Cancer - NUS Medical Sciences Cluster


Our Mission

The MSC Cancer Programme aims to bring together the diverse expertise in the various aspects of basic and applied cancer biology in an attempt to foster collaborations between programme members and with external parties. Our ultimate goals are to enhance our basic understanding of the process of carcinogenesis and its progression; identify novel targets and biomarkers; and translate this knowledge into innovative and personalised therapeutic solutions.

Who We Are

We are faculty members and researchers in the five basic science departments within NUS Medicine with a shared interest in exploring the intricate circuitry of the cancer cell from the standpoint of morphology, biochemistry, physiology, immunology and pharmacology.

What We Do

The strength of the MSC Cancer Programme lies in our ability to address a wide range of biological phenomena underlying the various stages of cancer formation, maintenance and progression, as well as its therapeutic targeting.

Our research focuses include the following:

  1. Studying the cellular microenvironment and metabolic changes that promote the transformation of normal cells to cancer cells and maintain this transformation;
  2. Unraveling the roles of cell-cell and intra-cellular communication (including secondary messengers) and pathways and protein networks involved in cell-state transition, cell cycle regulation and cell fate determination;
  3. Characterising the effects of metabolic reactions on gene expression and cancer signaling;
  4. Understanding the impact of cellular metabolic changes on genes, proteins and epigenetic modifications (chemical compounds on genes that affect their expression);
  5. Elucidating the role of inflammatory mediators and the microbiome on immune surveillance and modulation;
  6. Generating genetic and protein profiles of various cancers;
  7. Developing in vivo cancer mouse models;
  8. Using data analytics, bio-informatics and computational biology to reveal underlying mechanisms and discover new cancer biomarkers;
  9. Producing tumor-specific antibodies; and
  10. Discovering novel cancer therapeutics.

To that end, the current focus has been on a wide range of human cancers such as breast, colorectal, lung, liver, brain, stomach, pancreas, and nasopharyngeal cancer, as well as sarcomas, multiple myeloma, lymphomas and leukemias. To facilitate these endeavors, the researchers are leveraging on the existing platform technologies within the MSC such as the Imaging and Flow Cytometry facilities, genome and proteome screening platforms, antibody development service, synthetic biology platforms and the non-coding miRNA profiling MiRXES technology.

The Way Forward

The MSC Cancer Programme provides an excellent avenue to synergise our expertise in the diverse areas of cancer biology. Our immediate objective is to develop “all the way” capability by harnessing our strengths in basic inquiry and leveraging on relevant platform technologies as well as incentivising collaborations with clinicians and industry around cancers endemic to the region, in particular Singapore. We believe that we are well placed, given the strong links and juxtaposition of National University Hospital to NUS Medicine and the existing collaborations between basic science and clinical faculty as well as the global success of one of the existing core technologies, MiRXES, a multi-million dollar platform for the screening of non-coding RNAs involved in cancer development, disease prognosis and biomarker discovery. MiRXES, is a uniquely Singaporean example of cross-pollination between basic science research, clinic and industry. Furthermore, our existing strengths also allow us to leverage on the data analytics platform, a critical component of any research programme in this age of rapidly advancing technologies that generate tons of data. The data analytics and bio-informatics platform within the MSC will provide researchers and clinicians ready access to existing and emerging cancer genomic and proteomic data, which could have potential diagnostic and therapeutic implications.

