Our team specializes in utilizing cutting-edge technology to study human variation, with a focus on developing molecular insights into disease risk prediction, surveillance, and intervention. By combining integrated omics and clinical data science, we are able to target complex diseases like obesity and mental illness that affect millions globally. Our research covers chronic diseases across the entire lifespan - from pediatric to elderly populations - with a special emphasis on the underrepresented Asian population. Our collaborations with renowned Singaporean cohorts, health clusters, and public sector entities like MOH and HPB, as well as national platforms such as the National Precision Medicine SG10K-Health study and PREPARE, enhance the translational potential of our findings. Additionally, we have formed strategic partnerships with top nutrition and probiotics companies to advance the development of innovative solutions for disease prevention and intervention. We also leverage our expertise in omics and clinical data science to develop mobile applications that provide a comprehensive and personalized healthcare experience. Our approach integrates next-generation diagnostic tests from precision medicine research and electronic health records to provide up-to-date and actionable insights into an individual's health journey. By empowering clinicians and increasing scientific literacy, our apps facilitate informed decision-making for better health outcomes. In addition to developing health apps, our expertise in multi-omics data analytics has led us to create open-source analytics tools such as GEM, cell type reference panels for infant epigenetic studies, and omics databases such as iMOM-db and iDAD-db. These resources cover molecular phenotypes of ethnic variation and diet-exposure, including complex molecular traits (eg. eQTLs and meQTLs) and contribute to advancing our understanding of personalized medicine. Link to Karnani lab tools, databases and resources - https://karnanilab.comCombining our learnings from omics and clinical data science, we have been using the multi-dimensional data to develop mobile applications that can enhance personalized healthcare experience. These apps can be powered by next generation diagnostic tests developed through precision medicine research and electronic health records to provide a holistic and an up-to-date assessment of an individual’s health journey. These tools can not only provide an actionable intervention roadmap for clinicians but can also increase the scientific literacy of individuals to make better health choices. Beyond health apps, our experience in multi-omics data analytics has led to development of open-source analytics tools (eg. Gene Environment Methylation tool - GEM), cell type reference panels for infant epigenetic studies, and omics databases such as iMOM-db and iDAD_db that cover molecular phenotypes of ethnic variation (eQTLs and meQTLs) and diet-exposure (sperm sncRNA).
Karnani Neerja is a molecular epidemiologist and clinical data scientist with 20 years of experience working with academia, industry and national platforms. She started her research career at University of Virginia, USA, where she contributed to the first functional annotation draft of the human genome (ENCODE consortium). She moved to Singapore in 2013 to join A* STAR’s Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences (SICS). As the Systems Biology lead at SICS, she developed the multi-omics roadmap for Singapore’s National Birth (GUSTO) and Pre-conception (S-PRESTO) cohorts and identified biomarkers of metabolic and mental health adversities in expecting mothers and their offspring. These findings have been patented and licensed by prominent nutrition industries and are being translated into future interventions. She has also contributed to the research landscape and scientific vision of these cohorts by serving on their executive committees for over 6 years. Beyond the developmental and pregnancy cohorts, she is involved in Singapore National Precision Medicine (NPM) program’s SG10K-Health study and serves on its science and data access committees. To advance her interest in population health analysis and to connect it with the real-world data, she joined A*STAR’s Bioinformatics Institute (BII) in April 2021 as the Head of Clinical Data Engagement. Her team is developing omics based nextgen mobile applications that can provide patient health journey and actionable intervention roadmap for clinicians. Her contributions to the biomedical informatics field were recently highlighted by GovInsider in its special report on ‘Women in GovTech 2021’.
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