S'pore Poly, Waseda set up joint biomed lab

Fifteen local and Japanese researchers will work side by side at a new 186 sq m biomedical lab, which could possibly lead to innovations in cancer detection and treatment for dementia.

The developments could include a new class of biomaterials for a precise drug delivery that is safer than conventional chemotherapy.

The biomaterials could involve the use of lasers to trigger drug release only when it reaches the targeted site of the body, with minimal damage to healthy cells.

The facility, set up by Waseda University, a leading research university in Tokyo, and Singapore Polytechnic (SP), was opened at SP in Dover Road last Thursday.

Researchers there will look into bioimaging developments and modern sequencing technologies to study biological systems.

SP principal Tan Choon Shian explained that both institutions have strong capabilities in areas such as biomedical sciences and research.

The lab, situated within SP's Centre for Biomedical and Life Sciences, will also benefit the poly's biomedical science and biotechnology diploma students, who will be able to intern and work alongside its researchers on projects.

Mr Tan noted: "The research and development activities on our campus provide students and aspiring researchers with a practical, skills-based training in preparation for their future careers in the biomedical and life sciences sectors."

Under a partnership between the two institutions, there are also plans to create innovations to encourage active ageing.

Dr Shuji Hashimoto, senior executive vice-president for academic affairs and provost at Waseda University, said: "While the focus is currently placed on research in bioscience, we hope this joint lab can serve as a bridge for the creation of joint research in other fields that can mutually enhance our capabilities."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 30, 2015, with the headline 'S'pore Poly, Waseda set up joint biomed lab'. Print Edition | Subscribe