Infectious Disease and Host-Microbe Interactions - NUS Medical Sciences Cluster


Our Mission

Our work aims to understand and decipher the mechanisms involved in infections with pathogens, including bacteria, viruses and parasites, and to apply this knowledge to develop novel and effective diagnostic tools, vaccines and drugs for infectious diseases.

Who We Are

We are primarily researchers from the Departments of Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology and Physiology. Collectively, we bring our scientific cultural diversity and expertise together for world-class multidisciplinary research in the field of Infectious Diseases.

What We Do

Our research foci include the following:

  1. Host-pathogen interactions (virulence mechanisms [microbial pathogenesis] and host responses)
  2. Antimicrobial resistance research, especially relevant to Singapore with Gram-negative multidrug- and extensively drug-resistant bacteria
  3. The microbiome (gut, respiratory) and how it impacts/modulates infections and inflammation, as well as susceptibility and resistance to various infections
  4. Vaccines, biologics and diagnostics
  5. Drug discovery programmes

This research is enabled by shared platforms that include the flow cytometry and confocal microscopy core facilities, as well as the high-throughput and high-content bioimaging system in the Department of Microbiology & Immunology, which facilitates assay development and screening of antimicrobial compound libraries. In addition, a state-of-the-art biosafety level 3 (BSL-3) core facility is available that consists of fully equipped individual suites for both in vitro and in vivo work with risk group 3 microorganisms. Finally, a world-class animal facility is available (Comparative Medicine) and critical for pre-clinical studies and the development of mouse models of infectious diseases.

The Way Forward

The vision of the programme is to develop innovative infection control and treatment strategies for infectious diseases of national and regional importance; to provide international thought leadership in infectious diseases; and to engage in cutting-edge cross-disciplinary research on host-pathogen interactions.

Faculty Involved in the MSC Infectious Disease and Host-Microbe Interactions Programme

Researcher Department Description of Research
Sylvie Alonso (Facilitator) Microbiology & Immunology Dengue, TB, hand-foot-and-mouth disease (HFMD), mouse models, vaccines and therapeutics testing
Vincent Chow (Facilitator) Microbiology & Immunology Viral pathogenesis, molecular diagnosis and epidemiology, animal models of microbial disease
Gan Yunn Hwen (Facilitator) Biochemistry Burkholderia pseudomallei and Klebsiella pneumoniae infection, gut microbiota, glutathione modulation of immune response and bacterial virulence, antimicrobial drug resistance
Linda Kenney Biochemistry Signal transduction in bacteria, bacterial pathogenesis, mechanotransduction and osmotic signaling in E. coli, mechanisms of anti-silencing of virulence genes in Salmonella
Chua Kim Lee Biochemistry Antimicrobial drug resistance in gram-negative infections
Yeong Foong May Biochemistry Cell cycle control in yeast and fungal pathogenesis
Justin Chu Jang Hann Microbiology & Immunology Dengue virus, Chikungunya virus, HFMD, vaccine and drug development
John Chen Yu-Shen Microbiology & Immunology Staphylococcus aureus, bacteriophage, bacterial resistance and transduction
Kevin Tan Shyong Wei Microbiology & Immunology Malaria, blastocystis, host-pathogen interactions, regulated cell death, bioimaging and drug development
Lee Yuan Kun Microbiology & Immunology Microbiome, carbon dioxide fixation, host-pathogen interactions, lipid biofuels and photobioreactor
Sim Tiow Suan Microbiology & Immunology Molecular screening of anti-malaria lead compounds, genomics and proteomics
Tan Yee Joo Microbiology & Immunology Influenza virus, molecular virology, host-pathogen interactions and neutralising antibodies
Ch’ng Junhong Microbiology & Immunology Malaria, drug development and drug screening assays
Chris Sham Lok-To Microbiology & Immunology Bacterial cell wall construction and flippase
Pablo Bifani Microbiology & Immunology Bacterial drug resistance
Tim Barkham Microbiology & Immunology Clinical microbiology
Catherine Ong Infectious Diseases Tuberculosis
Paul Tambyah Infectious Diseases Infectious diseases
Raymond Lin Laboratory Medicine Medical microbiology
Sophia Archuleta Infectious Diseases HIV/AIDS, dengue, Klebsiella liver abscess syndrome, bloodstream infections and medical education
Dale Fisher Infectious Diseases Infectious diseases
Kuan Win Sen Emergency Medicine Sepsis, emergency critical care and pneumonia
Lim Hui Fang Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine Pneumonia, lung microbiome and bronchiectasis
Wang De Yun Otolaryngology Rhinology, allergy, nasal epithelial stem cells, host innate immunity and viral infections
Martin Hibberd Microbiology & Immunology Infectious diseases
Benoit Malleret Microbiology & Immunology Bacterial infections and malaria
Swaine Chen Medicine Antibiotic resistance, E. coli urinary tract infections and bacterial genetics and genomics
Chng Shu Sin Chemistry Gram-negative bacterial and mycobacterial membrane biogenesis and homeostasis, bacterial lipid metabolism and transport, antibiotic resistance, drug screening and chemical biology
Lim Hsiu Kim, Lina Physiology Host pathogen interactions in influenza infection, role of pro-resolution mediators and signaling during infection