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The newspaper of The Johns Hopkins University December 1, 2003 | Vol. 33 No. 13
JHM Establishes Academic Division in Singapore

Enterprise will include 12 full-time Hopkins faculty; search begins for director

By Gary Stephenson
Johns Hopkins Medicine

Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research of Singapore, known as A*STAR, have established the Johns Hopkins Medicine Division of Biomedical Sciences in Singapore. The move marks the first time JHM has created such a full division outside its home base in Baltimore.

According to Steve Thompson, CEO of Johns Hopkins International and vice dean at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, "The new enterprise is intended to further strengthen the link between Hopkins and Singapore while enhancing joint research and training activities in Singapore."

The division will include 12 full-time Johns Hopkins faculty to be based in Singapore to lead training and research initiatives focused on such life science disciplines as immunology, cancer biology and experimental therapeutics. Johns Hopkins began its programs in Singapore in 1998.

An international search for a director to lead the venture in Singapore is under way.

Edward Miller, dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine, said, "During the last five years, we have conducted research programs in Singapore, and we now want to expand our commitment to Singapore's biomedical science industry so that our efforts will more quickly bear fruit. We are proud to be part of Singapore's rapid development as a global leader in the biomedical sciences sector."

Philip Yeo, chairman of A*STAR, said, "Johns Hopkins has been a long-standing international partner in the development of Singapore's biomedical sciences. Its continuing presence is indicative of confidence in Singapore and the region's future growth. This program will be invaluable in training our pool of local talents, and through this collaboration, we are strengthening our links to one of the best universities in the world."

Doctoral programs in basic and clinical research will be offered to Singaporeans and Southeast Asian nationals. The training conducted in Singapore and Baltimore will lead to either a Hopkins Ph.D. or National University of Singapore Ph.D. degree.

The new academic division will begin operations in the first quarter of 2004 at the sites of other A*STAR research institutes and industrial companies. Within two years, it plans to build a staff of 150 research professionals. A grant review committee will be set up to monitor the division's progress, and a scientific advisory committee consisting of renowned scientists from the United States, Singapore and other nations will offer guidance on research priorities.

Johns Hopkins Singapore was established in 1998 and currently carries out research in nasopharyngeal carcinoma and the development of biopolymer substrates to support the tissue engineering industry, and is leading the way in developing DNA vaccines for diseases such as SARS, HIV, Japanese encephalitis and dengue.

In Singapore, Johns Hopkins also provides patient care for patients suffering from cancer through the Johns Hopkins-NUH International Medical Center.

A*STAR, whose mission is to foster world-class scientific research and develop talent for Singapore, is organized into four arms: the Biomedical Research Council, the Science & Engineering Research Council, a Corporate Planning and Administration Division and Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd., the agency's commercialization arm.

The Biomedical Research Council supports and oversees biomedical research at five national research institutes, with core competencies in bioinformatics, genomics, molecular biology, bioprocessing technology, bioengineering and nanotechnology. The BMRC also encourages extramural research work and multidisciplinary research collaborations in the wider scientific community.

As part of its human capital development efforts, the council offers research scholarships and fellowships. It also initiates and promotes societal awareness of biomedical research through outreach programs.

Related Web sites
Johns Hopkins Singapore


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