THE GIS STORY

The Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS) is the national flagship programme for the genomic sciences in Singapore. It was established in June 2000, and initially known as the Singapore Genomics Programme. In March 2001, Professor Edison T. Liu, previously the Director of the Division of Clinical Sciences, National Cancer Institute (USA), was appointed its first executive director.

In December 2011, Professor Ng Huck Hui took over the reins as GIS’ new Acting Executive Director. Prof Ng is one of Singapore’s most prominent scientists in stem cell research. He has won numerous prestigious awards including The Medal of Commendation (2010) for having inspired and mentored many young scientists to excel; The Chen New Investigator Award (2010) in recognition of significant contributions to his field of expertise, the National Science Award (2007) which is awarded to outstanding scientists whose research has led to the discovery of new knowledge, and the Young Scientist Award (2004) for exemplary work on gene regulation. Prof Ng was subsequently appointed GIS’ second Executive Director in October 2012.

The Agency for Science and Technology Research (A*STAR) is the parent funding body for the GIS and has a long term commitment to create a world-class infrastructure.

In October 2003, we inaugurated our new research building, the Genome - a 7,200 sq meter advanced facility. Set in the Biopolis - a 180 hectare biomedical city within the Buona Vista Science Hub, the Genome is adjacent to other biomedical institutes such as Singapore’s Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, the Bioinformatics Institute, the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, the Biotechnology Institute, the Biomedical Research Council, regional and multinational industrial R&D organisations.

The Biopolis provides an excellent environment conducive to the exchange of knowledge and collegial interactions. It was planned as a complete community that supports living, working, learning and playing: combining state-of-art research infrastructure with entertainment and educational facilities.

In mid 2008, the engineering research institutes were relocated to newly-constructed facilities called Fusionopolis, also within the Buona Vista Science Hub. Together, the biomedical and engineering research arms of A*STAR form an integral part of excellence in scientific research.

GIS houses over 300 scientists, trainees and staff. The major technical platforms of high throughput sequencing, molecular cytogenetics, bioinformatics, single cell genomics, high throughput/ content screening and genome engineering have been integrated with programmes in molecular and cellular biology, computational biology and human genetics.

With these components in place, GIS is well positioned for success.

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