Academic Profile : Faculty

Navin Verma NTU Profile.jpg picture
Asst Prof Navin Kumar Verma
Assistant Professor, Immunology and Cell Biology, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Postgraduate Tutor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine)
Team

• Dr Seow Theng Ong, PhD, Senior Research Fellow
• Dr Mobashar Hussain Urf Turabe Fazil, PhD, Research Fellow
• Dr Madhavi Latha Somaraju Chalasani, PhD, Research Fellow
• Ms Praseetha Rajesh Chandramohanadas, Research Assistant
• Dr Amuthavalli Kottaiswamy, PhD, Research Fellow
• Mr Wong Han Siang Brandon, PhD student
• Mr Zhi Sheng Poh, PhD student

Navin Kumar Verma is an Assistant Professor of Immunology and Cell Biology at the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. He obtained a PhD in Clinical Medicine from Trinity College Dublin, Ireland’s most prestigious University. He then undertook postdoctoral research training at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, Trinity College Dublin, where he studied T-cell motility and function. He was trained in various aspects of Immunology, Cell Biology, Lymphoid Malignanciesm and Nanomedicine.

Asst Prof Verma has made significant contribution in advancing the knowledge about T-lymphocyte biology. He has published more than 75 peer-reviewed papers which are widely cited (h-Index 32) and 20 book chapters, and co-authors 8 patents.
My research is focused on understanding the biology of T lymphocytes by addressing three key questions: How do T cells migrate to tissue sites of infection and inflammation? How does extracellular milieu impact T cell function? Can we engineer T cell-modulating materials to improve tissue repair? These questions represent an important piece of the puzzle for many immunological processes involved in host defense and pathologies, such as T cell-mediated inflammatory skin diseases.

I am particularly interested in elucidating mechanisms involved in T cell motility and effector functions that ensure immunosurveillance and mounting of an adaptive immune response. These studies have profound implications for T cell-mediated diseases as well as lymphocyte malignancies. The impact of my findings in this area of research is evident from my >20 publications as a senior author in reputable peer-reviewed journals, including Journal of Biological Chemistry, Journal of Immunology, Blood, and Molecular Cancer, increasing citations, and highlights in scientific media. I have successfully obtained a Ministry of Education (MOE) Tier 2 grant and two MOE Tier 1 grants as a PI and a National Medical Research Council (NMRC), Open Fund Large Collaborative Grant (OF-LCG) as one of the theme PIs to study aspects of lymphocytes.

With my background in immunology, I am passionate about understanding skin immunity and applying immune-modulating biomaterials to tackle superficial skin infections, which are critical in wound healing. My research developed several infection/inflammation models to study skin wounds and attracted multicenter collaborations, including one with the company Gangagen Biotechnologies (https://gangagen.com), to develop innovative treatments. For example, we fabricated novel anti-infective polymers into nanofiber dressings and tested their efficacy using our in-house developed porcine burn wound model. I have, to date, published 15 papers on these findings in top-tier journals as a co-corresponding/senior author and have also filed a patent (US20190276505). My innovative approach was also supported by the A*STAR Wound Care Innovation for the Tropics Industry Alignment Fund Pre-Positioning (IAF-PP) grant, where I am one of the project PIs.

My unique interdisciplinary expertise in the above two major areas of inquiry, at the interface of immunology and bioengineering, allows me to ask new and deep research questions. For example, can we use biomaterials to tweak tissue resident/infiltrating T cells within chronic wounds to improve healing? This is an interesting and unexplored area of research with potentially significant payoffs. Along this line, my long-term aspiration is to exploit functional biomaterials for fine-tuning skin immunity, and translate this innovative idea for therapeutic benefits, such as enhanced wound healing.

Research goal

Research goal
 
  • Characterization of Peripheral Blood and Cerebrospinal Fluid Lymphocytes in Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Development of a specific DDX3Y inhibitor for prostate cancer and non-Hodgkin lymphoma
  • Inhalable Muco-Penetrative GapmeR Cocktail Targeting SARS-CoV-2 and Potential Variants
  • Singapore IYMPHoma translatiONal StudY (SYMPHONY)
Awards
2021 - Singapore Health & Biomedical Congress (SHBC) 2021 Best Poster Award
2019 - European Federation of Immunological Societies (EFIS) Award
2017 - Scientific and Educational Society (SERS) Fellow Award
2014 - Singapore Health & Biomedical Congress (SHBC) 2014 Best Poster Award
 
Fellowships & Other Recognition
2006-2009: The Higher Education Authority (HEA) of Ireland international education scholarship for pursuing PhD.
1997-1999: Department of Biotechnology, Ministry of Science & Technology, Government of India for pursuing MSc in Ag Biotechnology.
 
Courses Taught
FoM: TBL4 - Carcinogenesis and Cancer Genetics
FoM: TBL9 - Introduction to Immunology, Cells of the Immune System and Innate Immunity
FoM: TBL10 - Adaptive Immunity, Antibodies, Inflammation, Disease and the Immune System
FoM: TBL11 - Bacteria, Bacterial Infections, Microbial and Immune System Interactions, Vaccination
FoM: TBL12 - Viruses & Viral Infection, Fungal and Parasitic Infections
 
Supervision of PhD Students
Atish Kizhakeyil (2016-2020) - "Targeting pro-tumorigenic signalling pathways in hematolymphoid malignancies"