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Home > Press > Singapore Continues to Attract Top Scientific Talents

Offers Investigatorship Awards up to US$500,000 to Outstanding Young Scientists of all Nationalities to Undertake Independent Research in Singapore

Singapore Continues to Attract Top Scientific Talents

Singapore | Posted on May 9th, 2007

Singapore continues to thrive as a vibrant location for scientific talent. Significant efforts and resources have been committed to attract and develop talent. Singapore adopts a pro-international and pro-local approach. A dynamic research environment, robust ethical framework, strict laws for the protection of intellectual property rights (Note 1) and quality of life, are some of the key reasons why a growing number of scientists are drawn to Singapore.

Note 1: Singapore cited as the best location in Asia for the protection
of intellectual property rights. (Source: The International
Property Rights Index (2007))

Over the past five years, Singapore has attracted an impressive list of internationally prominent scientists to lead the nation's biomedical sciences research and development efforts. (Please refer to Annex A for a list of distinguished scientists in Singapore.)

In continuing its efforts to attract talent, Singapore's Agency for Science, Technology & Research (A-STAR) launched A-STAR Investigatorships, a prestigious competitive award aimed at young international postdoctoral fellows who have demonstrated strong ability and creativity in research. Recipients of the award will be given an independent position at one of A-STAR's research institutes and can receive funding of up to US$500,000 per year.

"We invite and encourage the best young scientists of all nationalities to carry out cutting-edge research in Singapore. Recipients of A-STAR Investigatorships will enjoy generous funding, excellent facilities and infrastructure at Biopolis, as well as have the opportunity to be mentored by some of the world's most highly regarded biomedical researchers," said Dr. Andre Wan, Deputy Executive Director, Biomedical Research Council, A-STAR.

This year's call for proposals is in the areas of molecular and cell biology, genetics and genomics research relevant to human diseases and health. Applications are open and the deadline for submission is 31 May 2007.


A-STAR investigators will join a vibrant and rapidly growing community of more than 900 scientists and postdoctoral fellows from over 50 countries at the Biopolis, Singapore's premier biomedical research hub.

Partnerships and Collaborations

A-STAR is well connected to the international biomedical research community. Scientists at the institutes work closely with partners in the U.S. (e.g. UCSD, UIUC, UWash, MIT, Fred Hutch CRC), Europe (e.g. Karolinska Institute, Imperial College, Cambridge University, Dundee University, French Atomic Energy Commission) and Australasia (e.g. Australian National University, RIKEN in Japan) on research projects, collaborations and PhD training programs. A-STAR also hosts key international scientific conferences (e.g. Keystone, European Molecular Biology Organization, American Association for Cancer Research) and visits by distinguished scientists including many Nobel laureates.

The National University of Singapore (NUS) and Nanyang Technological University have also been successfully forging international partnerships. Duke University and NUS set up a Graduate Medical School (GMS) in Singapore to nurture clinician-scientists. The GMS will accept its first batch of students in August 2007 and will be awarding joint MD degrees from Duke and NUS.

Translational and Clinical Research

A-STAR works closely with the National Medical Research Council of the Singapore Ministry of Health to develop and strengthen research collaborations and programs between scientists at the Biopolis and the clinical community in hospitals and disease centers. The aim is to translate basic scientific discoveries and innovative technologies into potential therapies and diagnostics that will be applicable to major health conditions such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, neurological disorders, infectious diseases and eye diseases.

"The scientists of today are incredibly mobile. They can choose to work anywhere in the world. Those who have selected Singapore have told us it is due to a combination of three reasons: steady funding, good facilities and exciting colleagues. We hope the A-STAR Investigatorships will extend this winning combination to the next generation of scientific leaders and persuade them to consider building their careers in Singapore," said Dr. Wan.

To obtain more information, please visit the Singapore Pavilion at booth number 2533.


About Agency for Science, Technology and Research and EDB Singapore

                                     ANNEX A


    Name              From             Designation in      Other information

    Alex Matter (Dr.) Novartis         Director, Novartis  Led the
                                       Institute for       development of
                                       Tropical Diseases   Gleevec,
                                                           Novartis' cancer
                                                           blockbuster drug.

