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Ching Jianhong

Assistant Professor


Contact: 66013678

Dr. Ching is Assistant Professor and one of the directors of the Metabolomics Research facility at Duke-NUS Medical School (Metabolomics @Duke-NUS). His research focuses on profiling small-molecules and products of metabolism. He has pioneered the first metabolomics service facility in Singapore in 2012, analysing intermediates of the central carbon metabolism. Dr Ching has orchestrated multiple large cohort clinical metabolomics studies, and participated in multi-disciplinary research such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and neuro-related disorders. His facility had since expanded with state-of-the-art equipment such as the orbitrap, liquid chromatography and gas chromatography-triple quadruple mass spectrometers and an ion chromatography mass spectrometer.


Dr Ching’s primary research lies in the development of analytical methodologies for metabolites testing, such as glycolytic intermediates, volatile organic compounds, fatty acids and a global metabolite screening platform. He has a special interest in diabetes and diabetic kidney diseases. His recent research focuses on stable isotope tracing of acylcarnitine biomarkers discovered from diabetic kidney disease patients.

My research interest is in metabolomics. Metabolomics is the study of metabolites in the biological system. Alongside other omics applications namely genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics, these research have contributed much to biomedical studies. Metabolomics has an important standing as metabolite levels are directly influenced by genetics or environmental changes, thereby providing important information on cellular regulation.
There are two focus for the Metabolomics Facility: method development and biomarker discovery.
For method development, the facility is involved in developing analytical methods on the mass spectrometer for both targeted and untargeted metabolomics. We have a special interest in novel methods for analysis of volatiles such as short chain fatty acids and other volatile organic compounds. 
For biomarker discovery, we have numerous collaborations with researchers and clinicians in local hospitals dealing with diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer. My lab is also researching on the pathways by which some of the acylcarnitine biomarkers are produced and how they are involved in diabetes, kidney disease and cardio events.


1.  J.J. Liu, S. Ghosh, J.P. Kovalik, J. Ching, H.W. Choi, S. Tavintharan, C.N. Ong, C.F. Sum, S.A. Summers, E.S. Tai, and S.C. Lim. Profiling of plasma metabolites suggests altered mitochondrial fuel usage and remodeling of sphingolipid metabolism in individuals with type 2 diabetes and kidney disease. Kidney International Reports, 2017, 2(3): 470-480.

2.  L. Xu, Y. Chen, M. Dutra-Clarke, A. Mayakonda, M. Hazawa, S.E. Savinoff, N. Doan, J.W. Said, W.H. Yong, A. Watkins, H. Yang, L.W. Ding, Y.Y. Jiang, J.W. Tyner, J. Ching, J.P. Kovalik, V. Madan, S.L. Chan, M. Müschen, J.J. Breunig, D.C. Lin, H.P. Koeffler. BCL6 promotes glioma and serves as a therapeutic target. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017, 114(15):3981-3986.

3. H.C. Tan, C.M. Khoo, M.Z. Tan, J-P. Kovalik, A.C.M. Ng, A.K.H. Eng, O.F. Lai, J. Ching, K.W. Tham, P. Shanker. The effects of sleeve gastrectomy and gastric bypass on branched-chain amino acid metabolism one year after bariatric surgery. Obesity Surgery, 2016, 26(8): 1830-1835.

4. S. Raichur, S.T. Wang, P.W. Chan, Y. Li, J. Ching, B. Chaurasia, S. Dogra, M.K. Öhman, K. Takeda, S. Sugii, Y. Pewzner-Jung, A.H.. Futerman, S.A. Summers. CerS2 haploinsufficiency inhibits β-oxidation and confers susceptibility to diet-induced steatohepatitis and insulin resistance. Cell Metabolism, 2014, 20(4): 687-695.

5. M.M. Siddique, Y. Li, L.Wang, J. Ching, M. Mal, O. Ilkayeva, Y.J. Wu, B.H. Bay, S.A. Summers. Ablation of dihydroceramide desaturase 1, a therapeutic target for the treatment of metabolic diseases, simultaneously stimulates anabolic and catabolic signaling. Molecular and Cellular Biology, 2013, 33(11): 2353-69.  

6. R.A. Sinha, B.L. Farah, B.K. Singh, M.M. Siddique, Y. Li, Y. Wu, O.R. Ilkayeva, J. Gooding, J. Ching, J. Zhou J, L. Martinez, S. Xie, B.H. Bay, S.A Summers, C.B. Newgard, P.M. Yen. Caffeine stimulates hepatic lipid metabolism via autophagy-lysosomal pathway. Hepatology, 2014, 59(4):1366-1380.

7. J.A. Chavez, M.M. Siddique, S.T. Wang, J. Ching, J.A. Shayman, S.A. Summers. Ceramides and Glucosylceramides are independent antagonists of insulin signaling. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 2014, 289(2):723-734.

8. J. Ching*, H.S. Lin*, C.H. Tan, H.L. Koh. Quantification of α- and β-amyrin in rat plasma by gas chromatography-mass spectrometry: application to preclinical pharmacokinetic study. Journal of Mass Spectrometry, 2011, 46: 457-464. * Authors contributed equally to this study

9. S.T. Kong*, H.S. Lin*, J. Ching, P.C. Ho. Evaluation of dried blood spots (DBS) as sample matrix for gas chromatography – mass spectrometry (GC-MS) based metabolomic profiling. Analytical Chemistry, 2011, 83(11):4314-4318. * Authors contributed equally to this study

10. J. Ching, W.L. Soh, C.H. Tan, J.F. Lee, J.Y.C. Tan, J. Yang, C.W.  Yap, H.L. Koh. Identification of active compounds from medicinal plant extracts using GC-MS and multivariate data analysis. Journal of Separation Science, 2012, 35(1): 53-59.

11. J. Ching, T.K. Chua, L.C. Chin, A.J. Lau, Y.K. Pang, J. Murti Jaya,C.H. Tan, H.L Koh. β -Amyrin from Ardisia elliptica Thunb. is more potent than aspirin in inhibiting collagen-induced platelet aggregation. Indian Journal of Experimental Biology, 2010, 48(3):275-279.  

1. Contributed to H.L. Koh, T.K. Chua, C.H. Tan. A guide to medicinal plants: an illustrated, scientific and medicinal approach. Singapore: World Scientific Pub, 2009, 312 pp.