PI  Research Fellows  Research Officers  Visiting Scientist  Students  Alumni

Principal Investigator

Sydney Brenner
Sydney’s work has sparked multiple revolutions in biology. He is one of the founders of molecular biology: he initiated the use of the worm, C. elegans, as a model organism and more recently developed a set of technologies that sparked a revolution in genome sequencing. Sydney has also been a strong mentor to other scientists, having mentored numerous Nobel Laureates and members of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences. His sharp intellect, dry sense of humor, and willingness to share make Sydney a pleasure to work with. To learn more about Sydney and his scientific accomplishments, visit his autobiography: The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2002

Research Fellows


Shawn Hoon

Shawn did his undergraduate work in computer engineering at the University of Virginia and obtained a PhD in genetics at Stanford University working on chemical genomics using yeast as a model organism. He is interested in projects that have both a computational and experimental bent. He is currently working on developing means to amplify nucleic acids with bacterial cells, small RNA characterization in model organisms, applying genomics to biomimetic research.

mail : hoonss[at]bmsi[dot]a-star[dot]edu[dot]sg

Chin Sau Yin



Biomedical Engineer. 

Imperial College London (BEng, ‘07) and Columbia University (PhD,’15).

Microfluidics, microfabrication, medical devices (in vitro and in vivo), food, cooking, muay thai, art, and corgis.


mail : chin_sauyin[at]bmsi[dot]a-star[dot]edu[dot]sg


Yiqi Seow

Yiqi has a keen interest in genetic and molecular tinkering and has previously worked on gene therapy during his DPhil with a specific interest in gene delivery and RNAinterference (RNAi).

Other than trying to take the world by storm with his magic performances, he is also working on developing synthetic mirtrons for therapeutic RNAi, exosomes for gene delivery and a number of side projects that are either destined for a tiny scientific splash or doomed to catastrophic failure. He is also a believer in skill specialization and collaborations, especially when the error bars gets really wide. In his spare time, he is an enthusiastic cricketer and a fine connoisseur of Islay malts.

 mail : seowy[at]bmsi[dot]a-star[dot]edu[dot]sg

Hao Li


Hao studied Biochemistry in University of Wisconsin-Madison and received her PhD under the supervision of Dr. Matthew Bogyo at Stanford University. Her PhD thesis focused on biochemical characterization and peptide-based inhibitor development of proteases (mainly the proteasome) of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.  

Her current work focuses on determining the molecular mechanism of the human microbiome. In particular, she is studying the roles skin microbial enzymes play in structuring the skin environment in health and disease. She is interested in developing tools that allows sensitive detection of microbial enzyme expression, and how this correlates to skin health. Another important area of her study is in determining the functional roles of these microbial secreted enzymes in both host-microbial and inter-microbial interactions. Learn more about her research work here and her recent scientific updates on Twitter @HaoLiMEL

Hao is a huge fan of the Lord of the Rings, Studio Ghibli films and the computer game Civilization.

mail: li_hao[at]bmsi[dot]a-star[dot]edu[dot]sg

Cyrus Beh

Cyrus Beh is the resident engineer in the lab. He received his PhD in Biomedical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University, with a focus on microfluidics, single molecule detection and fluorescence spectroscopy. His current research interests lie in the development of diagnostic and health monitoring devices, modifying commercially available assays as well as those developed in MEL to formats suitable for end-users. His research approach utilizes a combination of microfabrication, 3D printing-based rapid prototyping, electronic hardware hacking, and computational modeling, interfaced with biomolecular assays for innovative applications. When not in the lab, he dabbles in film photography, collects vintage cameras and attempts to play tennis.

mail: beh_cyrus[at]bmsi[dot]a-star[dot]edu[dot]sg


Aparna Venkatesh


Aparna received a PhD in Translational Medicine (Immunology) from the University of Milano-Bicocca, Italy. Her PhD work focused on similarities and differences of innate immune responses; and in particular, dendritic cell activation.

Back in Singapore, she decided to switch from playing with mice to human stem cells instead. She is currently working on a stem cell differentiation project to develop in vitro cellular models for neurological conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease. When not in the lab, she plots to take over the world. Hence, she immensely enjoys travelling to scope out her next conquest.

mail : Aparna_venkatesh[at]bmsi[dot]a-star[dot]edu[dot]sg

Fong Tian Wong

Fong Tian likes to think of herself as a real chemical engineer as she graduated with a MEng (Chemical Engineering) from Imperial College London and with her MSc and PhD (Chemical Engineering) from Stanford University. However, in her PhD, she got in touch with her biochemistry side as she focused on biosynthetic engineering of multimodular enzymes, known as polyketide synthases, to produce natural products and their analogs for applications in drug discovery.

