The Singapore Eye Research Institute (SERI) was conceived with the foresight of a visionary leader, Prof Arthur Lim, the founder and first Medical Director of the Singapore National Eye Centre (SNEC), who had keenly pursued the idea of an eye research institute in a period of time when research was hardly in vogue in Singapore.
Established in 1997, SERI is Singapore's national research institute for ophthalmic and vision research. SERI's mission is to conduct high impact eye research with the aim to prevent blindness, low vision and major eye diseases common to Singaporeans and Asians. Over the last decade or so, SERI has conducted landmark research that has led to tangible outcomes, actual patient benefit, and success stories. It has paved the way for significant improvements in how eye diseases are treated and prevented, not just for Singaporeans or Asians but on a global scale.
At its inception, SERI saw a national remit in ophthalmic and vision research, and till today, despite the demarcations introduced by the healthcare clustering system, SERI bridges the clusters with a presence in each cluster. SERI ensures that its facilities and resources are open to researchers across Singapore so that the greatest benefit may be obtained from what is a relatively small clinical ophthalmology catchment area in Singapore.
SERI has grown from a founding team of five in 1997 to a faculty of 200, encompassing clinician scientists, scientists, research fellows, PhD students and support staff , with an annual budget of approximately S$18 million. This makes SERI one of the largest research institutes in Singapore and the largest eye research institute in Asia-Pacific. In addition, SERI has over 193 adjunct faculties from various eye departments, biomedical institutes and tertiary centres in Singapore. SERI has amassed an impressive array of publications totaling 1,794 scientific papers as of December 2012, and has secured 179 external peer-reviewed competitive grants worth $143 million. To date, SERI’s faculty has been awarded 232 national and international prizes and filed 63 patents. SERI has further contributed to research manpower training, including 150 Masters, PhD and post-doctoral students, many of whom now work in hospitals, the biomedical sciences industry, academic institutions and A*STAR institutes.
While we may be relatively young and lean, SERI is proud to rank above the global heavyweights, i.e. Singapore is Impact number one globally in terms of eye publications per capita, far ahead of the US, UK and Japan.
With its impressive publication track record, SERI is comparable to renowned eye institutes, both regionally and internationally.
Singapore (where 95% of the publications are generated via SERI) was ranked 3rd in the proportion of papers accepted (success rate) in the top-ranked eye journal, Ophthalmology, and further ranked 4th in success rate in another high Impact factor eye journal, the American Journal of Ophthalmology.