Latest Happenings

CSI Singapore Conferred Multiple Awards at NCIS Annual Research Meeting (NCAM 2021)

August 4, 2021

Hosted by the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS) and co-organized by the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI), the 8th NCIS Annual Research Meeting (NCAM) concluded its hybrid meeting last Saturday. Held from 30 - 31 July, this year's meeting served as an excellent platform for cancer physicians and researchers in Singapore to interact and forge future collaborations.

Read More
Aug 04, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Researchers Discover a New Link Between Oxidative Stress and Ageing-Related Human Diseases

August 4, 2021

Our bodies constantly encounter oxidants from our diet and metabolism. Oxidative stress is thought to speed up ageing, and increase the risk of diseases like cancer or dementia. However, there have been few clues to how oxidative stress can cause these problems, or how anti-oxidants may work to combat them. Now, Professor Ashok Venkitaraman’s laboratory has discovered a way in which oxidative stress damages mitochondria – the powerhouses that supply energy to our cells.

Read More
Aug 04, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Highly recurrent CBS epimutations in gastric cancer CpG island methylator phenotypes and inflammation. (Genome Biol, Jun 2021)

July 6, 2021

CIMP (CpG island methylator phenotype) is an epigenetic molecular subtype, observed in multiple malignancies and associated with the epigenetic silencing of tumor suppressors. Currently, for most cancers including gastric cancer (GC), mechanisms underlying CIMP remain poorly understood. In this study, we sought to discover molecular contributors to CIMP in GC.

Read More
Jul 06, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Mitochondria transfer from early stages of erythroblasts to their macrophage niche via tunnelling nanotubes. (Br J Haematol, Jun 2021)

July 6, 2021

Adult erythropoiesis entails a series of well-coordinated events that produce mature red blood cells. One of such events is the mitochondria clearance that occurs cell-autonomously via autophagy-dependent mechanisms. Interestingly, recent studies have shown mitochondria transfer activities between various cell types. In the context of erythropoiesis, macrophages are known to interact closely with the early stages of erythroblasts to provide a specialized niche, termed erythroblastic islands (EBI).

Read More
Jul 06, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
SMARCA2 Is a Novel Interactor of NSD2 and Regulates Prometastatic PTP4A3 through Chromatin Remodeling in t(4;14) Multiple Myeloma. (Cancer Res, May 2021)

July 6, 2021

NSD2 is the primary oncogenic driver in t(4;14) multiple myeloma. Using SILAC-based mass spectrometry, we demonstrate a novel role of NSD2 in chromatin remodeling through its interaction with the SWI/SNF ATPase subunit SMARCA2. SMARCA2 was primarily expressed in t(4;14) myeloma cells, and its interaction with NSD2 was noncanonical and independent of the SWI/SNF complex.

Read More
Jul 06, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Researchers Identify Looping Silencers as a Promising Target for Cancer Treatment

June 17, 2021

Gene transcription is controlled largely by transcription factors that bind to enhancers, which are regions of the DNA that loop over to genes to activate them. While silencers have been hypothesized to work in a similar manner albeit to silence gene regulation, the understanding of gene repression mechanism remains elusive. In this study, researchers from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) have made inroads into identifying silencers, particularly looping silencers, and understanding their mechanisms of function.

Read More
Jun 17, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Prof. Chng Wee Joo Receives Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine Graduate Mentor of the Year (GRAMAY) Award 2021

June 10, 2021

Congratulations to CSI Deputy Director and Senior Principal Investigator, Prof. Chng Wee Joo, on being conferred the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine Graduate Mentor of the Year (GRAMAY) 2021! Presented annually, the GRAMAY award honors and celebrates faculty staff in recognition of their excellence in graduate supervision, intellectual and professional development as well as career development of their graduate students.

Read More
Jun 10, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
A Novel Discovery Platform to Identify First-in-Class Druggable Targets for Human Diseases

June 10, 2021

Protein-protein interactions (PPIs) represent a vast repertoire of potential targets for new drugs against human diseases. But not all PPIs are suitable as drug targets, and many hundreds of thousands of PPIs occur in human cells. As such, identifying the right PPI target for the development of next-generation drugs is oftentimes akin to looking for a needle in a haystack. Ashok Venkitaraman’s laboratory has developed a novel approach to PPI target discovery, termed Protein-interference or Protein-i, whereby a library of biologically derived, short, stable peptides is used to hunt for ligands that can disrupt therapeutically important and potentially druggable PPIs.

Read More
Jun 10, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Monopar Announces New Drug Candidate, MNPR-202, and Enters into Collaboration Agreement with the National University of Singapore for Preclinical Evaluation in Cancer

June 4, 2021

WILMETTE, Ill., June 03, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Monopar Therapeutics Inc. (Nasdaq: MNPR), a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company primarily focused on developing proprietary therapeutics designed to extend life or improve the quality of life for cancer patients, today announced it has entered into a collaboration agreement with the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (CSI Singapore) at the National University of Singapore (NUS) to evaluate the activity of MNPR-202 and related analogs in multiple types of cancer.

Read More
Jun 04, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Extracellular Vesicles, the Cornerstone of Next-Generation Cancer Diagnosis? (Semin Cancer Biol, May 2021)

June 3, 2021

Despite advancements in cancer screening and diagnostics, a significant number of cancers are still diagnosed at a late stage with poor prognosis. Hence, the discovery of reliable and accurate methods to diagnose cancer early would be of great help in reducing cancer mortality. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are phospholipid vesicles found in many biofluids and are released by almost all types of cells. In this review, we present an analysis and evaluation of the current techniques of EV isolation and characterization, as well as discuss the potential EV biomarkers for specific types of cancer.

