Adrian Teo Laboratory

The Stem Cells and Diabetes Laboratory of Dr. Adrian Teo focuses on

the use of stem cell technology to model human pancreas development and

to study diabetes disease mechanisms.

About us

https://orcid.org/0000-0001-5901-7075

Dr. Teo KEE KEONG adrian


Adrian Teo, Ph.D., is currently a Principal Investigator at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), A*STAR, an Assistant Professor at the Department of Biochemistry and Department of Medicine, NUS Medicine, Singapore, and an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. Adrian obtained his B.Sc. (1st Class Honours) from the National University of Singapore in February 2007. He then started to work on human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) with Ray Dunn, Ph.D., and Alan Colman, Ph.D., at ES Cell International Pte. Ltd., before joining the Institute of Medical Biology (IMB), A*STAR, Singapore, for an internship as a Research Officer in the laboratory of Ray Dunn, Ph.D.. ​In April 2008, he joined the laboratory of Ludovic Vallier, Ph.D., at the University of Cambridge to pursue his Ph.D. under the A*STAR Graduate Scholarship (Overseas). Concurrently, he was also an Honorary Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholar. His thesis described how pluripotency factors regulate endoderm specification via key regulator EOMESODERMIN.  He completed his Ph.D. in July 2010 and joined the laboratory of Ray Dunn, Ph.D., at IMB as a postdoctoral fellow before heading to the laboratory of Rohit Kulkarni, M.D. Ph.D., at Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School in September 2011. During his fellowship at Joslin, he obtained two Harvard Stem Cell Institute seed grants and a Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) fellowship to pursue his research interests in using human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) for in vitro disease modelling of diabetes.  ​He is a member of the Oxford and Cambridge Society of Singapore, the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) and Stem Cell Society Singapore. ​



DR. NG HUI JIN NATASHA

​Natasha is a post-doctoral research fellow in the Stem Cell and Diabetes research group in IMCB. She joined the group after completing her DPhil at the Oxford Centre for Diabetes, Endocrinology & Metabolism at the University of Oxford under the supervision of Professors Anna Gloyn and Patrik Rorsman in 2017. Her research interests lie in understanding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying genetic variants linked to diabetes and related glycemic traits from genome- and exome-wide association studies. She extends her interest and experience in this area to new projects in the Teo lab involving the study of monogenic forms of diabetes using human stem cell models. She hopes that her work will shed light on the biological mechanisms that influence disease risk and that the research will translate into better disease diagnosis and management strategies in future.

Prior to this, she obtained her BSc (First Class Honours) degree in Biology at Imperial College London in 2011. Upon graduation she spent a year as a research assistant at the Singapore Immunology Network at A*STAR in Prof Ren Ee Chee’s lab before moving into the field of diabetes and metabolism. Outside of research work she is a keen volunteer, hiker, graphic designer and also a co-founder of a start-up called BioMe Oxford based in the UK.




DR. LIM YUXIAN LILLIAN


Lillian is a research fellow in the Stem Cells and Diabetes lab in IMCB. She recently completed her Ph.D. at the University of Pennsylvania under the supervision of Dr. Mark Kahn, where her work was focused on understanding the molecular regulation of lymphangiogenesis in the setting of injury. Her research interests are in understanding the mechanisms underlying disease progression, and she is excited to move into the field of diabetes, and hopes that her research will help to bring about the development of better therapeutics and treatment of disease. 


Before her Ph.D. studies, she did her undergraduate studies in Molecular and Cell Biology at the University of California, Berkeley. Outside of research, Lillian likes to stay active, and particularly enjoys the outdoors, running, and rock climbing.



DR. ELHADI IICH


Elhadi obtained his Masters degree in biomedical sciences from Utrecht University in the Netherlands where he performed research validating the interaction between atypical E2Fs and hypoxia inducible factor 1 in the regulation of gene expression of diverse genes related to angiogenesis and axon guidance.

