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Hebrew University of Jerusalem partners NUS to establish CREATE research centre

15 Jun 2010

INTRODUCING TWO NEW CREATE CENTRES: Among the representatives at the press conference were (from left) NRF Chairman Dr Tony Tan, NRF Chief Executive Officer Dr Francis Yeoh, NUS Deputy President (Research and Technology) Prof Barry Halliwell
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the largest and oldest university in Israel, will work with NUS to develop a research programme in "Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Inflammation", which aims to accelerate the development of diagnostic/prognostic indicators and novel therapeutics for common inflammatory diseases in Asia and elsewhere. This partnership between the two leading universities is part of the CREATE (Campus for Research Excellence And Technological Enterprise) programme of Singapore's National Research Foundation (NRF).

The research programme will be led by Dr Marcus Rabwin Chair in Cancer Research and former Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of Hebrew University of Jerusalem Prof Ehud Razin and Head of the Department of Microbiology at the NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine Prof Mike Kemeny.

Adding to the existing CREATE programmes and centres in Singapore, one of Germany's top engineering universities, the Technical University of Munich (TUM), will also be setting up the TUM-CREATE Centre to conduct research relating to Electromobility in Megacities. TUM would have as research partners, primarily the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and the Solar Energy Research Institute of Singapore, NUS.

NRF announced the establishment of the two CREATE Centres on 11 June 2010. NRF Chairman Dr Tony Tan said: "These two new CREATE Centres would become part of a very rich R&D landscape in Singapore. We expect the active interactions between the researchers at CREATE and their counterparts in our local scientific institutions would bring about many scientific breakthroughs as well as disruptive technologies that can start up new high tech companies in Singapore in the future."

On the research partnership between NUS and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, NUS Deputy President (Research and Technology) Prof Barry Halliwell said: "What we hope will come out of this research would be to develop drugs that can treat diseases and make the lives of people with these diseases better, to understand the diseases so we can do something to prevent them from occurring in the first place."

"This collaborative research programme will leverage on the existing strengths of both Hebrew University and NUS. We see great strategic value in this research, given the increasing prevalence of inflammatory diseases throughout the region. We expect our work to lead to scientific breakthroughs in understanding and developing therapies for inflammatory diseases," said Prof Ehud Razin of the Hebrew University.

The idea behind CREATE is to bring together in one location research centres of selected world-class research universities and institutions in Singapore, fostering interaction between researchers of diverse backgrounds in order to encourage greater innovation.

Including the two recently announced centres, there is now a total of five CREATE centres or programmes. The other three are the Singapore-MIT Alliance on Research and Technology (SMART) Centre, Singapore-ETH Centre for Global Environmental Sustainability, and the "Regenerative Medicine in Cardiac Restoration Therapy programme" between Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, NTU and NUS. All the centres will be housed at the CREATE complex to be ready by 2011.