Singapore Has An Offer Bioscientists Can't Refuse: Unrestricted Research, Top-Notch Equipment, Limitless Funds

Singapore is treating hundreds of scientists like free agents, promising first-class laboratories, top-notch equipment, and more than enough money to pursue work that's not fundable, or is too controversial, back home. The government is investing more than $2 billion into research of all stripes, hoping to attract leaders in therapeutic cloning, drug discovery, cancer research, and other areas, bioscience all-stars who will in turn help build a local community that will bolster the economy. So far, it's working. A third of the almost 4,000 science PhDs here are foreigners, many with impressive résumés. Edison Liu, former director of the US National Cancer Institute's Division of Clinical Sciences, moved in 2001 to head the Genome Institute of Singapore. Japanese cancer researcher Yoshiaki Ito brought his entire Kyoto University team to Singapore's Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in 2002. Nobel Prize-winning molecular biologist Sydney Brenner splits his time between the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego and advising Singapore on how to attract more people like him.

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