2 April 2012
Prof Lim Chwee Teck studies the mechanisms of cells on nano- and micro-scales. He receives the Program Grants awarded by HFSPO this year, for a proposed collaborative research with University Paris Diderot, University Pierre et Marie Curie and Stanford University. Highly selective, the grants are awarded to international teams with strong preference given to intercontinental collaborations.
PROFESSOR Lim Chwee Teck, Departments of Bioengineering and Mechanical Engineering and the NUS Mechanobiology Institute, has been awarded the prestigious collaborative research grant by the International Human Frontier Science Program Organization (HFSPO). The grants are given for a broad range of projects under the umbrella theme of "Complex mechanisms of living organisms", with particular emphasis on cutting-edge and risky projects. Each recipient receives a three-year grant of up to $125,000 per year. Professor Lim is the only recipient from Singapore, a non-HFSPO member country.
Professor Lim is one of the team members of this Program Grant project on the "Probing mechano-transduction by cell-cell junctions at the nano- and micro-scales". The other three other recipients are Professor Benoit Ladoux from NUS Mechanobiology Institute and University Paris Diderot, Professor Rene-Marc Mege from University Pierre et Marie Curie and Professor W James Nelson from Stanford University. The Program Grant is open to international teams with a strong preference for intercontinental collaboration. Candidates need to go through rigorous selection - each year only about 20 to 30 are awarded out of some 700 over proposals submitted from around the world.
Said Professor Lim, "I see international teamwork as integral to our multidisciplinary research project. Each team member comes to the table with their own set of skills and expertise and contributing towards achieving the goals of the research. In this day and age, such collaboration often leads to significant and impactful outcomes that would otherwise be impossible if we just work in a cocoon, closely guarding our own research interest."
Professor Lim, winner of the 2011 President's Technology Award (Singapore), is known for his work on the manipulation of living cells, particularly for his groundbreaking research on detecting, isolating and retrieving live cancer cells from the blood of patients, without the use of biomarkers. This is a world's first. Currently, one of his many projects involves studying the migratory behaviour and pattern of cancer cells in an effort to better understand how cancer cells spread in the human body.