Currently, she is exploring the other aspects of what she thinks is chemical engineering, such as structural biology, synthetic biology, protein engineering and more metabolic engineering.

For fun in the months of Sept to Jan, she cheers on the Stanford Football team. 

mail : wongft[at]bmsi[dot]a-star[dot]edu[dot]sg

Winston Lian Chye Koh 

Grew up on an concrete island, loves swimming and an aspiring chef. Big fan of wandering in cities, and exploring its secrets. Develops nucleic acid based diagnostics for metabolic and degenerative diseases. Hopes to age gracefully with time.

mail : Winston_Koh[at]bmsi[dot]a-star[dot]edu[dot]sg

    Steven Sim

Steven studied chemistry during his undergraduate years at the National University of Singapore. Thereafter, he completed his MRes (Nanomaterials) and PhD (Chemistry) at Imperial College London. During his years at Imperial, he worked on creating and using droplet-based microfluidic devices for synthesizing nanoparticles and for conducting polymerase chain reaction. His research focuses on microfluidics and its applications in chemistry and molecular biology.

Outside the lab, he enjoys playing badminton and lifting weights in the gym. He also has two furkids – Milo (in the pic) and Jacky (a white pomeranian).

mail: steven_sim[at]bmsi[dot]a-star[dot]edu[dot]sg

Emily Tang


Emily completed her undergraduate studies at University College London and obtained her PhD at University of California, San Francisco. Her studies have examined immune responses in chronic viral infections and airway allergies, with a focus on the organisation of responses in the local tissue. She is interested in figuring out how to harness the power of the immune system while taming its destructive effects. In her free time, she tries not to be bored. She is currently considering learning to drum.

mail: emily_tang[at]bmsi[dot]a-star[dot]edu[dot]sg

Sissi Xi Lin

Sissi obtained her PhD in organic chemistry from Michigan Technological University, US. Her thesis was about development of new protecting groups and linkers for base-labile DNA synthesis. Her research interests focus on utilizing organic synthesis approaches to modify DNAs for bio/biomedical applications. 

Currently in MEL, she is working on DNA nanoplasmonics and electrochemical DNA sensors. She is willing to take challenges on developing new molecular biosensors and welcomes new ideas on applications of modified biomolecules.

Outside the lab, she is enthusiastic with performing arts and outdoor activities. She also enjoys reading and writing.


mail: lin_xi[at]bmsi[dot]a-star[dot]edu[dot]sg

Peter See

Peter received his PhD in Immunology from Nanyang Technological University, where he focused on the ontogeny of human dendritic cells. He is also interested in the role of tissue macrophages during homeostasis and tissue remodeling, immunodeficiency, and fetal immunology.

In his spare time, he swims, hikes or travels.

Mail: peter_see[at]bmsi[dot]a-star[dot]edu[dot]sg



Lokanand Koduru

Mail: Lokanand_Koduru[at]bmsi[dot]a-star[dot]edu[dot]sg



 Research Officers

Tan Lee Ling

Crystal graduated from the University of Adelaide, Australia with an Honours degree in Biochemistry and a Bachelor degree in Biomedical Science. Her background in research ranged from developmental biology, molecular biology and protein chemistry. Her honours research involved chemical synthesis and analysis of short peptides and she is now re-discovering her passion in molecular biology from the project that she is currently assisting Fong Tian.

When she is not holding a pipette, you will find her at a karaoke session or at the movies with a bunch of friends. She also has a strong desire to travel and is never too busy to appreciate different cultures and cuisines. 

Tan Pee Mei

Pee Mei did her undergraduate studies in NTU, School of Chemistry and Biological Chemistry. She has started on her path on organic synthesis by synthesizing isoquinoline from cyclic 2-azido alcohols precursors during her year 1 research project. She has stepped over to learn about the biological side of science during her final year attachment in developing detection assay for avian flu in AVA, using her knowledge on amine bond formation with beads. Currently, she works on the synthesis of cleavable linkers. She likes to view her TLC plates under the UV lamp, as this will “brighten” up her day with colors.

