A*STAR Outstanding Publications Award
2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2016
A*STAR Patent Power Award
2009 and 2010
Singapore HEALTH Award
(Platinum) 2012, (Gold) 2008 and 2010

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A New Way of Looking at Cancer

The IBN researchers who discovered that the circulating cell clusters commonly found in cancer patients come from the blood vessels that line the tumor rather than from the tumor itself. Front row (left to right): Dr Min-Han Tan, Dr Nur-Afidah Mohamed Suhaimi, Ms Jess Vo, Dr Poh Koon Koh and Prof Jackie Y. Ying. Back row (left to right): Dr Ciprian Iliescu, Dr Wai Min Phyo, Dr Min Hu and Mr Daniel Lee. © Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

July 8, 2016 – Clusters of circulating cells commonly found in the blood of cancer patients have long been the subject of research on cancer. These clusters have been regarded for more than 50 years as malignant cells that have broken off from the primary tumor, spreading cancer to other parts of the body. Now, researchers at the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR have reported that these clusters are unlike what others have assumed previously, potentially opening up new ways to detect and inhibit the spread of cancer.

Due to the technical challenges of separating these clusters from normal blood cells, limited research has been performed on these clusters. The working assumption was that these cell clusters are malignant cells from the tumor.

A national research team led by Dr Min-Han Tan, Team Leader and Principal Research Scientist at IBN, has shown that these cell clusters come from the blood vessels that line the tumor rather than from the tumor itself. The team includes researchers from IBN, A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore, Concord Cancer Hospital, National University of Singapore, National Cancer Centre Singapore, and Singapore General Hospital.

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Supergelators Hold Key to More Effective Oil Spill Cleanup
IBN’s smart oil-scavenging material forms 3D net to trap oil molecules

The IBN research team who invented the smart oil-scavenging material (clockwise from bottom left: Dr Changliang Ren, Dr Hong Wu, Dr Jie Shen, Dr Huaqiang Zeng and Prof Jackie Y. Ying). © Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology

June 17, 2016 – Large-scale oil spills, where hundreds of tons of petroleum products are accidentally released into the oceans, not only have devastating effects on the environment, but have significant socio-economic impact as well.

Current techniques of cleaning up oil spills are not very efficient and may even cause further pollution or damage to the environment. These methods, which include the use of toxic detergent-like compounds called dispersants or burning of the oil slick, result in incomplete removal of the oil. The oil molecules remain in the water over long periods and may even be spread over a larger area as they are carried by wind and waves. Further, burning can only be applied to fresh oil slicks of at least 3 millimeters thick, and this process would also cause secondary environmental pollution.

In a bid to improve the technology utilized by cleanup crews to manage and contain such large spills, researchers from the Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) of A*STAR have invented a smart oil-scavenging material or supergelators that could help clean up oil spills efficiently and rapidly to prevent secondary pollution.

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Professor Jackie Y. Ying Honored with The Cooper Union Alumni Award

June 3, 2016 – IBN Executive Director Professor Jackie Y. Ying has been honored with The Cooper Union’s Gano Dunn Award and included in the Alumni Hall of Fame for her professional achievements in engineering. The award ceremony was held in New York City on June 2.

“The Cooper Union was special, not only because it offered full-tuition scholarships to all its undergraduate students, but also for its excellent faculty. I remembered professors like John Bové, who knew his chemistry so well that he could always lecture without any notes. He sparked my interest in research back in my first semester at Cooper Union. My alma mater has inspired me to make a difference through engineering and research. I have benefited immensely from Peter Cooper’s legacy, and I am deeply honored to receive the Gano Dunn Award,” said Prof Ying.

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IBN in the News

Circulating Cells In Cancer Patients’ Blood Not Always Cancerous
Asian Scientist, 12 Jul 2016

Research Opens Up New Ways to Detect, Inhibit Cancer spread
News-Medical.net, 08 Jul 2016

Non-Cancerous: Circulating Tumour Cells Re-Defined
Nature Middle East, 07 Jul 2016

More News   


Post-ExSELEX Stabilization of an Unnatural-Base DNA Aptamer Targeting VEGF165 Toward Pharmaceutical Applications
Nucleic Acids Research, (2016)
DOI: 10.1093/nar/gkw619.
(IF: 9.202) article

Integrating Metabolic Engineering and Heterogeneous Chemocatalysis: New Opportunities for Biomass to Chemicals
ChemSusChem, 9[10] (2016) 1078-1080.
(IF: 7.116) article

Facile Synthesis of N-Rich Porous Azo-Linked Frameworks for Selective CO2 Capture and Conversion
Green Chemistry, (2016)
DOI: 10.1039/C6GC01114D.
(IF: 8.506) article



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