Scientific discoveries and findings made in research laboratories are not usually immediately beneficial to patients.   They often have to undergo years of further studies, tests, clinical trials or commercialisation before they can be applied in the clinical setting – as biomarkers, drugs, treatment modalities or medical devices. 

To boost the translation of research findings into actual care outcomes that impact patients, the SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre recently partnered Nature Publications to host the inaugural Nature Science Café Asia, an biotech science and investment forum. Nature Publications is a publisher of high impact scientific and medical information with several prestigious academic journals and online databases under its name. 

The forum connected top biomedical investigators from around Asia – hand-picked by Nature – with investment communities from US and the region.   The interface aimed to further translational research through critical relationships among these key biotech science players.   This inaugural session saw six top investigators with translational, “druggable” research share their work to the investor audience, creating opportunities for potential collaboration and investment.

“Nature Science Café Asia recognises the critical importance of building productive relationships between investors and commercially-oriented scientists in Asia.   It creates synergies between scientific, government and investment stakeholders in order to facilitate the commercialisation of life-saving technologies that might otherwise not be realised,” said Prof Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth and Prof Ranga Krishnan, Dean, Duke-NUS.

"This is the first time that the Nature Science Café has been organised in Asia, and we at the SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC are proud to be able to host it.   We hope that the SciCafé will advance translational research here in Asia, in the same way that it synergizes strategic collaborations to further research commercialisation in the US and Europe where is held regularly,” said Prof Salvatore Albani, Director, SingHealth Translational Immunology and Inflammation Centre (STIIC), Senior Clinical Scientist at KKH and Professor at Duke-NUS.

The Nature Science Café Asia was spearheaded by Prof Albani and his team from the STIIC, together with Nature Publications and Profs David Epstein, Associate Dean, Research and Director, Centre for Technology & Development, and Steve Myint, Adjunct Professor, from Duke-NUS.