Academic Profile : Faculty

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Asst Prof Bernett Lee
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Informatics and Director, Centre for Biomedical Informatics, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
Assistant Professor, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine
After completing my undergraduate in biology, I took the opportunity to pursue my interest in bioinformatics which is a marriage of my love for biology and computer science. My training in my Ph.D. program provided me with an excellent chance to dive deeper into computer science with working in a biology department. This has instilled in me the need to apply computational methods in a biologically meaningful manner so as to better explain the biology at play. I then took up a high throughput curation position at The Blueprint Initiative Asia where I was involved in the curation of the BIND protein protein interaction database for high throughput screening data like yeast two hybrid systems and synthetic lethal screens. The experience here showed me the value of a well-organized team with specialized functional groups each performing its best in its domain. I learnt the value of teamwork, the need for effective communication and the value of large data sets like that curated in BIND. The very scale and complexity of the data required new methodologies in its curation and analysis. I also learnt to appreciate the important of having a strong IT team to provide the necessary infrastructure to support the computational work. With the closing of the Blueprint Initiative Asia due to the end of the grant, I moved over to the Bioinformatics Institute in A*STAR as part of a team supporting bioinformatics analysis to the institute as well as other research institute within A*STAR. Here the exposure to different types of biology reinforced the need to comprehend the biology to better support our collaborators. I also explored the creation of web-based platforms that are appealing to researchers due to the ease of access and use.

After a short stint at Thomson Reuters working on further improvements to the BIND protein protein interaction database, which was acquired by Thomson Reuters, I had the opportunity to work at Eli Lilly. This was an excellent chance to see how a very large organization performed research and development. In such a large organization, there is the luxury of having very capable specialists tackling specific area of work and I have learnt much from these experts and gained an appreciation of how to organize a team from various functional units together to fulfil project objectives. Unfortunately, the ever-changing industry climate led to a closure of the center in Singapore, and I joined the Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN) as a bioinformatics scientist supporting the research activities conducted in the institute. The various experiences gained over the years has really allowed me to excel in this position. The recognition of the necessity for collaborative work, good communication and clear understanding of the biology domain has resulted in numerous collaborations which have produced numerous scientific publications. While joint publications are a good indicator of success, another indicator is the support and appreciation that we have gotten from the rest of the research groups in SIgN. The Computational Immunology group at SIgN which I led not only works with internal research groups, but also with other groups in the local landscape. I think this is a clear sign that the work that we do makes an impact. Recently I moved to LKCMedicine where I hope to leverage on my experience and expertise to create a Centre for Biomedical Informatics that will support and value add to the excellent research done at LKCMedicine.
Data management and analysis
Integrative data analytics
  • Centre for Biomedical Informatics (CBI)
  • Extending open science practices via adoption of open code
  • HOW READY ARE WE TO TRUST USING AI IN MEDICINE? A Study on Compliance to Governance, Engagement of Stakeholders and Integration into Medical System
  • Understanding the diversity of lipid A landscape of Escherichia coli
  • Understanding the impact of gene conversion on gene function on an evolutionary time scale.