In the early 1990s, Singapore was a young, vibrant nation with a growing population. Its economic success had brought many benefits, including better healthcare and longer life expectancy, but this also created challenges.

Demand for healthcare services was rising along with escalating costs, prompting the Ministry of Health to issue the 'White Paper on Affordable Healthcare' in 1993. This called for the creation of national centres to treat complex cases which required expensive equipment and highly specialised staff.

Mr Yeo Cheow Tong, then Minister for Health and Minister for the Environment unveils the NNI logo on 24 April 1999 as NNI is established as a national speciality centre.

Mr Lim Hng Kiang, then Minister for Health, at the official opening of NNI on 25 July 2000.

As a result, the National Neuroscience Institute (NNI) was created as a national centre, sited next to Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH). It was established on 1 June 1999 and officially opened by Mr Lim Hng Kiang, then Minister for Health and Second Minister for Finance, on 25 July 2000.

NNI was formed by bringing together TTSH neurologists, neurosurgeons and neuroradiologists, with the latter establishing Singapore's first Neuroradiology Department. Neuroscience clinics, diagnostic laboratories and research facilities were also set up and supported by administrative and education resources.

The mission of NNI was the same then as it is today: to advance care for people living with brain, spine, nerve, and muscle conditions through clinical care, research and medical education.

NNI has also grown and adapted over the years to meet the needs of Singapore's ageing population. Advancement in treatment options and technology at NNI have transformed care for patients.


  • Neuroscience clinical services integrated with Singapore General Hospital
  • Installation of first 3-Tesla MRI scanner in South East Asia for detailed scans
  • NNI joined Singapore Health Services

  • First 24-hour MRI service for acute stroke patients in Singapore
  • Designated International Center of Excellence in Parkinson's disease (PD) by National Parkinson Foundation (USA)
  • First Advanced Practice Nurse Neuroscience Clinic starts
  • Launch of SingHealth Duke-NUS Neuroscience Academic Clinical Programme
  • First NNI nurse to receive the President's Award for Nurses
  • Formation of the National Research Institute Singapore with Duke-NUS Medical School
  • Designated World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies International Training Centre for Young Neurosurgeons

  • World's first human mid-brain organoid developed to better understand PD
  • Chemotherapy service introduced for patients with malignant brain tumours
  • NNI researchers receive President's Science Award for PD research
  • Second NNI nurse receives the President's Award for Nurses
  • Launch of Brain Bank Singapore
  • Launch of Interprofessional Education and Collaborative Practice Programme

  • NNI Endovascular Centre opens
  • NNI joins the national fight against COVID-19

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Donors to NNI Fund improve the lives of NNI patients by supporting patient care, research and education programmes that advance care.

Visit Basement 1, NNI Main Lobby, to view the Connections for Life artwork which recognises the difference donors and supporters make to NNI patients' lives. For more information about NNI Fund, visit their website.
NNI Website

for Life

The vibrant discs form an artistic expression of a synapse.

Stemming from the Greek words “syn” (together) and “haptein” (to clasp), a synapse is where nerve impulses are transmitted from one neuron to another. It plays a critical role in processing messages and executing desired responses in the brain, spinal cord and throughout the body.

Just as synapses are essential to a well-functioning body, so is the partnership between NNI and the distinguished donors in advancing neuroscience care for patients.

Learn more about common brain, spine, nerve and muscle conditions, and Some tips to prevent and managE them. This is located right outside the NNI Clinic.

Learn more about common brain, spine, nerve and muscle conditions, and Some tips to prevent and managE them. This is located right outside the NNI Clinic.