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NUS-HUJ-CREATE Programme for Inflammation Research

NUS-HUJ-CREATE Programme for Inflammation Research is a partnership between the National University of Singapore (NUS) and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (HUJ). The programme was established by the National Research Foundation of Singapore (NRF) in 2011 under the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE). The programme focuses on advancing an understanding of cellular and molecular mechanisms of inflammation of diseases prevalent in Asia, a field that is currently under-studied.

The NUS-HUJ-CREATE team, presently under the stewardship of Professor Ehud Razin (HUJ) and Professor Paul MacAry (NUS), is comprised of world renowned researchers and clinicians from both Singapore and Israel. This collaboration is important for advancing specific diagnostic and prognostic indicators and paves the way toward innovative therapeutic solutions to common inflammatory disease.

Inflammation is the body's response to infection and injury. Prolonged or chronic inflammation may lead to a variety of disease including cancer, neurodegenerative diseases, autoimmune disorders and diabetes. Anti-inflammatory drugs are not always effective in preventing chronic inflammations and can lead to severe side effects. As such, a better understanding of inflammatory processes is necessary in order to produce more powerful and specific drugs, capable of fighting inflammation-related diseases.

Singapore is experiencing a rise in inflammatory diseases. Inflammatory vascular diseases such as atherosclerosis are currently the second leading cause of death; inflammation underlies many cancers prevalent in Asia; furthermore, gastrointestinal diseases are increasing in frequency amongst Singaporean Chinese population, and asthma now affects about 5% of adults and 20% of children in Singapore. Infectious diseases such as dengue fever and Group A Streptococcus continue to claim lives.

By bringing together researchers and clinicians, the NUS-HUJ-CREATE programme fosters a better understanding of the molecular processes involved in the development of these inflammatory and infectious diseases. The program is structured around five key research areas: cancer, signaling, immunology, genomics, and metabolism. This powerful combination of basic and translational research advances the development of promising new drugs for Asian inflammatory disease. The team has already made great progress in the development of a dengue vaccine; identified genes involved in heart disease in the Singapore population that is used as a predictive tool; and are making significant advances in inflammation-related discoveries.

NUS-HUJ-CREATE Programme for Inflammation Research

-To bring together talent from both Israel and Singapore to advance a better understanding of molecular processes involved in inflammatory disease.

- To create a network of clinicians and basic researchers to advance translational and clinical efforts.

-To develop specific drugs for inflammation-related diseases through unique interdisciplinary, international research collaborations.

-To provide mentorship to a new generation of Singapore researchers in the area of inflammatory disease through post-doctoral fellowships and PhD programs.

-To share Israel's "start-up-nation" culture of translational research and entrepreneurism with Singapore's research community.