Read More
Jun 03, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Targeting RNA Editing of Antizyme Inhibitor 1: a Potential Oligonucleotide-Based Antisense Therapy for Cancer (Mol Ther, May 2021)

June 3, 2021

Dysregulated adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing is implicated in various cancers. However, no available RNA editing inhibitors have so far been developed to inhibit cancer-associated RNA editing events. Here we decipher the RNA secondary structure of antizyme inhibitor 1 (AZIN1), one of the best-studied A-to-I editing targets in cancer, by locating its editing site complementary sequence (ECS) at the 3'end of exon 12.

Read More
Jun 03, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Topography of Transcriptionally Active Chromatin in Glioblastoma (Sci Adv, Apr 2021)

June 3, 2021

Molecular profiling of the most aggressive brain tumor glioblastoma (GBM) on the basis of gene expression, DNA methylation, and genomic variations advances both cancer research and clinical diagnosis. The enhancer architectures and regulatory circuitries governing tumor-intrinsic transcriptional diversity and subtype identity are still elusive. Here, by mapping H3K27ac deposition, we analyze the active regulatory landscapes across 95 GBM biopsies, 12 normal brain tissues, and 38 cell line counterparts.

Read More
Jun 03, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Reversing Cancer-Causing Faults in the Breast Cancer Gene BRCA2.

May 20, 2021

Inherited faults (‘mutations’) in the breast cancer gene, BRCA2, can lead to cancers of the breast, ovary or other organs. BRCA2 codes for a protein containing 3,418 building blocks (called ‘amino acids’) in human cells. Surprisingly, certain BRCA2 mutations that cause cancer affect just a single building-block out of over three thousand. Ashok Venkitaraman’s laboratory […]

Read More
May 20, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Prolonged Maintenance of Hematopoietic Stem Cells that Escape From Thrombopoietin Deprivation. (Blood, Mar 2021)

April 27, 2021

Hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) rarely divide, rest in quiescence and proliferate only upon stress hematopoiesis. The cytokine thrombopoietin (Thpo) has been perplexingly described to induce quiescence and promote self-renewal divisions in HSCs. In order to clarify the contradictory effect of Thpo, we conducted a detailed analysis on conventional (Thpo-/-) and liver-specific (Thpofl/fl;AlbCre+/-) Thpo deletion models. Thpo-/- HSCs exhibited profound loss of quiescence, impaired cell cycle progression and increased apoptosis.

Read More
Apr 27, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Quantitative Imaging of RAD51 Expression as a Marker of Platinum Resistance in Ovarian Cancer. (EMBO Mol Med, Mar 2021)

April 27, 2021

Early relapse after platinum chemotherapy in epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC) portends poor survival. A-priori identification of platinum resistance is therefore crucial to improve on standard first-line carboplatin-paclitaxel treatment. The DNA repair pathway homologous recombination (HR) repairs platinum-induced damage, and the HR recombinase RAD51 is overexpressed in cancer. We therefore designed a REMARK-compliant study of pre-treatment RAD51 expression in EOC, using fluorescent quantitative immunohistochemistry (qIHC) to overcome challenges in quantitation of protein expression in situ.

Read More
Apr 27, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Identification of a targetable KRAS-mutant epithelial population in non-small cell lung cancer. (Commun Biol, Apr 2021)

April 27, 2021

Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths. Tumor heterogeneity, which hampers development of targeted therapies, was herein deconvoluted via single cell RNA sequencing in aggressive human adenocarcinomas (carrying Kras-mutations) and comparable murine model. We identified a tumor-specific, mutant-KRAS-associated subpopulation which is conserved in both human and murine lung cancer.

Read More
Apr 27, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
USD 45M Series B Funding for UK-Based Biopharmaceutical Company’s Drug Discovery Programmes

April 19, 2021

The pathways that control the behaviour of cells are complex, non-linear and highly redundant. As such, identifying the right molecular target for the development of next-generation drugs is oftentimes akin to looking for a needle in a haystack. Ashok Venkitaraman’s laboratory developed a novel approach termed “Protein-interference” or “Protein-i” to hunt for new drug targets, which was spun out in 2016 by University of Cambridge into the biotech company PhoreMost, with Dr. Venkitaraman as co-founder.

Read More
Apr 19, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Novel First-in-Class Drug Discovery Approach is Breaking New Ground in Anti-Cancer Therapeutics

April 19, 2021

ATP-hydrolyzing enzymes like protein kinases are major drug targets for oncology. Drugs that inhibit these enzymes typically engage their ATP-binding (active) sites to inhibit catalysis. However, these active sites are structurally similar to one another, especially in enzymes belonging to the same family, making it difficult to develop drugs that are highly selective with reduced off-target effects. Ashok Venkitaraman’s laboratory has systematically developed a different approach to this problem – termed ‘allo-targeting’.

Read More
Apr 19, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Cancer drug may be able to treat inflammation caused by COVID-19 virus, Singapore-US study shows

April 13, 2021

CSI Principal Investigator, Dr. Anand Jeyasekharan, was recently involved in a pioneering study performed by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in the United States and the National University Cancer Institute, Singapore (NCIS). Findings from this study revealed that Topotecan, a chemotherapeutic drug, can reduce the severity and death rates of infection by SARS-CoV-2 and may potentially be used to treat patients with moderate to severe forms of Covid-19.

Read More
Apr 13, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments
Congratulations to Our Long Service Award 2021 Recipients!

April 8, 2021

The Long Service Awards were presented to employees in appreciation for their valued contributions and dedicated service to NUS. A total of 13 recipients have been conferred the Long Service Award for their 5, 10, 15 and 20 years of service respectively. CSI Singapore would like to congratulate and thank the following recipients for their […]

Read More
Apr 08, 2021 Celine Tam 0 comments