Faculty & Principal Investigators

LIM Chwee Teck
(BIGHEART Acting Director)

LIM Chwee Teck

Acting Director, BIGHEART
NUS Society (NUSS) Professor
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering, NUS
bigdir@nus.edu.sg
bioeng.nus.edu.sg/nanolab/

The MechanoBioEngineering Laboratory aims to address important scientific and biomedical problems using interdisciplinary approaches, develop innovative solutions and translate them for biological and healthcare applications. Our research focuses on 1) Human disease biomechanics & mechanobiology 2) Microfluidic technologies for disease detection, diagnosis and therapy
3) 2D materials for biomedical applications.

Luke P. LEE
(BIGHEART Founding Director & Professor)

Luke P. LEE

Founding Director, BIGHEART
Professor
luke.lee@nus.edu.sg

Our group is researching quantum nanoscopy of electron transfer dynamics in living organisms, bioinspired optical neurointerfaces, molecular diagnostics of infectious and neurodegenerative diseases, and in vitro organogenesis, with a focus both on studying fundamental quantum nanobiology and on solving ill-defined problems of global healthcare for developed and developing countries.

Dean HO
(BIGHEART Faculty)

Dean HO

Provost’s Chair Professor (BIGHEART Faculty)
Department of Biomedical Engineering, NUS
Department of Pharmacology, NUS
biedh@nus.edu.sg

Dr. Ho’s research has covered emerging areas of nanomedicine and nanodiamond-based drug delivery. Dr. Ho and his colleagues were the first to develop nanodiamond platforms for cancer therapy and wound healing, among other areas. Dr. Ho and colleagues were the first to demonstrate the translational potential of nanodiamonds as chemotherapeutic delivery agents, specifically towards the treatment of drug-resistant cancers in vivo. He is also leading two clinical trials to validate nanodiamond-embedded biomaterial devices for wound healing and the prevention of re-infection.

Dr. Ho is also known for his work in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI) and its application towards personalised and precision medicine. His team and colleagues pioneered the field of Augmented AI (CURATE.AI), which mediates model-free and mechanism-independent N-of-1 combination therapy and rapidly accelerated and globally optimised drug development. This has led to multiple clinical trials that have validated the CURATE.AI platform. This AI platform has realised best-in-class medicines for population-wide administration, as well as the unprecedented ability to actionably personalise treatment for the entire duration of care on a patient-specific basis.

SHAO Huilin
(BIGHEART Faculty)

SHAO Huilin

Assistant Professor (BIGHEART Faculty)
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering, NUS
huilin.shao@nus.edu.sg
bioeng.nus.edu.sg/shaolab/

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 (BIGHEART Faculty)
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering, NUS
lihfeng.cheow@nus.edu.sg
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)

President’s Assistant Professor (BIGHEART Faculty)
Department of Materials Science and Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering, NUS
benjamin.tee@nus.edu.sg
benjamintee.com

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 (BIGHEART Faculty)
Department of Computer Science,
Faculty of Computing, NUS
brianlim@nus.edu.sg

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,
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering, NUS
johnho@nus.edu.sg
ece.nus.edu.sg/stfpage/hsyj/index.html

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
bigltp@nus.edu.sg

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
Consultant, Division of Infectious Diseases, NUH
Visiting Consultant, Tuberculosis Control Unit (TBCU), Singapore
Honorary Clinical Research Fellow, Imperial College London United Kingdom
Catherine.ong@nus.edu.sg

Our lab focuses on 3 areas of translational infectious diseases research: Host-pathogen interactions, biomarker discovery and host-directed therapies. Under the theme of host-pathogen interactions, we investigate the effects of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M.tb) on the secretion of human proteases from host cells which can cause tissue destruction and cell death. We analyse switch points by which potential therapeutic agents can be administered to suppress the detrimental effects of human proteases on TB-associated tissue destruction. In biomarker discovery, we evaluate highly promising biomarkers that can diagnose TB and other antimicrobial-resistant pathogens, with a view to developing rapid point-of-care tests. Under host-directed therapies, we investigate a variety of re-purposed drugs, as an adjunct therapy to TB treatment to improve patient treatment outcomes.
The lab, which comprises both BSL2 and BSL3 sections, is also part of the NUHS Tuberculosis Summit Research Programme, with active funding by the NMRC, Singapore Infectious Diseases Initiative and NUHS. We have close collaborations with the Singapore National TB Control Unit, Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) in A*Star, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (Nanyang Technology University) and the NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health. Internationally, our collaborators are based in Imperial College London and University of Southampton, UK.


Lab members:

Dr Miow Qing Hao, Eddy, PhD
Research Fellow
eddy.miow@nus.edu.sg
Research focus: TB host-directed therapy, cell-free DNA biomarker discovery.

Dr Hong Jia Mei, PhD
Research Fellow
hongjiamei@nus.edu.sg
Research focus: Rapid pathogen and antimicrobial resistant gene detection, murine model of CNS infections.

Ms Wang Yu, MSc
Research Associate
mdcwyu@nus.edu.sg
Research focus: Host proteases in lung infections, clinical research logistics.

Ms Thong Pei Min, BSc
Research Assistant
peimin_thong@nus.edu.sg
Research focus: Diabetes mellitus and the dysregulation of host proteases in tuberculosis.

Ms Poh Xuan Ying, MSc
PhD Student
xuanying.poh@nus.edu.sg
Research focus: Host inflammatory responses driving immunopathology in central nervous system tuberculosis.

 

CHEN Chia Hung

CHEN Chia Hung

Assistant Professor,
Department of Biomedical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, NUS
biecch@nus.edu.sg
bioeng.nus.edu.sg/imb/

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,
Department of Biomedical Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering, NUS
bieks@nus.edu.sg
bioeng.nus.edu.sg/microhemodynamics/Index.html

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 insightful information on how 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 the 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 physical or biochemical property changes in blood under pathological conditions, we develop novel microfluidic devices for the quantification of blood properties at the single-cell level.

TOH Yi-Chin

TOH Yi-Chin (µTE Lab)

Assistant Professor
biety@nus.edu.sg
bioeng.nus.edu.sg/microte/ 

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,
Department of Physiology,
Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS
phsjcje@nus.edu.sg
interintratraffic.wixsite.com/synaptic-trafficking

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,
Department of Mechanical Engineering,
Faculty of Engineering, NUS
mpeps@nus.edu.sg
serve.me.nus.edu.sg/MOFES/index.html

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.

Alfredo FRANCO-OBREGON

Alfredo FRANCO-OBREGON (BICEPS Lab)

Research Associate Professor,
Department of Surgery,
Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS
suraf@nus.edu.sg

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,
Department of Psychological Medicine, NUH
pcmrhcm@nus.edu.sg

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
su_hui_ho@nuhs.edu.sg
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
psydx@nus.edu.sg
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
biecng@nus.edu.sg
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
psyyr@nus.edu.sg
www.rongjunyu.org
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.

Glenn BONNEY

Glenn BONNEY

Glenn BONNEY,
Consultant Surgeon,
Hepatobiliary & Pancreatic Surgery, NUH
glenn_bonney@nuhs.edu.sg

Our group is a translational project to develop mass spectrometry-based platforms for real-time pathological and surgical analysis. Dr. Bonney’s primary interest is in surgery for primary and secondary malignancies of the liver, pancreas and gallbladder. Dr. Bonney is currently principal investigator and collaborator on numerous national and international studies in liver and pancreas cancer.