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Johns Hopkins Medicine Establishes Academic Division in Singapore

 November 20, 2003
Media Contact: Gary Stephenson


Johns Hopkins Medicine (JHM) and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) of Singapore 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, Maryland. 

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

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 first began its programs in Singapore in 1998.

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

“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,” said Edward Miller, M.D. dean and CEO of Johns Hopkins Medicine. “We are proud to be part of Singapore’s rapid development as a global leader in the biomedical sciences sector.”

Says Philip Yeo, Chairman of A*STAR, “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.”

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

The new academic division will begin operations in the first quarter of 2004 at the same site 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 review the division’s progress, and a scientific advisory committee consisting of renowned scientists from USA, Singapore and other nations will offer guidance on   research priorities.

About Johns Hopkins Medicine
Johns Hopkins Medicine has provided international leadership in the education of physicians and medical scientists in biomedical research, and in the application of medical knowledge to sustain health since the opening of The Johns Hopkins Hospital in 1889.
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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. 
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Agency for Science, Technology and  Research (A*STAR)
The mission of A*STAR is to foster world-class scientific research and develop talent for Singapore. A*STAR is organized into four arms: two Research Councils, the Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) and the Science & Engineering Research Council (SERC), a Corporate Planning and Administration Division (CPAD) and the agency’s commercialization arm, Exploit Technologies Pte Ltd.

A*STAR's Biomedical Research Council (BMRC) 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 multi-disciplinary research collaborations in the wider scientific community. As part of its human capital development efforts, the Council offers research scholarships and fellowships. The Council also initiates and promotes societal awareness of biomedical research through outreach programs. 
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