NEW YORK – Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU-Singapore) this week announced the launch of the Institute for Digital Molecular Analytics and Science (IDMxS), which aims to advance biomolecular analysis using information technology and data science.
As NTU's newest national Research Centre of Excellence, IDMxS is supported with a total investment of about S$160 million (about US$118.5 million) over 10 years, comprising S$94 million from the Singapore Ministry of Education with the remainder from NTU and National University Singapore.
IDMxS will focus on what it calls "digital molecular analytics," a new way of detecting, identifying, and quantifying biomolecules at the single-molecular level by bridging biology and information technology. One potential application of these combined technologies is the creation of blood sample test kits that can identify various disease-causing or -associated molecules at the patient bedside, the new institute said.
Another project already in the works is the large-scale monitoring of insect-borne disease, such as dengue and malaria, with the goal of developing an imaging system that can quickly detect and monitor these diseases within the mosquito population. Such research could be extended to airborne pathogens and diseases, the institute said.
The interdisciplinary center is expected to bring together 100 full-time researchers and staff with expertise in several science and engineering disciplines such as biology, medical technology, chemistry, optics, computer science, and artificial intelligence.
"IDMxS brings together world-class researchers and leading experts in the nascent field of digital molecular analytics, which will drive a paradigm shift in molecular detection and analysis and lay the groundwork for dramatic change in various fields such as biomedicine, biotechnology, and clinical science," Ling San, NTU acting president and provost professor, said in a statement. "Another important objective of IDMxS is to nurture postgraduate students in interdisciplinary education across the molecular sciences and information technology, as well as to develop continuing education programs to uplift the expertise of our healthcare workers in the area of digital diagnostics."