Clara Cheong is presently a Research Scientist in the field of developmental origins of health and disease at SICS. She graduated with honors with a B.A. as a double major in Biology and Chemistry from Cornell University in 2004. In early 2009, she then obtained a Ph.D. from NUS, with research done at the Genome Institute of Singapore, where she examined protein interactions involved in embryonic stem cell renewal, using a transgenic mouse model. Clara was fully supported by an A*STAR Graduate Scholarship.
She then moved to SICS, where she has had the opportunity to grow in various research aspects, with projects in genomic imprinting, animal models of DOHaD and more recently, the GUSTO birth cohort study. She has also been active in science outreach & communication, and was recently a Singapore Science Festival Ambassador (2013), and resident judge on the televised National Science Challenge in both 2012 & 2013.
Alongside an individual’s genetic susceptibility, the origins of metabolic and cognitive diseases have been shown to arise in part from the effects of variables in the prenatal environment. She is interested in identifying and understanding what these factors are, as well as specific molecular features that might be instrumental in diagnosis or mechanistic understanding of the variations in an individual’s developmental progress or disease. To this end, she uses molecular approaches to study epigenetic and gene expression variations, and work collaboratively within SICS and our partners to develop an integrated and comprehensive approach to identify and validate biomarkers for future metabolic and cognitive disease.
Teh AL, Pan H, Lin X, Lim YI, Patro CP, Cheong CY, Gong M, MacIsaac JL, Kwoh CK, Meaney MJ, Kobor MS, Chong YS, Gluckman PD, Holbrook JD, Karnani N. ''Comparison of Methyl-capture Sequencing vs. Infinium 450K methylation array for methylome analysis in clinical samples''. Epigenetics. 19 Jan 2016. 11(1):36-48. doi: 10.1080/15592294.2015.1132136.
Cheong CY, Chng K, Ng S, Chew SB, Chan L, Ferguson-Smith AC. ''Germline and somatic imprinting in the nonhuman primate highlights species differences in oocyte methylation''. Genome Res. 10 Apr 2015. 25(5):611-23. doi: 101101/gr183301114.
Cheong CY, Chng K, Lim MK, Amrithraj AI, Joseph R, Sukarieh R, Chee Tan Y, Chan L, Tan JH, Chen L, Pan H, Holbrook JD, Meaney MJ, Seng Chong Y, Gluckman P, Stünkel W. ''Alterations to DNA methylation and expression of CXCL14 are associated with suboptimal birth outcomes''. J Hum Genet. 07 Aug 2014. 59(9):504-11. doi: 101038/jhg201463.
Ong ML, Tan PY, MacIsaac JL, Mah SM, Buschdorf JP, Cheong CY, Stunkel W, Chan L, Gluckman P, Chng K, Kobor MS, Meaney MJ, Holbrook JD. ''Infinium monkeys: Infinium 450K array for the Cynomolgus macaque (Macaca fascicularis)''. G3. 08 May 2014. 4(7):1227-34. doi: 101534/g3114010967.
Teh AL, Pan H, Chen L, Ong ML, Dogra S, Wong J, MacIsaac JL, Mah SM, McEwen LM, Saw SM, Godfrey KM, Chong YS, Kwek K, Kwoh CK, Soh SE, Chong MF, Barton S, Karnani N, Cheong CY, Buschdorf JP, Stünkel W, Kobor MS, Meaney MJ, Gluckman P, Holbrook JD. ''The effect of genotype and in utero environment on inter-individual variation in neonate DNA methylomes''. Genome Res. 07 Apr 2014. 24(7):1064-74. doi: 101101/gr171439113.
Aziz A, Baxter EJ, Edwards C, Cheong CY, Ito M, Bench A, Kelley R, Silber Y, Beer PA, Chng K, Renfree MB, McEwen K, Gray D, Nangalia J, Mufti GJ, Hellstrom-Lindberg E, Kiladjian JJ, McMullin MF, Campbell PJ, Ferguson-Smith AC, Green AR. ''Cooperativity of imprinted genes inactivated by acquired chromosome 20q deletions''. J Clin Invest. 01 Apr 2013. 123(5):2169-82. doi: 101172/JCI66113.
Stünkel W, Pan H, Chew SB, Tng E, Tan JH, Chen L, Joseph R, Cheong CY, Ong ML, Lee YS, Chong YS, Saw SM, Meaney MJ, Kwek K, Sheppard AM, Gluckman P; GUSTO Study Group, Holbrook JD. ''Transcriptome Changes Affecting Hedgehog and Cytokine Signalling in the Umbilical Cord: Implications for Disease Risk''. Plos one. 10 Jul 2012. 7(7):e39744. doi: 101371/journalpone0039744.
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