Speakers

PLENARY SPEAKERS

Wai Leong Tam

Wai Leong Tam performed his PhD research at the Genome Institute of Singapore, where he worked on uncovering the bases for the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells. Subsequently, he undertook his postdoctoral training under the mentorship of Robert Weinberg at the Whitehead Institute in MIT, where he concentrated on understanding breast cancer stem cell biology and cancer metastasis. He joined the Genome Institute of Singapore (A*STAR) and the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore (NUS) as a Principal Investigator in 2014. He is an adjunct faculty member at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine in NUS, the School of Biological Sciences in NTU, and a recipient of the Singapore National Research Foundation Fellowship. His lab focuses on uncovering and interrogating the emerging paradigms of cancer stem cells, specifically in the areas of cancer metabolism, cell state transitions, and tumor microenvironment.

Lingling Chen

Lingling Chen is a molecular and RNA biologist from the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistry and Cell Biology (CAS), China. She developed methods for the genome-wide discovery and characterization of nonpolyadenylated RNAs, which led to the identification of sno-processed lncRNAs and circular RNAs. She also showed that some sno-processed lncRNAs are conspicuously absent in people with the neurodevelopmental genetic disorder Prader-Willi Syndrome (PWS).

Li Yang

Dr. Li Yang received his B.S. degree at Lanzhou University (China) in 1998 and Ph.D. degree at Shanghai Institutes for Biological Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS, China) in 2004. He did his postdoctoral training with Dr. Sidney Altma at Yale University (USA) and then Dr. Brenton R. Graveley’s lab at University of Connecticut Health Center (USA) from 2004 to 2010. In 2011, he joined CAS-MPG Partner Institute for Computational Biology (China) as a Professor and group lead for independent research. Currently, Dr. Yang’s lab is focusing on integrating novel computational pipelines/algorithms with deep sequencing technologies to study a variety of new types of long noncoding RNAs, including circular RNAs, to uncover cross-talks between different types of RNA modifications/editing, and to develop new genome editing toolkits at single nucleotide resolution. Dr. Yang has published over 70 papers in peer-reviewed journals, including CellNatureNat BiotechnolMol Cell and etc.

Oon Chern Ein

Associate Professor Dr Oon Chern Ein completed her BSc (1st Class Hons) in Biotechnology at Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and furthered her doctorate studies in Medical Oncology at University of Oxford, United Kingdom. She then trained at Karolinska Institutet, Sweden as a postdoctoral fellow and now serves as a lecturer at INFORMM, Universiti Sains Malaysia. Her expertise is on new targeted therapies in cancer with emphasis on tumour angiogenesis. In 2014, she won the Exiqon Young Scientist Award- South East Asia. Chern continues to receive numerous awards including the prestigious L’Oreal-UNESCO for Women in Science National Fellowship in 2015, the Union for International Cancer Control ICRETT Fellowship and National Cancer Council Cancer Research Award in 2016. In 2018, she was awarded the UK based prestigious Women of the Future Awards- South East Asia and the National Young Scientist Award (Ministry of Science and Technology Malaysia) for forging new grounds in science.

Tom Blundell

Tom Blundell is a biochemist and structural biologist from the University of Cambridge in the UK. He was a member of the team that solved the first structure of a protein hormone, insulin and has since made contributions to structural biology of polypeptide hormones, growth factors, receptor activation, signal transduction and DNA double-strand break repair. He has been involved in drug discovery with many drugs moved to clinical trials. He has developed software for protein modelling and understanding the effects of mutations on protein function, leading to new approaches to structure-guided and fragment-based lead discovery.

Wei Leong Chew

Dr. Wei Leong Chew is Senior Research Scientist at the Genome Institute of Singapore, A*STAR. His team develops technologies that make pinpoint changes to genes, inventions fundamental to understanding and curing diseases. His work provided the first demonstrations of disease gene correction with CRISPR-Cas9 and insights into the immune safety profile of these new gene-editing systems. He directs the AMMM Programme that develops new technologies for advanced DNA-Read/Write/Correct, co-directs the Molecular Therapeutics Programme that is the first DNA and RNA -targeting therapeutics development center in Southeast Asia, contributes to the GP-Write consortium in rewriting the human genome, and is the co-founder of Seven Therapeutics Pte. Ltd., a company that makes safer gene-editing therapeutics. Dr. Chew graduated from Duke University for his B.S. and obtained his Ph.D. at Harvard Medical School.

SYMPOSIUM SPEAKERS

Name Organisation
Dr Robert Weatheritt Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Dr Traude Beilharz Monash University
Professor Joan Heath Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Associate Professor Jackie Wilce Monash University 
Professor Thomas Preiss John Curtin School of Medical Research
Dr Tamas Fischer The Australian National University
Dr Katherine Pillman University of South Australia
Name Organisation
Dr Susan Woods University of Adelaide
Dr Sara Howden Murdoch Children’s Research Institute
Associate Professor Marco Herold Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research
Professor Merlin Crossley The University of New South Wales
Dr Gaetan Burgio The Australian National University
Professor Mike Ryan Monash University
Dr Tanya Soboleva The Australian National University
Associate Professor Kaylene Simpson Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre
Name Organisation
Dr Maria Halili Griffith Institute for Drug Discovery
Professor Philip Thompson Monash University
Dr Marina Pajic Garvan Institute of Medical Research
Associate Professor Kevin Pfleger The University of Western Australia
Associate Professor Justin Hamilton Australian Centre for Blood Diseases Melbourne
Murray Norris The University of New South Wales Centre for Childhood Cancer Research
Professor Mark Wilson University of Wollongong