The foundations of A*STAR Skin Research Labs (A*SRL) were laid as early as 2006 when the approval for the creation of the seventh institution, Institute of Medical Biology (IMB), under the Biomedical Sciences Cluster of A*STAR was given. IMB was officially formed in 2007, with a merger of research programmes from the Centre for Molecular Medicine and the laboratories of the Singapore Stem Cell Consortium.
IMB’s research centered around three primary areas - stem cells, genetic disease, and skin biology. The institute worked closely with clinical collaborators and industry partners, to understand the mechanisms of human disease, identify new strategies for disease amelioration, cure and eradication and to improve general health and wellbeing. In 2011, IMB started hosting the inter-research institute Skin Biology Cluster platform and leading major strategic funding programs in rare genetic diseases and skin biology.
As the research landscape continued to evolve within Singapore, in 2013, IMB became a founding organization of the Skin Research Institute of Singapore (SRIS). The formation of a SRIS created a tripartite collaboration between A*STAR, the National Healthcare Group (NHG), and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU). It brought together various experts with scientific, clinical, and technical knowledge to focus on high impact, skin research for the betterment of the society. As SRIS transitioned from a virtual to a physical institute, it created the need for a cohesive platform for the A*STAR skin research experts/community.
This led to the establishment of A*SRL under A*STAR in August 2021, with the aim of providing a unified program to conduct cutting-edge skin research. A*SRL conducts high impact, interdisciplinary skin research that translates into innovations and improved skin health, for economic and societal impact. Our core research programs focus on wound care innovation, inflammatory skin diseases, skin ageing and pigmentation disorders, and skin microbiome research.