Research Area: Pharmaceutical Chemistry

This domain includes scientists working mainly in the field of drug discovery and development, as well as on epigenetics and natural products.

Due to the relevance of Chinese herbal products used by most of the patients in Singapore, we have a particular interest on Natural Products and Traditional Chinese Medicines, both in terms of new lead identifications via in silico approaches, as well as isolation of bioactive molecules from local plants.

Our team of medicinal chemists has also a strong focus on the synthesis and characterization of small molecules for the treatment of various pathological conditions, especially Parkinson’s disease, microbial infections, cancer.

Among the most impactful discoveries, our scientists have:

  • Designed and developed small molecules as lead compounds based on nature-inspired drug discovery – Prof. Christina Chai
  • Established the Therapeutic Targets Database (TTD) – Prof. Chen Yu Zong
  • Proposed new design approaches to improve the intrinsic properties of drug molecules (e.g. permeability, solubility and microsomal stability) and optimize both their pharmacological as well as their “drug-like” properties – A/Prof. Go Mei Lin
  • Developed new heterocyclic compounds with anticonvulsant and antifolate activities – A/Prof. Chui Wai Keung
  • Discovered the first highly selective FTO inhibitor which target the epigenetic causes of obesity – Dr. Esther Woon
  • Developed methods for adulterant screening for the quality control of botanical products & established useful insights into the efficacy and safety of medicinal plants – A/Prof. Koh Hwee Ling