Professor Balázs Gulyás​


Professor Balázs Gulyás
Professor of Translational Neuroscience and
Scientific Director of the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Programme
Principal Investigator, Translational Neuroscience Laboratory

Members of the group
1. Dr Parasuraman Padmanabhan, Deputy Director
2. Dr Sundramurthy Kumar, Project Manager 
3. Dr Wang Changtong, Senior Research Fellow
4. Dr Krishna Ghosh Kanta, Senior Research Fellow
5. Dr Wang Zhimin, Research Fellow
6. Mr Kelvin Goh Kau Kiat , PhD ,Research Fellow

7. Mr Thein Than Htike, Research Associate 
8. Ms Siti Nabilah Binte Hamidon, Research Assistant
9. Mr Xia Yang, PhD student
10. Ms Cassia Low Man Ting, PhD student
11. Low Man Ting, PhD student

Attachment students (International)
1. Mr Ajay Kumar, Attachment Student
2. Mr Sachin Mishra, Attachment Student
3. Ms Anu Maashaa, Attachment Student
4. Mr Ganesh, Attachment Student
5. Ms Rukmani Thiruppathi, Attachment Student

Attachment students (Singaporeans and Singapore PR)
1. Ms Santhanakrishnan Priyadharshini 
2. Mr Ng Ri Chi
3. Ms Narayanan Madhumita
4. Mr Murukeshan Jishnu
5. Ms Priya Darshini Balavela

Professor Balázs Gulyás is Professor of Translational Neuroscience at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine), Nanyang Technological University. Prior to this appointment in 2013, Prof Gulyás spent most of his scientific career at the world-renowned Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, where he is still a Professor in the Department for Psychiatry, Division of Clinical Neuroscience. 

After obtaining his MD degree at Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary, in 1981, he made his PhD in neuroscience at the Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium, in 1988, followed by his postdoctoral studies at the Department of Clinical Neurophysiology of the Karolinska Institutet and at the Department of Experimental Psychology at the University of Oxford, UK.

Prof Gulyás has made significant contributions to the field of functional brain mapping with positron emission tomography (PET), in particular to the localisation of cortical areas in the human brain related to visual perceptual functions, visual memory and imagery, olfactory and pheromone-sense functions. More recently, his research focused on molecular neuroimaging with PET, focusing on neurological and psychiatric diseases and their “humanised” small animal disease models.

Prof Gulyás has published numerous books, written more than 35 book chapters and contributed to more than 200 research papers in peer reviewed scientific journals. He is a member of Academia Europaea (The Academy of Europe), the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Royal Belgian Academy of Medical Sciences.

Concurrent with his appointment at LKCMedicine, he is also a Visiting Professor at the Division of Brain Sciences, Department of Medicine, Imperial College London.

Research Focus

The main research focus of Prof Gulyás’ group covers:
  1. basic research into the pathophysiological mechanisms of early disease processes, related to neurodegenerative diseases, traumatic brain injury and cerebrovascular diseases;
  2. the identification of early and predictive disease biomarkers, based on early central (brain) and peripheral (nerves, skin, muscle, blood monocytes, etc.) processes, based on this the elaboration of early diagnostic biomarker approaches, indicating the presence, and measuring the level, of disease biomarkers during the “full disease stages” as well as during the prodromal stages, and, finally, the composition of “biomarker panels” which can predict with high sensitivity the future or imminent onset of neurodegenerative diseases; and
  3. the development of novel therapeutic approaches to stop, slow down or revert early neuropathological processes leading to neurological and psychiatric disorder.
The group is building a translational research platform covering the fields of basic biological research, with a strong emphasis on disease biomarker identification, biomarker probe development and multimodal imaging, including both pre-clinical and clinical. The laboratories are placed both in the Experimental Medicine Building (EMB) and the upcoming Clinical Sciences Building (CSB) of the School.     




