Hub brings together experts to solve health issues

PHOTO: Hub brings together experts to solve health issues

SINGAPORE - A new research institute which brings together experts from different backgrounds was launched on Monday- aiming to be a hub for scientists, engineers and clinicians to come up with solutions for health problems.

The Nanyang Institute of Technology in Health and Medicine (NITHM) aims to unite different faculties at Nanyang Technological University.

One collaboration involves the School of Art, Design and Media studying how patients looking at paintings can complement clinical treatment for Parkinson's.

Another involves the School of Humanities and Social Sciences' department of psychology examining the use of imaging to understand memory function.

"We're really reaching across the whole university, building on the opportunities that exist in all the colleges and schools. There isn't one single school that doesn't have activities related to health care and medicine," said Professor Jan Carlstedt-Duke, director of NITHM.

The institute will work with major health-care groups and hospitals to link up top clinician-scientists and doctors with faculty members across NTU's colleges, including the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine - Singapore's latest medical school.

One project done in collaboration with Singapore General Hospital and Stanford University in California is the development of an artificial liver that allows new drugs to be tested for hepatotoxicity - chemical damage to the liver - during the early stages of their development.

The new research institute has eight medically- related focus areas, such as Nanomedicine and Tissue Engineering, and brings together more than 200 existing research projects from NTU colleges.

The institute will train scientists and engineers under the Future Healthcare PhD programme at NTU's Interdisciplinary Graduate School. The programme will accept its first batch of students in August.

Students from the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine will also be given the opportunity to carry out research at the institute. "The best solutions and treatments for patients have been borne out of interdisciplinary and collaborative efforts in recent years," said Prof Carlstedt-Duke.

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