Siew Cheng WONG

Principal Investigator

Adj. Ast/Prof (NUS)

  • Siew Min ONG, Ph.D
  • Sin Yee GUN, Ph.D
  • Wei Hseun YEAP
  • Je Lin SIEOW Ph.D Student
  • Sharon LEE Ph.D Student
  • Kajus BAIDZAJEVAS Ph.D Student


Research Focus

Monocytes constitute about 5-10% of peripheral blood leukocytes in both humans and mouse. Besides repopulating tissue macrophages, monocytes also serve critical roles in immunity and homeostasis. In fact, monocytes in the blood of humans and mice are heterogeneous and can be classified into subsets. In humans, monocytes can be subdivided into 3 subsets based on the differential expression of CD14 and CD16. The subset that expresses CD16 has been observed to expand in proportion in numerous inflammatory conditions and in infections. It is currently still unclear if the CD16 expressing monocytes are playing a protective or pathogenic role in these diseases.

Our research focus is to elucidate the roles played by the various blood monocyte subsets in infection and inflammatory conditions where their proportions have been described to be perturbed.



Wong Siew Cheng obtained her Bachelor of Science (Hons) degree from University College London, UK in 1995. She continued her post-graduate study under the supervision of Prof Elizabeth Shephard in University College London and obtained her PhD in 1999. She then returned to Singapore for her post-doctoral training in Prof Lam Kong Peng's lab at the Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology (IMCB) working on mouse adaptive immunity. In May 2006, she joined Prof Philippe Kourilsky’s lab as a research scientist and worked on innate immunity, particularly focusing on role of monocytes and macrophages in health and diseases. She started her own laboratory in SIgN in 2012.

She is the Treasurer of the Singaporean Society for Immunology (SgSI) since 2010 and was one of the scientific organizing committee members for the 4th and the 5th International Singapore Symposium of Immunology in 2011 and 2012 respectively.


  • Functional and molecular characterization of blood monocyte subsets at steady states and in disease conditions

    Human blood monocytes can be divided into either 2 or even 3 subsets based on the differential expression of CD14 and CD16. Our lab has previously utilized global transcriptomic and proteomic approaches to identify differences between the monocyte subsets at steady state

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Evrard M, Kwok IWH, Chong SZ, Teng KWW, Becht E, Chen J, Sieow JL, Penny HL, Ching GC, Devi S, Adrover JM, Li JLY, Liong KH, Tan L, Poon Z, Foo S, Chua JW, Su IH, Balabanian K, Bachelerie F, Biswas SK, Larbi A, Hwang WYK, Madan V, Koeffler HP, Wong SC, Newell EW, Hidalgo A, Ginhoux F, Ng LG. Developmental Analysis of Bone Marrow Neutrophils Reveals Populations Specialized in Expansion, Trafficking, and Effector Functions. Immunity. 2018 Feb 20;48(2):364-379.e8.

Ong SM, Hadadi E, Dang TM, Yeap WH, Tan CT, Ng TP, Larbi A, Wong SC. The pro-inflammatory phenotype of the human non-classical monocyte subset is attributed to senescence. Cell Death Dis. 2018 Feb 15;9(3):266.

Lim JCT, Yeong JPS, Lim CJ, Ong CCH, Wong SC, Chew VSP, Ahmed SS, Tan PH, Iqbal J. An automated staining protocol for seven-colour immunofluorescence of human tissue sections for diagnostic and prognostic use. Pathology. 2018 Feb 8. [Epub ahead of print]


Fehlings M, Simoni Y, Penny HL, Becht E, Loh CY, Gubin MM, Ward JP, Wong SC, Schreiber RD, Newell EW. Checkpoint blockade immunotherapy reshapes the high-dimensional phenotypic heterogeneity of murine intratumoural neoantigen-specific CD8+ T cells. Nat Commun. 2017 Sep 15;8(1):562.

