Faculty & Principal Investigators

Luke P. LEE
(BIGHEART Director)

Luke P. LEE

Associate President, NUS (International Research and Innovation)
Founding Director, BIGHEART

Our group is researching quantum electron transfer in living organisms, diagnostics of infectious and neurodegenerative diseases, and in vitro neurogenesis, with a focus both on studying fundamental quantum nanobiology and on solving ill defined problems of global healthcare.


SHAO Huilin
(BIGHEART Faculty)

SHAO Huilin

Assistant Professor


Our research focuses on creating innovative technologies to empower diagnostics and patient care. We aim to advance personalized medicine by taking a two-pronged approach: 1) discover novel circulating biomarkers (e.g., extracellular vesicles / exosomes) for noninvasive monitoring, and 2) develop transformative biosensing technologies to enable and translate these discoveries. Our multidisciplinary interests and expertise span the fields of biology, nanomaterials science and device engineering, and have pioneered multiple platform technologies to expand the clinical reach of previously under-appreciated biomarkers in human trials.

Lih Feng CHEOW
(BIGHEART Faculty)

Lih Feng CHEOW (Technology Innovations for Systems Biology Lab)

Assistant Professor
lihfeng.cheow@nus.edu.sg http://bioeng.nus.edu.sg/cheowlab 

The Technology Innovations for Systems Biology laboratory aims to develop tools to better understand biological systems and address healthcare issues. We develop technology platforms and novel biological techniques to perform precision measurements of multiple modalities (e.g. genetic, epigenetic, transcriptomics) in individual cells, as a basis for understanding human health and diagnosing, monitoring and treating diseases. We also invent innovative technologies for bio-sample preparation and disease diagnosis to meet the evolving healthcare needs of society.

Benjamin C. K. TEE
(BIGHEART Faculty)

Benjamin C.K. TEE (Advanced Bio-Sensotronics Lab)

Adjunct Assistant Professor, MSE & ECE

The Advanced Bio-Sensotronics Lab focuses on developing soft, flexible and stretchable bio-electronic platforms suitable for next-generation high-performance sensory devices and systems. Specifically, we will first focus on creating novel biomechanical sensors to understand cellular systems at the single cell and tissue level. We aim to integrate fundamental knowledge between material science, mechanics, nano-electronics and biomedical engineering to develop cutting-edge artificial sensory devices and biotechnology systems inspired by natural biological systems.

Brian LIM
(BIGHEART Faculty)

Brian LIM (Ubicomp Lab)

Assistant Professor

The Ubicomp Lab focuses on developing sensor-based, context-aware, and user-centered technologies for monitoring and intervention of human activities for health and sustainability.
We apply our expertise in ubiquitous computing, human-computer interaction, Internet-of-Things, mobile computing, interpretable machine learning, and big data visualization, to develop a gamut of software toolkits, sensor platforms and mobile apps. These developments have been applied to mobile food logging, intelligible analytics and healthcare visualizations. We aim to impact consumers, service providers and decision makers through novel technology-driven interventions and new analytic tools for smartphones, smart homes and smart cities.

John S. HO

John S. HO (Wireless Bioelectronics Group)

Assistant Professor

The Wireless Bioelectronics Group seeks to apply tools from electrical engineering, physics, and materials science to enable new ways to interface electronics with living systems. Technologies that we are currently developing include wireless powering systems, miniaturized neural stimulators, and wireless light delivery systems.

LOH Tze Ping

LOH Tze Ping

Adjunct Research Scientist, BIGHEART
Consultant, Clinical Chemistry Division, National University Hospital

Our research interests include biomarker discovery, translational research and evidence-based, outcomes research of established/ novel biomarkers. In particular, we are interested in the examination of the physiology of biomarkers (e.g. derivation of reference values and biological variation data), evidence- and outcome-based laboratory thresholds and testing strategy, and quality aspects of laboratory testing.

