Alexander LEZHAVA

Alexander LEZHAVA

Senior Group Leader,
Centre for Genome Diagnostics
Associate Director,
Office of Strategic and Industry Alliances




Dr Alexander Lezhava, assumed the appointment as Group Leader, in the Translational Research Group 1 (TR1), at the Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS), in August 2013, Programme Director in POLARIS since October 2016, and Senior Group Leader in the Centre for Genome Diagnostics (CGD) in August 2021. He has instrumentally brought the two arms TR1 and POLARIS together into CGD, combining both diagnostics and clinical laboratory.

As a Senior Group Leader, Dr Lezhava, leads TR1, now known as Translation Diagnostics, in promoting the smooth transition from basic research to advances in science and technology, and hence, to innovation. Mainly focusing on molecular diagnostics, the mission of TR1 is to provide and market molecular diagnostic discoveries aligned with the industry needs and further develop these together with commercial partners.

Dr Lezhava, as the Programme Director of POLARIS programme, now known as Clinical Diagnostic Lab (Transforming Disease Management through Personalised Profiling) actively pushed Clinical Diagnostic Lab to new heights in RIE2025. His key missions are for Clinical Diagnostic Lab to maintain its CAP accreditation on top of forging closer links with genomic initiatives at A*STAR as well as industry partners. Clinical Diagnostic Lab has become a supportive platform for clinical decision-making through molecular genomics. It has gradually evolved and is currently fully capable to serve a clinical community across Singapore and SEA region. In addition, Dr Lezhava serves the institute as a Management Representative for ISO accredited research groups and is the Chairman for GIS Confidentiality Compliance Committee. Under Dr Lezhava’s leadership, both TR1 and the New Generation Sequencing groups achieved ISO 13485 accreditation since 2015. This now has further expanded with two additional research groups. Simultaneously, his role as the IBC chairman is significant in ensuring safety guidelines are optimised. The IBC reviews and regulates human research work in GIS to ensure compliance to regulations.

Prior to his current appointment, Dr Lezhava was a Research Director with Dx Assays from 2011 to 2013. His other earlier positions were a Senior Scientist followed by a Unit Leader under RIKEN, Japan from 2006 to 2010. He started out as a Senior Researcher with K.K. DNAform, Biotech company in 2002.

Dr Lezhava’s research interest is in Translational research, Molecular Diagnostics, Genomics technology development, and he has published as many as 50 research papers, holds four patents, and approximately 40 technical disclosures. For his outstanding contributions to research, he has received the Suzuken Memorial Foundation award in 2007, and Letter of Appreciation from the President of RIKEN in 2009.

Dr Lezhava graduated with a PhD from the Hiroshima University, Faculty of Engineering, Department of Fermentation Technology, and Master of Science from Tbilisi State University, Faculty of Biology, Department of Genetics, in 1996 and 1990 respectively. His philosophy is “Professionalism and Teamwork of the Group are keys for successful activities”. Therefore as a group leader and a Programme Director, his task is to attract motivated individuals with a strong background from both industry and academia.

