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Driving Oral Health Research and Innovation in Asia Through the NDRIS

The SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre and National Dental Centre Singapore (NDCS) launched the National Dental Research Institute Singapore (NDRIS) on 4 November 2019.

Group picture taken during the launch of the National Dental Research Institute Singapore (NDRIS) 

NDRIS expects to meet oral health priorities in Singapore and worldwide through its three main programmes – Singapore Oro-facial Initiative (SOFI), Singapore Oral Microbiomics Initiative (SOMI) and Singapore Oral Population Health Initiative (SOPI).


SOFI will develop medical devices and technologies for the mouth, jaws and face, and drive research and innovation through partnerships with academic institutions and industry players. It is working on new bioactive materials that can grow tissues (e.g., bone) and influence the response of the immune system. SOFI is also creating new controlled-release treatments for oral conditions, and one of such projects is a microneedle patch to administer anaesthetic for patients.


SOMI studies microorganisms within the mouth – the oral microbiome - and their impact on a person's oral and general health, with the aim of developing personalised medications. Its research projects include a study of the link between the oral microbiome and diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer and pregnancy complications.


SOPI aims to improve the oral and general health of the population through research, education and policy recommendations. It will implement a surveillance system to provide prompt and useful oral health information for policymakers, health providers and researchers.


The launch of NDRIS was held in conjunction with the Karolinska Institutet (KI) – Nanyang Technological University (NTU) – Oral Health Academic Clinical Programme (KI-NTU-ORH ACP) Joint Research Conference 2019. NDCS was privileged to host His Excellency Mr Niclas KvarnstrÖm, Ambassador of Sweden to Singapore, Prof Ole Petter Ottersen, President of KI and Prof Subra Suresh, President of the NTU. We were also joined by Prof Thomas M. Coffman, Dean, Duke-NUS Medical School and Prof Ivy Ng, Group CEO, SingHealth.