Venkiteswaran N, Ellepola K, Seneviratne CJ, Lee YK, Puan KJ, Wong SC. Host-Biofilm Interactions at Mucosal surfaces and implications in human health. In Microbial Biofilms: Omics Biology, Antimicrobial and Clinical Implications. CRC Press. 2017 May 8. [Epub ahead of print]

Yeong J, Thike AA, Lim JC, Lee B, Li H, Wong SC, Hue SS, Tan PH, Iqbal J. Higher densities of Foxp3+ regulatory T cells are associated with better prognosis in triple-negative breast cancer. Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2017 May;163(1):21-35.

Puan KJ, Andiappan AK, Lee B, Kumar D, Lai TS, Yeo G, Bercin D, Starke M, Haase D, Lum J, Chew FT, Connolly J, Wong SC, Zolezzi F, Poidinger M, Wang Y, Rötzschke O. Systematic characterization of basophil anergy. Allergy. 2017 Mar;72(3):373-384.


Hadadi E, Zhang B, Baid┼żajevas K, Yusof N, Puan KJ, Ong SM, Yeap WH, Rotzschke O, Kiss-Toth E, Wilson H, Wong SC. Differential IL-1β secretion by monocyte subsets is regulated by Hsp27 through modulating mRNA stability. Sci Rep. 2016 Dec 15;6:39035.

Yeap WH, Wong KL, Shimasaki N, Teo EC, Quek JK, Yong HX, Diong CP, Bertoletti A, Linn YC, Wong SC. CD16 is indispensable for antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity by human monocytes. Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 27;6:34310.

Harfuddin Z, Dharmadhikari B, Wong SC, Duan K, Poidinger M, Kwajah S, Schwarz H. Transcriptional and functional characterization of CD137L-dendritic cells identifies a novel dendritic cell phenotype. Sci Rep. 2016 Jul 19;6:29712.

Penny HL, Sieow JL, Adriani G, Yeap WH, See Chi Ee P, San Luis B, Lee B, Lee T, Mak SY, Ho YS, Lam KP, Ong CK, Huang RY, Ginhoux F, Rotzschke O, Kamm RD, Wong SC. Warburg metabolism in tumor-conditioned macrophages promotes metastasis in human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. Oncoimmunology. 2016 Jun 21;5(8):e1191731.

Pavesi A, Adriani G, Tay A, Warkiani ME, Yeap WH, Wong SC, Kamm RD. Engineering a 3D microfluidic culture platform for tumor-treating field application. Sci Rep. 2016 May 24;6:26584.

Adriani G, Bai J, Wong SC, Kamm RD, Thiery JP. M2a macrophages induce contact-dependent dispersion of carcinoma cell aggregates. Macrophage. 2016 May; 3:e1222.

Boussommier-Calleja A, Li R, Chen MB, Wong SC, Kamm RD. Microfluidics: A new tool for modeling cancer-immune interactions. Trends Cancer. 2016 Jan 1;2(1):6-19.


Bai J, Adriani G, Dang TM, Tu TY, Penny HL, Wong SC, Kamm RD, Thiery JP. Contact-dependent carcinoma aggregate dispersion by M2a macrophages via ICAM-1 and β2 integrin interactions. Oncotarget. 2015 Sep 22;6(28):25295-307.

Ong SM, Biswas SK, Wong SC. MicroRNA-mediated immune modulation as a therapeutic strategy in host-implant integration. Adv Drug Deliv Rev. 2015 Jul 1;88:92-107.

Dang TM, Wong WC, Ong SM, Li P, Lum J, Chen J, Poidinger M, Zolezzi F, Wong SC. MicroRNA expression profiling of human blood monocyte subsets highlights functional differences. Immunology. 2015 Jul;145(3):404-16.

Tsai CY, Liong KH, Gunalan MG, Li N, Lim DS, Fisher DA, MacAry PA, Leo YS, Wong SC, Puan KJ, Wong SB. Type I IFNs and IL-18 Regulate the Antiviral Response of Primary Human γδ T Cells against Dendritic Cells Infected with Dengue Virus. J Immunol. 2015 Apr 15;194(8):3890-900.