Selected Publications

  • Yang SL, DeFalco L, Anderson DE, Zhang Y, Aw JGA, Lim SY, Lim XN, Tan KY, Zhang T, Chawla T, Su Y, Lezhava A, Merits A, Wang LF, Huber RG, Wan Y. Comprehencive mapping of SARS-COV-2 Interactions in-vivo reveals functional virus-host interactions. Nat Commun. 2021 Aug 25;12(1):5113. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-25357-1.
  • Bhatia NS, Lim JY, Bonnard C, Kuan JL, Brett M, Wei H, Cham B, Chin H, Bosso-Lefevre C, Dharuman P, Escande-Beillard N, Devasia AG, Goh CYJ, Kam S, Liew WK, Liew WK, Lin G, Jain K, Ng AY, Subramanian D, Xie M, Tan YM, Tawari NR, Tiang Z, Ting TW, Tohari S, Tong CK, Lezhava A, Ng SB, Law HY, Venkatesh B, Tomar S, Sethi R, Tan G, Shanmugasundaram A, Goh DL, Lai PS, Lai A, Tan ES, Ng I, Reversades B, Tan EC, Foo R, Jamuar SS; SUREKids Working Group.Arch Dis Child. 2021 Jan;106(1):31-37. doi: 10.1136/archdischild-2020-319180. Singapore Undiagnosed Disease Program: Genomic Analysis aids Diagnosis and Clinical Management. Epub 2020 Aug 20.PMID: 32819910
  • Sathiyanathan P, Samsonraj RM, Tan CLL, Ling L, Lezhava A, Nurcombe V, Stanton LW, Cool SM. A genomic biomarker that identifies human bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells with high scalability [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jun 8]. Stem Cells. 2020;10.1002/stem.3203. doi:10.1002/stem.3203.
  • Tapsin S, Sun M, Shen Y, Zhang H, Lim XN, Susanto TT, Yang SL, Zeng GS, Lee J, Lezhava A, Ang EL, Zhang LH, Wang Y, Zhao H, Nagarajan N, Wan Y. Genome-wide identification of natural RNA aptamers in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. Nature Commun. 2018 Mar 29;9(1):1289. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-03675-1.
  • Goh JY, Feng M, Wang W, Oguz G, Yatim SMJM, Lee PL, Bao Y, Lim TH, Wang P, Tam WL, Kodahl AR, Lyng MB, Sarma S, Lin SY, Lezhava A, Yap YS, Lim AST, Hoon DSB, Ditzel HJ, Lee SC, Tan EY, Yu Q. Chromosome 1q21.3 amplification is a trackable biomarker and actionable target for breast cancer recurrence. Nature Medicine 2017 Nov;23(11):1319-1330. doi: 10.1038/nm.4405.
  • Chia S, Low JL, Zhang X1, Kwang XL2, Chong FT2, Sharma A1, Bertrand D1, Toh SY2, Leong HS2, Thangavelu MT, Hwang JSG3, Lim KH3, Skanthakumar T2, Tan HK3, Su Y1, Hui Choo S1, Hentze H4, Tan IBH, Lezhava A, Tan P, Tan DSW, Periyasamy G, Koh JLY, Gopalakrishna Iyer N, DasGupta R Phenotype-driven precision oncology as a guide for clinical decisions one patient at a time. Nature Commun. 2017 Sep 5;8(1):435
  • Iain Beehuat Tan, Simeen Malik, Kalpana Ramnarayanan, John R.McPherson, Ho Dan Liang, Yuka Suzuki, Sarah Boonhsui Ng, Su Yan, Kiat Hon Lim, Dennis Koh, Chew Min Hoe, Chung Yip Chan, Rachel Ten, Brian K.P. Goh, Alexander Y.F. Chung, Joanna Tan, Cheryl Xueli Chan, Su Ting Tay, Lezhava Alexander, Niranjan Nagarajan, Axel M. Hillmer, Choon Leong Tang, Clarinda Chua, Bin Tean Teh, Steve Rozen, Patrick Tan. High-depth sequencing of over 750 genes supports linear progression of primary tumors and metastases in most patients with liver-limited metastatic colorectal cancer. Genome Biology, 2015 Feb 12;16:32
  • Kawai Y, Kimura Y, Lezhava A, Kanamori H, Usui K, Hanami T, Soma T, Morlighem JÉ, Saga S, Ishizu Y, Aoki S, Endo R, Oguchi-Katayama A, Kogo Y, Mitani Y, Ishidao T, Kawakami C, Kurata H, Furuya Y, Saito T, Okazaki N, Chikahira M, Hayashi E, Tsuruoka S, Toguchi T, Saito Y, Ban T, Izumi S, Uryu H, Kudo K, Sakai-Tagawa Y, Kawaoka Y, Hirai A, Hayashizaki Y, Ishikawa T. One-step detection of the 2009 pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus by theRT-SmartAmp. PLoS One, 2012 7(1).
  • Lezhava A, Ishidao T, Ishizu Y, Naito K, Katayama A, Kogo Y, Hanami T, Kogo Y, Soma T, Ikeda S, Nogawa C, Murakami K, Itoh M, Mitani Y, Harbers M, Okamoto A and Hayashizaki Y. Exciton Mediated SNP detection in SmartAmp2 reactions. Human Mutation, 2010 Feb;31(2):208-17.
  • Mitani Y, Lezhava A, Kawai Y, Kikuchi T, Oguchi-Katayama, Kogo Y, Itoh M, Miyagi T, Takakura H, Hoshi K, Kato C, Arakawa T, Shibata K, Fukui K, Matsui R, Kuramitsu S, Kiyotani K, Chalk A, Tsunekawa K, Murakami M, Kamatanki T, Oka T, Shimada H, Cizdziel PE, Hayashizaki Y. Rapid SNP diagnostics using asymmetric isothermal amplification and a new mismatch-suppression technology. Nature Methods. 2007 Mar; 4(3):257-62.