Pharmaceutical Innovation & Research Centre (PIRC)

Delivering Solutions to Consumer-Centric Problems

About Us

The Pharmaceutical Innovation and Research Centre (PIRC) under the Department of Pharmacy was established in 2017 with the aim of delivering research solutions to problems associated with healthcare, biomedical sciences, consumer care, cosmeceuticals, nutrition, and so on, through collaboration with industries, government organizations, regulatory bodies, multi-nationals and small-medium enterprises.We have the skills and expertise required to deliver quality research and training in the areas relevant to pharmaceutical sciences and pharmacy practice.

Our Services

PIRC consists of a multidisciplinary team of researchers with world-class capabilities to tackle significant real world challenges outside of academia. We focus on partnering with industries, government organizations, regulatory bodies and beyond to find innovative solutions for the needs in the pharmaceutical sciences and healthcare sectors. We work closely with our collaborators to define problems, propose solutions, create new knowledge, and develop new technologies to deliver outcomes.

Apart from research collaborations, we also offer contract research services as an affordable solution for companies who wish to explore other areas outside of their expertise. We have a team of highly experienced researchers and clinicians to provide professional and quality research services.

Apart from academic research, our academic staff strive to understand your objectives, propose strategies that are aligned with your company’s product strategy, and ensure that every project has the highest chance of success. With our experts in the forefront of various fields, PIRC is the ideal hub to provide up-to-date and comprehensive solutions for your projects.

At PIRC, we  have a comprehensive list of instruments and facilities that companies can tap on to complement their research. Our team of experts will be available to assist you in data interpretation.

Instruments available

  • Luminex system
  • Malvern Zetasizer
  • Extruder
  • Blood coagulation analyzer
  • Cell culture room with fluorescent microscope
  • Confocal microscope
  • Phoenix WinNonlin
  • UPLC
  • HPLC
  • GCMS
  • qPCR
  • Granulators
  • Wurster and Precision coaters
  • Supercell® coaters

Our Expertise

Our research capabilities can be classified into 4 main domains, namely Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Biology and Pharmacokinetics, Pharmaceutical Technology and Clinical & Pharmacy Practice. We are highly interdisciplinary. Our capabilities when combined, is a unique blend of expertise, encompassing a broad spectrum of skills and knowledge, from clinical setting to laboratory-based cutting-edge research, that is undoubtedly the key to solving scientific problems of the 21st century.

Pharmaceutical Chemistry

This domain involve scientists working mainly in the field of drug discovery and development, as well as on epigenetics and natural products. We have a team of medicinal chemists with a strong focus on the synthesis and characterization of small molecules for the treatment of various pathological conditions, especially Parkinson’s disease, microbial infections, cancer, and so on. Furthermore, due to the relevance of Chinese herbal products used by most patients in Singapore, we have a particular interest on Natural products and Traditional Chinese Medicines, both in terms of new lead identifications via in‑silico approaches, as well as isolation of bioactive molecules from local plants.

Research Capabilities

Hit identification

Hit to lead optimization

Structure-activity relationships

Natural product isolation & purification

Synthesis of small molecules & additives

Computer modelling & informatics

Adulterants screening

Chemical probes

Available Training

Biochemical & enzymatic assays

Lead compound optimization

Modern synthetic methods

Analytical methods

Pharmaceutical Biology & Pharmacokinetics

Research in this domain is focused at 2 areas – Cancer and anti-inflammatory pharmacology; and metabolic profiling and toxicology.

In the area of cancer and anti-inflammatory pharmacology, much effort is devoted to study the cellular redox signaling pathway and the mitochondria, as a major organelle involved in the signal transduction of apoptosis, with the aim to develop new potential anticancer agents.

The metabolic profiling research group focuses on the interaction of xenobiotic-derived reactive metabolite with CYP450 enzymes, as well as in-vitro microbiome and pharmaceutical toxicology. Apart from adopting technologies such as advanced mass spectrometry-based targeted and non-targeted measurement of endogenous metabolites and identification, scientists in this domain are also involved in the functional characterization and regulation of drug metabolizing enzymes and transports in various tissues.

Research Capabilities

Drug distribution & metabolism

In-vitro and in-vivo toxicological studies

Characterization of molecular targets & their biochemical effects

Drug-drug interactions

CRISPR-Cas9 system


Available Training

Molecular & cell biology

Cell culture

In-vivo mouse models

Pre-clinical pharmacokinetic study

Metabolic stability tests



Pharmaceutical Technology

This domain encompasses the studies on formulation, manufacturing and delivery of drugs, particularly in novel dosage forms such as hybrid nanoparticle composites and multifunctional constructs for tissue engineering and repair.

Research Capabilities

Nanoscale drug delivery systems (nanoparticles, nanovesicles, liposomes, lipid-based)

Drug/gene delivery for biomedical applications

Transdermal delivery & tissue engineering


Available Training

Nanoparticle preparation & physical characterization (size, size-distribution, stability, surface changes etc.)

Drug loading & encapsulation technologies

Sterilization methods for pharmaceutical products

Process technology

Clinical & Pharmacy Practice

The mission of the Clinical & Practice Research group is to conduct cutting-edge multi-disciplinary clinical research that impacts upon the quality of healthcare in Singapore and beyond. Pharmacy Practice Research is focused at two levels.

At the macro level, theoretical research explores the areas of population pharmacokinetics, pharmacodynamics and pharmacogenetics. Studies also cover the inter-relationship between these areas in different ethnic groups, as well as methodological issues relating to pharmacoeconomics.

At the micro level, clinical and applied research is conducted on studies that would improve patient outcome and have a significant impact on the delivery of pharmaceutical care. The areas of interest include medication-related mortality and morbidity; optimization of health delivery in specific settings including ambulatory care, internal medicine, infectious diseases, oncology, gerontology and nephrology.

Research Capabilities

Patient surveys & prediction models

Patient-reported outcomes studies

Biomarkers measurement




Digital healthcare

Available Training

Biostatistical analysis


Clinical study designs

Review of various clinical topics

Interpretation of biomedical literature

Training & Workshops

PIRC recognizes the importance for companies to be equipped with cutting-edge skills and knowledge, and be well-versed with the latest regulatory requirements, in order to keep up and stay ahead of the competition. To this end, we organize workshops and provide hands-on trainings on skills. Companies can also engage us to train their employees in specific skills and knowledge through a customized workshop and training program.

Click here for more information on upcoming workshops and training.

Contact Us

Pharmaceutical Innovation & Research Centre (PIRC)

  • National University of Singapore

    Department of Pharmacy

    Block S4A Level 3

    Singapore 117543