Dave Keng Boon WEE

Lab Location: #6-08B   Email: weekb@imcb.a-star.edu.sg

Dave majored in chemical engineering at the National University of Singapore (NUS), during which he also self-learnt computer science and programming. In 2000, right upon graduation, he co-founded a startup providing computing platforms for consumers and businesses to access their applications and data from any computer via the Internet, a concept now known as cloud computing; the Internet at its nascent stage required him to develop the underlying technology from stretch. The concept was a decade too early as the inadequate and costly Internet bandwidth infrastructure became an insurmountable barrier to gain market traction. Subsequently, he joined a subsidiary of ST Technologies Ltd as a software lead to develop and commission a real-time command-and-control artillery system for the SAF. Still hungry for startups and sensing potential market opportunity from an emerging bioinformatics field, he seized on the inaugural scholarship offered by the Bioinformatics Institute to pursue a M.Sc. in bioinformatics, and thereafter, attained a Ph.D. in computational systems biology under an A*STAR scholarship in 2009, both at NUS. He joined the Institute of High Performance Computing and was awarded an Independent Investigatorship subsequently. He is also a recipient of the Outstanding Research for Young Scientist award by the Human Genome Organization (HUGO).

Dave derives immense satisfaction from inventing technologies that powers the advancement of science and industry. He is especially captivated by complex dynamical systems and with his engineering mindset, he is obsessed with the perturbation of such systems in a rationally manner for one’s desired goals. As a fan of “you can’t engineer something you don’t understand”, his approaches are based on mechanistic or first-principle modelling and systems analyses. To provide the agility and flexibility to work on myriad research areas, he collaborates extensively with wet experimentalists to validate his hypotheses and predictions. As of 2018, his technologies have been used in more than 50 projects in 28 labs from 24 local and international research institutions and the biopharmaceutical industry. Part of his work was commercialized in 2018 when he co-founded ImmuNOA Pte Ltd, an A*STAR spin-off that develops and applies innovative therapeutic modalities leading to transformative cell immunotherapies.