Dr Chong obtained her undergraduate degree in Life Sciences (Biomedical Science) from the National University of Singapore (NUS). In 2008, she was awarded the NGS Integrative Sciences and Engineering Programme Scholarship and pursued her PhD at the NUS Immunology Programme under the supervision of Professor David Michael Kemeny. She subsequently continued her post-doctoral training in 2012 at the Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) in the laboratory of Dr Lai Guan Ng. As a post-doctoral fellow, she studied the mechanisms that governed monocyte trafficking and function in different tissue compartments and identified a transitional pre-monocyte population (TpMos) in the bone marrow that was important for replenishing the mature monocyte pool.

In 2022, she started her laboratory after being awarded the National Medical Research Council (NMRC) Young Investigator Research Grant (OF-YIRG) in 2018 and the A*STAR Career Development Award (CDA) in 2020. Under these grant funding, she aims to understand how prenatal exposures such as gestational diabetes can modify the fetal development of mononuclear phagocytes towards future disease susceptibility.

Adjunct Positions

  • Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology, National University of Singapore

Research Focus

Developmental Origins of Mononuclear Plasticity in Health and Diseases

Tissue macrophages belong to the mononuclear phagocyte arm of the innate immune system and execute critical roles in organ homeostasis and immune defense. Upon an inflammatory trigger, tissue macrophages are often replaced by monocyte-derived cells that carry out specific functions tailored towards the course of infection or disease. Consequently, a dynamic reshaping of the tissue macrophage niche occurs with each distinct pathogen or injury, resulting in important downstream immune and physiological consequences.

The fundamental goal of our research is to determine the mechanisms that are required to support a robust macrophage-monocyte replacement process in order to avoid downstream immunopathology. We are also interested in understanding the developmental origins of immune dysregulation and how this leads to both infectious and metabolic disease susceptibility. To gain novel insights into these mechanisms, we will be investigating the impact of gestational diabetes on both the maternal and fetal immune repertoire in vivo, due to its increasing incidence in Singapore and its associated risk factors for health complications in both mother and child. Our long-term vision is to identify immune mechanisms of susceptibility that can be targeted at these early stages and explore gaps in metabolite needs to reduce these immune dysregulations.


Publications_Shu Zhen Chong (last updated 15 March 2022)