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Luo Dahai

Luo Dahai-01 (Custom).jpg
Associate Professor Luo Dahai, PhD
Associate Professor of Infection and Immunity and Provost's Chair in Medicine 
Principal Investigator, Molecular Mechanisms of Viral ​Infection & Host Defense Laboratory


  • Melissa Wirawan, PhD, Research Fellow
  • Kuo Zhang, PhD, Research Fellow
  • Nguyen Mai Trinh, Research Assistant
  • Tay Jiliang, Research Assistant
  • Alvin Chew Bing Liang, PhD student
  • Quek Jun Ping, PhD student
  • Huynh Phuong Thao, PhD student
  • Tan Yaw Bia, PhD student
  • Van Den Elsen Kain Elisabeth Franciscus, PhD student
  • Melissa Law Cheok Yien, PhD student


Associate Professor Luo Dahai received his BSc in 2006 and his PhD 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


Assoc Prof Luo started his lab at LCKMedicine in Sept 2013. 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.

Selected Publications

Phoo W.W., El Sahili A., Zhang Z., Chen M.W., Liew C.W., Lescar J., Vasudevan S.G., Luo D. (2020). Crystal structures of full length DENV4 NS2B-NS3 reveal the dynamic interaction between NS2B and NS3. Antiviral Res, 182:104900. doi:

Yong, H.Y., Zheng, J., Ho, V.C.Y., Nguyen, M.T., Fink, K., Griffin, P.R., Luo, D. (2019). Structure-guided design of immunomodulatory RNAs specifically targeting the cytoplasmic viral RNA sensor RIG-IFEBS Letters. 593(21):3003-3014. doi: 10.1002/1873-3468.13564

Law, Y.S., Utt, A., Tan, Y.B., Zheng, J., Wang, S., Chen, M.W., Griffin, P.R., Merits, A., Luo, D. (2019). Structural insights into RNA recognition by the Chikungunya virus nsP2 helicaseProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 116(19):9558-9567. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1900656116

Yong, H.Y., Luo, D. (2018). RIG-I-Like Receptors as Novel Targets for Pan-Antivirals and Vaccine Adjuvants Against Emerging and Re-Emerging Viral InfectionsFrontiers in Immunology. 9:1379. doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2018.01379.

Chen, M.W., Tan, Y.B., Zheng, J., Zhao, Y., Lim, B.T., Cornvik, T., Lescar, J., Ng, L., Luo, D. (2017). Chikungunya virus nsP4 RNA-dependent RNA polymerase core domain displays conditional, detergent-sensitive primer extension and terminal adenylyltransferase activitiesAntiviral Research. 143:38-47. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2017.04.001.

Zhang Z., Li Y., Loh Y.R., Phoo W.W., Hung W., Kang C., Luo D. (2016). Crystal structure of unlinked NS2B-NS3 protease from Zika virus​. Science. Dec, b23;354(6319):1597-1600. doi: 10.1126/science.aai9309​. 

Phoo, W.W., Li, Y., Zhang, Z., Lee, M.Y., Loh, Y.R., Tan, Y.B., Ng, E.Y., Lescar, J., Kang, C., Luo, D. (2016). Structure of the NS2B-NS3 Protease from Zika Virus Caught after Self-Cleavage. Nature Communications. 7:13410. doi: 10.1038/ncomms13410

Zhao, Y., Soh, T.S., Lim, S.P., Chung, K.Y., Swaminathan, K., Vasudevan, S.G., Shi, P.Y., Lescar, J., Luo, D. (2015) Molecular basis for specific viral RNA recognition and 2'-O ribose methylation by the dengue virus NS5 protein. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America. 112(48):14834-9. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1514978112

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. (2015). A Crystal Structure of the Dengue Virus Ns5 Protein Reveals a Novel Inter-Domain Interface Essential for Protein Flexibility and Virus Replication. PLoS Pathogens. 11(3):e1004682.

Zheng, J., Yong, H.Y., Panutdaporn, N., Liu, C., Tang, K., Luo, D. (2015). High-resolution HDX-MS reveals distinct mechanisms of RNA recognition and activation by RIG-I and MDA5. Nucleic Acids Research. 43(2):1216-30. doi: 10.1093/nar/gku1329

* Complete list of publications: Google Scholar​

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