Patrick Boon Ooi TAN

Patrick Boon Ooi TAN

Executive Director,
Laboratory of Cancer Epigenetic Regulation




Genomics has proved its relevance to all aspects of biology and medicine. It is now common to talk about sequencing entire populations and countries, resolving organs and individuals at the single-cell level, and developing treatments guided by genomic data. We are now able to edit genomes at will, synthesize entire chromosomes, and perform big data experiments in silico without ever touching a pipette. Importantly, while much has been done, much remains to be discovered as our knowledge of the human genome is far from complete. We possess only a rudimentary understanding of the non-coding regulatory genome, and polygenic risk scores hold the promise for dissecting genetic contributions to complex disease. New technology platforms, such as epigenetics and transcriptomes deployed at scale, will be undoubtedly essential to further understand the elusive connections between genotype and phenotype, a fundamental underpinning of genetics. Besides humans, understanding genomic variation in non-human species, including microbiomes, flora and fauna will further improve our mapping of the limits of biological variation, with impact in the emerging areas of food, nutrition, and health. In the clinic, genomic medicine raises the possibility of improving early diagnosis and prevention - however, we also need to appreciate the potential risks of genomic misuse, and the need to interact with community stakeholders to develop ethical social-legal frameworks respecting individual privacy yet enabling responsible data sharing for research and discovery. Our ultimate vision is for genomics to touch the lives of every Singaporean, in one way or another.

Selected Publications

  • Sundar R, Huang KK, Qamra A, Kim KM, Kim ST, Kang WK, Tan ALK, Lee J, Tan P "Epigenomic promoter alterations predict for benefit from immune checkpoint inhibition in metastatic gastric cancer." Ann Oncol 2019 Mar 01 ; 30(3) : 424-430 Abstract
  • Huang KK, Ramnarayanan K, Zhu F, Srivastava S, Xu C, Tan ALK, Lee M, Tay S, Das K, Xing M, Fatehullah A, Alkaff SMF, Lim TKH, Lee J, Ho KY, Rozen SG, Teh BT, Barker N, Chia CK, Khor C, Ooi CJ, Fock KM, So J, Lim WC, Ling KL, Ang TL, Wong A, Rao J, Rajnakova A, Lim LG, Yap WM, Teh M, Yeoh KG, Tan P "Genomic and Epigenomic Profiling of High-Risk Intestinal Metaplasia Reveals Molecular Determinants of Progression to Gastric Cancer." Cancer Cell 2018 01 08 ; 33(1) : 137-150.e5 Abstract
  • Qamra A, Xing M, Padmanabhan N, Kwok JJT, Zhang S, Xu C, Leong YS, Lee Lim AP, Tang Q, Ooi WF, Suling Lin J, Nandi T, Yao X, Ong X, Lee M, Tay ST, Keng ATL, Gondo Santoso E, Ng CCY, Ng A, Jusakul A, Smoot D, Ashktorab H, Rha SY, Yeoh KG, Peng Yong W, Chow PKH, Chan WH, Ong HS, Soo KC, Kim KM, Wong WK, Rozen SG, Teh BT, Kappei D, Lee J, Connolly J, Tan P "Epigenomic Promoter Alterations Amplify Gene Isoform and Immunogenic Diversity in Gastric Adenocarcinoma." Cancer Discov 2017 06 ; 7(6) : 630-651 Abstract
  • Yao X, Tan J, Lim KJ, Koh J, Ooi WF, Li Z, Huang D, Xing M, Chan YS, Qu JZ, Tay ST, Wijaya G, Lam YN, Hong JH, Lee-Lim AP, Guan P, Ng MSW, He CZ, Lin JS, Nandi T, Qamra A, Xu C, Myint SS, Davies JOJ, Goh JY, Loh G, Tan BC, Rozen SG, Yu Q, Tan IBH, Cheng CWS, Li S, Chang KTE, Tan PH, Silver DL, Lezhava A, Steger G, Hughes JR, Teh BT, Tan P "VHL Deficiency Drives Enhancer Activation of Oncogenes in Clear Cell Renal Cell Carcinoma." Cancer Discov 2017 11 ; 7(11) : 1284-1305 Abstract
  • Jusakul A, Cutcutache I, Yong CH, Lim JQ, Huang MN, Padmanabhan N, Nellore V, Kongpetch S, Ng AWT, Ng LM, Choo SP, Myint SS, Thanan R, Nagarajan S, Lim WK, Ng CCY, Boot A, Liu M, Ong CK, Rajasegaran V, Lie S, Lim AST, Lim TH, Tan J, Loh JL, McPherson JR, Khuntikeo N, Bhudhisawasdi V, Yongvanit P, Wongkham S, Totoki Y, Nakamura H, Arai Y, Yamasaki S, Chow PK, Chung AYF, Ooi LLPJ, Lim KH, Dima S, Duda DG, Popescu I, Broet P, Hsieh SY, Yu MC, Scarpa A, Lai J, Luo DX, Carvalho AL, Vettore AL, Rhee H, Park YN, Alexandrov LB, Gordân R, Rozen SG, Shibata T, Pairojkul C, Teh BT, Tan P "Whole-Genome and Epigenomic Landscapes of Etiologically Distinct Subtypes of Cholangiocarcinoma." Cancer Discov 2017 10 ; 7(10) : 1116-1135 Abstract
  • Teh BT, Lim K, Yong CH, Ng CCY, Rao SR, Rajasegaran V, Lim WK, Ong CK, Chan K, Cheng VKY, Soh PS, Swarup S, Rozen SG, Nagarajan N, Tan P "The draft genome of tropical fruit durian (Durio zibethinus)." Nat Genet 2017 Nov ; 49(11) : 1633-1641 Abstract
  • Tan J, Ong CK, Lim WK, Ng CC, Thike AA, Ng LM, Rajasegaran V, Myint SS, Nagarajan S, Thangaraju S, Dey S, Nasir ND, Wijaya GC, Lim JQ, Huang D, Li Z, Wong BH, Chan JY, McPherson JR, Cutcutache I, Poore G, Tay ST, Tan WJ, Putti TC, Ahmad BS, Iau P, Chan CW, Tang AP, Yong WS, Madhukumar P, Ho GH, Tan VK, Wong CY, Hartman M, Ong KW, Tan BK, Rozen SG, Tan P, Tan PH, Teh BT "Genomic landscapes of breast fibroepithelial tumors." Nat Genet 2015 Nov ; 47(11) : 1341-5 Abstract