Corporate Banner
Satellite Banner
Technology
Networks
Scientific Communities
 
Become a Member | Sign in
Home>News>This Article
  News
Return

Singapore Single-Cell Research Centre Opens Door for Asian Biological Discoveries

Published: Monday, April 29, 2013
Last Updated: Monday, April 29, 2013
Bookmark and Share
Centre dedicated to diagnosis and treatment derived from single-cell exploration.

Government officials, academic, and industry leaders gathered to celebrate the official opening of the Single-Cell Omics Centre (SCOC). It is the first research centre in Asia exclusively dedicated to accelerating the understanding of how individual cells work, and how diagnosis and treatment might be enhanced through insight derived from single cells. This centre will be an important resource for both academic and industry researchers in Singapore and the region, who are keen to access integrated analytics for single-cell genomic applications.

Single-cell genomics is one of the hottest emerging areas of study in life sciences research. It is poised to help solve some of the most fundamental biological mysteries of our time and could lead to new ways to diagnose, treat and prevent diseases such as cancer (breast, prostate, leukemia, etc.), diabetes, memory loss, heart disease and more. For example, scientists now know that the loss of sight (macular degeneration), the biology of aging, and the spreading of  infectious diseases all involve important single-cell phenomena that need to be studied.

The Single-Cell Omics Centre is a collaboration between the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), an institute under the umbrella of the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), and Fluidigm Corporation, an industry leader in single-cell genomics. Fluidigm became the first biochip company to set up shop in Singapore in 2005.

In attendance at the grand opening were A*STAR Chairman Lim Chuan Poh, Biomedical Research Council Executive Director Benjamin Seet, Biomedical Research Council Director of Industry Development Jonathan Kua, Genome Institute of Singapore Executive Director Ng Huck Hui, EDBI Executive Vice President, Corporate Finance & Planning, Eugene Khoo, Economic Development Board Head of Medical Technology Lim Tse Yong, Fluidigm Co-founder, President and Chief Executive Officer Gajus Worthington, Fluidigm Executive Vice President, Research & Development Robert Jones, and Fluidigm Executive Vice President, Worldwide Manufacturing, and Managing Director of Fluidigm Singapore Grace Yow.

“The opening of the Single-Cell Omics Centre is a perfect example of an academic-industry partnership. By encouraging multi-disciplinary collaborations, this centre will play a key role in developing Singapore’s R&D capabilities and scientific know-how. It is also envisioned that this will lead to new, potentially life-saving applications in the regional biomedical sector,” said Mr. Lim Chuan Poh, Chairman A*STAR.

“Fluidigm is an industry leader in single cell genomics and we are proud to have played a critical role in supporting its growth as its first Asian investor,” said Ms. Chu Swee Yeok, Chief Executive Officer and President, EDBI. “The company established the biochip facility in Singapore in 2005 and with EDB’s and our continued support, undertook a full range of manufacturing and R&D activities, leveraging on Singapore’s strengths for its global and Asian needs. The Single-Cell Omics Center is an extension of Fluidigm’s growing activities in Singapore and more significantly, an initiative that will help strengthen its leadership in this important field.”

The SCOC is a dedicated 25 square-meter laboratory in GIS facilities in Biopolis, Singapore. It features advanced next generation genomic equipment and sequencing technologies. This includes the Fluidigm C1™ Single-Cell Auto Prep System, which automatically isolates individual cells from small tissue quantities or larger cell populations. This installation of a C1 system was one of the first in the world. The centre will also house the Fluidigm BioMark™ HD System that performs single-cell gene expression analytics and validation. Both instruments are manufactured at Fluidigm's factory in Singapore.

The SCOC expects to attract top researchers from Asia to conduct single-cell experimentation for foundational research. Scientists from various fields of biology can band together at the SCOC to learn how stem cells might be re-programmed for therapeutic treatments in the future, or to discover how various diseases work so they can develop new drugs or treatments to cure the sickly, or how to personalize medical care so it can meet the need of each patient.

