Academic Profile : Faculty

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Asst Prof Marie Loh Chiew Shia
Assistant Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Postgraduate Tutor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine (LKCMedicine)
Controlled Keywords

• Jacqueline Tai Fei Li, Research Assistant

Assistant Professor Marie Loh is an Assistant Professor in the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Honorary Senior Lecturer at Imperial College London. She holds a BSc (Hons) in Statistics, as well as a Masters in Bioinformatics and a Masters in Statistics. She obtained her PhD in Pharmacogenetics from the School of Surgery, University of Western Australia in 2012, where her work was focused on genetic variations between East Asians and Caucasians that influence disease risk and treatment outcomes.

Prior to joining LKCMedicine, she was a Principal Investigator at the Translational Laboratories in Genetic Medicine (TLGM) at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) and a Research Assistant Professor at the Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore. She led the Integrative Omics group which focuses on the identification of biomarkers and mechanisms underlying cardiometabolic diseases and associated disturbances, with a specific interest in epigenetics and transethnic studies.

Asst Prof Loh is a molecular epidemiologist with a long-standing interest in the role of genetics and epigenetics underlying ethnic differences in risk and outcome observed in complex diseases. She has received several awards for her work in transethnic studies including the ASHG/Charles J. Epstein Trainee Award for Excellence in Human Genetics Research (Semi-finalist) and the Young Investigator Award by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (IASLC). She has contributed to more than 100 publications in journals such as Nature Genetics and Nature and is involved in multiple local and international collaborations.
Our group aims to combine population health with molecular phenotyping and laboratory-based approaches to advance understanding of susceptibility to complex diseases, with a specific focus in the role of epigenetics in cardiometabolic disease and atopic dermatitis, in particular in Asian populations. This is achieved via a combination of molecular epidemiology, functional genomics and method development.

Molecular epidemiology
We will utilise omics datasets generated from extensively phenotyped large-scale population studies to investigate and elucidate the relationship between molecular markers and disease phenotypes. This will include array/NGS-based genetics and epigenetics datasets including high throughput methylation arrays, whole genome/exome sequencing (WGS/WES), whole genome bisulfite sequencing (WGBS) and RNA sequencing, as well as from metabolomics and microbiome analyses.

Functional genomics
Here, we aim to investigate the mechanism linking genetic variation to DNA methylation and phenotypic variation, as well as to establish platforms for in vitro modelling to provide experimental validation of biological pathways inferred from statistical models. This will involve both in silico analyses such as the systematic evaluation of relationships between DNA sequence variation, DNA methylation and gene expression (quantitative trait loci [QTLs]), as well as gene-editing experiments such as the CRISPR-Cas9 system.

Method development
We will develop and optimise both computational and experimental methods/platforms to refine our understanding of mechanisms underlying DNA regulatory mechanisms and the development of cardiometabolic disturbances. This will involve optimisation of experimental design, systematic evaluation of laboratory methods and bioinformatics pipelines, as well as development of statistical and bioinformatics tools where necessary.
  • Assessing the interaction of skin microbiome and epigenome in atopic dermatitis
  • Epigenome-wide association of DNA methylation markers for dilated cardiomyopathy in left ventricular heart tissues
  • Investigating the role of gene expression regulation via DNA methylation for Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) in a multi-ethnic Singapore population
  • Translating 'omics' into a stratified approach for prevention of type 2 diabetes: TOAST-T2D
Supervision of PhD Students
Current PhD student

• Konstanze Tan Wan Yu, Epigenome-wide association of DNA methylation markers for dilated cardiomyopathy in left ventricular heart tissues

• Tien Zhijun, Investigating the Intrinsic Regulation of the Hair Follicle Stem Cell Niche: Developing Novel in vitro and in vivo Tools