Message from our Leadership

Chong Yap Seng


Executive Director


A/Professor Chong Yap Seng is the Executive Director for Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences, and the founding Director of the recently launched A*STAR-NUS Singapore Centre for Nutrition Sciences, Metabolic Diseases, and Human Development (SiNMeD).

He is also a Senior Consultant in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, National University Hospital. In addition, he is a Professor of Medicine in the Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore.

Peter Gluckman


Chief Scientific Officer


In 2007, Sir Peter Gluckman was appointed as Programme Director for Growth, Development and Metabolism at the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences. He is now the institute’s Chief Scientific Officer.

His additional appointments include first Chief Science Advisor to the New Zealand Prime Minister and Professor at University of Auckland’s Paediatric and Perinatal Biology Department. He also holds honorary chairs at National University of Singapore and the University of Southampton.

Judith Swain


Founding Executive Director & A*STAR Senior Fellow


Prior to Dr Judith Swain’s appointment as a Senior Fellow at A*STAR, she was the Executive Director of SICS since 2007. Dr Swain continues to play a pivotal role in engaging the clinical community and companies, as well as serve as an advisor to the SICS leadership and early career researchers on the clinician-scientist track.

On top of her Senior Fellow position, she serves on the Board of Directors of the National Healthcare Group (NHG), and on the NHG Board Committee overseeing the Institute of Mental Health. She also serves as a Member of the Governing Council and the Academic Oversight Committee of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Imperial College/NTU

Since the launch of the Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS) on 20 April 2007, we have been guided by our mission, which is:

To do needs-driven, impact-focused research to promote the health and human capacity of Singapore.

We carry out our mission by conducting hypothesis-driven, disease-oriented research to develop a better understanding of the pathogenesis of Asian-relevant diseases and developmental processes. We have focused our research in 3 major intersecting areas:

  • Nutrition sciences
  • Metabolic disease
  • Developmental pathways to health and disease

With respect to nutrition sciences, we are particularly interested in human energy regulation, including the contribution of brown and white adipose tissue and skeletal muscle to energy balance; the physiology, metabolism and nutritional consequence of consuming functional foods; nutrition in childhood, pregnancy and the elderly; appetite regulation and food preferences, particular in Asians. Understanding the role of food structure on physiological outcomes - forms the basis of our integrative studies on food science and nutrition.

In metabolic disease, our interests lie in obesity, insulin resistance, and type 2 diabetes within Asian populations. We have a particular interest in the roles of muscle and adipose tissue in metabolic disease, and the signaling pathways within muscle fibre and fat cells - that regulate the development and metabolism of these tissues. Our third area, that of developmental pathways to health and disease, is focused on the developmental contributions (maternal, infant and paediatric) to behavioural and cognitive function, and on the developmental pathways to obesity and insulin resistance. In this area, we marry our expertise in systems biology and epigenetics, with in-depth experience in clinical physiology and phenotyping, to study very well-documented population cohorts, including the GUSTO cohort which is perhaps the most deeply phenotyped birth cohort in Asia.

We build partnerships in Singapore and abroad with universities, medical schools, hospitals, companies, and public health agencies to conduct multidisciplinary research, and then to mine the knowledge thus gained. Last but not least, we rigorously train the next generation of clinical and translational investigators.

Since its inception, SICS has developed critical inter-dependencies with investigators at the National University of Singapore (NUS) Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine. On 10 October 2013, we formed a new centre with the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine - SiNMeD. SiNMeD, which is the acronym for the Singapore Centre for Nutrition Sciences, Metabolic Disease, and Human Development, is a joint A*STAR/NUS centre focused on the nexus between nutrition, human development, and susceptibility to chronic diseases such as obesity and type 2 diabetes.

Together with our collaborators, we have built a broad-based core of human capital and infrastructure that include: human developmental cohorts, these state-of-the-art platforms:

along with in-depth expertise in epigenetics and genetics - particularly as applied to human development and tissue differentiation, an expanding expertise in nutrition sciences, and strengths in the molecular and cellular biology of skeletal muscle and adipose tissue.

As we go forward, we see a bright future for SICS because of the unprecedented opportunities laid out before us to carry out cutting-edge clinical and translational research in the areas of nutritional biology, human development, and metabolic disease. We are expanding our research programmes and are currently recruiting faculty and trainees to become part of our vibrant research enterprise.

  • Chong Yap Seng, Executive Director
  • Peter Gluckman, Chief Scientific Officer
  • Judith Swain, Founding Executive Director & A*STAR Senior Fellow