Academic Profile : Faculty

Prof Phan Anh Tuân_1.jpg picture
Prof Phan Anh Tuan
Chair, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences (SPMS)
Lee Soo Ying Professorship in Biological Physics
Professor, School of Physical & Mathematical Sciences - Division of Physics & Applied Physics
Professor, School of Biological Sciences (Courtesy Appointment)
Interim Director, Nanyang Institute of Structural Biology (NISB)
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Professor Phan received his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Lomonosov Moscow State University (Russia) in 1995, Master’s degree in Biophysics from University of Paris-Sud (France) in 1996, and PhD in Biophysics from École Polytechnique (France) in 1999. He took up postdoctoral and research positions in École Polytechnique (1999 - 2000) and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York (USA) (2001 - 2006). He joined the Division of Physics and Applied Physics, School of Physical and Mathematical Sciences, NTU as an Assistant Professor in 2006 and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2011 and to Full Professor in 2016. He was the Head of the Division of Physics and Applied Physics from November 2011 to December 2018. He was elected as a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS) in 2014, in recognition of “his significant contributions in understanding non-canonical nucleic acid motifs, particularly the i-motif and the G-quadruplex, by developing novel NMR techniques”. In 2017 he was awarded the Singapore NRF Investigatorship for a research program focusing on the development structure-enhanced nucleic acid therapeutics.
Professor Phan's research is at the interface between Physics, Chemistry and Biology. His group uses a combination of physical, chemical, biological and computational methods to investigate and manipulate properties of biomolecules. The research goals include:

(1) Structures, dynamics, interactions and functions of DNA, RNA and proteins.
(2) Noncanonical structures of DNA and RNA as molecular targets against diseases.
(3) Structural design and engineering of nucleic acids and proteins.
(4) Application and development of methods, including Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) and other spectroscopic techniques, as well as single-molecule manipulations, for the study of biomolecular structures and dynamics.
  • Recognition of G-quadruplex Nucleic Acids by Proteins: From Structure to Design
  • Structurally And Chemically Controlled G-Quadruplex DNA : Understanding And Application In Therapeutics
US 2016/0046932 A1: Site-Specific Induction Of Bimolecular Quadruplex-Duplex Hybrids And Methods Of Using The Same (2020)
Abstract: A method for the generation of a G-quadruplex structure on a target nucleic acid sequence is presented. The approach combines the specificity of Watson-Crick base pair with the stability associated with a robust G-quadruplex scaffold. The induction of such bimolecular quadruplex-duplex hybrids can be applied within the antigene or antisense context for enhanced steric blockage to the transcriptional or translational machinery. In addition, such structures provide unique features for ligand design. This approach also allows the site-specific generation of G-quadruplex structures within nucleic acid nanoarchitectures.

US 2016/0115201 A1: Peptides Binding To Parallel-Stranded G-Quadruplexes (2017)
Abstract: This invention relates to a peptide comprising or consisting of the amino acid sequence of SEQ ID NO:1 or a derivative thereof. The present invention also relates to conjugates of said peptide, the use of the peptide or the conjugate as a medicament and to methods for the detection of parallel-stranded G-quadruplexes.