 LKCMedicine Research Spotlight



Recent collaborations

1. Collaborations with National Neuroscience Institute (NNI), Singapore

a.    In Vivo Quantitative Analysis with PET of the Dopamine Transporter in the KI-G2019S LRRK2 mice with [18F]FE-PE2I

NNI PI: Dr. Zeng Li

b.    Cord-line pluripotent  stem cell based dopaminergic cell transplantation in Parkinson’s disease

NNI PI: A/Prof. Kah Leong Lim

2. Collaborations with DSO, Singapore

a.    Exploration of Neuroprotective Effects of Functionalized Hydrophilic Carbon Clusters: Targeted Therapy of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI): Pilot experiment using open blast TBI rodent model

DSO PI: A/Prof.  Lu Jia

Further partners: Rice University (Professor Jim Tour), Baylor College of Medicine (Professor Tom Kent), LKCMedicine (Professors Bernhard Boehm and Dinesh Kumar Shrinivasan)

b.    In vivo imaging on microglial up-regulation, visualised by PET measurements using the TSPO radioligand [11C]PBR28, in a rodent percussion TBI model

DSO PI: A/Prof. Lu Jia

c.    In vivo PET imaging of acute TBI and PTSD in an open blast NHP TBI model

DSO PI: A/Prof. Lu Jia

3. Collaboration with School of Material Science and Engineering, NTU

Nanoparticulate contrast agent for multimodality molecular imaging

MSE PI: A/Prof Murukeshan Vadakke Matham

4. Collaboration with the National Dental Centre (NDC), Singapore

Extraction and differentiation human dental pulp cells for translational research

NDC PI: Dr. Goh Bee Tin and Dr. Vinodh Kumar

5. Collaboration with the Department of Animal Science, Bharathidasan University, India

Exploration of salivary proteins in different animals: an approach to find marker proteins


Bharathidasan University PI: Professor Archunan


6.    Collaboration with the Division of Brain Sciences, Imperial College London


Development of early imaging biomarker probes for neurodegenerative diseases


ICL PI’s: Professors Paul Matthews and Richard Reynolds


7.    Collaborations with the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm


a.    Development of early imaging biomarker probes for neurodegenerative diseases


KI PI’S: Professors Tomas Hökfelt and Jan Mulder


b.    Inducing musical flow with synchrony and investigating improvisation-induced flow across Eastern and Western Contexts (joint NTU-KI PhD programme)


KI PI’s: Professors Fredrik Ullen and Daniel Lundqvist

Joint PhD student:  Cassia Low Man Ting

8.    Collaboration with the Department of Genetics, Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest


Pharmacologically induced autophagy in a “humanised” small animal disease model as a possible preventive therapy for neurodegenerative diseases (Tier-1 grant)


ELTE PI: Professor Tibor Vellai

9.    Collaboration with School of Biological Sciences, NTU

Exploring Conformational Dynamics in Soluble and Membrane proteins by Nuclear Magnetic Resonance

SBS PI: A/Prof Konstantin Pervushin

SBS collaborator: Margaret Phillips, PhD student

10. Collaborations with the Medical University of Vienna and the Austrian Institute of Technology (within the frame of the NAM Programme of Advanced Bioimaging)

a.    Development and microfluidic applications of novel 68Ga labelled PET radioligands

MUV PI’s: Drs. Oliver Langer and Tomas Wanek

b.    MRI coils for multinuclear applications

MUV PI: Professor Christian Herold

11. Collaborations within LKCMedicine

a.    Molecular imaging on gut biota animal models

LKCMedicine PI: Professor Sven Pettersson

b.    Survey on attitudes on organ donation

LKCMedicine PI: A/Prof Josip Car


Recent publications of the group:


Papers in peer reviewed scientific journals:


Moosavi, R., Ramanathan, S., Lee, Y.Y., Ling, K.C.S., Afkhami, A., Archunan, G., Padmanabhan, P., Gulyas, B., Kakran, M., Selvan, S.T. Synthesis of antibacterial and magnetic nanocomposites by decorating graphene oxide surface with metal nanoparticles. RSC Advances 5(2015): 76442-76450.


