Academic Profile

Assistant Professor Sanjay Haresh Chotirmall
MB BCh BAO (NUI) (Hons), FRCPI, FCCP, FRCP (UK) (London), PhD
Assistant Professor and Provost's Chair in Molecular Medicine
Principal Investigator, Translational Respiratory Research Laboratory

• Louisa Chan, PhD, LKCMedicine Dean's Postdoctoral Fellow and Wong Peng Onn’s Postdoctoral Fellow
• Oliver Meldrum PhD, LKCMedicine-Imperial College London Postdoctoral Fellow
• Fransiskus Xaverius Ivan, PhD, Senior Post-doctoral Research Fellow
• Tavleen Kaur Jaggi, MBBS, MD, Post-doctoral Research Fellow
• Thng Kai Xian, BSc, Research Assistant
• Luke Ooi Hao Shuang, BSc, Research Assistant
• Tiew Pei Yee, Clinician-Scientist PhD Student
• Jayanth Kumar Narayana, PhD Student
• Valerie Yong Fei Lee, PhD Student
• Kenny Lau Jia Xu, PhD student

Assistant Professor Sanjay Haresh Chotirmall graduated from the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI) with an honours degree and the colleges’ gold medal in Microbiology. He completed his early clinical training at Beaumont Hospital Dublin, while attaining memberships of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (MRCPI) and the United Kingdom (MRCP UK). Following this, he completed higher specialist training in Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine across multiple hospital sites in the Republic of Ireland.

In 2007, Asst Prof Chotirmall was awarded a prestigious ‘Molecular Medicine Ireland Clinician Scientist Fellowship’ (MMI-CSF). During this fellowship, he completed a PhD investigating the role of estrogen in cystic fibrosis. This work led to high impact publications in the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (AJRCCM), as well as the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM).

Asst Prof Chotirmall has been awarded the Royal Academy of Medicine of Ireland (RAMI) Doctor award on two occasions (2010 & 2013), the Irish Thoracic Society Award (2011), the Dublin Centre for Clinical Research (DCCR) Young Investigator Award (2011), the MMI-CSFP Medal (2011), the Royal College of Physicians William Stokes Award for research (2010) and the American Thoracic Societies International Award (2009). Additionally, his work has been recognised by the Faculty of 1000 Biology and Medicine, an online research service that highlights critical papers published in the biological sciences, as recommended by distinguished faculty. In 2018, he was conferred as fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in Ireland (FRCPI), in 2019 as Fellow of the American College of Chest Physicians (FCCP) and in 2020 a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom (London). In 2020, he was awarded the inaugural Dean’s Award for Research at LKCMedicine and the Alumni Award for ‘Research and Innovation’ by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (RCSI).

Having published numerous peer-reviewed papers, and several book chapters to date, he is regularly invited as chair and speaker at regional, national, and international meetings. He remains a member of the International Society of Human and Animal Mycology (ISHAM) working group for fungal infections, a steering committee member for the ATS-led international taskforce on COVID-19 management and participates in various other committees at the American Thoracic Society (ATS) and European Respiratory Society (ERS). He previously served for four consecutive years (2016-2020) on the program committee of the American Thoracic Society (ATS) annual congress for the Assembly on Allergy, Immunology, and Inflammation (AII).

Asst Prof Chotirmall holds several editorial roles at the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine (Associate Editor), the European Respiratory Journal (Editorial Board), Respiratory Research (Associate Editor), the American Journal of Physiology-Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology (Editorial Board), Respirology (Associate Editor), Mycopathologia (Executive Editor) and PLos One (Academic Editor). He was Section Editor at BMC Pulmonary Medicine from 2013 to 2020 where he led a team of Associate Editors under the ‘Infectious, Rare and Idiopathic Pulmonary Disease’ section. Asst Prof Chotirmall regularly participates as an investigator for key multi-centre clinical trials in the field of Respiratory Medicine while continuing to educate undergraduates and postgraduates through formal teaching and supervision both at the bench and bedside. He has been appointed by the National University of Ireland (NUI) as the external examiner for the Perdana University-Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland (PU-RCSI) MBBS programme from 2020-2023.

As a recognised clinician-scientist, Asst Prof Chotirmall has established a Translational Respiratory Research Group, with focus on infection, inflammation, and immunity, in the context of chronic inflammatory respiratory diseases that affect Asian populations.
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Asst Prof Sanjay Haresh Chotirmall
Assistant Professor, Molecular Medicine, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Postgraduate Tutor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine)
Provost’s Chair in Molecular Medicine, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine)

Research in the Chotirmall lab shares a core translational respiratory focus with a common goal to improve patient care through advancing the understanding of disease from a scientific basis. The group pursues research in a number of areas with significant clinical importance that impact Singaporeans and other Asian populations;

Chronic inflammatory lung disease
The group investigates the basic mechanisms of clinical relevance in a number of pulmonary conditions including bronchiectasis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and severe asthma. A major focus is on the investigation of bronchiectasis, a permanent and irreversible dilatation of the airway of high prevalence across Asia. Utilising genomic and molecular approaches combined with high-quality clinical phenotyping, geographic variation in this disease state are elucidated and a personalised approach to clinical manifestations and associated therapeutic responses are explored.

Infectious respiratory disease and the pulmonary microbiome
Central to the lab’s focus is infectious respiratory disease including the pulmonary microbiome. Specifically, how the fungi Aspergillus fumigatus and bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa affect major Asian respiratory disease states such as bronchiectasis, COPD and severe asthma are explored. The lab has developed novel data science approaches to integrate microbiome datasets: to allow for translation and patient risk-stratification. The environmental influence on pulmonary infection in chronic respiratory disease states is also a major interest of the Chotirmall lab.

Developing lung organoid model systems for pulmonary disease modelling and the application of precision respiratory medicine
The Chotirmall lab has established a 3D lung organoid model system generated from primary nasal and/or bronchial epithelia. Lung organoids are self‐organizing 3D structures grown from stem cells that recapitulate the essential aspects of the lung’s structure and function. Lung organoids closely resemble the in vivo lung in terms of its physical, cellular, and molecular characteristics while reproducing the complex spatial morphology of a differentiated epithelium. These models have significant advantages over established cell culture systems including 2D submerged cultures, 3D air-liquid interface (ALI) models and 3D ex-vivo explant culture systems. They are useful in the application of high throughput screening of therapeutics, for studies of infection pathogenesis and for the application of precision medicine to respiratory disease.
  • Bedside to bench and back again: evaluating Neisseria novel respiratory pathobionts using systems biology

  • Lung Organoids: A tool of the fourth industrial revolution to study COVID-19 pathogenesis

  • Molecular mechanism of antibiotic resistance conferred by ribosome protection protein

  • Proposed Establishment of the Academic Respiratory Initiative for Pulmonary Health programme

  • Provost's Chair in Molecular Medicine (Sanjay H. Chotirmall)

  • There is no place like home": Indoor air microbiomes and respiratory disease - a fresh approach to 'exposome' precision medicine"