Category Archives: awards

CBIS PI Shee Mei Lok awarded National Research Foundation Investigatorship

Assistant Professor Lok is one of the recipients of the prestigious National Research Foundation Investigatorship.

Dengue Virus (DENV) infects approximately 100 million people each year. Increased travel, together with global climate change will result in further geographical expansion of the territory of the dengue mosquito vector, Aedes aegypti. There is an urgent need to develop safe and effective dengue therapeutics and vaccine.

CBIS PI Shee Mei Lok at the Titan Krios at the National University of Singapore Centre for BioImaging Research

In vitro experiments have shown that non-neutralizing antibodies can enhance DENV infection of Fc receptor bearing macrophages, one of the natural host cells for the virus. This suggested that the presence of non-neutralizing epitopes in a vaccine could potentially increase the chances that a person who had received the vaccine would develop the severe form of the disease, dengue hemorrhagic fever. For this reason, a more promising approach for engineering an effective DENV vaccine is to focus on including neutralizing epitopes. Thus, mapping of neutralizing epitopes is a necessary component of DENV vaccine research. Furthermore, understanding the neutralization mechanism of antibodies and the entry of DENV into the host cells also could aid in the design of targeted therapeutics.

The research in her laboratory therefore, focuses on the understanding of the pathology of dengue virus infection and the mechanism of neutralization by antibodies and other molecules so as to facilitate the development of suitable vaccines and therapeutics. A combination of molecular, immunological, biochemical and structural techniques (x ray crystallography and cryoEM image reconstruction techniques) will be used to achieve these aims.

Read more about Associate Professor Lok’s research.

Prof Yan Jie awarded American Physical Society (APS) Fellowship for 2015

We are pleased to announce that MBI/CBIS Principal Investigator, Assoc Prof Yan Jie, has been awarded an American Physical Society (APS) Fellowship for 2015.

Dr Yan in the lab

APS Fellowships are given to scientists in recognition of their significant contributions to physics, in areas including education, research and industrial applications. In this regard, Dr Yan has received the fellowship for his exceptional contributions to the study of micro mechanics of bio-polymers.

Trained as a theoretical physicist, Dr Yan developed a keen interest in studying the mechanical regulation of several biological processes, in eukaryotes as well as in bacteria and viruses. At NUS, Dr Yan has successfully combined the use of state-of-the-art single molecule manipulation methods and imaging techniques with complex theoretical modeling to understand how the structural organization and functions of macro-molecules, such as DNA and proteins, and the dynamics of inter-molecular interactions between them are influenced by external as well as cellular forces.

Find out more from APS Physics.  Read more about Dr Yan’s research. Visit Dr Yan’s labsite Single Molecule Biophysics.

Source: SciComms, MBI