Group photo of A*STAR Honorary Senior Fellows Prof Sir David Lane and Prof Birgitte Lane (second and third from left) with President Halimah Yacob, Minister Gan Kim Yong, Her Excellency Kara Owens, British High Commissioner to Singapore, and A*STAR senior management.
Over the last 15 years, Professor Lane has been a pioneer in the development of biomedical sciences as the fourth key pillar of Singapore’s economy. He has been integral, through his various roles in A*STAR, in helping to build Singapore’s research and development culture and infrastructure, as well as attract top biomedical talent to Singapore and nurture future generations of scientists for Singapore. He was also instrumental in promoting strong industry links for A*STAR and helping to anchor key industry partners in Singapore.
Professor Lane was recruited by former A*STAR Chairman Mr Philip Yeo to help jumpstart a biomedical cluster for Singapore. He served as Chairman of A*STAR’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (or IMCB) Scientific Advisory Board from 2002 to 2004, and as Executive Director of IMCB from 2004 to 2007. During this period, he recruited many outstanding scientists and nurtured numerous young A*STAR scholars and local researchers.
In 2006, Professor Lane set up A*STAR’s Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC), now the Experimental Drug Development Centre (EDDC). As founding CEO, he put in place a robust team to develop the research capabilities and cutting-edge technological platforms essential for drug discovery and screening. This strong foundation paved the way for several successes by EDDC, including the placement of two promising drug candidates in clinical trials, and a diverse pipeline of more than a dozen drug discovery projects.
Between 2007 and 2009, Professor Lane served as Chairman of A*STAR’s Biomedical Research Council (or BMRC), and in this role charted strategic directions for the BMRC research institutes, consortia and centres. From 2009 to 2021, Professor Lane was A*STAR’s Chief Scientist, where he engaged in scientific developments across A*STAR’s Biomedical and Science and Engineering Research Councils.
Professor Lane has contributed significantly to Singapore’s economy and was closely involved in anchoring industry partners, such as Chugai Pharmabody Research (CPR), in Singapore.
Professor Lane played a significant role in the landmark discovery of the p53 cancer gene in 1979, and nearly three decades of subsequent research that has brought p53 all the way from basic discovery through to the clinic.
Given his contributions and efforts in cancer research, Professor Lane was knighted in 2000. He has won many prestigious international and local awards, including the President’s Science and Technology Medal. In addition, he has published more than 400 research articles in international peer reviewed journals, of which more than 150 were published in his various capacities in Singapore.
As a thought leader with a global network of influence, Professor Lane has made a profound impact within Singapore’s research ecosystem. For his important role in the strategic development of Singapore’s biomedical sciences and distinguished contributions to cancer therapeutics and research, the President of the Republic of Singapore is pleased to confer the Honorary Citizen Award 2020 on Professor Sir David Philip Lane.