Initially the SCOC is focusing on single-cell analysis of cancer, looking at lung and colon cancers in solid and circulating tumour cell (CTC) forms. CTCs are cells that have shed from the tumour and are circulating in the bloodstream, seeding growth of additional tumours in other organs in the body. Currently samples from solid tumours are studied in aggregate, grouping all the cells together in a mish-mashed genomic stew. The SCOC expects to develop a method where the cells of solid tumours can be easily converted into cells floating in a liquid solution. Then the C1 Single-Cell Auto Prep System will be used to individually isolate and prepare each cell for complete study and sequencing. This will allow researchers to understand -- for the first time -- what is happening in each cancer cell and also be able to study a thousand different cells individually from a tumour. The centre will compare cells taken directly from the solid tumour and those circulating cells from the same tumour to analyse them for commonalities or differences. If it turns out that CTCs closely correlate with cells from the solid tumour, it could eliminate the need for surgery to get samples from the tumour and allow the disease to be monitored by capturing CTCs from blood -- a liquid biopsy.

One of the SCOC's anticipated follow-on projects will involve the development of methods to compare cells treated with a drug against cells that have not been exposed to the drug in order to measure how differently the cells react. These measurements can then be used to find more effective treatments of disease.

These projects require analysis of a large numbers of cells and the work of the SCOC is expected to enable researchers to process hundreds of cells per day in a cost-effective, efficient manner. These breakthroughs could speed up scientific discovery in biology around the globe.

"Single-cell genomics research is both scientifically interesting and provides researchers with a high likelihood for extraordinary scientific discovery. Individual cells, even from the same tissue, do not function identically, and in order to understand and harness that biology, you have to study them individually. With the opening of this Single-Cell Omics Centre in Singapore, we expect the combination of rich application diversity, groundbreaking science and the  endorsement from key opinion leaders throughout Asia to make this centre one of the growth engines of single-cell innovation in the world," said Mr. Gajus Worthington, Fluidigm President and Chief Executive Officer.

GIS Executive Director Prof Ng Huck Hui said, "GIS has identified Single-Cell Genomics as one of our new research frontiers. We are set up to build a repertoire of new research capabilities for single-cell analyses. Our initial collaboration with Fluidigm has borne fruit with the publication of a landmark paper by Dr. Paul Robson. This larger and very important collaboration will see an even greater synergy between the technologies from GIS and Fluidigm."

“Since the late 1830’s we have known the cell is the foundational unit of life but have been challenged to comprehensively study biology at this level. The technology has now arrived to do this and the local research and medical communities are abuzz with the possibilities," said Dr. Paul Robson, GIS Principal Investigator. "The Single-Cell Omics Centre aims to facilitate community access to these microfluidic technologies and thus enable unparalleled insight into underlying biological mechanisms operative in health and disease,” he concluded.


Further Information

Join For Free

Access to this exclusive content is for Technology Networks Premium members only.

Join Technology Networks Premium for free access to:

  • Exclusive articles
  • Presentations from international conferences
  • Over 3,000+ scientific posters on ePosters
  • More Than 4,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
  • 35 community eNewsletters


Sign In



Forgotten your details? Click Here
If you are not a member you can join here

*Please note: By logging into TechnologyNetworks.com you agree to accept the use of cookies. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