With a background in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology, Elhadi did his Ph.D. at  Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne, where he developed a novel organoid model for the identification of novel progenitor cells in the oesophagus hypothesized to be the cell of origin of oesophageal adenocarcinoma.

As a research fellow at NUS, he developed a targeted cancer vaccines bioinformatics pipeline for the identification of patient-specific tumor neoantigens for the development cancer immunotherapy vaccines.




DR. SEOW WEI QIANG


Wei Qiang did his undergraduate thesis studying changes in lamina-associated domains in cardiomyocytes with stretch-induced hypertrophy at the Genome Institute of Singapore with Prof. Roger Foo. Thereafter, he did his Ph.D. at the University of Cambridge under the tutelage of Prof. Julie Ahringer. He studied the epigenetic regulation of Caenorhabditis elegans development and established a novel, high-resolution assay to profile chromatin interactions in the worm, which has a very compact genome. His interests in 3D genome organisation and warmer climes led him to Stanford University, where he developed techniques to engineer multivalent chromatin interactions de novo in mammalian cells under the mentorship of Dr. Kevin Wang.

Beyond his formal training, Wei Qiang is interested in the intersections between stem cell biology, disease modelling, and machine learning tools. On the side of preventive and personalised medicine, he hopes to better inform personal choice and public policy through an understanding of the relationship between genetic variation and complex diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. In parallel, he hopes to apply AI in the discovery of novel therapeutic targets through pathway analyses.




DR. LAU HWEE HUI

I have a strong interest in Research since young. After graduation, I sought for a position in a research lab so as to be closer to my aspiration. In the vast research field, I soon realized that I am particularly attracted to human metabolism translational research.

​Diabetes is one of the major human metabolic diseases that has heavy impact on mankind and it will soon be the most common medical problem in Singapore. To make the matter worse, it has no cure. Diabetes research is therefore critical to be able to counter the issue with the design of new rational therapies. As such, Dr. Adrian Teo’s lab will be a place for me to learn and grow where I wish to apply my skills and knowledge in a more meaningful way.  



CHEW SU ERN RESILIND


Resilind is a research officer in the Stem Cells and Diabetes research group in IMCB. Her experience with human mesenchymal stromal cells in the area of bone repair under Dr. Liu Tongming has allowed her to gain a vast amount of experience in the research translational field.

She was given the opportunity to work closely with Dr. Natasha from Dr. Adrian Teo’s lab, allowing her to further develop her interest in stem cell and diabetes research along with being involved in cell therapeutic efforts.

She not only seeks professional and self development consistently but also makes it a point to make time for her hobbies such as boxing, wakeboarding, swimming, traveling and scuba diving. One of her life motto is “Life is short, appreciate even the smallest things in life”.




CHING CARMEN


Carmen is a research officer working in the Stem Cells and Diabetes Laboratory, under the supervision of Dr. Adrian Teo. She graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Life Sciences (Specialization in Biomedical Science) and a minor in Medical Physics.

As an undergraduate, she has had the opportunity of working in Dr. Christoph Winkler's lab for a year, focusing on the characterisation of protein tyrosine phosphatase receptor type Z1 (PTPRZ1) in zebrafish. Additionally, Carmen also completed her final year project in Dr. Soh Boon Seng's lab, working on the modeling of cardiac hypertrophy using human stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes. These opportunities further encouraged her to pursue a career in science. Currently in Dr. Adrian Teo's lab, Carmen is eager to further her skills, with hopes of contributing to the existing knowledge in the field of diabetes.

Apart from scientific research, Carmen enjoys socialising, singing, listening to music and spending time with her family.




NESHA AFSHA


Nesha is a research officer in the Stem Cells and Diabetes research group in IMCB. She graduated from the University of Bradford (UK), affiliated with Management Development Institute of Singapore in 2015 with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biomedical Sciences specialising in Medical Biochemistry.