    Alan Colman (Dr.) U.K.-based PPL   Chief Executive     Well known for 
                     Therapeutics, a   Officer, ES Cell    his work with the
                     spin-off from the International       Roslin Institute
                     Roslin Institute                      to clone Dolly 
                                                           the sheep.

    Scientific Leaders at A-STAR's Biomedical Research Council

    Name            From            Designation in         Other information

    Sydney Brenner  Salk Institute  -- Scientific          2002 Nobel prize
    (Dr.)           of Biological      Advisor to          in Physiology or
                    Studies            Chairman,           Medicine for
                                       A-STAR              establishing C.
                                    -- Chairman,           elegans as a novel
                                       Biomedical          experimental
                                       Research            model organism to
                                       Council             link genetic
                                                           analysis to cell
                                                           and organ 
    David Lane      University of   -- Executive           One of the
     (Dr. Sir)      Dundee             Deputy Chairman,    scientists
                                       Biomedical          credited with
                                       Sciences and        the landmark
                                       Technology,         discovery of the
                                       Biomedical          cancer gene p53.
                                       Research            Founder of
                                       Council             Cyclacel, a
                                    -- Executive           Scottish biotech
                                       Director,           company.
                                       Institute of
                                       Molecular and
                                       Cell Biology
                                    -- Chief Executive

    Edward Holmes   University of   -- Executive           Expert on
    (Dr.)           California San     Deputy Chairman,    translational
                    Diego              Clinical-           research and
                                       Translational       academic medicine.
                                       Research Council.
                                    -- Executive
                                       Chairman, National
                                       Medical Research
                                       Ministry of Health

    Research Institutes

    Name             From              Designation in      Other information

    Edison Liu(Dr.)  National Cancer   Executive           Expert on breast
                     Institute         Director, Genome    cancer research.
                                       Institute of

    Jackie Ying(Dr.) Massachusetts     Executive           Expert on
                     Institute of      Director,           nanotechnology and
                     Technology        Institute of        its use in
                                       Bioengineering &    biotechnology,
                                       Nanotechnology      medical and
                                                           chemical sciences.

    Judith Swain(Dr.) University of    Executive           Expert on creating
                      California San   Director,           models to
                      Diego            Singapore           understand the
                                       Institute of        genetic basis of
                                       Clinical Sciences   cardiovascular
                                                           development and

    Neal Copeland &  National Cancer   Principal           Renowned cancer
    Nancy Jenkins    Institute         Investigators,      geneticists who
    (Drs.)                             Institute of        are among the
                                       Molecular and Cell  world's most
                                       Biology             frequently-cited

    Philip Ingham    University of     Principal           Expert on
    (Dr.)            Sheffield         Investigator,       developmental
                                       Institute of        genetics
                                       Molecular and       and cell-to-cell
                                       Cell Biology        communication.

    Jean Paul        Institut Curie    Principal           Expert on cell
    Thiery Dr.)                        Investigator,       adhesion and
                                       Institute of        migration studies.
                                       Molecular and
                                       Cell Biology

    Yoshiaki Ito     University of     Principal           Expert on RUNX
    (Dr.)            Kyoto             Investigator,       genes, a major
                                       Institute of        tumor suppressor
                                       Molecular and       associated with
                                       Cell Biology        gastric cancer.
                                       and the
                                       University of


    Name             From              Designation in      Other information

    George Radda     Department of     Chairman,           Expert on magnetic
    (Dr.Sir)         Physiology,       Singapore           resonance in
                     Anatomy and       Bioimaging          medicine.
                     Genetics,         Consortium
                     of Oxford

    Philippe         College de        Chairman,           Expert on 
    Kourilsky        France            Singapore           molecular 
    (Dr.)                              Immunology          immunology and
                                       Network             tumor immunity.

    Roger Pedersen   University of     Chairman,           Expert on stem
    (Dr.)            Cambridge         Singapore Stem      cell.

    Axel Ullrich     Oversees the      Director,           Founder of
    (Dr.)            molecular         Singapore           numerous biotech
                     biology           OncoGenome          companies
                     department,       Project             including Sugen
                     Max Planck                            and U3.

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Tel: +1-781-559-0429
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