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The aim of this programme is to translate evidence-based Personalised Medicine research outcomes to clinical application. To achieve this aim, we:

  • Determine the cost-effectiveness of known Personalised Medicine tests to study their applicability in Singapore
  • Investigate new tests or techniques to assess if they have a clinical role
  • Establish or strengthen prospective disease registries to facilitate genotype-phenotype association studies
  • Establish a virtuous cycle by transforming clinical research to bedside practice, which in turn provides ideas and orientation to generate more research projects

Tan Tock Seng Hospital recognises that Personalised Medicine is playing an increasingly important role in clinical practice. Therefore, the Personalised Medicine Service was established in June 2015 to provide genetic testing services and individualised treatment.

All of our research are geared towards translational research in which the respective theme leaders aim to discover new biomarkers, new techniques, drug-gene information, and predictive algorithms for the diseases or fields they specialise in. There are seven research themes supported by the NMRC Centre Grant (CG) from the Ministry of Health for a period of 4 years between 2017 and 2020. The CG grant enables the clinicians and laboratory team to be supported by dedicated research assistants, project managers and research-related support services from the other units at CRIO such as data analysing, writing of project agreements, and quality and safety monitoring."

- Adjunct Associate Professor Leong Khai Pang
Overall Principal Investigator

​Theme Principal Investigator: Dr Koh Ee Tzun

Dr Koh capitalises on an existing rheumatoid arthritis (RA) prospective database that captures clinical, serologic and treatment data of over 1,000 RA patients from the Department of Rheumatology, Allergy & Immunology, TTSH, to produce a series of studies. She promotes the research culture within RAI by encouraging senior residents to actively participate in clinical studies relevant to the local population. She is also working with Dr Goh Liuh Ling and her team to develop the applied genomics aspect of the project, to translate clinical research to personalised medicine so as to improve the health of the patients.

Theme Principal Investigator: Dr Colin Tan Siang Hui

Dr Tan aims to identify imaging biomarkers of early and intermediate age-related macular degeneration (AMD) that predict progression to disease. He also investigates the role of a novel non-invasive medical imaging assessment in the management of diseases as polypoidal choroidal vasculopathy (PCV), especially in the space of diagnosis and prognostication.

​Theme Principal Investigator: Dr Rinkoo Dalan

Dr Dalan aims to improve vascular risk prediction, diagnosis and therapeutics in patients with diabetes. Her team is working on novel methods of physiological vascular measurements and in vitro methods of assessing endothelial function (lab-on-chip). She conducts investigator-initiated clinical trials looking at therapeutics that may help to improve vascular function in a personalised manner. In the long term her team aims to conduct investigative trials which challenge the current glucose-centric paradigm and instead turn management towards vascular end-points.

​Theme Principle Investigator: Dr Tan Ern Yu

Dr Tan's research interest is in discovering novel biomarkers to better predict treatment outcomes and to develop new treatment strategies. Since 2015, she has worked with the Genome Institute of Singapore and with NUH on developing a liquid biopsy assay for breast cancer. This work was recently published in Nature Medicine, and suggested that chromosome 1q21.3 was enriched in women with metastatic or recurrent disease. This suggested that 1q21.3 could be useful as a marker of disease progression or relapse. Her team is now working on increasing the sensitivity and specificity of this assay, and is also exploring new treatment agents that can target tumours with 1q21.3 enrichment. There is potential for this assay to be developed into a commercial assay for clinical use. Such an assay would allow treatment failure to be detected early, an aspect that it still lacking with current tests.

​Theme Principle Investigator: Dr Ho Eu Chin

Dr Ho aims to adopt a personalised approach for risk identification, prevention and management of accelerated cochlear-vestibular dysfunction (AVCD). His team is currently working on projects focusing on (1) developing an alternative diagnostic audiometry test system that does not require the use of sound-proof facilities, (2) improving the ability of hearing aid user to comprehend speech in challenging real life situations and to enhance the adherence/compliance of hearing aids usage and (3) understanding the epidemiological aspects and clinical presentation of patients presenting with dizziness to develop improved therapeutic options.

Theme Principle Investigator: Dr Ling Li Min

Dr Ling aims to explore the application of pharmacogenomics in infectious disease. Together with Dr Shawn Vasoo, she studies the impact of rapid pathogen identification on patient care. Her team is interested to (1) measure the real-world impact and cost-effectiveness of rapid diagnostics and therapeutic drug monitoring in the acutely ill patient and to (2) study the burden and epidemiology of pathogens and associated antimicrobial resistance in acute and chronic respiratory illness in Singapore.

​Theme Principle Investigator: Dr Goh Liuh Ling

With a focus on personalised medicine, Dr Goh is particularly interested in understanding the role of genetic variations in drug response and toxicity with the hope of translating this information into new diagnostics and treatment strategies. Her research focuses on the role of pharmacogenomics in opioid response and chemotherapeutic toxicity. A second area of research is related to the clinical genetic testing. Her team collaborates with clinicians and industries to develop non-invasive blood based diagnostics for cancers using emerging technologies such as next generation sequencing and droplet digital PCR. Their translational research projects have also revealed insights on ways to bridge the gap between emerging technologies and clinical application.

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