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Singapore MOU to Develop Scientific Leadership, Including Pharmacogenomics

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – Singapore's Health Sciences Authority announced today a memorandum of understanding with the National University of Singapore Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (SSHSPH) to develop scientific leadership.

The MOU targets cooperation by the parties in a number of areas, including pharmacogenomics, and covers four public health domains including epidemiology, biostatistics, health promotion/education, and health systems and policy. The collaboration seeks to "encourage knowledge exchange, enhance academic and professional competencies, and develop scientific leadership to promote the protection of public health and the advancement of public health science," HSA said, adding that the agreement also aims to translate research into clinical practice.

It also will seek to "advance issues from a global and regional perspective linked to HSA's key areas of focus in regulatory, forensic and analytical science, and transfusion medicine."

HSA said that it and SSHSPH have developed tools for comparing genetic variations among the Chinese, Malay, and Indian populations of Singapore and other populations from around the world. The collaboration uses the genetic variation databases maintained by SSHSPH, and the goal is to develop an Internet portal in 2013 that would allow clinicians, researchers, and regulators to better understand and evaluate how drug interactions may vary in different ethnic groups.

"Our initial interaction in the area of pharmacogenomics has helped us to use our ethnic-specific genomic map to predict potential public health problems of existing and new drugs," Chia Kee Seng, a professor at the National University of Singapore, said in a statement. "It has also provided opportunities for students to pursue their postgraduate training. I am confident that newer areas of collaboration like regulatory science and implementation science will result from this MOU."

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