Group Leader, Cell Based Assay Development
Experimental Therapeutics Centre (ETC)
Principal Research Scientist (2005 - 2007) in Sir David Lane's Lab at IMCB
I completed my PhD in Roswell Park Cancer Institute at State University of New York at Buffalo followed by a postdoctoral training in the Picower Institute for Medical Research, NY before returning to Singapore in 1995. I joined the Defence Medical Research Institute as a Research Scientist and left in 2004 as a Programme Head for infectious diseases. To pursue my interest in drug discovery, I joined Isis Pharmaceuticals as an Associate Director in 2004. Isis Pharmaceuticals closed their Singapore facilities in 2005 and I joined Sir David Lane's group in IMCB as a Principal Research Scientist.
My interest in translation research clearly matched my role in IMCB, setting up the high throughput screening facility. Our main goal was to translate basic research done in IMCB into products for unmet medical needs. Over the two years in David's lab, we have acquired a library of 80,000 small molecules and equipment for high throughput screening (HTS). Besides developing HTS for p53 activators, we also worked closely with Victor Yu, Alan Porter, Zeng Qi, Ito Yoshiaki and Li Bao Jie to set up HTS screens for inhibitors of various potential cancer targets. We collaborated with MerLion Pharmaceuticals in screening their natural product library for potential cancer drugs.
David has been very encouraging and supportive, giving me a lot of freedom in setting up the lab and hiring staff. Clear directions were given by him to translate academic research into drugs that can be used to meet medical needs. We also have excellent admin support from Mrs Tay Hong Lan and her team. Our collaborations with IMCB, other A*STAR institutes and MerLion Pharmaceuticals have been challenging and enjoyable. I have been given opportunities to learn new skills and undertake new challenges in translational research.
In 2007, David started Experimental Therapeutics Centre as a centre of excellence to advance and accelerate drug discovery in Singapore. I was transferred from IMCB to ETC as a group leader leading the cell-based assay development group. This was a great opportunity for me to work closely with A*STAR researchers to translate basic research into drug to meet medical needs.