UBD and SingHealth Duke-NUS BD-MED signed Collaboration Agreement

A Collaboration Agreement signing ceremony between Universiti Brunei Darussalam (UBD) and SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Biodiversity Medicine (BD-MED), a joint institute by SingHealth and Duke-NUS Medical School, was held at the National Cancer Centre Singapore. The UBD Vice Chancellor, Dr Hazri Kifle signed the agreement on behalf of UBD while Professor Ivy Ng, Group Chief Executive Officer, SingHealth, signed on behalf of SingHealth.

The Collaboration Agreement is one of the joint initiatives by UBD’s Institute for Biodiversity and Environmental Research (IBER) and BD-MED to establish an IBER/BD-MED Biodiversity Genomics Joint Laboratory in UBD.

IBER is a research institute in UBD that is actively engaged in tropical ecology research, biodiversity conservation, ecosystem studies and applied research. BD-MED aims to drive and accelerate biodiversity research to promote all aspects of human health and wellness. Both entities signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2022.

The joint laboratory will further strengthen the existing collaboration on biodiversity genomics in order to garner outputs relevant to conservation and metabolite discovery. To date, both IBER and BD-MED have undertaken three plant genomic studies together including the study on the Brunei Darussalam’s national flower, Bunga Simpur. A number of activities including genomic workshops, laboratory trainings and seminars have also been conducted in IBER and BD-MED.

The establishment of the joint laboratory will enable advanced genomics research activities on the flora and fauna of Brunei Darussalam to be carried out in UBD. It will also allow training and capacity building for researchers and students at both institutes to be conducted in the joint laboratory. The joint laboratory will also establish a robust database of genomic information, chemical profiling and biodiversity resources for scientific research and conservation initiatives.

The signing ceremony was part of a launching event of the SGH Bicentennial Genomic Garden, a 3,400 sqm garden within the Singapore General Hospital Campus, which is home to 100 genomic sequenced local and regional plants, and also opening of the BD-MED Laboratory.

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