Reddy SA, Shelar SB, Dang TM, Lee BN, Yang H, Ong SM, Ng HL, Chui WK, Wong SC, Chew EH. Sulforaphane and its methylcarbonyl analogs inhibit the LPS-stimulated inflammatory response in human monocytes through modulating cytokine production, suppressing chemotactic migration and phagocytosis in a NF-κB- and MAPK-dependent manner. Int Immunopharmacol. 2015 Feb;24(2):440-50.


Lin W, Cerny D, Chua E, Duan K, Yi JT, Shadan NB, Lum J, Maho-Vaillant M, Zolezzi F, Wong SC, Larbi A, Fink K, Musette P, Poidinger M, Calbo S. Human Regulatory B Cells Combine Phenotypic and Genetic Hallmarks with a Distinct Differentiation Fate. J Immunol. 2014 Sep 1;193(5):2258-66.

Chao Y, Wong SC, Tan EK. Evidence of Inflammatory System Involvement in Parkinson's Disease. Biomed Res Int. 2014;2014:308654. 

Nagle AA, Reddy SA, Bertrand H, Tajima H, Dang TM, Wong SC, Hayes JD, Wells G, Chew EH. 3-(2-Oxoethylidene)indolin-2-one Derivatives Activate Nrf2 and Inhibit NF-kB: Potential Candidates for Chemoprevention. ChemMedChem. 2014 Aug;9(8):1763-74.

Cheng K, Wong SC, Linn YC, Ho LP, Chng WJ, Schwarz H. CD137 ligand signalling induces differentiation of primary acute myeloid leukaemia cells. Br J Haematol.2014 Apr;165(1):134-44.


Wang L, Chang EW, Wong SC, Ong SM, Chong DQ, Ling KL. Increased Myeloid-Derived Suppressor Cells in Gastric Cancer Correlate with Cancer Stage and Plasma S100A8/A9 Proinflammatory Proteins. J Immunol. 2013 Jan 15;190(2):794-804.


Wong KL, Yeap WH, Tai JJ, Ong SM, Dang TM, Wong SC. The three human monocyte subsets: implications for health and disease. Immunol Res. 2012 Sep;53(1-3):41-57.

Wong KL, Chen W, Balakrishnan T, Toh YX, Fink K#, Wong SC#. Susceptibility and response of human blood monocyte subsets to primary dengue virus infection. PLoS One. 2012;7(5):e36435.

Shalova IN, Kajiji T, Lim JY, Gómez-Piña V, Fernández-Ruíz I, Arnalich F, Iau PT, López-Collazo E, Wong SC, Biswas SK. CD16 Regulates TRIF-Dependent TLR4 Response in Human Monocytes and Their Subsets. J Immunol. 2012 Apr 15;188(8):3584-93.

Ong SM, Tan YC, Beretta O, Jiang D, Yeap WH, Tai JJ, Wong WC, Yang H, Schwarz H, Lim KH, Koh PK, Ling KL, Wong SC. Macrophages in Human Colorectal Cancer are Pro-inflammatory and Prime T cells towards an Anti-Tumour Type-1 Inflammatory Response. Eur J Immunol. 2012 Jan;42(1):89-100.


Wong KL, Tai JJ, Wong WC, Hao H, Sem X, Yeap WH, Kourilsky P, Wong SC. Gene expression profiling reveals the defining features of the classical, intermediate and nonclassical human monocyte subsets. Blood. 2011 Aug 4;118(5):e16-31.

Chong SZ, Wong KL, Lin G, Yang CM, Wong SC, Angeli V, Macary PA, Kemeny DM. Human CD8 T-cells drive Th1 responses through the differentiation of TNF/iNOS-producing dendritic cells. Eur J Immunol. Jun 2011; 41(6):1639-1651.


Zhao C, Tan YC, Wong WC, Sem X, Zhang H, Han H, Ong SM, Wong KL, Yeap WH, Sze SK, Kourilsky P, Wong SC. The CD14+/lowCD16+ monocyte subset is more susceptible to spontaneous and oxidant-induced apoptosis than the CD14+CD16- subset. Cell Death and Disease. 2010 Nov;1:e95.

