National University of Singapore
I joined IMCB in 1989 as a Junior Research Fellow (thanks to Prof Chris Tan), and obtained my PhD in 1994 under Prof Hong Wanjin. I stayed on in the lab as a postdoc, and in 2001 became a tenure-tracked joint appointee between IMCB and NUS. I now serve as Associate Professor in the Department of Biochemistry, NUS, and Deputy Executive Director of the NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering (NGS).
My formative years spent in IMCB was a wonderful experience, and the support the institute has given me in the early phase of my career in the university was immensely helpful. I remember fondly the people in the lab, and those around us. As we go through the daily research routines, life was never dull as there are so many research topics and bright ideas bouncing around. One could not help but learn by osmosis. I picked up all the cell biology I needed from Wanjin and others in the lab, but over the years also had some knowledge of Drosophila and yeast genetics infused in me by the neighbours. Being in a vibrant metropolitan melting pot of very bright people certainly help shape my own directions prepared me well for the challenges years later when I started my own lab. Other than the very generous financial backing in the institute, we also had fantastic in-house administrative, logistic and centralized facility support. The former others and myself who subsequently led our own labs elsewhere knew will be scarce "out there", but the latter we only missed dearly after we left.
As I look back and around me, I see familiar faces of former IMCB course mates and colleagues, many of them now prominent figures and in the local biomedical scene, both in the academia and the industry. I am blessed and proud to have shared the same roots with them.