April 2013|ISSUE 5
LKCMedicine Faculty Clinches Prestigious NRF Award

Earlier this year, LKCMedicine’s Adjunct Assistant Professor Karen Crasta became one of 16 Fellows who were awarded the prestigious Singapore National Research Foundation (NRF) Fellowship Award 2013.

The aim of the Singapore NRF Fellowship is to attract young, promising and passionate researchers in various fields of science and technology to add to Singapore’s research talent pool and help sharpen our scientific and technological edge. The NRF fellowship will provide each NRF Fellow with up to $3 million in research funding support over five years to perform cutting-edge research in Singapore.

Dr Crasta’s proposed research will seek to understand the molecular mechanisms leading to different cell fates upon treatment with anti-mitotic drugs as this process has important implications of chemotherapy and is highly relevant on a global scale.

Dr Karen Crasta

Through her proposed research, she hopes to identify novel cellular targets that could be of relevance to the development of combination therapies to improve sensitisation of tumour cells and provide insights into chemoresistance. By understanding the molecular mechanisms, better drugs may be developed to combat tumours and cancers.

Dr Crasta shares that she was inspired to go into research as she was intrigued by watching cell division in the movies during her undergraduate days. As an avid dancer, she likens the precise movement of cell division to dance choreography.

“I am excited to be part of LKCMedicine as it is a new medical school and I want to be part of something new. At LKCMedicine, I will be able to engage in inter-disciplinary research. For example, there may be tie-ups with the metabolic researchers at LKCMedicine as cancer pathways also undergo metabolism,” she says.

She adds that life as a researcher has come full circle for her as she has her own lab at Biopolis under LKCMedicine and she is keen to play her part in educating future doctors and researchers of Singapore.