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Overview

The Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) supports, oversees and coordinates public sector biomedical research and development activities in Singapore to cultivate a thriving biomedical cluster. At BMRC, we:

  • oversee the development of core research capabilities in bioprocessing, genomics and proteomics, molecular and cell biology, bioengineering and nanotechnology, and computational biology.
  • actively promote translational medicine and cross-disciplinary research as part of our efforts to advance healthcare.
  • support biomedical research in the wider scientific community such as public universities and hospitals.
  • foster a strong talent pool in the biomedical sciences.
  • promote public awareness of biomedical research through our outreach programmes.

We are able to craft unique value propositions for companies by enhancing the capabilities of the public R&D sector and encouraging flexible thematic partnership programmes that draw upon the multidisciplinary scientific capabilities in Singapore. This in turn serves to attract private R&D biomedical (BMS) investments into Singapore. 

Located at the iconic research hub Biopolis, BMRC manages the following Research Entities which carry out a spectrum of R&D activities, ranging across knowledge creation, enabling capabilities, large-scale programmes, and industry oriented activities.


National Platforms:

  1. Drug Discovery and Development Unit (D3)
  2. Experimental Biotherapeutics Centre (EBC)
  3. Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC)

*National platforms are facilities and expertise hosted and managed by A*STAR but funded nationally or by multiple public stakeholders and serve specific national needs.


Research Institutes:

  1. Bioinformatics Institute (BII)
  2. Bioprocessing Technology Institute (BTI)
  3. Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS)
  4. Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN)
  5. Institute of Medical Biology (IMB)
  6. Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB)
  7. Singapore Bioimaging Consortium (SBIC)
  8. Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS)
  9. Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN)
  10. Skin Research Institute of Singapore (SRIS)

 

BMRC’s Core Research Clusters

Pharmaceuticals and Biologics (PharmBio)

The PharmBio cluster invests in and supports programmes that further our understanding of diseases. Using this knowledge, we create novel treatments that:

  • Maximise research value
  • Create jobs 
  • Attract private R&D investments into Singapore 

 

Working closely with clinical and engineering research partners, we focus on the following three areas:

  • Drug Discovery and Development
  • Deep Genotypic and/or Phenotypic Studies of Diseases
  • Biomanufacturing

Drug Development Programmes

Drug Development

The D3 Programme facilitates the preclinical development of drug candidates and early clinical trials up to Proof-of-Concept in man.

Projects undertaken by D3 include local drug candidates as well as assets in-licensed from biotechs and pharma multinational companies (MNCs).

 

  • Medical Imaging
  • Surgery
  • Patient Care & Monitoring Sensors
  • Transdermal Drug Delivery Systems
  • Rehabiliation & Therapies
  • Computer-Aided Detection/Diagnosis (CAD) Systems
  • Sample Preparation & Diagnostic Kits

Biomarkers & Stratified Medicine

  • Personalised OMIC Lattice for Advanced Research and Improving Stratification (POLARIS)

    POLARIS is a large clinical –omics project involving A*STAR researchers and clinical partners from the National Cancer Centre and National University Hospital (NUH). The POLARIS team aims to establish CAP-accredited biomarker validation laboratories for OMICS assays, with an initial focus on common Asian diseases such as lung cancer. By matching the right patient to the right drug at the right time, precision medicine can lead to better patient outcomes through improved clinical response rates and reduced treatment toxicities.

  • Companion Diagnostics Project

    The ETC- and D3-based Companion Diagnostics project aims to develop prognostic and predictive biomarkers for targeted treatment by leveraging Singapore’s strengths in research into gastric, liver and haematopoietic cancers.

Medical Technology

Drug Development

Medical technology (MedTech) encompasses technologies such as devices and equipment as well as platforms that diagnose, treat and/or improve human health care. We’ve established several initiatives to nurture MedTech R&D and entrepreneurship in Singapore. These, together with our wide spectrum of capabilities in biomedical sciences, and physical sciences and engineering, have enabled us to collaborate in cross-disciplinary research with universities and hospitals as well as local and overseas industry partners. As a result, we have been able to contribute to the growth of a vibrant ecosystem for MedTech innovations. 

