The A*STAR Investigatorship (A*I) is a prestigious research award designed to attract the most promising young researchers from around the world to do independent research at A*STAR. It was initiated to nurture the next generation of scientific leaders in biomedical sciences, physical sciences and engineering research.
The inaugural call for the award was launched by the Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) in 2006 and was open to investigators who have expertise in areas of molecular and cell biology. The second grant call was launched in 2007 when, in addition to molecular and cell biology, the scope was expanded to include genetics and genomics research relevant to human health and disease. These areas were carefully selected for their potential for developing translational and clinical applications for the treatment and prevention of disease, paralleling the focus of Phase 2 of Singapore’s Biomedical Sciences (BMS) initiative.
In 2007 as well, the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) opened its call for A*I awards to young investigators specialising in these strategic fields: nanoscience and quantum-based systems, organic electronics and clean energy technologies. These areas were envisaged to form the core of future industries and would be critically important in creating economic value for Singapore.
Now into its fourth year, the award has seen various winners, including Dr Bruno Reversade, who is now a Principal Investigator at the Human Embryology Lab of A*STAR’s Institute of Medical Biology; Dr Prabha Sampath, a Principal Investigator at the Post-Transcriptional Regulation in Stem Cell Lab of A*STAR’s Institute of Medical Biology; and Dr Leonid Krivitsky, who also leads a team to do research in Optical Materials and Systems at A*STAR’s Data Storage Institute.
The latest recipients of the A*I in 2010 were Dr Jonathan Loh from the Childrens’ Hospital Boston, Harvard Medical School, developing innovative technologies to engineer defined factor cell fate reprogramming; Dr Giulia Rancati and Dr Norman Pavelka, who were both from the Stowers Institute for Medical Research, USA, researching on the role of aneuploidy in cellular adaptation to environmental and genetic perturbations, and to study the evolution of host-pathogen interactions respectively. Drs Giulia Rancati and Jonathan Loh joined the Institute of Medical Biology as Principal Investigators in May and Aug 2011 respectively, and Dr Norman Pavelka joined the Singapore Immunology Network in May 2011.
The STaR Investigatorship Award is a prestigious award, jointly offered by the Singapore Ministry of Health's National Medical Research Council (NMRC) and A*STAR, to recognise and support investigators with outstanding qualifications in translational and clinical research.
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