Scholars
   
 
     
 
  Scholars                
     
 







Scholars  
             
  Abdul Qader AL-AIDAROOS   Sherry Shiying AW   Lih Feng CHEOW  
             
  Christine CHEUNG (IIF)   Peiying CHUAN   Lynette Caizhen FOO  
             
  Germaine Yen Lin GOH   Lihui GOH   Huili GUO (IIF)  
             
  Keira Joann HERR   Kristal Hung Yi KAAN   Cheryl Mei-Yi KOH  
             
  Alison LEE   Jasmine LEE   Wei Lin LEE  
             
  Yinghui LI   Siew Choo LIM   You Bin LIN  
             
  Li Shen LOO   Kee Chung LOW   Giselle Sek Suan NAH  
             
  Sarah NG   Wei Theng POH   Widyawilis SELAMAT  
             
  Nicole Ying Hung TSANG   Chelsia Qiuxia WANG   Ailing YEO  
             
  Weibin ZHANG   Feng ZHOU      
             

Abdul Qader AL-AIDAROOS (AQ)
Current lab: PRL-3 Phosphatase & Cancer Therapy
Contact info: qaderaa@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
My primary research interest lies in unraveling the molecular mechanism of metastasis-associated PRL-3 phosphatase using biochemical approaches, supplemented with relevant tumor mouse models. The goal of this on-going study is to identify potential intervention points in PRL-3-driven cancer progression, as well as new therapeutic approaches in targeting this oncogene.

Sherry Shiying AW
Current lab: miRNA Models of Cancer and Neurodegenerative Disease
Contact info: syaw@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   

My projects in the Cohen lab focus on roles for microRNAs in the Drosophila CNS. Broadly speaking, my interests are in understanding brain development, and how development influences CNS functions. I chose the fly model as its available genetic tools makes it possible to thoroughly investigate a neurobiological question in one system, from a molecular developmental phenotype to subsequent physiological and behavioral characterization. The fly is becoming a surprisingly good model for several types of human nervous system disorders, and a final interest is to use fly models to better understand human CNS diseases. My PhD dissertation work at Harvard Medical School examined roles for potassium channels in left-right patterning and eye development, carried out in the lab of Dr. Michael Levin.


Lih Feng CHEOW
Current lab: Microfluidics Systems Biology
Contact info: lfcheow@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   

Peiying CHUAN
Current lab: Microfluidics Systems Biology
Contact info: pychuan@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   

Lynette Caizhen FOO
Current lab: miRNA Models of Cancer and Neurodegenerative Disease
Contact info: lfoo@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
Glia make up nine-tenths of the human brain.  While we know that glia are necessary for the proper formation of neuronal circuits, maintaining a healthy central nervous system (CNS) and play an important role in disease and injured states, we know very little about their fundamental biology and how glia achieve their functions.  In the Cohen lab, my projects focus on the role that microRNAs play in glial biology in the normal, diseased and injured CNS.  Due to the wide array of genetic tools available in the fly and the parallels that exist between mammalian and Drosophila glia, using Drosophila as a model system will greatly aid in the understanding of what glia do in the brain.

Germaine GOH
Current lab: Regulation of Membrane Traffic
Contact info: ylgoh@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
Our lab is interested in the regulation of trafficking events at the Golgi, and their consequences on cellular physiology and function. An RNAi screen of Golgi morphology previously performed in the lab found that a sizeable portion of the kinome regulates Golgi organization. My research focuses on one of the interesting hits from the screen, an Eph receptor, which belongs to a family of proteins important in development as well as in cancer. Knockdown of this Eph receptor changes Golgi morphology and glycosylation, and the goal of my work is to elucidate the mechanism by which this occurs, as well as the functional consequences of this regulation.

Lihui GOH
Current lab: Protein Trafficking in Mammalian Cells
Contact info: lhgoh@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
Prostate cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths in America men, following lung cancer. Though rare in young males below 40 years old, it is very prevalent in older males. My research focuses on identifying and studying genes that are up- or down-regulated in prostate cancer. We hope to be able to identify key players that are involved in the tumorigenesis process in contribution to the development of detection and treatment of the disease.

Keira Joann HERR
Current lab: Molecular controls of Morphogenesis & Tumour Progression
Contact info: kjherr@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
My current research interest lies in the phenomenon of EMT (Epithelial-Mesenchymal Transition) and its possible link to cisplatin resistance in ovarian cancer cells. We hope to elucidate potential EMT players which have a significant role in cisplatin resistance. The focus of my Ph.D research was the role of LPA1 (lysophosphatidic acid receptor 1) in the effects of prenatal hypoxia on fetal brain development, and was conducted in the lab of Dr. Jerold Chun at the Scripps Research Institute, California.

