An Overview

The vision 

We believe in core values of “discovery in fundamental knowledge” that could be harnessed and integrated towards pushing the frontiers of science and improving our lives and the environment.

The mission

We are committed to provide the best education and research opportunities to our students and to equip them with critical thinking, analytical and communication skills to be future-ready for the new economy. 

Head’s Message

The Department of Biological Sciences has undergone a series of transformations since its founding 70 years ago. After the Zoology and Botany departments merged in 1998, the department continued to grow from strength to strength. Now it is the premier Life Sciences department at NUS and consistently amongst the top 20 in the QS World University Rankings by Subject. We aspire to be amongst the world’s best in terms of research and academic excellence. Despite the fast pace of evolving challenges in science and technology, the Department continues to be agile and adaptable to the changes in the employment landscape, and has produced successful and future-ready graduates for the new and dynamic economy. 

The Department offers excellent education and research opportunities across undergraduate, graduate and postdoctoral levels. We have an excellent team of faculty members who are passionate and committed to teaching and research in our core disciplines—Biophysical Sciences; Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology; and Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, all of which are further reinforced with the crucial skills in critical thinking, writing and oral communication. Our faculty members constantly review and enhance the rigor of our curriculum to better equip our students with critical knowledge, skills and inquiring minds to enable them to thrive in the workforce. 

As a research-intensive department, our faculty, researchers, and students constantly ask and tackle biological questions that lead to discoveries, which could transform our lives and the environment. We focus on developing multi- and inter-disciplinary research platforms using various organism models, from plants to animals, that thread across different scales, i.e., from atomic, molecular, cellular, tissue, systems to organismal levels. We aim to better understand how different levels of interactions help define intricate organismal functions under physiological and pathological conditions, and how interactions between living organisms and nature would impact our fragile environment and food security, just to name a few areas. We believe in core values of “discovery in fundamental knowledge” that could be harnessed and integrated towards pushing the frontiers of science and improving our lives and nature. 

Our Department has established excellent and strategic partnerships with various academic departments, institutions and agencies in Singapore and abroad, enriched through active student exchanges, collaborations, internships, scholars’ visits, and adjunct appointments from industries and the public sectors. The Department has established various state-of-the art infrastructures comprising world-class core research facilities such as the Cryo-electron Microscopy Facility, Protein and Proteomics Centre, the NUS Centre for BioImaging Sciences and the Research Centre of Excellence in Mechanobiology (now, the world-leading Mechanobiology Institute). Other state-of-the-art facilities include plant growth chambers, insectary, NMR and X-ray crystallography facilities, zebrafish and medaka husbandry. The Department of Biological Sciences at NUS, which is strategically situated in the equatorial tropics and endowed with some of the world’s highest biodiversity, is at the forefront of research and education for ecology, evolution and biodiversity. To this end, the Department played a pivotal role in the establishment of the Lee Kong Chian Natural History Museum, founded on the earlier Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research.

While the Department continues to enhance our expertise in the core disciplines, we are committed towards exploiting the power of various emerging technologies, ranging from high-resolution microscopy, genome editing tools, big data analytics, to computational and quantitative tools, in order to break new grounds to achieve better human healthcare, improving food security, conducting proper management of our ecosystems and preserving biodiversity.

The Department welcomes anyone who aspires to be a great explorer in the path of knowledge discovery! Come and explore with DBS! 

YU Hao
Head of Department