Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (Singapore)

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Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology
Established 23 January 1985
  • 61 Biopolis Drive, SG
Coordinates 1°18′41.9″N 103°47′34.9″E / 1.311639°N 103.793028°E / 1.311639; 103.793028Coordinates: 1°18′41.9″N 103°47′34.9″E / 1.311639°N 103.793028°E / 1.311639; 103.793028
Executive Director
Hong Wanjin
Parent organization
Agency for Science, Technology and Research

The Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (Abbreviation: IMCB; Chinese: 分子和生物細胞学研究院) was launched on 23 January 1985.[1] The official opening ceremony was held on 2 October 1987[citation needed] at the National University of Singapore (NUS), to develop and support the biomedical R&D capabilities in Singapore. It subsequently became an autonomous research institute (RI) of A*STAR, moving to Biopolis in 2004.[2]


IMCB's original vision was to foster a vibrant research culture to enable cutting edge discoveries and nurture high-quality talent. The creation and development of IMCB has catalyzed the transformation of Singapore into an international hub for biomedical research, development and innovation by:

  1. fostering the biomedical research culture in Singapore
  2. placing Singapore onto global map of scientific excellence
  3. training and recruiting capable people at all levels
  4. facilitating the development of other research entities

Now its vision is to remain a premier molecular biology and cell institute with increasing focus on addressing the mechanistic basis of human diseases.


Today, IMCB has established itself as a premier molecular and cell biology institute.

Its mission is to:

  • conduct cutting-edge discovery research in disease pathways
  • groom early career researchers to be future leaders in their fields
  • collaborate with medical & industry communities for research impact

IMCB strives to maintain the scientific excellence of PI-driven research and at the same time aims to promote collaborative team-based projects of medical and industrial relevance.


IMCB was awarded the Nikkei Prize 2000 for Technological Innovation in recognition of its growth into a leading international research centre and its collaboration with industry and research institutes worldwide.[3] Sixteen IMCB Principal Investigators have received National Science and Technology Awards and Medals.[4] The institute continues to publish in international journals and has more than 2,000 publications to its credit since 1987[citation needed]. IMCB has also trained more than 220 postgraduate students.

IMCB has numerous collaborations with industrial, translational clinical and academic partners both in Singapore and worldwide. Recent highlights include the licensing of DNA methylation technology to Hitachi Asia Ltd. for cancer diagnostics development,[5] the collaboration with Merlion Pharmaceuticals for a drug discovery program[citation needed], licensing of zebrafish (Danio rerio)[citation needed] genetic markers[citation needed], licensing of microbial collections for drug screening[citation needed], development of SARS and malaria diagnostic kits[citation needed] and licensing of several monoclonal antibodies[citation needed].

Over the years, IMCB has:

  • trained more than 250 PhDs[citation needed]
  • recruited more than 800 PhDs from the international community[citation needed]
  • published over 2,000 research papers in top international peer-reviewed journals, with a yearly citation above 8,000 since 2012[citation needed]
  • established numerous collaborations with industrial, clinical & academic partners, both locally and internationally

Research programs[edit]

IMCB's research focuses on two major areas: Discovery research and translational research.

IMCB Discovery research[edit]

IMCB Translational Research[edit]

1. Humanized Model Organisms for Human Diseases

2. Systems Approach for Disease Target Identification & Validation

3. Protein Engineering & Antibody Development for Diagnostics & Therapeutics

IMCB Research Facilities[edit]

1. Quantitative Proteomics

2. Humanized Mice

3. Mouse Models of Human Cancer

4. Protein Crystallography X-Ray

5. Zebrafish for Drug Metabolism & Toxicology

6. Advanced Molecular Histopathology

7. Imaging & Electron Microscopy

8. DNA Sequencing

9. Medicinal Chemistry & Drug Development

10. Genome-wide RNAi screens

11. Monoclonal Antibody


External links[edit]