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Bina Rai
Senior Lecturer & Program Director for the SUTD - CGH Healthcare and SUTD (Bachelor) – Duke-NUS (MD) Track & Senior Fellow (SUTD Academy)
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Dr. Rai received all of her degrees from the National University of Singapore in Microbiology and Bioengineering, with Georgia Institute of Technology contributing to part of her Ph.D. thesis. After completing her Ph.D. in 2006, she worked as an Acting General Manager at a local biomaterial-based company, Osteopore International. Subsequently, she began her first post-doctoral stint in bio-nanocomposites with the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (AIBN, University of Queensland). Dr. Rai returned to Singapore and became an integral member of the Institute of Medical Biology, A*Star from Jan 2008 until Dec 2013. At A*Star, Dr. Rai lead the translational research focus of the Glycotherapeutics lab, where she designed animal models that simulate clinical scenarios in combination with outcome measures that provide quantitative assessment of bone healing induced by novel therapeutic agents and biomaterials. Her research was supported mainly by new investigator grants by the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) and Joint Council Office (JCO), Singapore. Dr. Rai has published 24 peer-reviewed papers, 2 book chapters and 24 conference abstracts so far. She has been awarded 14 research/academic awards that include the 2005/6 President Graduate Fellowship and 2012 Young Researchers’ Collaborative Grant Award amongst many others. Also, she is a regular reviewer for several journals in regenerative medicine and a volunteer at the science centre.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, October 2006, Graduate Program of Bioengineering, NUS, Singapore (with Georgia Institute of Technology, USA, contributing to part of the thesis).
  • Bachelor with 2nd class Honors (upper division) degree, July 2001/2, Faculty of Science (Major: Microbiology) from the Faculty of Medicine, NUS, Singapore.

Research Interests

Dr. Rai works in the field of translational research for regenerative medicine, specifically, the design and development of innovative biomaterials, novel glycotherapeutics and robust stem cells in pre-clinical animal models intended for bone tissue engineering.

Selected Publications

  • M Samsonraj, B. Rai, P. Sathiyanathan, K.J, Puan, O. Rotzschke, J.H. Hui, M. Raghunath, L.W. Stanton, V. Nurcombe, and S.M. Cool. Establishing criteria for human mesenchymal stem cell potency. Stem Cells, 2015; In press.
  • Sadasivam,* B. Rai,* C. Drombrowski, J.J.L. Lee, Z.X.H Lim, D.S. Bramono, L. Ling, S. Nathan, H.K. Wong, J.H. Hui, V. Nurcombe and S. Cool. Affinity selected heparan sulfate for bone fractures. Biomaterials, 2013; 34(22):5594-605.*authors contributed equally
  • Helledie,* C. Dombrowski*, B. Rai,* I.H.H. Lee, D.A. Rider, G.S. Stein, W. Hong, A.J. van Wijnen, V. Nurcombe and S.M. Cool. Heparan sulfate enhances the self-renewal and therapeutic potential of mesenchymal stem cells from human adult bone marrow. Stem Cells and Development 2012; 21(11):1897-910. *authors contributed equally
  • S. Bramono, S. Murali, B. Rai, L. Ling, W.T. Poh, Z.X.H. Lim, G.S. Stein, V. Nurcombe, A.J. van Wijnen, and S.M. Cool. Bone marrow-derived heparan sulfate potentiates the osteogenic activity of bone morphogenetic protein-2 (BMP-2). Bone 2012; 50(4): 954-964.
  • Rai, J. Lin, Z.X.H. Lim, R.E. Guldberg, D.W. Hutmacher and S. Cool. Differences between in vitro viability and differentiation and in vivo bone-forming efficacy of human mesenchymal stem cells cultured on PCL-TCP scaffolds. Biomaterials 2010; 31:7960-7970.
  • Rai, L. Grøndahl, M. Trau. Combining chemistry and biology to create stable bionanohydroxyapatite particles towards load-bearing applications. Langmuir 2008; 24 (15): 7744-7749.
  • Rai, W. Noohom, P.H. Kithva, L. Grøndahl, M. Trau. Developing bionanocomposite materials with improved particle dispersion and mechanical properties. Chemistry of Materials 2008; 20 (8): 2802-2808.
  • Rai, Y. Lei, K.M. Si-Hoe, K.B. Yacob, F. Chen, S.H. Teoh, K.H. Ho. Three dimensional polycaprolactone- tricalcium phosphate scaffolds loaded with platelet-rich plasma facilitates the placement of dental implants and induces mandibular bone regeneration simultaneously. Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery 2007; 65 (11): 2195-2206.
  • Rai, M.E. Oest, K.M. Dupont, K.H. Ho, S.H. Teoh, R.E. Guldberg. Combination of platelet-rich plasma with polycaprolactone-tricalcium phosphate scaffolds for segmental bone defect repair. Journal of Biomedical Materials Research: Part A 2007; 81A (4): 888-899.
  • Rai, S.H. Teoh, D.W. Hutmacher, T. Cao and K.H. Ho. Novel PCL-based honeycomb scaffolds as drug delivery systems for rhBMP-2. Biomaterials 2005; 26(17): 3739-3748


  • Best Poster, International Bone Tissue Engineering Congress (Bone-tec), Singapore (Dec 2013).
  • 3rd Best Poster, NTU School of Biological Sciences FYP Poster Day, Singapore (Aug 2011).
  • Merit, Young Scientist Symposium, Singapore Science Centre, Singapore (Mar 2010).
  • Best Poster, Institute of Medical Biology Ist Post-Doc Symposium, Singapore (July 2009).
  • Mimics Innovation (Poster Category), Materialise, Belgium (June 2009). 2nd Prize.
  • 2nd Best Poster, NTU Sch of Biological Sciences FYP Poster Day, Singapore (May 2009).
  • Travel award, 3rd Marie Curie Cutting-Edge Conference, Portugal (June 2007).
  • President Graduate Fellowship Award, Singapore (2005 and 2006).
  • Visiting scholar, Georgia Institute of Technology, USA (January-June 2005).
  • Best Oral Presenter, 4th Biannual Graduate Program in Bioengineering Academic Conference, Singapore (August 2004).
  • Best Paper (postgraduate category), 3rd Scientific Meeting of the Biomedical Engineering Society, Singapore (May 2004).
  • Best Poster, Asia-Pacific 2004 Conference on Dental Implants, Australia (March 2004).
  • National University of Singapore PhD Research Scholarship (2002-2006).
  • Outstanding performance in Microbiology awarded by the National Science Academy of Singapore (2000/2001).