Christine CHEUNG

Molecular and Vascular Medicine


Christine CHEUNG
Email:   Tel: 65860713

Dr Christine Cheung received a PhD in Cardiovascular and Stem Cell Medicine from the University of Cambridge, and a BEng (First Class) from Imperial College London. She started up a research group at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology in 2012 under an Independent Fellowship. For her pioneering approach to create organ-specific blood vessels, she was recognized with the Young Investigator Prize from the British Society for Cardiovascular Research. Notably, she is a World Economic Forum Young Scientist, Honoree of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons of Singapore by Junior Chamber International, and Life Science Fellow of L'Oréal-UNESCO For Women in Science National Fellowship. To advance her work, she is an awardee of the prestigious Human Frontier Science Program (HFSP) research grant. Dr Cheung is also a Nanyang Assistant Professor and Provost’s Chair in Medicine at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University. She currently serves on the executive committee of Stem Cell Society Singapore.


Molecular and Vascular Medicine
The crux of many diseases lies in the blood vessels. We are finding means to restore blood vessel health before adverse outcomes of diseases occur, with the goal of working towards preventive medicine. Main thrusts of our research include:

Personalised Vascular Models
Our lab invents methods to convert human stem cells to blood vessel cells, resembling those found in the heart and brain arteries. We also develop blood outgrowth endothelial cells directly from patients with vascular complications. These cellular models recapitulate the phenotypic and molecular changes associated with vascular pathology, opening the door to drug screening and regenerative medicine.

Genetic Basis of Vascular Ageing

Blood vessels in various organs behave differently despite similar genetic and systemic conditions. This may explain why diseases like cerebral amyloid angiopathy and CADASIL uniquely affect the vasculatures of the brain. We aim to understand how certain genetic disorders preferentially inflict vascular beds of specific organs. By employing genome editing tools and cell-based phenotypic assays, we hope to explore pathogenic mechanisms which pave the way for developing vascular-targeted therapies.


Vascular Disease Biomarkers

There remain significant knowledge gaps in the functional interpretation of clinical biomarkers in whether they are causal or a consequence in the disease process. Leveraging on our collaborations with clinicians, we elucidate biomarkers relating to key vascular processes such as blood vessel instability and inflammation. Deep-dive elucidation of such molecular signatures will enable us to unravel implicated pathways, and achieve better diagnostics for early intervention.

Human Stem Cell-Based Platform
Our lab has invented techniques to grow vascular cells from human pluripotent stem cells, resembling those found in brain arteries. By employing genome editing tools and phenotypic assays, we could recapitulate the molecular and cellular changes in cerebrovascular disease. Knowledge of pathogenic mechanisms will pave the way to developing vascular-targeted strategies for neurological disorders.

For highly-motivated individuals who are interested in PhD or other research positions in our lab, please send your detailed CV to



Department: Christine CHEUNG

Name: Noreen BINTE ISHAK

Designation: Research Fellow



Cheung C, Bernardo AS, Trotter MW, et al. (2012).
Generation of human vascular smooth muscle subtypes provides insight into embryological origin-dependent disease susceptibility. 
Nature Biotechnology, 30(2), 165-73. 

Cheung C, Bernardo AS, Pedersen RA, et al. (2014). 
Directed differentiation of embryonic origin-specific vascular smooth muscle subtypes from human pluripotent stem cells. 
Nature Protocols, 9, 929-938.

Trigueros-Motos L, Gonzalez-Granado JM, Cheung C, et al. (2013). 
Embryological-origin-dependent differences in homeobox expression in adult aorta: role in regional phenotypic variability and regulation of NF-κB activity. 
Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 33(6), 1248-56.

Cheung C, Goh YT, Zhang J, et al. (2014). 
Modelling cerebrovascular pathophysiology in amyloid-β metabolism using neural crest-derived smooth muscle cells.‚Äč 
Cell Reports, 9(1), 391-401.

Narmada BC, Goh YT, … Cheung C. (2016). 
Human stem cell-derived endothelial-hepatic platform for efficacy testing of vascular-protective metabolites from nutraceuticals. 
Stem Cells Translational Medicine, 6(3), 851-863.

Bargehr J, Low L, Cheung C, et al. (2016).
Embryological Origin of Human Smooth Muscle Cells Influences Their Ability to Support Endothelial Network Formation. 
Stem Cells Translational Medicine, 5(7), 46-59.

Ng GJL, Quek AML, Cheung C, et al. (2017). 
Stroke biomarkers in clinical practice: A critical appraisal. 
Neurochemistry International, 107, 11-22.

Kiskin FN, Chang C,… Cheung C, et al. (2018). 
Contribution of BMPR2 mutations and extrinsic factors in cellular phenotypes of pulmonary arterial hypertension. 
American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, 198(2), 271-275. 

SSY Chan, YS Tan, K Wu, C Cheung, DK Loke. (2018). 
Ultra-high signal detection of human embryonic stem cells driven by two-dimensional materials. 
ACS Applied Bio Materials, 1(2), 210–215.