Larbi A, Pawelec G, Wong SC, Goldeck D, Tai JJ, Fulop T. Impact of age on T cell signaling: A general defect or specific alterations? Ageing Res Rev. 2010 Oct 8. [Epub ahead of print]

Zhang H, Zhao C, Li X, Zhu Y, Gan CS, Wang Y, Ravasi T, Qian PY, Wong SC#, Sze SK#. Study of monocyte membrane proteome perturbation during lipopolysaccharide-induced tolerance using iTRAQ-based quantitative proteomic approach. Proteomics. 2010 Aug;10(15):2780-9.

Wong SC*, Puaux AL*, Chittezhath M, Shalova I, Kajiji TS, Wang X, Abastado JP, Biswas SK. Macrophage polarization to a unique phenotype driven by B cells. Eur J Immunol. 2010 Aug;40(8):2296-307.

Her Z, Malleret B, Chan M, Ong EK, Wong SC, Kwek DJ, Tolou H, Lin RT, Tambyah PA, Rénia L, Ng LF. Active Infection of Human Blood Monocytes by Chikungunya Virus Triggers an Innate Immune Response. J Immunol. 2010 May 15;184(10):5903-13.

Xue ZH, Zhao CQ, Chua GL, Tan SW, Tang XY, Wong SC, Tan SM. Integrin alphaMbeta2 clustering triggers phosphorylation and activation of protein kinase Cdelta that regulates transcription factor Foxp1 expression in monocytes. J Immunol. 2010 Apr 1;184(7):3697-709.

Mortellaro A, Wong SC, Fric J, Ricciardi-Castagnoli P. The need to identify myeloid dendritic cell progenitors in human blood. Trends Immunol. 2010 Jan;31(1):18-23.


Zhao C, Zhang H, Wong WC, Sem X, Han H, Ong SM, Tan YC, Yeap WH, Gan CS, Ng KQ, Koh MB, Kourilsky P, Sze SK, Wong SC. Identification of novel functional differences in monocyte subsets using proteomic and transcriptomic methods. J Proteome Res. 2009 Aug;8(8):4028-38.

Wong SC*, Tan AH*, Lam KP. Functional hierarchy and relative contribution of the CD28/B7 and ICOS/B7-H2 costimulatory pathways to T cell-mediated delayed type hypersensitivity. Cell Immunol. 2009;256(1-2):64-71.


Tan AH, Goh SY, Wong SC, Lam KP. T helper cell-specific regulation of inducible costimulator expression via distinct mechanisms mediated by T-bet and GATA-3. J Biol Chem. 2008 Jan 4;283(1):128-36.


Tan AH*, Wong SC*, Lam KP. Regulation of mouse inducible costimulator (ICOS) expression by Fyn-NFATc2 and ERK signaling in T cells. J Biol Chem. 2006 Sep 29;281(39):28666-78.

Edwards M, Wong SC, Chotpadiwetkul R, Smirlis D, Phillips R, Shephard EA. Transfection of primary cultures of rat hepatocytes. Methods Mol Biol. 2006;320:273-82.


Wong SC*, Oh E*, Ng CH, Lam KP. Impaired germinal center formation and recall T-cell-dependent immune responses in mice lacking the co-stimulatory ligand B7-H2. Blood. 2003 Aug 15;102(4):1381-8.


Wong SC, Chew WK, Tan JE, Melendez AJ, Francis F, Lam KP. Peritoneal CD5+ B-1 cells have signaling properties similar to tolerant B cells. J Biol Chem. 2002 Aug 23;277(34):30707-15.

Muangmoonchai R, Wong SC, Smirlis D, Phillips IR, Shephardl EA. Transfection of liver in vivo by biolistic particle delivery: its use in the investigation of cytochrome P450 gene regulation. Mol Biotechnol. 2002 Feb;20(2):145-51.


