Assistant Professor Christine Cheung, PhD
Nanyang Assistant Professor
Principal Investigator, Molecular and Vascular Medicine
Lab website: www.cheung-lab.com
- Dr Wu Kanxing, Research Fellow
- Dr Shuba Krishnan, Research Fellow
- Ms Florence Chioh, Research Assistant
- Ms Natalie Yeo Jia Ying, PhD Student
- Mr Clive Henry Cole Sims, PhD Student
Dr Christine Cheung is an
Assistant Professor in Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological
University, and an awardee of the 2016 Nanyang
Assistant Professorship. She received a PhD in Cardiovascular
and Stem Cell Medicine from the University of Cambridge, and a BEng (First
Class) from Imperial College London. Upon securing the competitive Independent
Fellowship in 2012, she started up a research group at the A*STAR Institute of
Molecular and Cell Biology, where she currently holds a joint
appointment. To further her work, Dr Cheung received the Career Development Award and Young Investigator Grant from the
Agency of Science, Technology and Research. For her pioneering approach to create organ-specific blood vessels, she
was recognised with the Young Investigator Prize from the British Society for
Cardiovascular Research. She is part of the founding team of Biotech Connection Singapore, an organisation that aims to promote life-science innovations and entrepreneurship by
fostering interaction between academia and industry.
The crux of many diseases lies in
the blood vessels. Even though vascular damage often precedes neuronal deficits
in certain brain disorders, relatively less attention has been paid to blood
vessel pathology in the context of mental health. Our goal is to advance the
prevention of cerebrovascular complications by understanding how they affect
conditions such as stroke and vascular dementia. The main thrusts of our research are:
There remain significant knowledge gaps in
the functional interpretation of clinical biomarkers in whether they are causal
or a consequence in the disease process. Leveraging on
collaborations with clinicians, we develop biomarkers of key vascular
processes related to stroke and cognitive impairment. Deep-dive elucidation of such molecular signatures will enable us to unravel implicated pathways, and achieve better diagnostics for early intervention.
Blood vessels in various
organs could influence differential local tissue responses despite similar
genetic and systemic conditions. This may explain why diseases like cerebral
amyloid angiopathy and CADASIL uniquely affect the cerebral vasculatures. We
aim to interrogate the intrinsic differences of organ-specific blood
vessels and determinants that predominantly impact vascular pathology in the
Stem Cell-Based Platform
lab has invented techniques to grow vascular cells from human pluripotent stem
cells, resembling those found in brain arteries. By employing genome editing
tools and phenotypic assays, we could recapitulate the molecular and cellular
changes in cerebrovascular disease. Knowledge of pathogenic mechanisms will pave the way for developing
vascular-targeted strategies for neurological disorders.
1. *C Cheung, AS Bernardo, MW Trotter, RA Pedersen & S Sinha. Generation of human vascular smooth muscle subtypes provides insight into embryological origin-dependent disease susceptibility. Nature Biotechnology, 2012, 30 (2): 165-173. *Featured on cover page and expert commentary
2. #C Cheung, AS Bernardo, RA Pedersen & #S Sinha. Directed differentiation of embryonic origin-specific vascular smooth muscle subtypes from human pluripotent stem cells. Nature Protocols, 2014, 9: 929–938. #Senior and corresponding author
3. L. Trigueros-M, J.M. Gonzalez-G, C Cheung, P Fernández, F Sánchez-Cabo et al. Embryological-origin-dependent differences in homeobox expression in adult aorta: role in regional phenotypic variability and regulation of NF-κB activity. Arteriosclerosis, Thrombosis, and Vascular Biology, 2013, 33:1248-56.
4. #C Cheung, YT Goh, J Zhang, C Wu, E Guccione. Modelling cerebrovascular pathophysiology in amyloid-β metabolism using neural crest-derived smooth muscle cells. Cell Reports, 2014, 9(1):391-401. #Senior and corresponding author
5. BC Narmada, YT Goh, H Li, S Sinha, H Yu, #C Cheung. Human stem cell-derived endothelial-hepatic platform for efficacy testing of vascular-protective metabolites from nutraceuticals. Stem Cells Translational Medicine, 2016, doi: 10.5966/sctm.2016-0129. #Senior and corresponding author
6. J. Bargehr, L. Low, C. Cheung, W.G. Bernard, D. Iyer et al. Embryological origin of human smooth muscle cells influences their ability to support vasculogenesis. Stem Cells Reports, 2016 Jul; 5(7):946-59.
7. GJ Ng, AM Quek, C Cheung, TV Arumugam, RC Seet. Stroke biomarkers in clinical practice: A critical appraisal. Neurochemistry International, 2017, doi: 10.1016/j.neuint.2017.01.005.
8. AS Koh, B Velmurugan, F Gao, RS Tan, …, C Cheung. Value of Soluble Urokinase Plasminogen Activator Receptor Over Age as a Biomarker of Impaired Myocardial Relaxation. BMC Geriatrics, 2017 Nov. In press.