Faculty Involved in the MSC Cancer Programme

Researcher Department Description of Research
Shazib Pervaiz (Facilitator) Physiology Cancer Cell Signalling, Apoptosis, Reactive Oxygen Species
Maxey Chung Ching Ming Biochemistry Proteomics, Biomarkers, Gastrointestinal Cancer
Marie-Veronique Clement Biochemistry Reactive Oxygen Species, Cancer Stem Cells, Triple Negative Breast Cancer
Lim Yoon Pin Biochemistry Cancer Cell Signalling and Oncogenes/Cancer Genetics
Hooi Shing Chuan Physiology Cancer Genetics, Gene Regulation, Liver Cancer
Norbert Lehming Microbiology & Immunology DNA Repair, Gene Transcription, Protein Modification and Interactions
Zhang Yongliang Microbiology & Immunology Signal Transduction in Cancer and Cancer Immunology
Chen Zhixiong Physiology Cancer Genetics, Circulating Tumour Cells, Neuroblastoma
Sudhakar Jha Biochemistry Tumor Suppressors/Cancer Genetics, Epigenetics, Cervical Cancer
Deng Lih Wen Biochemistry Cancer Genomic Instability, Cancer Metabolism, Cervical Cancer, Ovarian Cancer
Gautam Sethi Pharmacology Cancer Cell Signalling and Chemoprevention
Shen Han Ming Physiology Autophagy, Apoptosis, Oxidative Stress
Ban Hon Kim Kenneth Biochemistry Translational Bioinformatics, Transposons, Breast Cancer, Prostate Cancer
Yvonne Tay Biochemistry Post-transcriptional Regulation, MicroRNAs, Competing Endogenous RNAs
Manoor Prakash Hande Physiology DNA Repair, Telomeres, Radiation Biology
Too Heng-Phon Biochemistry MicroRNA and Liquid Biopsy
Tan May Chin, Theresa Biochemistry MicroRNA and Liver Cancer
Long Yun Chau Biochemistry Autophagy
Lee Guat Lay, Caroline Biochemistry Cancer Cell Signalling and Liver Cancer Biomarkers
George Yip Anatomy Roles of glycosaminoglycans and proteoglycans in breast, prostate, gastric and other cancers
Lim Hsiu Kim, Lina Physiology Cancer Genetics, MicroRNA, Breast Cancer
Celestial T Yap Suen Mei Physiology Metastasis
Reshma Taneja Physiology Epigenetics
Chen Leilei, Polly Anatomy Non-coding RNAs/RNA Editing, Transcriptome Instability of Human Cancers (particularly Hepatocellular Carcinoma)
Liu Haiyan Microbiology & Immunology Tumor-promoting Inflammation and Immunotherapy
Alan Prem Kumar Pharmacology Nuclear Receptor Biology and RNA Helicases in Breast Cancer
Ong Sek Tong, Derrick Physiology Cancer Stem Cell Biology
Tee Wee Wei Physiology Regenerative Medicine, Cancer, Genomics, Epigenetics, Disease Modelling
Chow Kai-Hwa, Edward Pharmacology Cancer Stem Cell Biology, Nanomedicine, Therapeutic Combination Optimisation, Epigenetics, Hematologic Malignancies
Hu Qidong Anatomy Small RNAs and RNA Binding Proteins in Breast Cancer, Cancer Drug Resistance
Bay Boon Huat Anatomy Breast Cancer, Cancer Biomarkers, Molecular Targeted Therapy
Volker Patzel  Microbiology & Immunology Targeting Cancer with RNA Technologies including RNA Trans-splicing, CRISPR/Cas Genome Editing and RNA Interference; Suicide Gene Therapy; Mitochondrial Gene Therapy; Hepatocellular Carcinoma, Skin Cancer and Leukemia
Justin Chu Jang Hann Microbiology & Immunology Oncolytic Virus Therapy, Virome Discovery in Tumor Tissues and Salivary Biomarker Development
Lee Soo Chin Haematology-Oncology Breast cancer, Cancer Genetics, Pharmacogenetics
John Wong Eu Li Haematology-Oncology Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer
Lim Siew Eng Haematology-Oncology Breast Cancer and Gynaecologic Cancer
Goh Boon Cher Haematology-Oncology Lung Cancer, Head & Neck Cancer, Phase I Clinical Trials
Alvin Wong Seng Cheong Haematology-Oncology Genitourinary Cancers (Kidney, Prostate, Bladder and Germ Cell Cancers)
Yong Wei Peng Haematology-Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancer, Liver & Pancreatic Cancer, Phase I Clinical Trials
Ross Soo Andrew Haematology-Oncology Lung Cancer, Head & Neck Cancer, Phase I Clinical Trials
Lim Yi Wan Haematology-Oncology Breast Cancer and Gynaecological Cancer
Andrea Wong Li Ann Haematology-Oncology Breast Cancer and Neuro-oncology
David Tan Shao Peng Haematology-Oncology Gynaecologic Cancer and Drug Development/Phase I trials
Chee Cheng Ean Haematology-Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancers and Phase I Clinical Trials
Angela Pang Shien Ling Haematology-Oncology Bone and Soft Tissue Sarcomas, Geriatric Oncology, Gastrointestinal Cancers
Samuel Ow Guan Wei Haematology-Oncology Breast Cancer and Clinical Cancer Genetics
Joline Lim Si Jing Haematology-Oncology Breast Cancer, Clinical Trials and Early Phase Drug Development
Raghav Sundar Haematology-Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancer, Early Phase Drug Development, Immunotherapy, DNA damage repair, Chemotherapy-induced Neuropathy
Ho Jing Shan Haematology-Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancer and Hepatobiliary Cancer
Anand Jeyasekharan Haematology-Oncology Lymphomas and Targeting Genomic Instability in Cancer
Chong Wan Qin Haematology-Oncology Head & Neck Cancers, Neuro-oncology
Tan Hon Lyn Haematology-Oncology Gastrointestinal Cancer
Chee Yen Lin Haematology-Oncology Thrombosis and Hemostasis, General Haematology, Malignant Lymphoma
Chng Wee Joo Haematology-Oncology Multiple Myeloma and Lymphoma
Esther Chan Hian Li Haematology-Oncology Treatment of Patients with Lymphoma and Leukaemias
Tham Weng Keong Ivan Radiation Oncology Lung Cancer, Head & Neck Cancer
Tang I-Hsiung Johann (Deng Yixiong) Radiation Oncology Breast, Gynaecological, Paediatrics and Central Nervous System (CNS) tumours
Lim Hsiu Chin Keith (Lin Xiujin Keith) Radiation Oncology Urological Cancers and Brain Tumours
Tey Chee Seong Jeremy Radiation Oncology Colorectal Cancer, Hepatobiliary Cancer, Gastrointestinal Cancer, Urologic Cancer
Koh Yaling Vicky Radiation Oncology General Radiation Oncology, Breast Cancer, Gynaecologic Cancers, Paediatric Tumours, Head & Neck, Stereotactic Radiosurgery / Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy
Balamurugan A Vellayappan Radiation Oncology Lymphoma, CNS, Gastrointestinal Cancer, Stereotactic
Allen Yeoh Eng Juh Paediatric Haematology-Oncology Pharmacogenomics in Childhood Leukemias and Treatment-related Toxicities in Childhood Leukemias
Victor Lee Kwan Min Pathology Anatomical Pathology, Bone and Soft Tissue Tumours, Paediatric Solid Tumours and Education of Specialised Training in Pathology
Tan Soo Yong Pathology Pathology of NK/T-Cell Lymphoma and Type II Enteropathy-associated T-Cell Lymphoma
Mark Puhaindran Surgical Oncology (Musculoskeletal Surgery) Peripheral Nerve Tumours, Tumours of the Upper Extremity and Soft Tissue Tumours