​​Research Program

Biomedical research on cord blood increases the knowledge about hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) transplantation, as well as processes for collecting, processing, and storing cord blood. In addition, progenitor cells and other blood components obtained from cord blood are being investigated in the development of new treatments for many diseases. Such stem cell research provides hope for more safe and effective medical therapies in the future. Other biomedical research, which does not relate to HSC, may also be undertaken with cord blood and lead to new discoveries that may improve medical care in the future.

SCBB highly values the contribution of biomedical research to the health and well-being of the community and the advancement of scientific knowledge. SCBB facilitates access to cord blood samples for the purpose of research. This is not necessarily limited to research in the field of haemopoietic stem cells (HSC) transplantation.

Donated cord blood that does not meet the requirements for transplants may be used for biomedical research with the donor’s consent. It may be used in future medical research and development, medical education, training, diagnosis and possibly the treatment of experimental medical conditions. Release of the cord blood and its by-products for research shall be in accordance with the requirements of Human Biomedical Research Act 2015 and its regulations.

All research applications go through operational ethical review by an independent Research Advisory Ethnics Committee (RAEC) to ensure protection of the welfare, rights and safety of cord blood donors and research subjects.

Application Guidelines

Applications are accepted from Project Investigators associated with Research Institutions (RI) that have submitted their declaration of compliance for performing research activities to Ministry of Health, Singapore as per the requirements of Human Biomedical Research Act 2015. 

Investigators shall apply to procure cord blood and/or its derived products for research from SCBB. The completed application should provide all relevant information to allow for assessment by RAEC. A research study application should include the scientific, technical, procedural and ethics information necessary for the RAEC to evaluate both the ethics of the study and its intended future application of cord blood in through biomedical research.

The review process includes the following steps:

  1. The Investigators shall contact SCBB to discuss on the sample requirements (type and quantity) before sending an application to Institutional Review Board's(IRB) approval for the research project. SCBB shall share necessary details on sample procurement process, incuding copy of Informed Consent, if necessary to facilitate the IRB application.
  2. Once Investigator receive IRB approval, an application for the assessment by RAEC shall be submitted.
  3. Upon approval by RAEC, execution of Materials Transfer Agreement agreement between SCBB and Research Institution.

The decision to approve the request depends on the information provided in the application. Investigators must share any new knowledge that changes this information with SCBB through an amendment. Investigators must also inform SCBB of any incidental findings, Severe adverse events and privacy breaches.

For further information on the necessary forms and approval process please contact us at: research@scbb.com.sg

Our RAEC members consist of:


    Adj A/Prof Dr. Prema Raj Jeyaraj
    Senior Consultant, Hepato-pancreato-biliary and Transplant Surgery, Singapore General Hospital

    A/Prof Jeyaraj Prema Raj is the Head of Liver Transplant Program in Singapore General Hospital, the Director of SingHealth Transplant and the Deputy Director of the National Transplant Program, Ministry of Health.

    He started the hepatobiliary service in both Tan Tock Seng and Singapore General Hospital in 1993 and 1995 respectively, and the Cadaveric Liver Transplant Program at SGH in 2004. He also established the Living Donor Program and Liver Transplantation Service at Mount Elizabeth Hospital in 2008, where he was the Director of Liver Transplantation Programme and Chairman of the Medical Advisory Board.

    His primary research interests are tolerance induction in liver transplantation, bioprinting & 3D printing of the liver. 


    Dr. Alvin Chua
    Assistant Director, Transplant Research, Singapore General Hospital

    Clinical A/Prof Alvin Chua is Assistant Director (Transplant Research) and Principal Investigator of the Plastic, Reconstructive & Aesthetic Surgery Research Laboratory at the Singapore General Hospital.

    He has 20 years of skin cell culture and tissue banking experience, having been previously trained in Switzerland, the USA and Australia. He is also currently the Regulatory & Compliance Lead for SingHealth Duke-NUS Cell Therapy Centre (SDCT) as well as Assistant Director of the Transplant Tissue Centre at the SingHealth Duke-NUS Transplant Centre (SDTC), where he is responsible for the operations, quality assurance and research of tissue transplantations for skin, cardiovascular tissues and iliac vessels.


    Dr. Edward Manser
    Associate Professor, Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology of Singapore

    Ed Manser obtained his PhD (Biophysics) at National Institute for Medical Research in London working on the microtubule cytoskeleton under the supervision of Dr Peter M Bayley. He secured a postdoctoral position at Institute of Neurology, London and began looking at aspects of molecular neurobiology.

    As a Research Fellow at IMCB (1992) he developed an interest in the biochemical pathways downstream of the newly discovered Rho small GTPases and in 1999 was promoted to Principle Investigator, working under the GSK-IMCB Trust. He also headed the IMCB Proteomic facility 2003-2006. Currently, he holds an Associate Professor appointment, and is a Senior Principal Investigator in IMCB.


    Dr. Marieta Chan
    Laboratory Director of Patient Services, Health Science Authority

    Dr Marieta Chan graduated with a BSc. degree in Biotechnology (First Class Honours) from Australia and obtained her Ph.D from Dept. of Microbiology at the Faculty of Medicine, National University of Singapore.

    She has been working in the Blood Services Group, Health Sciences Authority (HSA), Singapore since 2001 serving as the Laboratory Director of Patient Services comprising of the Transfusion Services and the Transplant Support Laboratories which provides tests and services to support the national blood and transplant programmes within Singapore as well as the regional countries.


    Dr. Tan Poh Lin
    Senior Consultant, Division of Paediatric Haematology and Oncology, National University Hospital

    Associate Professor Tan Poh Lin graduated with MBBS (S'pore) in 1992 and Master of Medicine in Paediatrics (S'pore) in 1996.

    She is a registered specialist in Paediatric Medicine and Paediatric Haematology & Oncology. A/Prof Tan trained in HSCT with a world-class umbilical cord blood transplant centre in the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, USA (2002 – 2003). In the last decade, she expanded the HSCT donor pool by innovating and developing a successful parental haploidentical HSCT program in NUH. She currently leads the FACT (Foundation in the Accreditation of Cellular Therapy) accredited Paediatric HSCT program at NUHS.


    Dr. William Hwang
    Medical Director and Senior Consultant, National Cancer Centre Singapore

    Professor William Hwang is a highly respected clinician leader with a strong leadership and professional track record. He currently serves as Medical Director of the National Cancer Centre of Singapore, Chair of the Oncology Academic Clinical Programme (ACP) of Duke-NUS Medical School, Head of the SingHealth Duke-NUS Cell Therapy Centre (SDCT) and Senior Consultant of the Department of Haematology, Singapore General Hospital.

    He has previously provided stewardship for his multiple leadership portfolios, including Director, SingHealth Transplant; Head, SingHealth Duke-NUS Blood Cancer Centre; Head, Department of Haematology, Singapore General Hospital and Medical Director, Singapore Cord Blood Bank (SCBB).


    A/Prof G. Owen Schaefer
    Assistant Professor, Centre for Biomedical Ethics, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore​

    G. Owen Schaefer is a Assistant Professor at the Centre for Biomedical Ethics, National University of Singapore. He received his DPhil in Philosophy from Oxford University, and has completed fellowships at the Nationa​l Institutes of Health’s Department of Bioethics and the Oxford Centre for Neuroethics.

     His primary interests lie on the ethics of developing novel biomedical technologies. He has written on big data, research ethics, the obligation to participate in research, human enhancement, gene testing and editing, assisted reproduction and in vitro meat.