Since inception in October 2008, several CSI Singapore scientists and clinician-scientists have won awards for their outstanding research and commitment towards improving science in Singapore.
Dr Takayoshi Matsumura, Senior Research Scientist from Prof Toshio Suda’s lab, won the Best Oral Presentation Award (Runner-Up) at the ninth Frontiers in Cancer Science conference. Masturah Rashid, PhD student from Dr Edward Chow’s lab, received the Best Poster Award, which came with a travel award to present her research work at the AACR Conference in 2018.
Dr Tan Shi Hao, Research Fellow from Dr Takaomi Sanda’s group, and Daryl Tay, Research Assistant from Dr Polly Chen’s group, were awarded Outstanding Poster Awards at the RNA Biology Symposium 2017. At the same symposium, Liu Yan Jing, PhD student from Prof Daniel Tenen’s group was selected to give the SRBA Oral Presentation.
Madhu Mathi Kanchi, Eve Wang, and Shreya Kar, PhD students from Dr Alan Prem Kumar’s group won Best Poster and/or Oral Scientific Presentation Awards at the International Conference on Scientific Frontiers in Natural Product Based Drugs
Dr Toh Tan Boon, Dr Xu Liang, Dr Avinash Bahirvani, Dr Zhou Jianbiao, Dr Kong Li Ren, Michelle Mok, Deepa Rajagopalan, Regina Wong, Nishi Kumari, and Chooi Jing Yuan, who are post-doctoral researchers and students at CSI Singapore, presented their research at the NCAM 2017 symposium and received awards for their outstanding posters and oral presentation.
Dr Toh Tan Boon, Research Fellow from Dr Edward Chow’s lab received an EMBO Travel Award to present his findings at an EMBO meeting.
Prof Chng Wee Joo and Dr Polly Chen, Principal Investigator, were recognized by NUSMed for their exciting research and were awarded the Researcher and Young Researcher of the Year award respectively. At the same ceremony, Dr Alan Prem Kumar, Principal Associate, was also presented the Graduate Student Mentor of the Year award.
Darren Tan, Masturah Rashid and Desi, PhD students in CSI, were awarded the Best Poster Presentation award at NUS’ Annual Graduate Students’ Congress 2017. The AGSC is an annual symposium organized by NUSMed, and offers a platform for graduates students from the School of Medicine to present the research work that they have undertaken as part of their graduate school journey.
Eve Wang and Shreya Kar, PhD students from Dr Alan Prem Kumar’s group attended the Global Breast Cancer Conference held in Jeju Island, South Korea. Eve received the Korean Breast Cancer Foundation Scholarship for Outstanding Oral Presentation, and Shreya received a Good Poster Award.
Prof Chng Wee Joo, Deputy Director, won the prestigious Singapore Translational Research (STaR) Award conferred by NMRC. The STaR Award recognized top notch scientists who have contributed significantly to the research field in Singapore.
Dr Anand Jeyasekharan and Dr David Tan, Principal Investigators at CSI Singapore, were awarded the Transition Award and Clinician-Scientist Award at the NMRC wards in 2017, to recognize their roles as successful clinicians as well as in research.
Tham Cheng Yong, PhD student from Dr Touati Benoukraf’s group, was selected to give an Oral Presentation at the 12th Great Lakes Bioinformatics Conference.
Hong Huiqi, PhD student from Dr Polly Chen’s group, was selected to give an oral presentation and received a travel award to present her research at the Heidelberg Forum for Young Life Scientists.
CSI Singapore has promoted the integration of various local research bodies through the Frontiers in Cancer Science annual conferences in November each year which bring together some of the world’s top cancer experts to share the latest advancements in cancer research. Led by CSI Singapore, the conference is a combined effort with Duke-NUS GMS, GIS, NCCS, NCIS, IMCB, and NTU.
Dr Edward Chow and his team were involved in a study in ocllaboration with the Department of Physiology at NUSMed. In this exciting novel step, the team managed to grow tiny liver cancer tumours in a laboratory by using a scaffold made out of a plant-based hydrogel. Moreover, anti-cancer drugs can be tested on the tiny tumours, allowing scientists to see how effective the drugs are within a week or so, and this could hold the key to treating liver cancer, which is one of Singapore’s deadliest diseases. – The Straits’ Times
Dr Sudhakar Jha’s group identified a novel molecular pathway by which a tumour suppressor, TIP60, inhibits the growth of cancer cells. The team discovered that TIP60 inhibits telomerase by interacting with Sp1, which aids in producing more telomerase protein. The modified Sp1, which can no longer bind to the regulatory sequences of the telomerase gene to activate it, reduces the expression of telomerase thereby preventing the cancer cells from continuous division. The study the way for the development of new therapeutic strategies that could impede the spread of virus-induced cancers. – NUS News
A novel discovery by Dr Dennis Kappei and team discovered the role of the protein ZBTB48 in regulating both telomeres and mitochondria, which are key players involved in cellular ageing. The results of the study will contribute to a better understanding of the human ageing process as well as cancer development. – NUS News
Prof H Phillip Koeffler’s group published a paper in PNAS. They discovered that the BCL6 protein could potentially be used as a marker to predict clinical outcomes of patients suffering from Glioblastoma Multiforme (GBM), the most malignant cancer of the brain. GBM patients with lower levels of the BCL6 protein exhibit a higher survival rate than those with high BCL6 expression. The study also suggests BCL6 as a possible target for GBM treatment – controlling the levels and activities of the BCL6 protein could potentially contribute to treatment of the disease. – NUS News
The research team led by Dr Takaomi Sanda provided new insights into the molecular mechanism affecting how genes are produced during normal T-cell development, and contributing to leukaemia formation. The team studied the protein TAL1, which is encoded by a cancer causing gene previously found to contribute to the development of T-ALL, and discovered that TAL1 activates a ‘molecular switch’ called a super-enhancer. This may result in T-cell precursors growing abnormally and not developing into functional T-cells in the body, leading to the development of T-ALL. – NUS News
Dr Edward Chow and his team developed a novel nanodiamond-based contrast agent – a chemical “dye” used to enhance the visibility of internal body structures in magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) – that improves visualisation of liver cancer tumours. The development of better and more sensitive imaging contributes towards detecting liver cancer and is crucial for planning for treatment. – NUS News