Our MedTech innovations span a wide range of medical applications:

  • Medical Imaging
  • Patient Care & Monitoring Sensors
  • Transdermal Drug Delivery Systems
  • Surgical Therapies & Rehabiliation Technologies
  • Computer-Aided Detection/Diagnosis (CAD) Systems
  • Sample Preparation & Diagnostic Kits

Food and Nutrition

To facilitate new product development in the food and nutrition industry, a complex understanding of the human biology and an extensive knowledge in the integration of engineering solutions are key. With our deep understanding of the Asian phenotype and culture, we are able to innovate new foods that improve health and impact lifestyle choices as well as address Singapore’s food security needs.

 

Singapore Centre for Nutritional Sciences, Metabolic Diseases and Human Development (SiNMeD)

SiNMeD, a collaboration between the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS) and the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, studies metabolic diseases, human development and nutritional sciences in Asian populations. Much of these studies are done in close collaboration with clinical partners such as KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) and National University Hospital (NUH).

 SiNMeD's programme include:

  • Clinical Nutrition Research Centre (CNRC)

    The CNRC is a joint initiative between SICS and the National University Health System (NUHS) and specialises in basic and translational human nutrition research to investigate the impact of micro- and macro- nutrient intake on human physiology, including the role of food structure and diet on metabolic diseases. 

    The CNRC is one of the few nutritional centres in Asia that is fully equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to conduct clinical nutrition and whole body metabolism studies, using a whole body calorimeter.

    For more details on the CNRC, visit here.

  • Growing Up in Singapore Towards Healthy Outcomes (GUSTO)

    A joint programme between the National University of Singapore (NUS), SICS and KKH, GUSTO is a birth cohort study that involves deep, longitudinal phenotyping of 1,200 mothers and their children from early pregnancy to early childhood. 

    The observational study is part of a worldwide academic consortium, EpiGen, which strives to advance understanding of the developmental and environmental processes that influence health through the course of life.

    For more details on GUSTO, visit here.

  • Asian Metabolic Phenotyping Singapore (AMPS)

    AMPS is a platform established by SICS, NUH and Singapore General Hospital (SGH) for conducting translational clinical research in metabolic diseases such as diabetes and obesity. It provides deep expertise in metabolic health, diagnostics, systems and molecular biology, as well as clinical imaging for intense phenotyping of adult subjects. AMPS also conducts studies that seek to understand the metabolic differences between the various ethnicities and how they respond physiologically to nutritional interventions.

    For more details on AMPS, visit here.

  • Neurocognitive Development Centre (NDC)

    A nexus for interdisciplinary research on brain development and mental health, the NDC partners major international and local institutions to incorporate cognitive science and propose interventions suitable for public health practice.

    The KKH-based centre emphasises evidence-based health care, and is actively involved in local and regional epidemiological studies that assess the molecular fundamentals of environmental influence on brain development, psychological health and function.

Consumer Care

Singapore has built up foundational research in stem cells, tissue engineering and skin biology with a focus on Asian skin types. Thanks to our diverse multi-ethnic population, we  provide a valuable resource for companies seeking to understand a variety of the world’s skin types in a single location.

Singapore’s focus is to integrate and leverage engineering capabilities in materials, imaging, modelling and simulation to create and develop technologies that address the needs of Asian skin types and preferences.

 

Skin Research Institute of Singapore (SRIS)

Jointly established by A*STAR, National Skin Centre and Nanyang Technological University, the Skin Research Institute of Singapore (SRIS) harnesses the expertise of scientists, clinicians and engineers to conduct high-impact, inter-disciplinary skin research designed to achieve improved health outcomes and quality of life. The Institute specialises in key research areas such as eczema, allergy and inflammation, pigmentary disorders, wound healing, hair conditions and skin ageing.

For more information on SRIS, visit here.