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Cellular and Molecular Research

The Division of Cellular & Molecular Research is focused on understanding the mechanistic basis of tumour development and treatment response; as well as the translation of bench-based findings to improve the early detection, diagnosis, prognosis and treatment of cancers. With eight research groups, the Division engages in vigorous basic clinical & translational research leading to novel clinical applications in oncology, including innovative diagnostic tests, novel cancer prevention and treatment protocols, and genomic-based personalized treatment in oncology. The major areas of research include: understanding cancer cell signalling; predicting treatment response; discovery of biomarkers; development of state-of-the-art platforms such as humanised patient-derived xenografts, tumor organoids and pharmaco-kinetic, dynamic & pharmacogenetic modelling for cancer drug testing; and the generation of novel therapeutics for cancer therapy, all of which are focused on Asian-relevant cancers such as liver cancer, nasopharyngeal carcinoma, lymphoma and breast cancer, to name a few. The main focus of the team is to discover and translate our scientific findings to clinical applications, addressing clinical challenges. 

The close proximity of the research laboratories to the clinics within the National Cancer Centre and the Duke-NUS Medical School (Duke-NUS) allows a collegial, collaborative and productive scientific and clinical research environment to forge research in translational biomedical science. Moreover, significant collaborations have been established with investigators from all the local universities and research institutions, and with scientists from the major academic centres of the world, as well as with biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies. 

The seven laboratories are run by highly qualified Principal Investigators, who collectively oversee the work of 9 Post-doctoral Fellows, 17 Research Officers and Associates, Project Executive and Senior Project Manager in the Division. They also supervise M.Sc. and Ph.D. students from NUS, Duke-NUS and NTU. We provide laboratory attachments throughout the year to students at several levels e.g. from Junior colleges, Polytechnics, medical students and undergraduates from local and foreign universities. Most of the work in the Division is funded by competitive national and international grants awarded to the Principal Investigators. Furthermore, collaborative work and fee-for-service work is also conducted in conjunction with the industrial partners and pharmaceutical companies. Our work has been published in major peer-reviewed journals such as Cancer Cell, Nature Cell Biology, Blood, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Hepatology; Genome Biology; etc. 

Please peruse the individual laboratory web-sites for more information on academic and industrial collaborations, as well as for attachments and post-graduate training.