RSI Research projects offered in 2016

Sign up before 21 Feb 2016 at:

Code: B001
Title: Taxonomy and conservation – Field Identification of dipterocarps


Synopsis: We need to be able to identify primary forest trees such as dipterocarps to better manage and conserve our nature reserves.  But what if the tree is 30 m tall, and all we can see is its bark and fallen decaying leaves? This project is divided into two parts:  one group will aim to develop a system to identify 10 most common dipterocarp species using accessible characters; the other group will kickstart development of a computer visual pattern recognition system.

Principal Investigator: Dr Jeffrey Lee; Dr Tan Guoxian

Pre-requisites: a) Independent and committed to the project; b) strong interest in plant biology and/or computer science; c) will involve field work

Contact: jeffrey.lee at


Code: B002
Title: Cancer Biology – Linking a polarity component of the tight junction to the aggressiveness of colon cancer cell lines

Synopsis: This project aims to investigate the possible role of tight junction proteins, which are known to play a central role in the epithelium-mesenchyme transition (EMT), in cancer progression and aggressiveness. Experimental work involves growing various colon cancer cell lines and examining the overexpression of tight junction proteins such as ZO-2-Slug or Snail via immunofluorescence and Western Blots. Other assays such as invasion and migration assays and interrogation of the transcriptome using qPCR may also be carried out.

Looking for 2 students.

Principal Investigator: Dr Lee Zhiying (RSI);Dr. Goh Choon Peng (IMCB, A*STAR)


a) At least a background in upper sec Biology (‘O’ level or Y3-4 RP).
b) At least 1 free afternoon every week (2-3h, discounting travelling time to lab of about 1h)
c) Strong passion in research

Remarks: Selection will be on individual’s attributes i.e. pre-formed groups may be broken up. This project may also be conducted at IMCB, A*STAR.

Contact: zhiying.lee at


Code: E001
Title: Green roof runoffs: a water quality study

Synopsis: Low impact developments such as green roofs have great potential and application not only in reducing urban heat islands, enhancing biodiversity and aesthetic appeal but also stormwater management. However, green roofs may become contributors of pollution from soil, plants and fertilizers. This project aims to evaluate the differences in water quality for different substrate-based green roofs during short-term rain events of varying intensities to optimize and improve green roof systems in Singapore.

Principal Investigators: Dr Grace Lim & Dr Abigayle Ng

Pre-requisites: a) Independent and committed to the project; b) strong interest in environmental sciences; c) creative and able to innovate.

Remarks:  Other environmental science projects are also welcomed.

Contact: at

Code: C001
Title: Chemistry – organic synthesis of 3D printer material with high electrical conductivity

Synopsis: 3D printing presents an unique disruptive technology that will eventually be as common as your current 2D printer at home or in the office.

Students will synthesize a novel low-cost material that has high electrical conductivity for 3D printers.

Looking for 3 students.

Principal Investigator: Dr Tan Guoxian (RSI)

Pre-requisites: Nil


Code: P001
Title: Effects of time-dilation on cosmic rays

Synopsis: Using cosmic ray detectors, this project aims to investigate the effect of time dilation on sub-atomic particles known as muons that reach the Earth’s surface. Experimental verification of special relativity using the cosmic ray detector will be conducted in this project.

Looking for 1 student.

Principal Investigator: Dr Tan Guoxian (RSI), Prof. Phil Chan (NUS)
Dr. Lim Jit Ning (HCI)

Pre-requisitesa) Independent and committed,
b) Strong interest in particle physics, c) willing to travel to NUS and Hwa Chong Institution for the experiment.



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