Related Content

Fluidigm, OpGen Collaborate
Fluidigm and OpGen have announced an agreement to collaborate on instruments and kits to test for multi-drug resistance genes in bacteria, fungi, and viruses.
Tuesday, July 14, 2015
Early Access Program for Fluidigm's New Imaging Mass Cytometry Platform
Prototypes of the product are expected to begin shipping to early access partners by the end of this year.
Sunday, August 03, 2014
Revealing the Role of “Precocious” Dendritic Cells in Inflammatory Response
Discovery makes it possible for researchers to explore how these “precocious” cells escalate the body’s immune response when the body is under attack.
Monday, July 07, 2014
Fluidigm to Acquire DVS Sciences
The acquisition consideration of approximately $207.5 million consists of a combination of Fluidigm common stock and cash.
Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Fluidigm Reports Strong Q1 2013 Results
Revenue up 33% and margins increase 300 basis points compared to Q1 2012.
Friday, May 03, 2013
Fluidigm to Develop and Supply a Custom High-throughput Prep System for HLA Typing
Custom system will ultimately enable DKMS Life Science Lab to type several thousand samples per week.
Friday, May 03, 2013
Fluidigm Announces $60 Million Public Offering of Common Stock
Company has closed the previously announced underwritten public offering of 4,209,000 shares of its common stock at a price to the public of $14.25 per share for gross proceeds of approximately $60 million.
Wednesday, August 22, 2012
Fluidigm Announces Unrestricted Sales into Prenatal Health
Fluidigm collaboration ends.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
New Research Center to Focus on Mammalian Single Cell Genomics
New Center will feature a complete suite of Fluidigm single-cell tools, protocols and technologies.
Friday, June 15, 2012
Fluidigm Reports Financial Results for First Quarter 2012
Q1 total revenue up 26% compared to Q1 2011.
Monday, May 14, 2012
Fluidigm China Opens Its Doors
Company expects to rapidly build strong presence in country and improve services to Chinese customer base.
Monday, April 23, 2012
Fluidigm and AH Diagnostics Sign Distribution Deal for Scandinavia
AH diagnostics will offer Fluidigm's complete portfolio, including the complete line up of Dynamic Array(TM), Digital Array(TM) and Access Array IFCs for real-time PCR, digital PCR, single-cell gene expression, sample preparation for next-generation sequencing, and SNP genotyping.
Tuesday, January 31, 2012
Fluidigm and Life Technologies Cross-License a Broad Set of Intellectual Properties
Fluidigm Corporation announces that it has entered into a set of cross-licensing and sub-licensing agreements on a range of intellectual properties with Life Technologies.
Tuesday, July 12, 2011
Fluidigm Reports Financial Results for First Quarter 2011
Total revenue for the first quarter of 2011 was $8.7 million, an increase of 30% from $6.7 million in the first quarter of 2010.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
Fluidigm Announce Israeli Distribution Deal
Fluidigm has appointed Eisenberg Brothers as distributor in Israel and Eisenberg Brothers offers Fluidigm's complete portfolio of BioMark™, EP1™, and Access Array™ systems.
Tuesday, March 01, 2011
Scientific News
How Skeletal Stem Cells Form The Blueprint Of The Face
USC researchers discover that two types of molecular signals work to control where and when stem cells turn into facial cartilage.
Intestinal Worms Boost Immune System In A Surprising Way
EPFL researchers find that intestinal worm infections cause lymph nodes to produce more immune cells as well as grow in size.
Measuring The Airborne Toxicants Urban Bicyclists Inhale
Researchers analyze breath biomarkers to measure uptake of volatile organic compounds by bicyclists.
Breast Milk Hormones Impact Bacteria In Infants’ Guts
Intestinal microbiome of children born to obese mothers significantly different from those born to mothers of healthy weight, CU Anschutz researchers find.
Newborn Screening Test Developed For Rare, Deadly Neurological Disorder
Scientists have developed a new dried blood spot screening test for Niemann-Pick type C, with goal to speed diagnosis and treatment.
'Kidney on a Chip' Facilitates Safer Drug Dosing
University of Michigan researchers have used a "kidney on a chip" device to mimic the flow of medication through human kidneys and measure its effect on kidney cells.
New Autism Blood Biomarker Identified
Researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center have identified a blood biomarker that may aid in earlier diagnosis of children with autism spectrum disorder, or ASD.
New Method Allows First Look At Embryo Implantation
Researchers at The Rockefeller University develop a method that shows the molecular and cellular processes that occur up to day 14 after fertilization.
Ketamine Metabolism Lifts Depression
NIH-funded team finds rapid-acting, non-addicting agent in mouse study.
Faster, Cheaper Way to Produce New Antibiotics
A novel way of synthesising a promising new antibiotic has been identified by scientists at the University of Bristol.
Scroll Up
Scroll Down
Skyscraper Banner

Skyscraper Banner
Go to LabTube
Go to eposters
 
Access to the latest scientific news
Exclusive articles
Upload and share your posters on ePosters
Latest presentations and webinars
View a library of 1,800+ scientific and medical posters
3,000+ scientific and medical posters
A library of 2,500+ scientific videos on LabTube
4,500+ scientific videos
Close
Premium CrownJOIN TECHNOLOGY NETWORKS PREMIUM FOR FREE!