such as heart rate, skin temperature, and skin conductance), human activities, or subjective feedback, and (b) infrared thermography (i.e. cameras detecting infrared energy emitted from objects), which monitor physiological responses (mainly skin temperature at various body parts) and human activity pattern. This paves the way for creative and effective risk management strategies to be implemented, such that we can better monitor heat exposure for vulnerable populations, avoid misclassifications of heat exposure impact, and reduce the likeliness of heat-related illnesses. There is a need for future evaluations focused on accuracy and standardization of human-centric data collection and analytics, and more importantly, addressing critical geographic and socio-economic knowledge gaps identified in the field.