ONG Catherine

ONG Catherine

Assistant Professor, Department of Medicine, YLLSoM, NUS
Associate Consultant, Division of Infectious Diseases, NUH
Visiting Associate Consultant, Tuberculosis Control Unit (TBCU) Singapore
Honorary Clinical Research Fellow, Imperial College London United Kingdom

Dr. Ong’s research focuses on infectious disease, particularly Tuberculosis (TB). She has investigated TB host immunopathology, specifically neutrophils and the regulation of matrix metalloproteinases. She is the Principal Investigator of the Doxycycline-TB project, a multi-centre trial which is supported by grants from the National Medical Research Council, Singapore Infectious Disease Initiative and the National University Health System, Singapore.  Since 2015 she has been examining host factors causing pathology in TB affecting the central nervous system.


CHEN Chia Hung

CHEN Chia Hung

Assistant Professor

We study the continuous flow microfluidic system for single cell analysis for precision medicine. Single-cell analysis is important for understanding bio-processes in a physiological system. However, without proper systems engineering, it remains challenging to manipulate individual cells effectively to obtain meaningful statistical data indicating cell heterogeneity. To address the correlation between single cell analysis and diagnosis, the development of a rapid high throughput screening platform is essential. Based on droplet encapsulation of single cells, a continuous flow microfluidic system can be used as a functional flow cytometer to characterize single cell signals (such as enzyme secretion, product generation and morphology) comprehensively for quantitative biology, without limiting by surface biomarker labelling. The efficiency of this system is to screen ~1000 cells/second. Primary patient samples can be characterized rapidly for personalized therapeutics, without relying on cell culturing models. This system also allows us to indicate the correlation between phenotype and genotype of individual mutant cells for high throughput data-driven engineering biology. We also investigate functional soft materials (such as gradient porous hydrogels) as the fluidic components to manipulate fluidic distribution in the micro-channels for desirable cell encapsulation and screening with on-demand fashion.

KIM Sangho

KIM Sangho

Associate Professor

Our group’s research consists of three parts; in vivo microcirculation, computational simulation, and in vitro microfluidics. We utilize an acute rodent model for microcirculation studies. In vivo microhemodynamic study provides us insightful information on how the abnormal alterations in blood property potentially impair microcirculatory functions. This study can be a part of the basic science leading to the future development of a therapeutic strategy for cardiovascular diseases.  We also develop computational models to study the cell dynamics using the lattice Boltzmann method and immersed boundary method. In this simulation study, we aim to examine the effects of cell aggregability and deformability on blood flow in microcirculation.  In order to study on physical or biochemical property changes in blood under pathological conditions, we develop a novel microfluidic device for quantification of the blood property at the single-cell level.



Assistant Professor

We study the mechanistic characterizations of novel nutritionally regulated genes that involve in lipid, nutrient transport and metabolism. We employ gene-knockout mouse models as well as cell biology, biochemistry, lipidomics techniques to mechanistically unravel the physiological functions of these novel proteins. The goal is to translate these discoveries into therapeutic applications to treat lipid-related diseases such as obesity and improve health.

TOH Yi-Chin

TOH Yi-Chin (µTE Lab)

Assistant Professor

The Micro-Tissue Engineering Laboratory  (µTE lab) focuses on engineering physiologically-relevant micro-scale tissue models for human disease modeling and drug testing applications. We are dedicated to making in vitro cell-based assays more predictive of human pathological conditions and drug responses so as to reduce current reliance on animal testing to advance human health. Our approach is to interface tissue engineering with microtechnologies, such as microfluidics and microarrays to incorporate biological complexity into high throughput quantitative screening platforms.

John Jia En CHUA

John Jia En CHUA  (Interactomics and Intracellular Trafficking Lab)

Assistant Professor


Neurons communicate via synapses to generate cellular responses that form the basis of our ability to learn, remember and express emotions. Transport of synaptic proteins by intracellular transport plays essential roles in synaptic function. We couple gene manipulation strategies such as CRISPR and shRNA with live imaging and microfluidics to study mechanisms of synaptic transport in neurons. In doing so, we seek to understand how impaired transport can lead to synaptic defects that culminate in neurological disorders. We are also keen to identify biomarkers suitable for the early detection of neurodegeneration.

