Wednesday, April 12, 2006

UCSD Profs head for Singapore

The San Diego Union Tribune carried an article (4th April 2006) on the news that two prominent scientist from University of California San Diego are taking up posts in the National University of Singapore. Dr. Edward Holmes, dean of UCSD's School of Medicine, and his wife, Dr. Judith Swain, a cellular cardiologist who is the university's dean of Translational Medicine, will join A*STAR (Agency of Science. Technology and Research), which is Singapore's equivalent of the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

They will work in a "BIOPOLIS", a sort of bioscience city, to discover biological advances in medicine, and I suspect spearhead the world's stem cell research. Holmes and Swan will have plenty of company. Other staff members in A*STAR include, Dr Alan Coleman, a stem cell expert of the cloned sheep Dolly fame, Dr Neal Copeland and Dr Nancy Jenkins, also of stem cell research fame who were originally scheduled for Stanford University's Institute for Cancer and Stem Cell Biology. Of course, it is no coincidence that Nobel laureate Dr Sydney Brenner, an expert in genetics and molecular biology is the head of Singapore's Biomedical Research Council.

What is also important to note is that while they are working in Singapore, Drs Holmes and Swan will continue to be keep their home in California and also their professorial post in San Diego allowing strong collaborative work between UCSD and Biopolis. With such a strong team lined up in Singapore, one wonders what is going on in Singapore's Biopolis. Maybe soon, work done in Biopolis will win a nobel prize, putting Singapore in the Medical Science map.

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