Papp D, Kovács T, Billes V, Varga M, Tarnóci A, Hackler L Jr, Puskás LG, Liliom H, Tárnok K, Schlett K, Borsy A, Pádár Z, Kovács AL, Hegedűs K, Juhász G, Komlós M, Erdős A, Gulyás B, Vellai T. AUTEN-67, an autophagy-enhancing drug candidate with potent antiaging and neuroprotective effects. Autophagy. 2015 Aug 27:0. [Epub ahead of print] DOI:10.1080/15548627.2015.1082023.


Tóth M, Doorduin J, Häggkvist J, Varrone A, Amini N, Halldin C, Gulyás B. Positron Emission Tomography studies with [11C]PBR28 in the Healthy Rodent Brain: Validating SUV as an Outcome Measure of Neuroinflammation. PLoS One. 10(20155):e0125917. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0125917. eCollection 2015.


Rodriguez-Vieitez E, Ni R, Gulyás B, Tóth M, Häggkvist J, Halldin C, Voytenko L, Marutle A, Nordberg A. Astrocytosis precedes amyloid plaque deposition in Alzheimer APPswe transgenic mouse brain: a correlative positron emission tomography and in vitro imaging study. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging. 42(2015):1119-1132. doi: 10.1007/s00259-015-3047-0. Epub 2015 Apr 17.


Tóth M, Häggkvist J, Stepanov V, Takano A, Nakao R, Amini N, Miura S, Kimura H, Taniguchi T, Gulyás B, Halldin C. Molecular Imaging of PDE10A Knockout Mice with a Novel PET Radiotracer: [11C]T-773. Mol Imaging Biol. 2015 Aug;17(4):445-9. doi: 10.1007/s11307-015-0822-z.


Tóth M, Little P, Arnberg F, Häggkvist J, Mulder J, Halldin C, Gulyás B, Holmin S. Acute neuroinflammation in a clinically relevant focal cortical ischemic stroke model in rat: longitudinal positron emission tomography and immunofluorescent tracking. Brain Struct Funct. 2015 Jan. [Epub ahead of print].

Gulyás B, Sovago J, Gomez-Mancilla B, Jia Z, Szigeti C, Gulya K, Schumacher M, Maguire RP, Gasparini F, Halldin C. Decrease of mGluR5 receptor density goes parallel with changes in enkephalin and substance P immunoreactivity in Huntington's disease: a preliminary investigation in the postmortem human brain. Brain Struct Funct. 2015(220):3043-3051.


Zhang Y, Das GK, Vijayaragavan V, Xu QC, Padmanabhan P, Bhakoo KK, Selvan ST, Tan TT. “Smart” Theranostic Lanthanide Nanoprobes with Simultaneous Upconversion fluorescence and Tunable T1-T2 Magnetic Resonance Imaging Contrast and Near-Infrared Activated Photodynamic Therapy. Nanoscale D 6(2014):12609-12617.


R. Ilayaraja, R.  Rajkumar, D. Rajesh, A.R. Muralidharan, P. Padmanabhan, G. Archunan (2014). Evaluating the binding efficiency of pheromone binding protein with its natural ligand using molecular docking and fluorescence analysis. Sci Rep 4(2014):5201.


Narayanan K, Yen SK, Dou Q, Padmanabhan P, Sudhaharan T, Ahmed S, Ying JY, Selvan ST (2013) Mimicking cellular transport mechanism in stem cells through endosomal escape of new peptide-coated quantum dots. Sci Rep 3:2184. doi: 10.1038/srep02184.


Yen, SK, Padmanabhan, P, Selvan, ST. Mutifunctional Iron Oxide Nanoparticles for Diagnostics, Therapy and Macromolecule Delivery Theranostics.  3(2013):975-992.


