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Chan Kuan Rong

Senior Principal Research Scientist



Kuan Rong Chan is a Principal Research Scientist in the Programme in Emerging Infectious Diseases at Duke-NUS Medical School. He received his undergraduate from the National University of Singapore (NUS) and obtained his PhD from the NUS Graduate School for Integrative Sciences and Engineering. He then did his postdoctoral training in Duke-NUS Medical School and is a Principal Research Scientist since 2018.

He specializes in the study of host immune responses to flaviviral infections and vaccines, and aims to understand the molecular mechanisms of how flaviviruses exploit host factors and the host microenvironment to facilitate infection. His research is funded by the Khoo Postdoctoral Fellowship Award and the Young Individual Research Grant from the National Medical Research Council to investigate how pre-existing antibodies can augment dengue virus infection in human monocytes.

My lab is focused on using a systems biology approach to interrogate host responses to viruses and vaccines. We will employ human clinical trials with high-throughput multi-omics platforms to understand the virus-host interactions involved in severe disease outcome and vaccine protection. Collectively, these efforts aim to facilitate drug and vaccine development. 

Research projects 
1. Dissect the role of host metabolism on flavivirus infection outcome. 

Flaviviruses depend on the host cells to replicate. However, it remains unknown how flaviviruses, which is only 11kb in size, can manipulate the host metabolism to support viral replication. The virus-host interactions involved in metabolism and disease pathogenesis will be evaluated at the molecular level. 

Collaborators: Dr Yie Hou Lee (SMART-MIT), Dr Cui Liang (SMART-MIT), Assoc Prof Yaw Shin Ooi (Duke-NUS) and Prof Eng Eong Ooi (Duke-NUS) 

2. Characterise host transcriptomics, proteomics and metabolomics responses to viruses and vaccines. 

Without a good animal model for most viral diseases, the understanding of how humans respond to viruses and vaccines remains pertinent for the development of drugs and vaccines. In collaboration with clinicians from SGH, using well-designed clinical trials, this project aims to understand how baseline characteristics and the consequent host responses influence outcome of vaccination. 

Collaborators: Prof Eng Eong Ooi (Duke-NUS), Assoc Prof Jenny Low (Duke-NUS, SGH), Candice Chan (SGH), Shirin Kalimuddin (Duke-NUS, SGH) 

3. Integrate and analyse various multiomics datasets to facilitate vaccines and drugs development.

By integrating datasets from multiple sources, we strive to understand the virus-host interactions that drive viral diseases and immunity to viruses in humans. Updates on the methodology and the relevant research articles can be detailed at: 


      Ong EZ, Kalimuddin S, Chia WC, Ooi SH, Koh CWT, Tan HC, Zhang SL, Low JG, Ooi EE, Chan KR*(2021). Temporal dynamics of the host molecular responses underlying severe COVID-19 progression and disease resolution, EBioMedicine, 65, 103262. 

      Chan CYY, John JZH, Gan ES, Ong EZ, Zhang SL, Tan HC, Chai X, Ghosh S, Ooi EE, Chan KR (2019). Antibody-dependent dengue virus entry modulates cell intrinsic responses for enhanced infection. mSphere, 4, 5.

      Chan KR, Gan ES, Chan CY, Liang C, Low JZ, Zhang SL, Ong EZ, Bhatta A, Wijaya L, Lee YH, Low JG, Ooi EEE (2019). Metabolic perturbations and cellular stress underpin susceptibility to symptomatic live attenuated yellow fever infection. Nature Medicine, 25, 8, 1218-1224.

      Tharakaraman K, Watanabe S, Chan KR, Huan J, Subramanian V, Chionh YH, Raguram A, Quinlan D, McBee M, Ong EZ, Gan ES, Tan HC, Tyagi A, Bhushan S, Lescar J, Vasudevan SG, Ooi EE, Sasisekharan R (2018). Rational design and characterisation of a Zika virus neutralising antibody that targets a quaternary epitope. Cell Host Microbe, 23, 5, 618-627

      Kwek SS, Watanabe S, Chan KR, Ong EZ, Tan HC, Ng WC, Nguyen MTX, Gan ES, Zhang SL, Chan KWK, Tan JH, Sessions OM, Manuel M, Pompon J, Chua C, Hazirah S, Tryggvason K, Vasudevan SG, Ooi EE (2018). A systemic approach to the development of a safe live attenuated Zika vaccine, Nat Commun, 9, 1, 1031.

      Chan CY, Chan KR**, Chua CJ, Nur Hazirah S, Ghosh S, Ooi EE (2017). Early molecular correlates of adverse events following yellow fever vaccination. JCI Insight, 2, 19. **Co-first author.

      Gan ES, Cheong WF, Chan KR, Ong EZ, Chai X, Tan HC, Ghosh S, Wenk MR, Ooi EE (2017). Hypoxia enhances antibody-dependent dengue virus infection. EMBO J, 36,10,1348-63.

      Chan KR, Wang XH, Saron WAA, Gan ES, Tan HC, Mok DZ, Zhang SL, Lee YH, Liang C, Wijaya L, Ghosh S, Cheung YB, Tannenbaum SR, Abraham SN, St John AL, Low JG, Ooi EE (2016). Cross-reactive antibodies enhance live attenuated virus infection for increased immunogenicity. Nat Microbiol, 1, 16164.

      Robinson LN, Tharakaraman K, Rowley KJ, Costa VV, Chan KR, Wong YH, Ong LC, Tan HC, Koch T, Cain D, Kirloskar R, Viswanathan K, Liew CW, Tissire H, Ramakrishnan B, Myette JR, Babcock GJ, Sasisekharan V, Alonso S, Chen J, Lescar J, Shriver Z, Ooi EE, Sasisekharan R (2015). Structure-guided design of an anti-dengue antibody directed to a non-immunodominant epitope. Cell, 162, 493-504.

      Chan KR, Ong EZ, Tan HC, Zhang SL, Zhang Q, Tang KF, Kaliaperumal N, Lim AP, Hibberd ML, Chan SH, Connolly JE, Krishnan M, Lok SM, Hanson BJ, Lin CN, Ooi EE (2014). Leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor B1 is critical for antibody-dependent dengue. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA, 111, 2722-7.