Kristal Hung Yi KAAN
Current lab: Medical Structural Biology
Contact info: hykaan@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   

Hippo signaling pathway has been implicated in the regulation of organ size by promoting apoptosis (programmed cell death). When the delicate control of organ size is disturbed, cell proliferation goes uncheck and tumors form. While there are several proteins involved in the pathway, they can be grouped into three components: the upstream regulatory factors, the kinase core and the downstream transcriptional machinery.
The aim of my research is to use structural biology techniques to shed light on the regulation and functions of the various proteins in the Hippo pathway.

By understanding the molecular mechanism of how the proteins interact with their binding partners and activate or deactivate their downstream effectors, we hope to come up with new strategies for cancer therapeutics.
My Ph.D. research was conducted in Prof. Frank Kozieski’s lab at the Beatson Institute for Cancer Research. For my thesis, I determined the crystal structures of human mitotic kinesin Eg5 in complex with various inhibitors, for structure-based cancer drug design. In addition, I determined the structure of an autoinhibited conventional kinesin complex, which allowed us to elucidate a novel autoinhibition mechanism (Kaan et al., Science, 2011).


Cheryl Mei-Yi KOH
Current lab: Chromatin, Epigenetics and Differentiation
Contact info: mykoh@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
I am currently studying the role of the protein arginine methyltransferases PRMT5 and PRMT7 in normal hematopoiesis and in Myc-induced lymphomas. My Phd research focused on the network of Myc-driven oncogenic processes in prostate carcinogenesis and was carried out in the lab of Angelo M De Marzo, MD, PhD, at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA.

Alison LEE
Current lab: Comparative Genomics
Contact info: alee@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
My research interest is the evolution of transcriptional regulatory elements in the genomes of distantly related vertebrates. Using whole-genome comparisons of species like mammals and fish, transcriptional regulatory elements can be identified as noncoding elements that remain highly conserved over long evolutionary periods. These noncoding elements are analyzed for patterns of divergence in different genomes and their functions are characterized in transgenic assays.

Jasmine LEE
Current lab: Microbial Quorum Sensing
Contact info: leej@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
My research interest is on characterizing a novel quorum sensing system in the opportunistic human pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa. I have previously discovered that this new system utilizes a unique class of molecules for communication – the non-ribosomal peptides – and that it plays a significant role in the regulation of virulence determinants of P. aeruginosa, especially so in conditions that mimic closely to chronic human infection. Efforts are currently made to delve deeper into the intricacies of this new system and its mechanisms.

Wei Lin LEE
Current lab:

Structural Bases of Pathogenicity and Disease

Contact info: wlee@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
The actin cytoskeleton, amongst its diverse functions, is essential for the process of phagocytosis by immune cells, providing contractile forces that are required for both the formation and closure of the phagocytic cup. As a vital component of phagocytosis, the actin cytoskeleton is a frequent target for intracellular pathogens. Resisting phagocytosis by immune cells prevents clearance of the pathogens during infection enabling their survival and propagation within the host. My research focuses on the pathogenic manipulation of the host actin cytoskeleton in the process of phagocytosis, and involves elucidation of the structures and molecular mechanisms of pathogenic effectors.

Yinghui LI
Current lab:

NFkB Signaling in Human Ailments

Contact info: liyh@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   

Siew Choo LIM
Current lab: Medical Structural Biology
Contact info: sclim@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
My current research interest is in the area of metabolic diseases, particularly insulin resistance. It is known that protein kinases are involved in insulin resistance. The goal is to use structural biology and computational methods to identify potential kinase inhibitors, for structure-based drug design. My PhD research focused on using X-ray crystallography and biochemical methods to elucidate the structure and molecular mechanism of several proteins.

You Bin LIN
Current lab: PRL-3 Phosphatase & Cancer Therapy
Contact info: yblin@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   

Li Shen LOO
Current lab: Protein Trafficking in Mammalian Cells
Contact info: lsloo@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
Phox(PX) domain-containing sorting nexins(SNXs) are emerging as important regulators of endocytic trafficking. Of the 33 mammalian SNXs that have been discovered, SNX27 is unique as it contains a PDZ domain. In order to study the physiological function of SNX27, we have produced mice homozygous for a null mutation of SNX27 by gene targeting. SNX27-/- mice displayed severe growth retardation and all died within one month of age. I am particularly interested in the neurobiological role of SNX27 in glutamate receptor trafficking.

