Founding GIS Executive Director, Prof Edison Liu, addressing a packed house at his special seminars.

3 and 4 May 2023 – Prof Edison Liu, founding GIS Executive Director, gave two special seminars at the Genome Institute of Singapore. Prof Liu is currently professor and President Emeritus of the Jackson Laboratory.

On 3 May, Prof Liu delighted GIS colleagues – both those who worked under his eleven years of leadership at GIS and after – with a historical account of how things started when he was first approached to come to Singapore to head what was to become one of the foremost life sciences institutes of the country under his leadership. Prof Liu reminisced that “participating in the remarkable growth of the life sciences in the city state has been among the most rewarding experiences of my life. Together, we found ways to craft science for the national good, at the same time changing the intellectual culture of a nation”.

GIS Founding Ed Gives Special Talks

GIS Executive Director Prof Patrick Tan (left), presenting Prof Edison Liu with a chromosome resin. The 1.5cm diameter DNA sphere embedded in the resin encodes the names of all GIS staff and students. Produced in 2022 with GIS technology, the information on the DNA will last for thousands of years, compared to 50 – 75 years for alternative date storage.

On 4 May, Prof Liu presented a scientific talk entitled “Dissecting the Host Genetics of Response to Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors”. He said that immune checkpoint inhibitors that harness the host immune system to eliminate tumour cells have been a major advance in cancer therapeutics. However, only 30% of patients experience lasting complete remissions. He went on to explain the ongoing research that he and his team were doing to find causes and therapeutic possibilities to increase remission success rates.

Prof Liu also spent time with smaller groups and individuals, discussing science and providing valuable insights and advice.