Collaborative Translation Unit for HFMD
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  Justin CHU  
  Lab Location: #6-06B

tel: 65866965
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  Key Publications  

Chia PY and JJH CHU (2012).
Viral Encephalitis with Focus on Human Enteroviruses.
Encephalitis, ISBN 980-953-30 ed. Intech Publisher.

HUSSAIN MK, J Leong, MML Ng and JJH CHU (2011).
The Essential Role of Clathrin-mediated Endocytosis in the Infectious Entry of Human Enterovirus 71.
Journal of Biological Chemistry, 286, no. 1: 309-321.

Tan EL and JJH CHU (2011)
RNA interference (RNAi) - An antiviral strategy for enteroviruses.
Journal of Antivirals and Antiretrovirals, Special Issue 2.

Wu KX, MML Ng and JJH CHU (2010).
Developments towards antiviral therapies against enterovirus 71.
Drug Discovery Today, 15, no. 23/24: 1041-1051..

CHEN, C K, HM Ong and JJH CHU (2010).
Morphogenesis of Human Enterovirus 71: An Electron Microscopy Analysis Coupled with Immunogold Labeling Techniques.
In Microscopy: Science, Technology, Applications and Education.



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    Justin CHU

Dr. Justin Chu obtained his PhD in Molecular Virology from the National University of Singapore. Dr Chu continued his postdoctoral training at the Harvard Medical School where he has developed novel antiviral strategies to combat dengue virus infections. Recently, Dr Chu received the distinguished Lee Kuan Yew fellowship and the America Society of Microbiology Scientific Achievement Award - ICAAC Young Investigator Award. Dr Chu holds the Principal Investigator and Group Leader (Joint-PI) position for the Collaborative Translation Unit for Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD) in IMCB and is concurrently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore.  Dr. Chu is actively engaged in the application of genome-wide gene silencing technology, molecular virology, bio-imaging and proteomics techniques to study the interaction between host factors and viral components during virus replication of the mosquito-borne Dengue and Chikugunya viruses as well as human enteroviruses. By understanding the replication processes of these pathogenic viruses, Dr Chu hopes to develop novel and effective anti-viral strategies against these viruses.  Dr. Chu has published over 40 international peer-reviewed scientific publications, book chapters and over 90 conference papers.  A number of these scientific papers are published in prestigious journals including PNAS, Biomaterials, Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Virology and Antiviral therapy. Dr Chu is currently serving as the Singapore representative for the ASEAN Biosurveillance Initiative for Infectious Diseases and also the associate editor and reviewer for a number of peer-reviewed journals in the areas of medical virology and anti-viral strategies. Four patents have also been filed and generated from his current research.

    Translational Anti-Enteroviral Research

Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is generally a mild disease characterized by a low-grade fever accompanied by skin lesion on the limbs and mouth in young children. However, it can also result in complications leading to fatality. A plethora of viruses from the genus Enterovirus have been associated with HFMD to date. Major outbreaks have been occurring throughout the region in cycles of two to three years intervals in recent years, each outbreak being characterized by slightly different serotypes of viruses, with the most common being human enterovirus 71 (EV-71) and coxsackievirus A16 (CVA16). Although most HFMD cases are mild, the increasing frequency and severity of recent outbreaks, with a number of them reaching epidemic levels, the disease is emerging as a major public health concern in the region, including Singapore.

Despite the associated health risks and threat of HFMD to public health, there is no vaccine or therapeutic regime available. This is compounded by the limited research progress in understanding enteroviruses in the last 20 years after the eradication of poliomyelitis in most countries. Hence, the objective of the laboratory is to develop novel and effective anti-viral strategies against HFMD-causing enteroviruses while at the same time understanding the biology of this diverse group of viruses to fuel translational anti-enteroviral research.

High throughput screens and animal model of infection for human enteroviruses.
The laboratory has established highly versatile cell-based high throughput screens for human enteroviruses and specializes in the evaluation of therapeutic molecules or vaccine candidates in established murine model of enteroviral infection. We seek collaborations in the following areas:

  • Evaluation of antiviral strategies (antiviral molecules, vaccine candidates, molecular genomics and nanotechnology) against HFMD.
  • Validation of antiviral or vaccine candidates in our established enteroviral animal model.
Development of novel diagnostics approaches for human enteroviruses.