1. MBBS (NUS), National University of Singapore, Singapore (1989)
2. M.Med. (Surgery), National University of Singapore, Singapore (1994)
3. FRCS (Edinburgh) conjoint examination with M.Med (Surgery) (1994)
4. FAMS (General Surgery), Academy of Medicine, Singapore (1999)
5. PhD, National University of Singapore (2004)
1. Professor and Course Director, Duke-NUS Medical School (2007- current)
2. Senior Consultant, Surgical Oncology, National Cancer Centre Singapore (2013- current)
3. Senior Consultant, HPB/Transplant, Singapore General Hospital (2004- current)
4. Research Director, Institute of Molecular Cell Biology (IMCB) (2016- current)
5. Associate Faculty Member, Genome Institute Singapore (GIS) (2014- current)
Personalized Medicine, Clinical Trials and Translational Research in hepatocellular carcinoma, pancreatic carcinoma, gastro-intestinal stromal tumour and surgical oncology. Meta-analysis and Systemic Review in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Health Services Outcomes Research in hepato-pancreato-biliary cancers.
Brachytherapy and Selective Internal Radiation Therapy. Clinical and Pre-clinical molecular and functional imaging. Non-human primate models. Patient tumour-explant xenografts and orthotopic models in experimental oncology.
Honors & Awards
1. Chapter of Surgeon’s Gold Medal Conjoint M.Med (Surgery)/FRCS (Edin) Exam (1994)
2. National Outstanding Clinician Scientist Award, National Medical Research Council (2012)
3. Translational and Clinical Research Flagship Program Award, National Medical Research Council (2016)
4. Senior Investigator Clinician Scientist Award, National Medical Research Council (2010; 2018)
1. Chew V, Lai L, Pan L, Lim CJ, Li J, Ong R, Chua C, Leong JY, Lim KH, Toh HC, et al. (2017). Delineation of an immunosuppressive gradient in hepatocellular carcinoma using high-dimensional proteomic and transcriptomic analyses. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 114(29):E5900-E5909.
2. Garnelo M, Tan A, Her Z, Yeong J, Lim CJ, Chen J, Lim KH, Weber A, Chow P, Chung A, et al. (2017). Interaction between tumour-infiltrating B cells and T cells controls the progression of hepatocellular carcinoma. Gut 66, 342-351.
3. Zhai W, Lim TK, Zhang T, Phang ST, Tiang Z, Guan P, Ng MH, Lim JQ, Yao F, Li Z, et al. (2017). The spatial organization of intra-tumour heterogeneity and evolutionary trajectories of metastases in hepatocellular carcinoma. Nat Commun 8, 4565.
Precision Oncology with Radiogenomics: non-invasive interrogation of liver cancer genomics to select drug therapy and monitor patient response
Significant intra-tumoral heterogeneity is found in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and single biopsy samples significantly under-reads the genomic profile of the tumor. This confounds drug development in HCC and also makes it extremely challenging to stratify and prognosticate patients and to select therapy on the basis of genomic biomarkers. Significant therapeutic gaps thus confronts patients with HCC.
Multi-region sampling of surgically resected HCC allows these intra-tumoral heterogeneity to be un-raveled and this is currently carried out by the prospective PLANET (Precision Medicine in Liver Cancer across an Asia-Pacific Network) program. The PLANET program involves multiple countries in the Asia-Pacific in a longitudinal genomics-immunomics-metabolimics study that uncovers clonal driver mutations by correlating intra-tumoral heterogeneity with clinical trajectory in a surgical resection cohort. Correlation between genomics, immunomic and metabolimic heterogeneity is particularly useful in uncovering druggable targets and is especially relevant for immunotherapy.
Multi-region sampling is however not practical in un-resectable HCC which comprises 80% of the disease burden. Radiogenomics analysis utilizes radiomics signatures to capture intra-tumoral heterogeneity and correlates this with gene expression. A radiogenomic approach has been used to leverage on the detailed genomic maps of intra-tumoral heterogeneity in HCC uncovered by the PLANET program. This unique marriage of technologies allows non-invasive interrogation of liver cancer genomics and potentially permits selection of drug therapy and the monitoring of therapeutic response. Results of this collaborative effort between the PLANET program and the data-science enterprise Holmusk will be discussed.