Ageing - NUS Medical Sciences Cluster


Our Mission

The MSC Program for Ageing aims to bring together scientists from a broad range of disciplines to investigate the multifaceted aspects of ageing to provide a more comprehensive understanding of the biology of ageing. Our overall goal is to identify and change the ways in which we age to improve the healthspan and lifespan of the elderly through synergistic basic science and clinical collaborations.

Who We Are

We are an inter-disciplinary group consisting of faculty members and researchers from the basic science departments of NUS Medicine. The wide-ranging biological expertise within the team well position us to tackle the mechanisms of ageing through many unique directions to develop novel interventions to prevent and better manage common conditions associated with ageing.

What We Do

Understanding the mechanisms behind aging is important for treating common diseases of old age as well as shedding light on ways to promote successful ageing (longer and healthier lifespan). Our strategy seeks to identify, understand and manipulate common pathways that modulate ageing in model organisms and then to seek methods for their manipulation in humans. This will pave the way to ameliorate the aging process and increase health during ageing in humans.

We hope to invite faculties to look at the various aspects of ageing:

  • Conserved mechanisms of the ageing process
  • Molecular pathways that regulate ageing (eg, TOR, Sirtuin)
  • Cancers, cell death and cellular senescence
  • Stem cells and regenerative biology
  • Neurodegeneration and cognitive decline
  • Reactive oxygen species and stress resistance
  • Brain aging
  • Immunity and infection
  • Inflammation
  • Epigenetics and signalling pathways (eg, calcium signalling)
  • Proteostasis and autophagy
  • Muscle ageing and exercise
  • Metabolism and dietary modulation
  • Mitochondria and ageing
  • Telomere, DNA damage and genomic instability
  • Develop and test novel therapeutics interventions and treatment strategies designed to increase human healthspan
  • New technology to enable ageing in place
  • Enhance quality of life and add healthy years of life for older people through new models of care integrating health, mental and psychological well-being

Our research is supported by shared core facilities within the MSC such as the Neuroscience Phenotyping Core (NPC) and the Memory, Aging & Cognition Centre (MACC), as well as imaging, antibody development, and genome and proteome screening platforms.

The Way Forward

We strive to advance the frontiers of ageing research in Singapore through cutting-edge science by leveraging on the multidimensional cooperation and complementary skills amongst the scientific partners within and outside the cluster, and overseas researchers. This program aims to pave the way for close collaboration with clinicians to translate what we have learned in the lab to novel interventions in humans for the development of clinical trials and practice recommendations that improve quality and reduce cost of elderly healthcare and promote healthy ageing. We hope to foster and train future scientists to engage in high calibre research in ageing and age-related diseases.

Faculty Involved in the MSC Ageing Programme

Researcher Department Description of Research
Brian Kennedy (Facilitator) Centre for Healthy Ageing/Biochemistry Mechanisms and molecular pathways of ageing, human ageing cohort studies
Esther Wong Centre for Healthy Ageing/Physiology Autophagy and proteostasis in ageing and neurodegeneration
Wang Jigang Centre for Healthy Ageing/ Pharmacology Chemical Biology, autophagy, ageing
Zeng Xianmin Physiology Stem cells in ageing and neurodegeneration
Tsai Shih-Yin Physiology Sex and ageing, proteostasis, sarcopenia