Neuroscience - NUS Medical Sciences Cluster


Our Mission

Our programme aims to establish a world-class neuroscience research programme at NUS Medicine. We will bring together researchers with diverse basic science expertise to address key topics in neuroscience, particularly those related to disorders of the central nervous system that are of direct importance to Singapore. These topics include age-related neurodegenerative diseases; stroke; neurobiology of the senses, motivated behaviours, cognition and pain, and pharmacological and restorative strategies to effectively treat neurological and psychiatric diseases. We envision that the consolidation of neuroscience research at NUS Medicine will accelerate its progress through fostering greater collaborations and exchange of ideas that will ultimately facilitate the translation of knowledge into clinical intervention and public health planning.

Who We Are

We are a diverse group of faculty members and researchers from the Departments of Anatomy, Biochemistry, Microbiology & Immunology, Pharmacology and Physiology at NUS Medicine who have common interests in the study of neuroscience and CNS disorders.

What We Do

Our research focuses include the following:

  1. Neurobiology of pain
  2. Mechanisms underlying neurodegenerative diseases such as dementia (including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease)
  3. Ion channels and receptors in health and neurological disorders
  4. Microglia signaling in memory, learning, and neuro-inflammatory diseases
  5. Brain plasticity in cognitive function and auditory processing
  6. Developmental disorder of foetal brain associated with gestational diabetes
  7. Neuropharmacology (actions of drugs on neurological functions) and neuropsychopharmacology (actions of drugs on neurological, psychological and behavioural functions)
  8. Drug discovery for neurological and psychiatric diseases
  9. Stem cells and regenerative medicine for the brain

Our research is supported by shared core facilities within the MSC such as the Neuroscience Phenotyping Core (NPC) and the Memory, Aging & Cognition Centre (MACC), as well as imaging, antibody development, and genome and proteome screening platforms.

The Way Forward

We will exploit state-of-the-art toolboxes such as optogenetics, neuroimaging, big data analytics and stem cell/brain organoid technologies to transform our study of neuroscience. In parallel, we will foster greater collaborations with clinicians at NUHS Neuroscience to bridge the gap between basic science and clinical medicine, which is in alignment with Singapore’s goal of developing translational medicine to benefit patient care. To groom the next generation of neuroscientists, we propose to establish the MSC Neuroscience Ph.D. programme

Faculty Involved in the MSC Neuroscience Programme

Researcher Department Description of Research
Barry Halliwell (Advisor) Biochemistry Mechanisms of cell injury and death in response to toxins, ageing and ageing-related disease, antioxidants
Lim Kah Leong (Facilitator) Physiology Underlying mechanisms, animal models and novel therapies for Parkinson’s disease; relationship between Parkinson’s disease and cancer
Sanjay Khanna (Facilitator) Physiology Regulation of hippocampal function, role of the septo-hippocampal system in pain
S T Dheen (Facilitator) Anatomy Foetal brain changes associated with gestational diabetes; role of microglia in memory and learning, as well as in CNS inflammatory disease and injury
Soong Tuck Wah (Facilitator) Physiology Calcium channel functions in neurological and cardiovascular disorders, RNA editing and alternative splicing of calcium channels, role of iron and manganese in Parkinson’s disease
Ang Eng Tat Anatomy Exercise-induced neuroprotection and memory enhancement, stroke biomarkers
Dinesh Kumar Srinivasan Anatomy Tissue engineering, ageing, traumatic brain injury
Hu Qidong Anatomy Role of Notch signalling pathway in demyelinating diseases, non-coding RNAs in nuclear receptor signalling
Charanjit Kaur Anatomy Hypoxia-induced damage to the brain and developing retina, response of microglia in CNS and retina to environmental conditions
Liang Fengyi Anatomy Microglia neurobiology, genes associated with synaptic plasticity or neurologic/psychiatric diseases
Ong Wei Yi Anatomy Brain kainate receptors, sphingolipids in neurological disorders
Tay Sam Wah, Samuel Anatomy Sphingolipids in Parkinson’s disease, stem cell therapy, mircoRNA
Tang Bor Luen Biochemistry Sirtuins in ageing and neurodegeneration; roles of small GTPases, SNAREs and cell adhesion molecules in CNS neurons and glia
Lee Yuan Kun Microbiology & Immunology Microbiome, host-microbe interactions, carbon dioxide fixation, lipid biofuels
Gavin Dawe Pharmacology Neurodegenerative and psychiatric diseases, neuropsychopharmacology
Low Chian Ming Pharmacology Neuropharmacology, pain, stroke, personalised medicine
Tan Chay Hoon Pharmacology Cognitive impairment, sarcopaenia, neuropsychopharmacology
Christopher Chen Li Hsian Pharmacology Dementia, cognitive impairment, stroke, neurochemistry, neuroimaging
Mitchell Lai Kim-Peng Pharmacology Dementia, neurochemistry, neuropathology
Judy Sng Chia Ghee Pharmacology Visual cortical function, epigenetics
Edward Koo Hao Mang Physiology Mechanisms of synaptic injury and neurodegeneration
Carlos Ibanez Physiology Death receptor signalling in nervous system development and response to injury, metabolic regulation by activin receptors
Saji Kumar Sreedharan Physiology Neural mechanisms of long-term memory, synaptic tagging and capture for storing long-term memory in neural networks
Andrew Tan Yong-Yi Physiology Hearing, auditory and visual cortical function, synaptic organization and plasticity
John Chua Jia En Physiology Synapse biology, developmental neurobiology, intracellular trafficking, proteomics
Tsai Shih-Yin Physiology Sex and ageing, protein homeostasis and ageing, sarcopaenia
Mallilankaraman Karthik Babu Physiology Mitochondrial calcium signalling, reperfusion injury associated with stroke treatment
Ong Sek Tong, Derrick Physiology Brain stem cells in ageing and cancer, regulation of telomerase in brain stem cells
Thiruma Valavan Arumugam Physiology Stroke, ageing, cell death, inflammation, epigenetics
Ling Shuo-Chien Physiology Ageing, neurodegeneration, synaptic plasticity and injury, non-cell-autonomous neuronal toxicity, protein homeostasis and autophagy
Tee Wee Wei Physiology Regenerative medicine, cancer, genomics, epigenetics, disease modelling
Huang Hua Physiology Regulation of ion channel function via RNA splicing and editing in neuroscience, cancer biology