Kee Chung LOW
Current lab: NFκB Signaling
Contact info: kclow@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
Our lab has found that telomerase regulates certain important oncogenic transcription factors. However, telomerase has also other proteins associated with it and my aim is to study these proteins and how it affects the non-canonical roles of telomerase.

Giselle Sek Suan NAH
Current lab: Comparative Genomics
Contact info: ssnah@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   

Sarah NG
Current lab: Microfluidics Systems Biology
Contact info: bhng@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   

Wei Theng POH
Current lab: Regulation of the Cell Division Cycle
Contact info: wtpoh@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
I completed my graduate studies under the A*STAR-Dundee Partnership Programme. I first spent two years in the Julian Blow group at the University of Dundee in Scotland, where I worked on the role of Cdc7 kinase in the initiation of DNA replication. I then completed the second half of my PhD in IMCB with Philipp Kaldis, looking at CDKs in S phase of the cell cycle. Still interested in the cell cycle-related field, I am now studying the adaptation response, in which cells override the DNA damage checkpoint to continue through the cell cycle after a lengthy arrest following a DNA lesion.

Widyawilis SELAMAT
Current lab: Structural Bases of Pathogenicity and Disease
Contact info: widyawiliss@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
Actin is a ubiquitous, conserved cytoskeletal element which is indispensable in many cellular processes that include cell shape dynamics, motility and cell proliferation. We seek to understand the mechanism behind pathogenicity and disease by examining regulation of the actin cytoskeletal network in greater detail. My research interest focuses on the isolation of novel actin regulators in different systems, including mammalian cells and yeast. We believe that the identification of potential structures of key components will help elucidate the mechanism behind disease progression that may then provide greater insight into the development of drug targets.

Nicole Ying Hung TSANG
Current lab: Molecular controls of Morphogenesis & Tumour Progression
Contact info: yhtsang@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
The major bottleneck in the field of ovarian cancer treatment lies in the development of cisplatin chemo-resistance in patients, and ways to circumvent this problem still remain a major goal of anti-tumor therapy. The aim of my research is to employ a cisplatin dependent synthetic lethal screen to identify genes targets in tumor cells conferring chemoresistance, which might generate potential gene targets for future therapy regarding chemoresistance. Furthermore, identification of these chemosensitive loci would aid in understanding the possible role of EMT in the conferrance of chemoresistance.

Chelsia Qiuxia WANG
Current lab: NFκB Signaling
Contact info: qxwang@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   

My current research interest lies in the study of the Runx family genes in hematopoiesis and leukemogenesis.  The Runx family genes encode transcription factors which are involved in development and human diseases.  The RUNX1 gene is one of the most frequently mutated genes in human hematological malignancies and is a critical factor for the generation and maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs).  Runx1 regulates the expression of stemness- and niche-related factors, such as Bmi1, CXC chemokine receptor 4 (Cxcr4) and integrin α2 (Itga2).  Deregulation of these genes is considered to be a mechanistic basis for leukemogenesis.  Another Runx family gene, Runx3, is known to be expressed in hematopoietic cells.  However, the role of Runx3 in hematopoiesis remains poorly understood.  Based on literature research and preliminary data, I hypothesize that Runx3 plays a role in hematopoiesis and leukemogenesis


Ailing YEO
Current lab: Cell Division and Cancer Research
Contact info: alyeo@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   

Weibin ZHANG
Current lab: Genes, Development and Disease
Contact info: wbzhang@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   

Feng ZHOU
Current lab: Genetic Control of Development and Regeneration
Contact info: fzhou@imcb.a-star.edu.sg
   
Cilia are microtubule-based protrusions present on almost all vertebrate cells. Multiciliate cells (MCs) line the mammalian respiratory tract, the ependyma and the oviduct, and they contribute critically to the proper functioning of these epithelia. We in the Roy lab investigate the problem of how multiple cilia arise on the cell surface using the model organism zebrafish, in which MCs are present in the pronephric duct (the zebrafish kidney). We take two approaches, the first of which is an unbiased search for genes responsible for MC formation. We aim to perform genome-wide transcript analysis comparing MCs and mono-ciliated cells. The other is a candidate-based approach, as we test whether a recently elucidated gene required for MC formation in Xenopus, multicilin, is involved in MC formation in the zebrafish.