During her leisure time, she loves to bake and try new recipes. On top of that, she likes to spread her love by sharing her muffins, cookies and all with everyone. She is also fond of singing and cannot live a day without pop music around her.


Pee Mei


Yeo Hui Ling 

Hui Ling did her undergraduate studies in School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Her final year project focused on characterizing the lineage-specific differentiation of murine embryonic stem cells for stem cell therapy. Upon graduation, she was employed by Singapore Eye Research Institute, where she was heavily involved in testing therapeutic eye drops for corneal epithelial wound healing on mouse model.

Hui Ling has an undying interest for stem cell research. She joined MEL in August 2012 to assist in manipulation of genetic circuits for stem cell differentiation. In her free time, Hui Ling enjoys traveling, snorkeling, photography. She loves animals and hopes to visit Kenya someday.

Kong Kiat Whye 

Kiat Whye did her diploma in Biomedical Sciences and undergraduate studies in Biological Sciences. She is responsible for maintaining the lab and making sure that it runs well (like what Yiqi said, she is the “mother hen” of the lab).

Currently, she is working on aptamer libraries that can be used to identify various sequences that bind to specific proteins. Her research interests are synthetic biology and stem cells. Outside work she enjoys hanging out with friends and playing music.

    Elena Heng 

Elena did her diploma in Biomedical Sciences (Cardiac Technology) in Singapore Polytechnic and continued with her undergraduate studies in School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University (NTU).

In her free time, she likes to experiment with new food recipes as well as taking photographs of them after she bakes or cooks.
Lalita Ming Li Lau

Lalita graduated from the School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University (NTU). Her first job was with Adigenics Pte. Ltd., a private company spun off from A*STAR, with the main focus of isolating Adipose Stem Cell (ADSC) from fat tissues mechanically. During her undergraduate studies, she did an internship at Duke NUS (Cancer and Stem Cells Department) and a final year project-patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cell derived cardiomyocytes with National Heart Center. Over the years, her interest in stem cell research has grown steadily.

She loves dancing, teaching and enjoy hanging out with friends.

Si En Poh

Si En did her undergraduate studies in the School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University. Her final year project involved studying cell migration using mouse embryonic fibroblasts.

In her free time, She enjoy hanging out with friends, listening to music. doing random pencil drawing and watching Korean variety shows. 


Theresa Seah

Theresa graduated from Nanyang Technological University with a degree with honours in Biomedical Engineering. During her undergraduate studies, she completed her final year project in the Bioengineered and Applied Nanomaterials (BeANs) Laboratory on the display of viral epitope on Ferritin protein cages for vaccine application. Currently in MEL, she works on the development of a protein-based sensing assay. In her free time, she enjoys travelling and photography.

Dionis Yew


Dionis obtained her degree in Materials Science and Engineering from NTU. She worked on intumescent paint for buildings for her final year project. Currently, she is working on hydrogel for wound dressing. In her free time, she loves to engage in various sports activities like kickboxing, badminton, etc.



 Visiting Scientist

Dr. Gene Yeo

Dr. Yeo is a scientist, entrepreneur, inventor and expert in the area of RNA, genomics and neurological diseases. He obtained a bachelor of science in chemical engineering and a bachelor of arts in economics from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign and a masters degree in business administration from the Rady School of Management at the University of California, San Diego. Funded by the prestigious Lee Kuan Yew Graduate Fellowship from Singapore, Dr. Yeo earned a Ph.D. in Computational Neuroscience from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology under the joint guidance of Dr. Tomaso Poggio and Dr. Christopher Burge. Using comparative genomics and statistical learning theory Dr. Yeo pioneered new computational approaches to attack the problem of splicing and splicing-mediated gene regulation.

In 2005 Dr. Yeo was appointed the first Junior Fellow at the Crick-Jacobs Center for Theoretical and Computational Biology at the Salk Institute under the mentorship of Dr. Fred Gage and Dr. Sean Eddy. Dr. Yeo’s collaborative nature has generated successful projects and grants with experts in neuroscience and neurodegeneration (Dr. Fred Gage and Dr. Don Cleveland), RNA processing (Nobel Laureate Dr. Phillip Sharp, Dr. Manuel Ares, Jr, Dr. Brenton Graveley, Dr. Xiangdong Fu and Dr. Amy Pasquinelli) and virology (Dr. Deborah Spector).

