Assistant Professor Luo Dahai

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Nanyang Assistant Professor Luo Dahai
Principal Investigator, Molecular Mechanisms of Viral Infection & Host Defense Laboratory

Laboratory Staff

  • El Sahili Abbas, Research Fellow
  • Zhao Yongqian, NISB Fellow
  • Tan Yaw Bia, Research Assistant
  • Zhang Zhenzhen, Research Assistant
  • Wint Wint Phoo, PhD student
  • Yong Hui Yee, PhD student
  • Li Kuohan, PhD student



Nanyang Assistant Professor Luo Dahai received his B.Sc. in 2006 and his Ph.D. in 2010 from the School of Biological Sciences, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He studied at Yale University as a postdoctoral research associate (2010-2013) before joining Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine) in Sept 2013.


Research Focus

The primary research interest of his lab is to understand the molecular events involved in the battle between host and pathogens, in particular between RNA viruses and humankind. The main objective of the laboratory is to study the molecular biology of RNA and RNA-protein complexes, branching into two interrelated directions: (1) A complete and dynamic view of the viral RNA biogenesis; (2) Systematic study of the intracellular pathogenic RNA sensing and response. The laboratory applies biochemical, biophysical, structural, and in vivo approaches to study the biogenesis of the pathogenic RNA species and the host’s counteracting defense mechanisms.

Asst Prof Luo and his team enjoy collaborations with scientists from different fields, chemists, virologists, immunologists, cell biologists and physicians. Together, they are devoted to provide (1) Comprehensive understanding the conflict between host and pathogens; (2) Unique and Deep Insights for Drug and Vaccine Development. The laboratory is also interested in (3) Molecular engineering at the interface between RNA and protein; (4) Novel methods and tools for basic research, diagnostics and therapeutics.



 LKCMedicine Research Spotlight


Key Publications (#, equal contribution; * Corresponding)   

  1. Zhang Z#, Li Y#, Loh YR, Phoo WW, Hung W, Kang CB*, Luo D*. Structure of the NS2B-NS3 Protease from Zika Virus Caught after Self-Cleavage. Science. 2016 In press.
  2. Phoo WW#, Li Y#, Zhang Z, Lee MY, Loh YR, Tan YB, Ng EY, Lescar J, Kang C*, Luo D*. Structure of the NS2B-NS3 protease from Zika virus after self-cleavage. Nat Commun. 2016 Nov 15;7:13410.
  3. Zhao Y, Soh TS, Lim SP, Chung KY, Swaminathan K, Vasudevan SG, Shi PY*, Lescar J*, Luo D*. Molecular basis for specific viral RNA recognition and 2'-O ribose methylation by the dengue virus NS5 protein. Proc Natl Acad Sci. 2015 Dec 1;112(48):14834-9.
  4. Zhao, Y., Soh, S., Zheng, J., Phoo, W.W., Swaminathan, K., Cornvik, T.C., Lim, S.P., Shi, P.-Y., Lescar, J.*, Vasudevan, S.G.*, Luo D*. A Crystal Structure of the Dengue Virus Ns5 Protein Reveals a Novel Inter-Domain Interface Essential for Protein Flexibility and Virus Replication. PLoS Pathogens., 2015 Mar 16;11(3):e1004682.
  5. Zheng J, Yong HY, Panutdaporn N, Liu C, Tang K*, Luo D*. High-resolution HDX-MS reveals distinct mechanisms of RNA recognition and activation by RIG-I and MDA5. Nucleic Acids Res. 2015 Jan 30;43(2):1216-30.
  6. Luo D, Kohlway, A., Vela, A., and Pyle, A.M. (2012) Visualizing the determinants of viral RNA recognition by innate immune sensor RIG-I. Structure. Nov 7;20(11):1983-8.
  7. Luo D, Ding, S.C., Vela, A., Kohlway, A., Lindenbach, B.D., and Pyle, A.M. (2011). Structural insights into RNA recognition by RIG-I. Cell, 147(2), 409-22.
  8. Luo D, Wei, N., Doan, D.N., Paradkar, P.N., Chong, Y., Davidson, A.D., Kotaka, M., Lescar, J., and Vasudevan, S.G. (2010). Flexibility between the protease and helicase domains of the dengue virus NS3 protein conferred by the linker region and its functional implications. J Biol Chem, 285(24), 18817-27.
  9. Luo D#, Xu, T.#, Watson, R.P., Scherer-Becker, D., Sampath, A., Jahnke, W., Yeong, S.S., Wang, C.H., Lim, S.P., Strongin, A., Vasudevan, S.G., and Lescar, J. (2008). Insights into RNA unwinding and ATP hydrolysis by the flavivirus NS3 protein. EMBO J., 27(23), 3209-19.
  10. Luo D#, Xu, T.#, Hunke, C., Grüber, G., Vasudevan, S.G., and Lescar, J. (2008). Crystal structure of the NS3 protease-helicase from dengue virus. J Virol., 82(1), 173-83.


Complete list of publications via Google Scholar: