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Posted: March 26, 2009

Nanyang-Berkeley collaboration to focus on synthetic biology, stem cells and energy efficiency

(Nanowerk News) UC Berkeley and Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore, aims to achieve new peaks in research excellence through collaboration in three research areas which are of significance globally - synthetic biology, stem cells and energy efficiency.
A joint workshop was held on 23 and 24 March 2009 that allowed NTU and UC Berkeley faculty face-to-face discussions and the opportunity to get to know the latest research and developments in the three key research areas.
Moving forward, faculty from the two universities will be working on joint research projects on an equal footing, including bringing in resources and funding. As the research in these three areas are multidisciplinary, participation of colleagues from Schools outside of NTU's College of Engineering can be expected.
As an emerging multidisciplinary field, Synthetic Biology combines science and engineering to design and build or "synthesize" novel biological functions and systems. Of importance to global public health, this new area of biological research holds great potential for addressing problems in biomedicine, environmental remediation, and energy supply.
Stem Cell research is of great significance to the future of biomedical research, with major implications for treating and preventing devastating human diseases. Locally, Singapore has built up a critical mass of stem cell researchers working on embryonic, as well as adult stem cells.
In the area of Energy, an important issue is the impact of energy use on climate change and global warming. To mitigate the adverse impact of climate change, improving energy efficiency is one strategy to ensure that the economy will grow in an environmentally sustainable manner.
"Within the University, we have developed peaks of excellence in energy research and we hope to develop our capabilities further including in collaboration with erkeley especially in the area of energy efficiency for tropical buildings," said NTU President, Dr Su Guaning.
On the collaboration with UC Berkeley, Dr Su said that the university is widely seen as the best public university in the United States. One of the key economic engines in Silicon Valley, Berkeley leads in cross-disciplinary research including in the area of bioengineering and clean energy.
"We are excited to work with Berkeley to tap complementary capabilities in the defined topical areas to achieve new peaks in research excellence," said Dr Su.
"I am confident our collaboration will generate innovative solutions to the global research challenges in the three focus areas, creating positive contributions to the welfare of humankind and deepening our collaboration."
Source: Nanyang Technological University
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