PARK Sung-Yong

PARK Sung-Yong

Assistant Professor


Our research group investigates fundamentals of small-scale fluidic and interfacial phenomena. Particularly, our interest is in light-interacted microfluidic phenomena such as optical tweezers (OT), optoelectronic tweezers (OET), and optoelectrowetting (OEW). We further develop novel optofluidic devices for biological applications including pulse laser-driven high-speed biological sample preparation and single-cell encapsulation, and portable mobile phone-based microfluidic platforms.



Research Associate Professor

BioIonic Currents Electromagnetic Pulsing Systems: The BICEPS laboratory bridges state of the art engineering with clinical medicine and has the mandate of designing cutting-edge technologies to enhance the function and improve the metabolic benefit of muscle and the body’s stem cell pools which, in turn, will benefit heart health, stimulate joint regeneration, enhance fat burning, improve brain function and slow mental aging in the ill, physically compromised and elderly. We have recently developed a novel set of non-invasive technologies to awaken the body’s regenerative drive with as little as 10 minutes treatment per week that will truly represent a paradigm shift in how modern medicine approaches preventative medicine and rehabilitation post surgery. These technologies also help the body fight common and dangerous cancers such as breast, colorectal, gastric and prostate. Some of our cutting-edge technologies are currently being tested in human clinical trials with very promising results. The BICEPS lab will lead the world in the design and use of such technologies in the global fight against the wraths of metabolic diseases and aging.

Roger HO

Roger HO (fNIRS Group)

Associate Professor & Consultant

Dr. Roger Ho is an academic psychiatrist. His research focuses on the functional assessment of brains in healthy individuals and patients with various types of psychiatric conditions.
The key areas of his research include exploration of novel, portable and cost-effective functional imaging modalities for human brains. The current technology is functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS). This new imaging modality will offer adjunct diagnostic tools in addition to face-to-face clinical interviews.
His research team hopes to make significant breakthroughs to offer functional brain imaging in any clinical setting and provides longitudinal data to monitor the clinical course of psychiatric illnesses.

Other fNIRS Group Members:

Cyrus HO Su Hui
Associate Consultant Psychiatrist

Dr. Cyrus HO is an academic psychiatrist who clinically manages and conducts research on psychiatric conditions across the age continuum from adolescence to old age, with a particular interest in neuropsychiatry, neuro-rehabilitation and mood disorders. He has a keen interest in functional neuroimaging, which he believes opens the window into the mind-brain interface. He has experience in the use of functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and also looks forward to integrating various investigative modalities including biosensors and electroencephalogram (EEG) for translational research. He is keen to seek research collaboration locally and internationally.


DING Xiao Pan
Assistant Professor,  Department of Psychology

Dr. DING Xiao Pan is a developmental psychologist. She focuses on the development of moral behavior and how to facilitate its development. As a starting point in addressing this complex issue, she has focused on the topic of lying both because of its theoretical implications for understanding children’s moral development, and because of its practical importance for legal, clinical, and educational settings. She employs both behavioural and cognitive neuroscience methods in her research. For neuroimaging work, she is currently using an emerging technique called functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS), which uses near-infrared light to record the neural activity of children’s brain.


CHEN Nanguang
Associate Professor, Department of Biomedical Engineering

Dr. CHEN Nanguang’s research areas include biomedical optics and bioelectronics. He has been working on diffuse optical imaging/spectroscopy since 1997. His major contributions to this field include novel time-resolved optical measurement methods, optimal optode configurations, and theoretical models for solving the forward and inverse problems. Currently he is interested in developing advanced optical imaging/spectroscopy instruments to address a variety of neuroscience/neuroengineering problems.


YU Rongjun
Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology

Dr. Rongjun YU is a social neuroscientist focusing on studying the neural basis of cooperation and social cognition. He uses hyperscanning event-related optical signal (EROS) and functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) to elucidate brain-to-brain interactions when people interact with each other in social games and to understand the neural basis of social decision making deficits commonly seen in various psychiatric disorders.



Associate Consultant, Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Surgery

Our group is a translational project to develop mass spectrometry-based platforms for real-time pathological and surgical analysis.