She started her career in the science field after graduating from Republic Polytechnic in 2012. She got her interest in the research field during her time in Biological Resource Centre at A*STAR where she handled and worked on lab animals. She has a vast experience and skills gained from working in medical laboratories and she always had a passion to do research. She finds that the most interesting thing about research is the ability to study the intricate details involved in a disease mechanism and possibly finding a better diagnosis and treatment for the disease. So, by joining Dr Adrian Teo’s lab, she expects to learn research skills, methods and techniques used in translational research, be able to analyse research data and hone problem solving skills. She hopes that her research positively contributes to enhance the livelihood of diabetic patients.

Apart from research, Nesha enjoys baking, learning new skills and spending time with her family and son. 




LAU LIP SIONG ABRAHAM


Abraham is a research officer in the Stem Cells and Diabetes Laboratory in IMCB, under the tutelage of Dr. Adrian Teo. He graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering in Biomedical Engineering from the National University of Singapore in 2022.

As an undergraduate, he had the opportunity to undergo training in several areas of research, namely optimizing quality control parameters for the production and characterization of dermal regeneration templates for wound healing and cell-derived matrices under Dr. Deepak Choudhury (Biomanufacturing Technology, BTI, A*STAR) and developing hydrogels for cartilage regeneration under Prof. James Goh (Tissue Repair Lab, NUS). His final year project under Dr. Eliza Fong (Translational Tumor Engineering Lab, NUS) involved developing a 3D in-vitro head and neck cancer model for personalized drug evaluation. These experiences motivated his passion for science so as to take research from bench to bedside and provide more personalized therapies. Abraham hopes to expand his skillset and incorporate scaffolds, devices or biomaterials to deliver or enhance diabetes management and disease modelling in Dr. Adrian Teo's lab.


Aside from research, Abraham enjoys running, listening to and creating music, café hopping and playing board games.



WONG XUE LI


Xue Li is a research officer in the Stem Cells and Diabetes lab in IMCB. She had recently graduated with a Bachelor of Medical Biosciences from Imperial College London in 2022. During her undergraduate time, she had the opportunity to embark on a research project studying the role of NKG2D-Ls in a mouse model of SLE. This gave her the chance to work in a research lab and understand how they operate. Other research opportunities include a summer attachment at immunogenomics platform at SIgN. These research experiences further enhanced her passion for research.

Given the growing burden of diabetes in Singapore, Xue Li is interested in studying the pathways that contribute to diabetes and exploring novel treatment methods. She is looking forward to expanding and enhancing her skills in Dr. Adrian Teo’s lab and contributing to research in the diabetes field.

Outside of research, Xue Li enjoys watching dramas and experimenting with unique recipes and cooking equipment.




LIM XI HUI EUODIA

Euodia is a research officer at the AT lab. She graduated from NUS with a Bachelor's degree in Life Sciences (BioMedical Specialisation). Prior to becoming an RO, she was a UROPS and FYP student in Adrian's lab, where she worked on investigating the role of GPCRs in beta cell differentiation and insulin secretion. She also embarked on a research project through the UROPS program as a Year 2 student, working on isolating muscle stem cells from crustaceans in the Department of Biological Sciences in NUS. Euodia hopes that she will be able to harness stem cells to model beta cell differentiation and understand the roles of certain receptors in enhancing insulin secretion. 


Outside of research, her hobbies include taking care of pets, which include her bunny and (ever increasing) aquatic children. 




NEO WEN YING CLAIRE


Claire obtained her B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from Nanyang Technological University in 2019 and was awarded the NUS Research Scholarship to pursue her doctorate degree in Dr. Adrian Teo's laboratory. For her undergraduate thesis, she was working on uncovering the role of the diabetes-associated transcription factor HNF1A on the kidney. 

Having had research experiences from various fields such as cancer, neuroscience and stem cells, Claire is passionate about research and hopes that her research will contribute to the healthcare industry.

