Metabolic Disorders

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Changes in an environment, behaviour and lifestyle over the last century have resulted in escalating rates of obesity and diabetes worldwide. Once thought as a disease of the Western world, diabetes has become a major disease in Asia with dramatic increases in the diabetic populations in the last two decades. With Singapore's ageing population, metabolic and cardiovascular disease have now become the main public health challenge with a major impact on personal and national healthcare costs, premature morbidity and associated mortality. The prevention and control of metabolic disease requires an integrated and holistic approach spanning bench and translational research to the delivery of care.

Prof Bernhard Boehm, a prominent clinician scientist, leads the interdisciplinary area of research in clinical and experimental diabetes immunology;
Prof Michael Ferenczi investigates the biophysics and biochemistry of muscle fibres using permeabilised muscle fibres;
Prof Sven Pettersson, a clinician scientist, focuses on host-microbe interactions and the gut microbiome;
Prof Walter Wahli, one of the discoverers of the medically-relevant Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors, investigates molecular mechanisms and molecules, emanating from the interplay between food, nutrients and microbiota in relation to obesity and associated metabolic diseases;
Assoc Prof Fabian Lim conducts translational research to bridge the gap between basic and applied science to promote exercise prescription as a complement to drug prescription for the treatment of chronic diseases. He investigates the mechanisms and interventions influencing the interaction between habitual physical exercise, health and ageing. Assoc Prof Lim is also interested in studying the physiological mechanisms mediating physical work tolerance in sport and occupational settings;
Visiting Prof Per-Olof Berggren, a renowned experimental endocrinologist, is now focusing on pancreatic islet cell biology;

Visiting Prof Bernard Thoren​’s laboratory strives to uncover novel regulatory mechanisms that maintain glucose homeostasis and studies the role of nutrition and microbiota in the early postnatal period, and the long-term maintenance of normal glycaemic control;  
Asst Prof Yusuf Ali works on uncovering endocrine/paracrine/autocrine factors that alter both function and survival of pancreatic islet cells;
Asst Prof Wang Xiaomeng studies the chronic effects of diabetes on vascular complications;
Nanyang Asst Prof Guillaume Thibault explores stress response mechanisms in the context of lipid disequilibrium to restore cell homeostasis; and
Dr Sreenivasulu Reddy Mogali studies the impact of diabetes on arterial wall diseases.
The prevention and control of metabolic disease requires an integrated and holistic approach ranging from bench and translational research to the delivery of care, and this is achieved with close collaborative work with our clinical partners at the National Healthcare Group (NHG). Our research faculty members work closely with NHG clinicians including Dr Rinkoo Dalan, Joint Assistant Professor at LKCMedicine and Consultant in the Department of Endocrinology at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, on the genetic basis of vascular complications in various ethnic groups; Dr Daniel Chew, Adjunct Associate Professor at LKCMedicine and Head of the Department of Endocrinology at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, on clinical experimental diabetology, diabetic complications and bioresource; and Dr Melvin Leow, Senior Consultant in the Department of Endocrinology at Tan Tock Seng and Deputy Director at the Clinical Nutrition Research Centre, on extensive metabolic phenotyping.