Dr Polly-Leilei Chen
- Assistant Professor, Department of Anatomy, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS
- Principal Investigator, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, NUS
Dr Polly Leilei Chen got her Bachelor of Medicine in 2002, followed by 2-year specialized training in Obstetrics & Gynaecology in China. She completed her PhD in Cancer Genetics in Prof. Xin-Yuan Guan’s laboratory at the University of Hong Kong in 2010. After 2-year postdoctoral training in the same lab, she joined Cancer Science Institute of Singapore as a Special fellow, and was promoted to a Principle Investigator and joined the Department of Anatomy, NUS, as an Assistant professor in 2014. She was recently inducted into the Prestigious EMBO Young Investigator Programme. Dr. Chen’s research has centered on transcriptome alterations in human cancers and in particular on understanding how adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing contributes to cancer initiation and progression. She currently places focus on the regulators of A-to-I RNA editing, the crosstalk between RNA editing and other RNA processes, and the development of RNA-based therapeutics targeting cancer-driven editing events.
Prof Jackie Y. Ying
- A*STAR Senior Fellow, NanoBio Lab
Jackie Y. Ying received her Ph.D. from Princeton University. She was Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT (1992-2005), and Founding Executive Director of Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (2003-2018). She currently leads the NanoBio Lab as A*STAR Senior Fellow. For her research on nanostructured materials and bioengineering, Prof. Ying has been recognized with American Chemical Society Award in Solid-State Chemistry, Technology Review’s Inaugural TR100 Young Innovator Award, American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Allan P. Colburn Award, German National Academy of Sciences Membership, International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Jubilee Medal, Materials Research Society Fellowship, Royal Society of Chemistry Fellowship, American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering Fellowship, American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellowship, Islamic World Academy of Sciences Ibrahim Memorial Award, Singapore National Academy of Science Fellowship, U.S. National Academy of Inventors Fellowship, Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher, Turkish Academy of Sciences Science and Engineering Sciences Prize, Journal of Drug Targeting’s Lifetime Achievement Award, and U.S. National Academy of Engineering Membership.
Prof. Ying was elected a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader. She was named one of the “One Hundred Engineers of the Modern Era” by AIChE in its Centennial Celebration. She was an Inaugural Inductee for the Singapore Women’s Hall of Fame. She was the inaugural winner of the US$500,000 Mustafa Prize “Top Scientific Achievement Award” for her research in bio-nanotechnology. She was the Founding Editor-in-Chief of Nano Today (impact factor: 16.907).
Prof. Ying has authored 382 articles with > 30,300 citations (h index: 82). She has 190 primary patents granted/pending, 41 of which have been successfully licensed. She is founder of 8 start-up companies. One of them, SmartCells, Inc., has developed a nanomedicine that can auto-regulate insulin release based on blood glucose levels. Merck acquired SmartCells, Inc. in 2010, with milestone-based aggregate payments in excess of US$500 million.
Prof Ashok Venkitaraman
- Director, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore
- Distinguished Professor of Medicine, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS
- Director, NUS Center for Cancer Research
Professor Ashok Venkitaraman is the Director of the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore, and a Distinguished Professor of Medicine at NUS Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, a member of the National University Health System (NUHS). He holds a joint appointment at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).
Prof Venkitaraman’s research has contributed fundamentally to our understanding of how cancer is suppressed by genes that maintain the integrity of DNA in the human genome. His laboratory is recognized for the discovery that mutations in the breast and ovarian cancer gene, BRCA2, provoke genome instability leading to carcinogenesis. Prof Venkitaraman now seeks to achieve a deeper understanding of the steps that underlie carcinogenesis, in order to find new strategies to intercept cancer development well before the disease reaches an advanced and hard-to- treat stage. He has developed new technologies to target previously ‘undruggable’ targets, and is a serial biotech entrepreneur, most recently as a founder of PhoreMost Ltd.
Prof. Venkitaraman has been elected a Fellow of the Academy of Medical Sciences, London, and as a member of EMBO.