The Bioinformatics Center was setup in 1996 by Prof Tan Tin Wee, who many say is not only the father of the Singapore Internet but also the father of the life science push in Singapore as well. While BIC has moved under the umbrella of the Life Sciences Institute, Tin Wee hasn’t stopped pushing for things and is now the Chairman of A-Star’s Computational Resource Center (ACRC) and Executive Director of the nation’s National Super Computing Center (NSCC), positions he holds simultaneously together with a host of other appointments, one of which is the official advisor to BIC.
Tin Wee’s appointments in many key areas of technology and life sciences puts him in a unique position to see the ‘big picture’, advising the various institution directors and bring people and groups together.
Mark De Silva is a Senior IT Architect at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and runs the unit. Curiously a Mechanical Engineer by degree, he has been active in IT and network infrastructure since his undergraduate days in NTU. An engineer with quick mind and vast experience, he is one of the first staff of BIC and has been managing the bioinformatics resources in NUS since the early days of 1996. From setting up core infrastructure and implementing protocols, he has played a significant part in building up the centralized bioinformatics resources in NUS to what it is today. His in depth knowledge of programming, IT networking and security and how these can be applied to almost any field, has earned him quite a reputation in NUS and citations in several research papers and posters on top of holding two US patents as one of the co-inventors of the “Multi-Language Domain Name Service”.
A gym and running junkie (who claims to ‘hate running’), he juggles his work with being a buddy to his young son as well as tinkering with all manner of technologies and hacking through whatever piques his interest. Other than that he is a part time musician banging away on his drumset and a talent with the brush, spending rare weekend afternoons painting at some of the ‘paint and eat’ establishments around the island. Many of his non-work life and tech exploits can be found in his two personal blogs as well as on Facebook.
Lim Kuan Siong, is a Principal Systems Engineer at the National University of Singapore (NUS) and assists in running the unit. His quiet and unassuming nature should not overshadow his technical capabilities. An Electrical Engineer by degree, Kuan Siong is a competent engineer with vast programming and IT knowledge. He has played a very active role in bioinformatics research efforts earning him citations in several research papers. Responsible for the day to day server upkeep and policy implentation, together with Mark De Silva he also does regular consultations with staff and students alike and conducts technical courses when the need arises.
Kuan Siong is an animal lover and spends a lot of his free time caring for and re-homing strays and abandoned dogs and helping out as a volunteer at ‘Save Our Street Dogs’ (SOSD), Singapore’s volunteer run dog shelter. Grueling hours can go by bringing in the strays and lost dogs, with overnight jaunts in sometimes unforgiving environments to wait for the strays to show. At times all that effort comes to nothing, but when it does, it is a reward in itself . For this volunteer, its all worth it to give these strays and abandoned dogs a good life and good home. Other than this Kuan Siong is an expert roller blader and on rare occasions one can find him zipping down the East Coast beach paths before enjoying a post blading feast with friends.