Professor Birgitte Lane is Executive Director of A*STAR’s Institute of Medical Biology, and Co-Executive Director (Scientific) of the Skin Research Institute of Singapore.
Her research career has focused on epithelial biology, particularly in genetic skin diseases, the keratin filament cytoskeleton, skin cancer and recently wound healing, and she has over 240 publications. She is an elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and of the Academy of Medical Sciences, and holds honorary academic positions at the University of Dundee (UK) and the Karolinska Institute (Sweden), and in Singapore at the National Skin Centre, the National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University (LKCMedicine). Professor Birgitte Lane is best known for her contribution to the understanding of the epithelial cell cytoskeleton in tissue structure and pathology. She led her research team to becoming a central reference point in the field and a leading laboratory for generating and supplying monoclonal antibodies to keratins and epithelial cell lines to the broader community. She was subsequently a major player in establishing the links between mutations in keratin genes and human skin diseases, determining the basis of more than 15 distinct inherited genetic skin diseases, from skin fragility to cancer. Her research team has made many important contributions to understanding the central role of filament protein networks in the function of epithelial sheet tissues of the body, and her recent studies on the cellular effects of keratin mutations are generating novel approaches to therapy for these rare and incurable conditions.
Since 2005, she has been helping to build the Biomedical Sciences Initiative in Singapore, first leading the Centre for Molecular Medicine before founding A*STAR’s Institute of Medical Biology in 2007, and subsequently the Skin Research Institute of Singapore (with Prof Roy Chan, NSC) in 2013. Her success in this work is characterized by her achievement of radical reshaping and restructuring of a young scientific community to meet government objectives whilst maintaining growth in volume, morale, output and scientific reputation.
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