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Centre for Computational Biology

Chua Ruiming, Remy (Cai Ruiming)

Research Assistant


Prof Sujoy's lab employs integrative and functional bioinformatics to identify genes associated with cardiovascular and metabolic disorders such as obesity and atherosclerosis. One part of the lab conducts integrative computational analysis to identify genes associated to relevant traits from genome-wide association studies (GWAS). Remy's role is to produce experimental evidence to support or refute the disease-associated gene candidates obtained from such bioinformatics analyses. Currently, he is working on two gene validation projects. In one, he is testing the role of FURIN (a protease) in regulating monocyte/macrophage function in the context of atherosclerosis. He generated CRISPR-mediated FURIN deletions in human monocytes (U937 cells) and is investigating the effect of FURIN loss on cellular functions such as oxidized lipid uptake, phagocytosis, inflammatory gene expression, and cell migration. In the second project, he successfully developed a method for continuous siRNA-mediated gene knockdown in differentiating human adipocytes (differentiating adipocytes are typically refractory to RNA interference due to their large lipid load). This technical advance has allowed him to test the role of several novel genes (identified via bioinformatics analysis of GWAS of body-fat distribution) in adipocyte differentiation. While research projects do not always sail smoothly, troubleshooting and protocol optimization are the bread and butter in the lab. Projects updates and results gathered are analysed, presented and used to plan further experiments on a weekly basis.