Apart from research, Claire enjoys reading, running, cooking and learning new skills.




TAN WEI XUAN


Wei Xuan is a PhD student in the Stem Cells and Diabetes laboratory, under the supervision of Dr. Adrian Teo. He was awarded with the NUS Research Scholarship to pursue his PhD in Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS. Wei Xuan graduated from NTU in 2019 with a Bachelor of Science (Honors) in Biological Sciences. He was a recipient of the A*STAR Undergraduate Scholarship (AUS) (full-time).

Recognizing that diabetes is one of the major health burdens in Singapore and many parts of the world, Wei Xuan is keen to uncover mechanisms of diabetes pathogenesis for better management of the disease. In addition, he likes to study stem cells and developmental biology, and is also fascinated by the vast potential of the CRISPR gene editing technology. Therefore, he is interested in utilizing CRISPR gene editing on hPSCs as one of the models to understand the effects of Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) risk-associated gene variants on human pancreatic beta-cell development and function. He hopes to identify genetic variants that increase a person’s susceptibility to T2D, which may allow better disease management strategies to be adopted.

Apart from research work, Wei Xuan is a huge fan of hiking and enjoys playing team sports such as water polo and football. 




ANDREAS ALVIN PURNOMO SOETEDJO

Alvin is a research officer working in the Stem Cell and Diabetes laboratory in IMCB. He graduated from the National University of Singapore in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Life Sciences (Specialization in Biomedical Science) and a minor in Pharmaceutical Science. As an undergraduate, he embarked on a research project that focused on antibody generation and characterization under the supervision of Dr. Deron Raymond Herr. Currently, working in Dr. Adrian Teo's lab, Alvin is looking forward to continuously deepen his knowledge and positively contribute as much as possible in the elucidation of diabetes mechanism and potential treatments. His research interest aside, Alvin is also an avid jazz listener and takes relish in pleasant jam sessions, reading, biking, and learning new skills.



TAN LAY SHUEN ARIELLE

Arielle obtained her B.Sc. in Biological Sciences from Nanyang Technological University in June 2020. Shortly after graduation, Arielle began working as a research officer in Dr Adrian Teo’s Stem Cells and Diabetes laboratory (IMCB, A*STAR) for a year. In August 2021, she was awarded the NUS Research Scholarship and is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS.

In Singapore, the prevalence of diabetes is alarming and accounts for 10% of the nation’s disease burden. The population of diabetic Singapore residents is predicted to increase from 440,000 in 2014 to 1 million by 2050, making it a top national health concern. Arielle hopes that her research efforts in Dr Adrian’s Teo’s laboratory can contribute to the better understanding of the effects of specific type 2 diabetes risk-associated gene variants. She hopes that her research can ultimately translate into useful knowledge aiding metabolic disease treatment and/or management.

Apart from conducting research, Arielle enjoys listening to music, running, singing, solving puzzles and learning new languages. 




KONG DEWEI


Dewei is a Ph.D. student in Dr. Adrian Teo’s Stem Cells and Diabetes lab, supervised by Assoc Prof Shiao-Yng Chan and co-supervised by Dr. Adrian Teo. Dewei graduated from Zhejiang University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences. He was awarded the NUS Research Scholarship to pursue his Ph.D. at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore.

Aware of the huge burden of diabetes on human health, Dewei hopes to study and research on this important topic in Adrian's lab. He also has an interest in stem cell research. Currently, he is working on gestational diabetes, with a focus on epigenetic differences induced by this disease.

Apart from research, Dewei also enjoys traveling, running, and playing badminton. 




CHEN JUIN TING


Juin Ting is a Ph.D. student in the Stem Cells and Diabetes lab in IMCB. She graduated from Nanyang Technological University in 2021 with a Bachelor of Science (Honours) in Biological Sciences.

