TII’s unique team comprising clinicians and scientists make translation of research ideas into medical solutions a reality, bringing benefits to society and science.
Professor, Duke-NUS Medical School Singapore
Director, Translational Immunology Institute
UCAN-A Chair, President, Eureka Institute
My field of research is to understand and manipulate human immunity to ultimately and tangibly improve Health. I have developed a comprehensive technology platform which pivots on high dimensionality approaches, including cytometry, 10X single cell next generation RNA sequencing and in vitro functional modelling. We have developed Artificial Intelligence (AI) tools to distill mechanistically and clinically relevant knowledge from the interfaces among these high complexity datasets and the clinical data. By leveraging on this platform, validated predictive modelling is developed. This platform enables fundamental progress in several translationally relevant, first in class scientific contributions, which span across disease areas ranging from Autoimmunity to Cancer. It is important to emphasise the unifying conceptual framework to conceive mechanistic and therapeutic manipulations of the human immunome not as an intervention on discrete pathways which stand isolated and can be switched on and off, but rather as the sophisticated manipulation of a gradient of pathways and cell subsets which are inextricably interlaced, and can be modulated within a continuum of intensity, comparable to what a rheostat does to the intensity of lighting in a room. I look at the architecture of the Immune System and its therapeutic manipulation by evolving from fragmentation to a continuum gradient balanced on homeostasis and tilted by perturbations such as disease or even conventional therapy.
My contribution is to have conceived and evolved this concept to tangible applications. Each of the projects can bring a solution to unmet needs. Combined, the platform advances Science by looking holistically and with high dimensionality at mechanisms of immune imbalances, thus leading to the identification of novel immune therapeutic targets which we are developing for restoration of immune homeostasis. Some of the most advanced projects include: 1) Defining for the first time an AI-driven, high dimensional architecture of the healthy Immunome (EPIC), and assessing the effects of Disease as perturbations of this architecture; 2) Conceiving and developing Chimeric Antigen Receptor Treg (CARTreg) as an entirely novel approach to cellular immunotherapy of transplant rejection, graft versus host disease and systemic autoimmunity; 3) Conceiving and developing new composition of matter and next steps for the development to commercial fruition of a Phase IIb – ready, first in class immunotherapy for Rheumatoid Arthritis; 4) A theragnostic platform to predict the opportunity to withdraw patients with arthritis from biologics. My work has been published in most relevant Journals of high calibre (IF of 43 and 8000 citations), and generated a diverse portfolio of more than 100 patents. This work is the foundation of my entrepreneurial activities.
I am very active in education. Indeed, a most rewarding part of my professional life is to infect others with my passion for what I do, and to share my experiences, my successes and my failures. I am the co-founder and President of the Eureka Institute for Translational Medicine, an international organization focused on the advancement of Translational Medicine through research, education and policy shaping.
Lakshmi RamakrishnaSenior Manager, Translational Immunology Institute
Lakshmi joined TII in 2013 and is responsible for facilitating research management of the institute including scientific project/ strategy development, grant management (throughout its lifecycle, from grant writing to final reporting to grantor), biomedical laboratory management (Environmental Health and Safety, Risk Assessment, Team and resource management). She facilitates translational research in immunology in various focus areas including auto-immunity, onco-immunology, allergy, ocular immunology, heart failure, paediatric diseases etc, where we study clinical samples from various tissues and liquid biopsy using cellular and molecular technologies that allow for high-dimensional sample analyses. I work closely with our researchers and collaborators to ensure that the project needs are met in a timely manner and we make successful inroads into translational immunology research.
Lakshmi’s research interest is in immunology as a window to understanding disease and how insights gained can translate into tangible outcomes by navigating the research management landscape effectively.
• Martin Wasser, Principal Biostatistician, Bioinformatics• Pavanish Kumar, Senior Biostatistician, Bioinformatics• Poh Su Li, Research Officer, Flow Cytometry• Camillus Chua Jian Hui, Senior Research Officer, Molecular Biology (NanoString, NGS, Single Cell RNAseq)• Sharifah Nur Hazirah, Research Officer, Molecular Biology (NanoString, NGS, Single Cell RNAseq)• Nursyuhadah Binte Sutamam, Research Officer, Sample processing / Luminex• Guo Dianyan, Reseach Officer, CyTOF
• Leong Jing Yao, Research Fellow• Gladys Ang Wei Xin, Research Fellow• Marvin Chew Zi Wei, Research Fellow
• Ahmad Bin Mohd Lajam, Research Officer• Amanda Lim Jin Mei, Research Associate• Lim Chun Jye, Senior Research Officer• Samuel Chuah Wen Jin, Research Officer• Sheena Suthen, Research Officer• Shabnam Khalilnezhad, Research Officer• Tan Xiu Qi, Research Officer
• Grace Compton-Tan, Senior Project Manager • Benjamin Lim, Executive• Sim Phoi Sang, Executive• Maureen Clement Knight, Associate Executive