The combined accomplishments of all the scholars include more than 100 publications in Science, Nature, and Cell, and numerous publications in other top journals. Many of their previous students and postdoctoral associates have become professors and corporate executives in top institutions worldwide. Supported by over USD$110 Million in funding from the Singapore government, these illustrious scholars join hands to recruit and train the best minds in Asia. Together, we venture ahead to define a new discipline of mechanobiology.
What is Mechanobiology?
Mechanobiology is a quantitative and interdisciplinary approach to understanding biological functions. Physical, geometrical and mechanical events are not just side effects of biochemistry, but are themselves important triggers and regulators of processes such as cancer metastasis and stem cell differentiation. At MBI we dissect complex behaviors into smaller processes or functional modules. We describe each step within a process using both quantifiable chemical reactions and physical descriptors. From these parameters we build computational models to extract proper representations of how each process works. In this manner we are able to organize modular processes into a mechanistic understanding of their emerging properties and complex phenotypes.
We also apply our fundamental knowledge to solving impactful problems in cancer and regenerative medicine. To help those unfamiliar with mechanobiology to gain a better understanding of the field and relevant cellular processes, we have launched the online, educational resource MBInfo.
With an interdisciplinary and highly-integrated team approach to discovery and invention, MBI constitutes a new paradigm in biomedical research and graduate education. Our curriculum is crafted to train innovative and influential leaders for not only in academia but also in R&D-based industry.
The mechanobiology curriculum includes 3 core courses to introduce the principles of mechanobiology (MB5101: Cell as a Machine); in-depth analysis of biological functions (MB5102: Special Topics in Mechanobiology); and training in critical thinking and presentations (MB5103: Trends in Mechanobiology). Students then choose 3 electives from many courses offered in different schools. To help students venture into new disciplines of inquiry, 1-2 undergraduate courses can be taken with “pass or fail” grade. To help students developing decision-making and leadership skills, teaching experiences, laboratory rotations and proposal writing are built into the curriculum.
We welcome outstanding candidates who have solid foundations in science (either biomedical or physical) or engineering; with good quantitative, communication and critical thinking skills; adventurous, resourceful, and self-driven, to apply and take part in this research and education journey with us.
MBI admits new students twice per year, in August and January.
For August admissions, the deadline of application is 1 January and interviews will be conducted in February-March. For January admissions, the closing date of application is 1 September. Candidates graduated from universities in Singapore can apply after the deadlines. Outstanding candidates with exceptional qualities will be considered at any time of the year.
All students admitted into the MBI PhD program will be offered full scholarship for up to 5 years. It covers full tuition and fees, with a monthly stipend of S$3200 per month and a one-time allowance of S$5000 to cover purchase of laptops, books and certain settling expenses. The MBI will also provide competitive allowance for international conference travels.
Admitted students can choose to register under either the NUS Graduate School of Integrative Science and Engineering (NGS) or Faculty of Science.
A limited number of internships are available. Find out more at mbi.nus.edu.sg/education/internship-program.