As an undergraduate, Juin Ting pursued various research interests, including the study of mechanical biology in Assoc. Prof. Koh Cheng Gee’s laboratory (NTU) and the study of mutational effects on progesterone receptor in Assoc. Prof. Valerie Lin’s laboratory (NTU). Her work on her undergraduate thesis, focused on elucidating peptide inhibitors for toxic islet amyloid polypeptide that is associated with Type 2 Diabetes (T2D), ignited her interest in the field of stem cells and diabetes and inspired her to pursue a career in science. Hence, Juin Ting hopes that her research in Dr. Adrian Teo’s laboratory will help to undercover more T2D risk variants for better disease management.

Apart from research, Juin Ting particularly enjoys spending time with her neighbourhood cat, Meow-Meow, and participating in outdoor activities such as hiking and kayaking.



WANG YI BO


Yi Bo is a Ph.D. student in the Stem Cells and Diabetes laboratory. He graduated from National University of Singapore in 2021 with a Bachelor’s degree (Honours) in Life Science.

Yi Bo started his research education in Singapore Polytechnic where he was supervised by Associate Professor Ling Shuo Chien to study the importance of PINK1 in Parkin mitochondrial quality control. As an undergraduate, he had the opportunity to work with Assistant Professor Nalini Puniamoorthy to investigate the impact of environmental stress on the developmental process of Sepsis punctum. Yi Bo is interested in developmental biology and ageing; he always finds it fascinating that different organisms develop through different processes. Currently, he is working on a molecular ageing in β-cell project where he aims to discover genetic and signaling variation in senescent β-cells which could potentially contribute to the declined glucose-stimulated insulin secretion observed in type 2 diabetes patients. He hopes to identify genetic variant(s) that increase overall susceptibility to diabetes, which allows future therapeutic treatments.

Apart from research, Yi Bo enjoys communication. He was involved in voluntary work to teach local children when he was in polytechnic. During his free time, he conducts classes for secondary and junior college students as he believes that communication is the key in passing down knowledge in science.  




ALUMNI

  • Postdoctoral fellow - Joanita Jasmen 
  • Research officer - Chang Siang LIM

                                      - Chek Mei BOK

                                      - Dominique Shan Jie MAH

                                      - Shirley Suet Lee DING


  • ​Ph.D. students - Larry Sai Weng LOO (now Postdoc)

                                   - Thi Ha Linh NGUYEN (now Consultancy)

                                   - Shabrina AMIRRUDDIN (now Postdoc)

                                   - Blaise Su Jun LOW (now Medical writer)


  • NUS FYP students - Nicole Min Qian PEK (now Ph.D. student)

                                         - Daniel Aron ANG (now Ph.D. student)

                                         - Haja Shareef Mahina Azeem

                                           (now Medical student)

                                         - Jeryl Kar Loke TEO

                                         - Yixin LAI

                                         - Euodia Xi Hui LIM (now Research officer)

                                         - Choon Tat NG (now Research officer)

    • NTU FYP students - Munirah SANTOSA (now Postdoc)

                                             - Gaytri GUPTA (now Medical student)

                                             - Jun Wei CHAN (now Ph.D. student)

                                             - Juin Ting CHEN (now Ph.D. student)

                                             - Gloria Mei En CHAN (now Ph.D. student)


    • Medical student - Stephanie Fen Li LER

                                         - Elizabeth PHAN

    • NUS attachment students - Ronnie YEE                                                                                        - Nicole Si En LIM
    • NTU attachment students - Ahmad Suhaimi Bin Ahmad Ishak

                                                        - Balakumaran S/O Nadarajan

                                                          (now Ph.D. student)

                                                        - Calvin Qing Wei HO

                                                        - Hilary MOK

                                                        - Liang Hui LOO

                                                        - DUONG Tien Quang Huy

                                                        - Dong Yeul LEE

                                                        - Rahim M K


    • NYP FYP student - Ching Man LAM
    • RP attachment student - Lian Kwang TANG