Research Focus

The College of Science focuses its research efforts on meeting the societal challenges of the 21st century. As scientists, our approaches differ from those of engineers. We believe that fundamental knowledge will bring about out-of-box solutions, as evident from the history of science where discoveries such as antibiotics (new biology and new chemistry) and transistors (new physics) have utterly transformed human society.

Over the past decade, CoS has made many seminal discoveries and breakthroughs in advancing fundamental knowledge as well as translational research. It has created niche areas of research and innovation strength, including (SBS) Cell biology, Cancer, Immunology, Stem cells & ageing, Metabolism & diseases, Infectious disease & microbiology, Neuroscience, Gene regulation, Structural biology, Chemical biology; (Chemistry, SPMS) Chemical Synthesis, Catalysis, Medicinal chemistry, Nanomedicine, Bioimaging and sensing; (Physics, SPMS) Photonics, Quantum technology, Soft condensed matter, Biophysics, Condensed Matter physics; (Math, SPMS) Coding & cryptography, Scientific computing, Numerical stimulation, Analytics, Theoretical computer science; and (ASE) Environment change, Society and complexity, Oceans and atmosphere, Volcanology, Active tectonics and earthquakes, Ecology and ecosystems.
CoS is a key player in NTU’s Peaks of Excellence, which address both the national needs and global issues. The NTU 2020 Strategy Plan envisages Five Peaks of Excellence. Among them, the Sustainable Earth, Secure Community, and Healthy Society peaks are of particular relevance to CoS.


The Sustainable Earth Peak seeks solutions “for the preservation, remediation and restoration of the environment.” It integrates a broad spectrum of research areas across NTU involving water, environment, resources and energy. SPMS plays a leading role in green chemistry and solar cells; and ASE examines climate change adaption and reducing greenhouse gas emission.



The Secure Community Peak develops “knowledge about, and solutions to, the societal security preservation in Singapore”, with a goal of maintaining the society harmony. SPMS Division of Mathematical Sciences plays a leading role in coding and cryptography; and ASE specializes in the predictive understanding of geo-hazards.




The Healthy Society Peak seeks healthy living and active ageing, which are of great importance considering the ageing population in Singapore. SBS expands the fundamental knowledge on topics such as infectious disease, ageing, and cancer. SPMS studies medicinal chemistry, nanoscale drug delivery vehicles, cell imaging agents, among others.