Prabha Sampath

Senior Research Scientist,
Laboratory of MicroRNA Therapeutics




Single-Cell Spatial Neuromics

As a Senior Group Leader, Dr. Sampath, leads the microRNA therapeutics program, facilitating a transition from basic research to advances in RNA therapeutics. With have a long-standing research interest in translational control and its involvement in human pathology, Dr. Sampath’s objective is to understand the molecular mechanisms underlying dysregulated translational regulation in pathophysiology, and build upon these findings to develop targeted therapeutic strategies.

Research: Our focus has led to exciting discoveries in disease conditions such as chronic wounds, pro-inflammatory skin diseases and aggressive cancers. We have discovered a regulatory switch, which lies at the heart of a molecular pathway governing both cancer progression and wound healing in epithelia. This switch, which orchestrates wound healing, is defective and fails to be activated in chronic diabetic ulcers, preventing healing. We are working on nucleic acid therapeutics to accelerate healing of chronic foot ulcers and mitigate deleterious complications leading to lower extremity amputations. Working on pro-inflammatory skin disorders, including atopic dermatitis and psoriasis our focus is to design novel therapeutics targeting specific dysregulated microRNAs. Glioblastoma multiforme, a devastating brain cancer associated with very poor clinical outcomes, frequently relapses after therapy due to the persistence of intrinsically resistant cancer stem cells. We have identified a microRNA critical for the survival and proliferation of glioma stem cells. Our objective is to design targeted therapeutics, to prevent recurrence of these deadly tumours.

Trained at the Lerner Research Institute, Cleveland Clinic Foundation in United States, Dr. Prabha Sampath studied gene regulation during inflammation. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Centre for Cardiovascular and Regenerative Medicine, University of Washington, Dr. Sampath worked on translational control mechanisms in embryonic stem cell differentiation. Her innovative work is well recognized as evidenced by outstanding publications and multiple awards. Dr. Sampath is the recipient of prestigious A*STAR Investigatorship award and she joined the Institute of Medical Biology, Singapore to set up her own research group in May 2008. She holds an adjunct position as an Associate Professor at Duke-NUS School of Medicine.

Selected Publications

  • Chan XH, Nama S, Ow GS, Ivshina AV, Tanavde V, Haybaeck J, Kuznetsov V and Sampath P. Targeting glioma stem cells by functional inhibition of a prosurvival oncomiR-138 in malignant gliomas. Cell Rep. 2012 Sep 27;2(3):591-602. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2012.07.012.
  • Sundaram GM, Common JE, Srikanta S, Lim TC, Lane EB and Sampath P. 'See-saw' expression of microRNA-198 and FSTL1 from a single transcript in wound healing. Nature. 2013 Mar 7;495(7439):103-6. doi: 10.1038/nature11890. http://www.F1000Prime Recommendations/article/id/7180010222/evaluation
    See-Saw Gene Expression Science vol 339 15 Mar 2013, page 1253 Editorial
    The Healing Switch Science Signaling vol 6 19 Mar 2013, page ec66 Editorial
  • Sundaram GM, Ismail HM, Muhuri M, Vaz C, Ow GS, Burke B, Kuznetsov V, Lane EB and Sampath P. EGF hijacks miR-198/FSTL1 wound-healing switch and steers a two-pronged pathway toward metastasis. J Experimental Medicine. 2017 Oct 2;214(10):2889-2900. doi: 10.1084/jem.20170354.
    Preview: LW Ellisen, A wound-healing program is hijacked to promote cancer metastasis J Exp Med. 2017 Oct 2;214(10):2813-2815. doi: 10.1084/jem.20171556.
  • Tan DSW, Chong FT, Toh SY, Lau DP, Zhang X, Tan GS, Chang MM, Lim WT, Ang MK, Lim TKH and Sampath P, Chowbay B, Skanderup AJ, DasGupta R and Iyer NG. Long noncoding RNA EGFR-AS1 mediates epidermal growth factor receptor addiction and modulates treatment response in squamous cell carcinoma. Nature Medicine. 2017 Oct;23(10):1167-1175. doi: 10.1038/nm.4401.
  • Di Pascale F, Nama S, Muhuri M, Quah S, Chan XHD, Ramalingam R, Burke B and Sampath P. C/EBPβ mediates RNA polymerase III-driven transcription of oncomiR-138 in malignant gliomas. Nucleic Acids Res. 2018 Jan 9;46(1):336-349. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx1105.
  • Yan T, Ooi WF, Ma D, Xing M, Loh YP, Ho JHJ, Ng JJQ, Rozen SG, Ghosh S, Bard FA, Sampath P, Tergaonkar V, Davies JOJ, Hughes JR, Fullwood MJ, Tan P and Li S. HoxC5 and miR-615-3p target newly evolved genomic regions to repress hTERT and inhibit tumorigenesis. Nature Commun. 2018 Jan 8;9(1):100. doi: 10.1038/41467-017-02601-1.
  • Sundaram GM, Quah S and Sampath P. Cancer: the dark side of wound healing. FEBS J.2018 Jun 15. doi: 10.1111/febs.14586.
  • Nama S, Muhuri M, Di Pascale F, Quah S, Aswad L, Fullwood M, Sampath P. MicroRNA-138 is a Prognostic Biomarker for Triple-Negative Breast Cancer and Promotes Tumorigenesis via TUSC2 repression. Nature Sci Rep. 2019 Sep 3;9(1):12718. doi: 10.1038/s41598-019-49155-4.
  • Liew WC, Sundaram GM, Quah S, Tan JSL, Common JEA, Tang MBY, Lane EB, Thng STG, Sampath P. Belinostat resolves skin barrier defects in atopic dermatitis by targeting the dysregulated miR-335:SOX6 axis. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2020 Feb 21. pii: S0091-6749(20)30259-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2020.02.007.
  • Sundaram GM, Quah S, Lum GG, Sampath P. HuR enhances FSTL1 transcript stability to promote invasion and metastasis of squamous cell carcinoma. American Journal of Cancer Research 2021 Oct 15;11(10):4981-4993