Singapore, 19 October 2007 – Singapore’s first graduate medical school Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School (Duke-NUS GMS) has forged a new partnership with the Singapore Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) to build up an integrated neuroscience research program between the institutions.
The Neuroscience Research Partnership (NRP) will have a strong focus on translational research to provide a link from basic research to clinical applications. This partnership integrates Duke-NUS GMS’ current research on Neurobehavioral Disorders more fully with other national efforts in neurosciences. It also offers an exciting expansion of the Duke-NUS GMS research program. Research interests for the NRP include cognitive neuroscience, neuropsychiatry, neural stem cells and neuro-degenerative diseases.
The NRP will be led by Professor Colin Blakemore, a noted neuroscientist, former President of the British Neuroscience Association and former Chief Executive of the UK Medical Research Council. Professor Blakemore will work closely with the Biomedical Research Council of A*STAR and Dr Ranga Krishnan, an eminent neuropsychiatrist and Executive Vice Dean of Duke-NUS GMS. As a component of the Partnership, Professor Blakemore will also join the faculty of Duke-NUS GMS.
Prof Blakemore said, “Singapore has already achieved international recognition in many areas of biomedical research. The establishment of this new Partnership accelerates Singapore’s efforts to develop neuroscience, taking advantage of existing strengths in related areas of basic research, including molecular and cellular biology, immunology, developmental biology and genomics. From the start, the Partnership hopes to develop linkages between basic scientists and clinicians, to facilitate the rapid translation of research results into benefits for patients. I am very impressed with the national commitment to research in Singapore and I look forward to helping Singapore to become a leading centre for neuroscience and its clinical application.”
Established in mid-2005, Duke-NUS GMS is a strategic collaboration between the Duke University School of Medicine in the US and the National University of Singapore (NUS). Although Duke-NUS GMS accepted its first intake of students only in August 2007, it has already emerging strengths in cognitive neurosciences, psychiatric disorders and developmental neurobiology that will complement activities at A*STAR.
The recent recruitment of four outstanding investigators has beefed up Dr Krishnan’s Neurobehavioral Disorders research team at Duke-NUS GMS. They include:
They complement other distinguished members of Duke-NUS GMS’ Neurobehavioral Disorders team comprising Professor Mike Chee, Professor Fulton Wong, Professor Terri Young, and Associate Professor Lee Tih-Shih.
Said Dr Krishnan, “This new partnership with A*STAR will leverage our resources and the many new outstanding faculty members that have joined us here in Singapore to build a world-class neuroscience effort. There will also be major benefits from the co-development and sharing of technology platforms between Duke-NUS GMS and A*STAR laboratories.” He added, “We also anticipate that the strong links that already exist between the neuroscience programmes of Duke-NUS GMS and Duke University will lead to greater collaborations.”