In late 2008, Dr. Yeo was appointed an Assistant Professor in the Department of Cellular and Molecular Medicine at UCSD. In 2011, Dr. Yeo was awarded the Alfred P Sloan Fellowship in recognition of his work in computational molecular biology. Since 2003, Dr. Yeo has authored over 50 peer-reviewed publications, invited book chapters and review articles. Dr. Yeo has successfully authored 3 and co-authored 2 grants from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine totaling $7.2 million. The National Institute of Health, ALS Association, Genentech and Roche Pharmaceuticals also fund Dr. Yeo’s work.Dr. Yeo actively serves as a bioinformatics and business consultant to biotech and pharmaceutical companies, and has been involved with start-ups in the biotechnology space.

Dr. Yeo reviews for many scientific journals including Science, Cell and Nature, and is on the Editorial Board of the journal Cell Reports. Dr. Yeo is an Adjunct Professor at the National University of Singapore and a visiting researcher at the Molecular Engineering Laboratory (MEL) under Nobel Laureate Sydney Brenner’s auspices. Dr. Yeo was a Sword of Honor recipient (the highest honor) in Officer Cadet School in 1999 and has served in the Singapore Navy as a Naval officer. In his free time, Dr. Yeo sails and is an avid amateur athlete racing in Iron man distance races and marathons.





Emily Loh 

Singapore Polytechnic

Emily is a Singapore Polytechnic student pursuing a Diploma in Applied Chemistry with Pharmaceutical Science in her third year. She took up the internship position in the Molecular Engineering Lab due to innate curiosity and interest in biological Sciences. In the not so distant future, she hopes to pursue a degree in biochemistry.

Xin Wei Goh

Singapore Polytechnic

Xin Wei is a Chemical Engineering student from Singapore Polytechnic who enjoys working at MEL as he gets to learn from and meet interesting people. In his free time, he enjoys watching cooking video, movies and playing video games.

Shonya Lingesh

Singapore Polytechnic

Shonya is in the midst of achieving a Diploma in Applied Chemistry specialised in Medicinal Chemistry Research from Singapore Polytechnic. She looks forward to furthering her studies in Biochemistry and being a part of the research industry.

Shonya loves to watch TV series and is a colossal fan of Dr Who, House M.D., Friends and The Simpsons. She also enjoys reading fantasy novels and baking.
       Hui Ling Saw
Singapore Polytechnic

Hui Ling is a third-year student pursuing her Diploma in Applied Chemistry at Singapore Polytechnic. She hopes to deepen her interest, expand her knowledge and gain experience in biological and chemical sciences at MEL. In her free time, she enjoys reading, watching shows and playing music.


Jonathan Scolnick (now at Nugen)

Juliana Chan

Yong Xueting 

Ho Shu Fen

Vincent Ho

Yvonne Koh 

 Lee Min Yen (Now at University Of Washington pursuing her PhD)  

 Kock Kian Hong  (Now at Harvard University pursuing his PhD)

 Muhammad Shafiq Rajab
 Vamshidhar Gangu (Now at National University of Singapore pursuing his PhD)
 Maybelline Tan
  Yin Nah Teo (Now at Illumina as Senior Scientist)
  Chia Tat Wei Lionel (Now at John Hopkins University pursuing his PhD)
  Goh Zhi Rong Rubayn (Now at University of California at Santa Babara pursuing his PhD)
  Guo Wei Mei (Now at A*STAR Biotransformation Innovation Platform)
   Lee Zhiyi
  Adeline Chueng
  Pearline Teo (Now at Ayoxxa)
  Kim Png (Now at Temasek)
 Kinston Kuan Jun Xiang (2015 attachment) 

Arunan Karhikeyan (2015 attachment)

Chang Ting-Wei (Jason) (2015 attachment)

 Natalie Leong Wei Lyn (2015 H3 attachement)

Melvin Yin (2015 internship)
  Li Jun Loh (Now at IMCB, A*STAR)
 Gwyneth Lim (2016 H3 attachment)

 Germaine Chua (2016 H3 attachment)
  Koo Kai Jun (2016 internship)
  Bee Na Goh (2016 internship)
  Ivan Loke (2017 internship)

  Vidhya Krishnan (Now in Canada)