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Tay Hwee Goon

Assistant Professor


Dr. Hwee Goon Tay is an Assistant Professor at the Centre for Vison Research, Duke-NUS Medical School. She obtained her PhD from the National University of Singapore and subsequently received post-doctoral training at Cardiovascular and Metabolic Disorders Program in DUKE-NUS Medical School, Singapore and Upstate Medical University (State University of New York), USA.


Our research interest is in the regenerative medicine for retinal diseases. Currently, there is no effective solution to reverse retina degeneration that leads to blindness. One of our aims is to develop stem cell based therapy for the treatment of retinal diseases such as Aged Macular Degeneration and Aging Glaucoma. We have generated retina specific laminin isoforms and have used them to recapitulate the in vivo retina extracellular matrix niche environment. This mimetic retina matrix has shown efficiency in the retinal differentiation from human embryonic stem cells to generate photoreceptors, retinal pigmented epithelium and ganglion cells. Our patented novel technology is highly reproducible, xeno-free and chemically defined, building towards our goal in producing clinically safe and functional retinal cells to treat vision loss. By making use of this retina platform, we are also interested to study retinal diseases implicated in ciliopathies through the modelling of normal and disease retina. By expanding our understanding in retina diseases, we hope to contribute to the development of effective therapeutics to treat vision loss.


  1. Hwee Goon Tay*, Helder Andre, Vicki Chrysostomou, Swarnaseetha Adusumalli, Jing Guo, Xiaoyuan Ren, Wei Sheng Tan, Aida Moreno-Moral, Flavia Plastino, Hammurabi Bartuma, Kristmundur Sigmundsson, Zuhua Cai, Sai Bo Bo Tun, Veluchamy Amutha Barathi, Gavin Tan Siew Wei, Gianluca Grenci, Li Yen Chong, Arne Holmgren, Anders Kvanta, Crowston Jonathan Guy, Enrico Petretto and Karl Tryggvason*. Retina-specific Laminin 523 Drives Differentiation of Pluripotent Human Stem Cells to Photoreceptors Promoting Retina Function. (in review) * Co- corresponding Author
  2. Lynn Yap, Hwee Goon Tay, Mien T.X.Nguyen, Monica S.Tjin and Karl Tryggvason (Dec 2019), Laminins in Cellular Differentiation. Trends in Cell Biology. Vol 29 (12): 987-1000.

  3. Hwee Goon Tay; Zuhua Cai; Yang Sun; Jing Guo; Aida Moreno-Moral; Wei Sheng Tan; Karl Tryggvason (July 2018), Novel retina specific laminin isoforms recapitulate retinal Interphotoreceptor matrix to generate human embryonic stem cell-derived photoreceptors. Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science July 2018, Vol.59, 61.

  4. Gokey JJ, Ji Y, Hwee Goon Tay, Litts B, Amack JD. (2016 Jan), Kupffer’s vesicle size threshold for robust left-right patterning of the zebrafish embryo. Dev Dyn. 245(1):22-33.
  5. Wang WJ, Hwee Goon Tay, Soni R, Perumal GS, Goll MG, Macaluso FP, Asara JM, Amack JD, Tsou MF (2013 Jun), CEP162 is an axoneme-recognition protein promoting ciliary transition zone assembly at the cilia base. Nature Cell Biology 15 (6): 591-601.
  6. Hwee Goon Tay, Sabrina K. Schulze, Julien Compagnon, Fiona C. Foley, Carl-Philipp Heisenberg, H. Joseph Yost, Salim Abdelilah-Seyfried and Jeffrey D. Amack (2013 April), Lethal Giant Larvae 2 Functions in Development of Ciliated Epithelia. Development 140 (7): 1550-9.
  7. Hwee Goon Tay, Y.W. Ng, E. Manser, (12 April, 2010). A Vertebrate-Specific Chp-PAK-PIX Pathway Maintains E-Cadherin at Adherens Junctions during Zebrafish Epiboly. PLoS ONE 5(4): e10125. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0010125.
  8. E. Say*, Hwee Goon Tay*, Z.S Zhao, Y. Baskaran, R. Li, L. Lim, and E. Manser, (23 April, 2010). A functional requirement for PAK1 binding to the KH(2) domain of the fragile X protein- related FXR1. Molecular Cell 38 (2): 236-249. *Co- first Author


• WO/2019/078781 Systems and Methods for Producing Photoreceptor Progenitors PCT/SG2017/050520

• WO/2019/078783 Systems and Methods for Producing Retinal Progenitors