IDRI seeks to:
- Provide leadership, strategic direction and coordination for infectious diseases research collaborations between SingHealth and Duke-NUS
- Serve as a bridge between SingHealth Infectious Diseases Centre (SIDC) and the Duke-NUS Emerging Infectious Diseases (EID) Programme
- Be each other’s committed partners for Infectious Diseases (ID) research within the AMC with the current areas of focus being emerging infections as well as the prevention and treatment of infections by multi-drug resistant organisms (MDRO)
Through the partnership of SIDC and EID, IDRI will enable the following:
1) Leadership, Strategic Direction and Coordination
One of the key functions that IDRI will perform is to provide leadership, a focused roadmap and coordination for ID research between all SingHealth institutions and Duke NUS via:
• Joint retreats, Joint meetings/symposia, focused meet and greet sessions• Joint research grant applications• Joint publications
One can expect various events such as annual scientific retreats, seminars, meetings/symposia, small focused meet and greet sessions through this collaborating platform, which can be an excellent means to identify same interest groups, which will further enable to form joint disease focus groups. Once we have formed functional groups with people who share common research interests there will be opportunities to put in Joint research grant applications (local and International e.g., Open Fund Large Collaborative Grant) and joint publications.
2) AMC-wide Focus Groups in Strategic Research Areas
The two focus areas decided upon within which these work groups/common interest groups will be formed are; Emerging Infectious Diseases and Multi-drug Resistant Organisms Treatment and Prevention. These two focus areas are basically derived from the NRF road map of RIE2020, (Research Innovation and enterprise 2020) that the government intends to build on. In this road map, the MOH identified five therapeutic areas of focus, one of which is Infectious Diseases and specifically within ID, they identified three disease focus areas for the next 5 years, which are Pandemic threats, Dengue and Anti-Microbial Resistance (AMR)/ Healthcare Associated Infections (HAI).
IDRI will form AMC-wide Focus Groups in strategic areas each co-led by a Duke-NUS and SingHealth ID researcher in themes such as:
• Novel approaches to fight MDRO by focusing on host responses as well as targeted therapies• Dengue• Emerging Viruses
ViREMiCS (Viral Research and Experimental Medicine Centre @ Singhealth Duke-NUS) is one of the very first core unit/workgroup structure established under IDRI. It's a partnership between SingHealth and Duke-NUS investigators. It aims to provide laboratory support for pre-clinical and early phase clinical studies for vaccine and therapeutic translation.
For more information, please visit ViREMiCS website here.
3) Single Window for External Agencies
IDRI aims to be a single point of contact for external agencies regarding ID research under the SingHealth Duke-NUS AMC umbrella.
We soft launched a new fund: “Strategic Collaboration Fund” during our annual scientific retreat held on 16 March 2019, where we gathered valuable feedback for this new funding from the retreat attendees. We have now drafted the terms and conditions for this new grant call and the required documentation for the same is now ready. The grant call will be put out very soon.