Yen, SK, Jańczewski, D, Jeeva, LL, Dolmanan, SB, Tripathy, S, Ho, VHB, Vijayaragavan, V, Padmanabhan, P, Bhakoo, KK,  Sudhaharan, T, Ahmed, S, Zhang, Y, Selvan, ST. Polymer Functionalized Near-infrared Fluorescent Dye – Magnetic Nanoparticle Hybrids as Bimodal probes for Optical and Magnetic Resonance Imaging. ACS Nano. 7(2013):6796-6805.


Braniste V, Al-Asmakh M, Kowal C, Anuar F, Abbaspour A, Tóth M, Korecka A, Bakocevic N, Guan NL, Kundu P, Gulyás B, Halldin C, Hultenby K, Nilsson H, Hebert H, Volpe BT, Diamond B, Pettersson S. The gut microbiota influences blood-brain barrier permeability in mice. ScienceTM 6(2014):263ra158.


Muthukumar S, Rajkumar R, Rajesh D, Saibaba G, Liao CC, Archunan G, Padmanabhan P, Gulyás B. Exploration of salivary proteins in buffalo: an approach to find marker proteins for estrus. FASEB J. 28(2014):4700-4709.


Srinivasan S, Selvan ST, Archunan G, Gulyás B, Padmanabhan P. MicroRNAs -the next generation therapeutic targets in human diseases. Theranostics 3(2013):930-942.



Conference abstracts:


Toth, M.; Little, P.; Arnberg, F.; et al. Longitudinal Imaging of Acute Neuroinflammation with [11C]PBR28 in an Ischemic Stroke Rat Model. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 42,S1(2015):S22.
Conference:  28th Annual Congress of the European-Association-of-Nuclear-Medicine (EANM)  Location:  Hamburg, GERMANY  Date:  OCT 10-14, 2015.


Yang, C.; Chandrasekharan, P.; Padmanabhan, P.; et al. 68Ga(DO3A-lysine) as a New PET Tracer for Biodistribution Study.   Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 42,S1(2015):S468.
Conference:  28th Annual Congress of the European-Association-of-Nuclear-Medicine (EANM)  Location:  Hamburg, GERMANY  Date:  OCT 10-14, 2015.


Chang-Tong Yang, He Tao, Alexander W Jackson, Prashant Chandrasekharan, Parasuraman Padmanabhan, Balázs Gulyás, Christer Halldin (2015). Biocompatible Branched Copolymer Nanoparticles Prepared by RAFT Polymerization as MRI /PET Bimodal Tracers. EJNMMI Physics 2 (Suppl 1), A90.


Z Wang, Z Li, C Lim, Z Cao, EK Tan, P Padmanabhan, C Yang, GK Kanta, C Halldin, B Gulyás (2015). In Vivo Quantitative Analysis with PET of the Dopamine Transporter in the KI-G2019S LRRK2 mice with [18F]FE-PE2I.

Conference: WMIC Congress, Hawaii, 2015.  


Gulyás, B., Padmanabhan, P., Lu, J., Enci, M.K., Zheng, L., Thulasiraman, R. K., Halldin, C.  Biological validation of the novel dopamine transporter (DAT) PET radioligand [F-18]FEPE2I in the rodent brain: A pilot study in rats using a Concorde R4 pre-clinical scanner. Eur J Nucl Med Mol Imaging 2013(40):S512.

Conference: EANM'13 - Annual Congress of the European Association of Nuclear Medicine, Lyon, France, October 19 - 23, 2013.


Kumar, JV., Gulyas, B and Padmanabhan, P. Autologous adult bone marrow stem cells mediated tooth repair observed with in vivo Molecular Imaging Technologies in a tooth injured rat models.

Conference: SingHealth-Duke Congress, September 5-6, 2014.