Sai Kiang LIM


Dr Sai-Kiang Lim graduated with a B.Sc (Hons in Biochemistry) from National University of Singapore in 1985 and a PhD (Molecular Biology) from SUNY at Buffalo in 1992. Her PhD thesis was on the metabolism of thalassemic mRNA under the mentorship of Prof Lynne Maquat (Dept. of Human Genetics, Roswell Park Cancer Institute).  Based on this work, she was awarded the Most Meritorious Student Research Award by Sigma Xi Society in 1989, NY State Predoctoral Fellowship (1989-91).  In 1992, she  started postdoctoral training on erythroid differentiation with Prof Frank Constantini (Dept. of Genetics and Development College of Physicians & Surgeons, Columbia University) first as a Cooley’s Anemia Foundation Research Fellow (1992-94) and then as a Leukemia Society of America Special Fellow (1994-96). After postdoctoral training, she led independent research groups at NUMI, NUS (1996-2001), Genome Institute of Singapore (2002-2007) and then Institute of Medical Biology (2007-2020). Her research focus has always been disease-related with emphasis on the elucidation of the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms in diseases and development of therapies. Presently, her major research interests are in natural and synthetic nano lipid vesicles with specific focus on their synthesis and purification, biochemical and biophysical characterisation, and diagnostic and therapeutic applications. Her two most notable scientific achievements are the discovery of stable mRNA decay intermediates in eukaryotic cells and the discovery of therapeutic MSC exosomes.  As of Aug 2019, her patent portfolio consists of 8 families: 71 granted patents and 32 pending applications.  She is a key opinion leader in therapeutic EVs.  She has founded two start-ups, Paracrine Therapeutics and Vesiderm.  She is a founding member of SSCR (founding president), SOCRATES and ISEV.  Presently, she is the Co-chair of the ISCT Exosome Committee and member of the ISEV Taskforce on the Use of Unproven Extracellular Vesicle Therapies.  She was also the lead organizer of several international workshops on exosomes in Singapore: 1) 2015 ISEV Research Workshop: Application of Therapeutic EVs in Patients, 2) 2018 and 3) 2019 SOCRATES, ISCT, ISEV and ISBT Joint MSC-sEV workshops.  She  was a member of IOC for ISCT Annual Meeting organising committee, 2018 & 2019, and ISEV Annual Meeting 2019.