Tan JE*, Wong SC*, Gan SK, Xu S, Lam KP. The adaptor protein BLNK is required for B cell antigen receptor-induced activation of nuclear factor-kappa B and cell cycle entry and survival of B lymphocytes. J Biol Chem. 2001 Jun 8;276(23):20055-63.

Muangmoonchai R, Smirlis D, Wong SC, Edwards M, Phillips IR, Shephard EA. Xenobiotic induction of cytochrome P450 2B1 (CYP2B1) is mediated by the orphan nuclear receptor constitutive androstane receptor (CAR) and requires steroid co-activator 1 (SRC-1) and the transcription factor Sp1. Biochem J. 2001 Apr 1;355(Pt 1):71-8.


Xu S, Wong SC, Lam KP. Cutting edge: B cell linker protein is dispensable for the allelic exclusion of immunoglobulin heavy chain locus but required for the persistence of CD5+ B cells. J Immunol. 2000 Oct 15;165(8):4153-7.

(* Authors contributed equally; # Co-corresponding authors)



1995 – 1999 Ph.D. in Molecular Biology, University College London, UK
1993 – 1995 B.Sc. (Hons) Biotechnology, University College London, UK


Professional Appointments

2012 Principal Investigator, Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), ASTAR
2010 – present Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology, NUS
2010 – 2012 Senior Research Scientist, SIgN, ASTAR
2008 – 2010 Research Scientist, SIgN, ASTAR
2006 – 2008 Senior Research Fellow, SIgN, ASTAR
2003 – 2006 Research Associate, Centre for Molecular Medicine, ASTAR
1999 – 2003 Research Fellow, Institute of Molecular & Cell Biology, ASTAR

Invited Presentations

2013 ICBE Conference, Chennai, India 
  Title: Blood monocytes: Their roles in Cancer Immunotherapy. 
  6th International Singapore Symposium for Immunology: From basic immunology to effective immunotherapies, Singapore 
  Title: CD16+ monocytes: their potential role in cancer immunotherapy.
2012 Symposium: From mice to men and bench to bed, France

Title: Characterisation of human monocyte subsets.

Seminar series: Dept of Cardiology, Sheffield University, UK

Title: Human monocyte subsets: Implications in health and disease.
2011 Keystone Symposia: New Frontiers at the Interface of Immunity and Glycobiology

Title: Gene expression profiling of human monocyte subsets - A focus on carbohydrate binding proteins.
2010 Seminar series: Dept of Microbiology, NUS, Singapore

Title: Characterisation of human monocytes subsets in health and diseases.
2009 ASI Annual Scientific Meeting, Australia

Title: Differential apoptotic potential of human blood monocyte subsets.

ENII Immunology Conference, Italy

Title: Characterisation of human monocyte subsets using systems approaches.
2007 Miltenyi Immunology Symposium, Singapore

Title: Transcriptomic analysis of human monocyte subsets.

Organisation of Scientific Meetings

2011 - 2014
Co-organised the Annual International Singapore Symposium of Immunology, Singapore
2006 Co-organised the 1st Vaccine Workshop: The Beauty and Burden of making a new Vaccine, Singapore

Teaching and Mentoring

Lecturer for Advanced Immunology modules at NUS, Singapore
Teacher for tutorials sessions to Undergraduates at NTU, Singapore
2012 Teacher for tutorials sessions to Undergraduates and medical students, NUS, Singapore
2009 & 2010 Lecturer for SIgN Immunotechnologies Training Course (ITTC), Singapore
2006 - 2013 Supervised 15 Undergraduates for lab attachments of between 3 to 12 months

Professional Societies

Australasian Society of Immunology (ASI): member since 2009
Singaporean Society for Immunology (SgSI): member 2007 – 2010; Treasurer 2010 – 2012; President 2013 – present


WSC lab 131122

From left to right: June TAI, YEAP Wei Hseun, ONG Siew Min, WONG Siew Cheng, Eva HADADI and DANG Truong Min

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