Research Categories

Biomedical Sciences and Life Sciences

This category covers:

  • Bioinformatics
  • Cancer Biology
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Cell Motility & Cytoskeleton
  • Computational Biology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Genomics and Epigenetics
  • Host-pathogen interactions
  • Innate and Adaptive Immunity
  • Ion Channels
  • Ion Channels and Transport
  • Malaria Research
  • Molecular Bacteriology
  • Neuroscience
  • Peptide Based Pharmaceuticals
  • Physiology
  • Protein Chemistry
  • Protein-Protein Interaction
  • Proteomics
  • Signal Transduction
  • Stem Cell Research
  • Structural Biology
  • Virology

As one of the priority research, NTU has recruited many principal investigators with proven track record to lead the scientific research and teaching, provide training for post-doctoral, post-graduate and undergraduate students. It has four research divisions: Molecular and Cell Biology, Structural and Computational Biology, Chemical Biology and Biotechnology and Genomics and Genetics.

Research Divisions:

Chemical Biology and Biotechnology
In this interdisciplinary field chemical methods are used to study problems in biology and molecular medicine, leading to a detailed analysis of the interactions between different molecules with an emphasis on the proteins. Research carried out at this Division helps develop a broad appreciation of the interplay between chemistry and biology. Rapid advances in technology in recent years have allowed us to work on entire biological systems, thereby providing a more complete picture of how they function. For example, it is now possible to understand context-dependent changes in protein expression, or even describe the complex pattern of protein interactions in a cell. Techniques like large-scale 2D-electrophoretic analysis provide a snapshot of the nature of the thousands of proteins expressed in a cell. This integrated field of proteomics will gather the different methodologies and facilities necessary for the study of genomes both at the computational and experimental level, and these tools may be used to develop protein chips and specific drugs that have useful industrial and biomedical applications.

Structural and Computational Biology
Structural Biology, the study of the three-dimensional structures of biological macromolecules, is combined with Computational Biology, which fuses elements of computer science with biology for dealing with the vast amount of biological data. Studying the structure of biological macromolecules such as proteins, and their interaction with other cell structures such as nucleic acids, lipids or complex carbohydrates, is critical to understanding their functions and purposes. This research is of particular importance in drug design. To this end, a number of imaging techniques like X-ray crystallography, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, electron microscopy and mass spectrometry, are utilized. In addition, computer-modelling methods are used to complement and obtain additional structural information not accessible by experimental methods. Bioinformatics, required for mining and processing the surge of data resulting from genome sequences and functional genomics, is another area being explored, and problems related to the storage, retrieval and analysis of information about biological structures, sequences and functions are addressed.

Molecular and Cell Biology
Molecular and cell biology is a basic research on cells, the fundamental functional units of life, and the increasing complexity from the molecular level to cellular, tissue and organism levels. Many of the diseases affecting humans such as cancer, heart disease, diabetes, arthritis and dementia are due to defects at the cellular level, which cause some cells to behave abnormally. Research in this division works towards a better understanding of cellular biology, including cell development, cell cycle regulation, cytokinesis, cytoskeletal regulation, intracellular signalling and vesicular transport, which is of paramount importance in the fight against diseases originating from cell abnormality. Different model organisms and mammalian cell lines are adopted to understand these cellular processes, and diverse techniques such as live cell imaging, confocal microscopy and Fluorescent Activated Cell Sorting are employed in combination.

Genomics and Genetics
Genomics and Genetics cover one of the most important aspects of modern biology. Discoveries in basic science, especially those based on molecular genetics and the sequencing of the human and other important genomes has revolutionized our understanding of Life. Translating this new knowledge into new approaches for prevention, diagnosis and the treatment of genetic and infectious diseases is essential for improving health. Combining global approaches like DNA microarray analysis with powerful techniques like transgenic animals and genetic manipulation of other model organisms, it is now possible to investigate in detail how cellular processes are regulated. This will eventually lead to new methodologies for treatment and diagnosis. Research at this Division represents a combined effort at basic research, addressing fundamental questions at the molecular and genetic level and applied research, on medical conditions with clinical importance. These include development of genetic tools for human embryonic cell lines, investigation on the genetic basis of chromosomal rearrangements in the Smith-Magenis Syndrome (a form of mental retardation characterized by unusual physical and behavioral defects), gene expression of malaria and its mechanism of host evasion, and communication circuitry within multi-species bacterial biofilms.

Related Links:
Research at School of Biological Sciences
Bioinformatics Research Centre
Biomedical Engineering Research Centre
Biosciences Research Centre 
Drug Discovery Centre

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