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Ong Ziying Eugenia

Principal Research Scientist


Eugenia Ong received her PhD in Integrated Biology and Medicine from Duke-NUS Medical School. She completed her postdoctoral training at Experimental Therapeutics Centre, A*STAR where she led pre-clinical studies for a pan-serotype monoclonal antibody (mAb) against dengue virus (DENV), VIS513, developed by Visterra Inc.  

She is currently Principal Research Scientist of the Viral Research and Experimental Medicine Centre @ SingHealth Duke-NUS Academic Medical Centre (ViREMiCS), an ISO 15189 compliant laboratory that brings the latest molecular tools to bear for both industry and academia to accelerate translation of new vaccines and therapeutics from pre-clinical development to clinical trials.

My research is focused on the development and validation of molecular tools that objectively measure drug and vaccine safety and efficacy. Applying these molecular tools in various clinical studies provides an evidence-based approach to define molecular endpoints that allow rapid selection of promising vaccine and therapeutic candidates for further clinical development.


1. Molecular correlates for viral infection outcomes

Viral infection leads to a wide spectrum of infection outcomes, ranging from asymptomatic infections to fatal complications like internal bleeding or organ damage. We aim to characterize the host responses associated with poor or good outcomes by assessing the host response over multiple time points.


2. Multi-omic profiling of host response to assess safety and effectiveness of new vaccine and therapeutic candidates

To complement existing clinical trial endpoints for safety and efficacy, we utilize multi-omic profiling of the host response early post-intervention to monitor safety of new drugs and vaccines, as well as to define the molecular determinants of vaccine immunogenicity and pharmacodynamics of antiviral therapeutics.

Syenina A, Gan ES, Toh JZN, de Alwis R, Lin LZ, Tham CYL, Yee JX, Leong YS, Sam H, Cheong C, Teh YE, Wee ILE, Ng DHL, Chan KR, Sim JXY, Kalimuddin S, Ong EZ, Low JG, Ooi EE. Adverse effects following anti-COVID-19 vaccination with mRNA-based BNT162b2 are alleviated by altering the route of administration and correlate with baseline enrichment of T and NK cell genes. PLoS Biol. 2022 May 31;20(5):e3001643.


Kalimuddin S, Tham CY, Qui M, de Alwis R, Sim JX, Lim JM, Tan HC, Syenina A, Zhang SL, Le Bert N, Tan AT, Leong YS, Yee JX, Ong EZ, Ooi EE, Bertoletti A, Low JG. Early T cell and binding antibody responses are associated with Covid-19 RNA vaccine efficacy onset. Med (N Y). 2021 Apr 8.


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


Low JG, Ng JHJ, Ong EZ, Kalimuddin S, Wijaya L, Chan YFZ, Ng DHL, Tan HC, Baglody A, Chionh YH, Lee DCP, Budigi Y, Sasisekharan R, Ooi EE (2020). Safety and efficacy of a therapeutic anti-yellow fever virus human antibody. N Engl J Med, 383:452-459.


Ong EZ, Chan Y, Leong WY, Lee N, Kalimuddin S, Haja Mohideen SM, Chan KS, Tan AT, Bertoletti A, Ooi EE, Low JG (2020). A Dynamic Immune Response Shapes COVID-19 Progression. Cell host & microbe, S1931-3128(20)30185-2.


Chan KR, Gan ES, Chan CYY, Liang C, Low JZH, Zhang SL, Ong EZ, Bhatta A, Wijaya L, Lee YH, Low JG, Ooi EE. Metabolic perturbations and cellular stress underpin susceptibility to symptomatic live-attenuated yellow fever infection. Nature Medicine. 2019 Jul 15.


Ong EZ, Gan ES, de Alwis R, Wijaya L, Ong XM, Zhang M, Wong AW, Cheung YB, Zellweger RM, Ooi EE, Low JG. Genomic signature of early T-cell response is associated with lower antibody titer threshold for sterilizing immunity. Antiviral Res. 2019 Jun;166:35-41.


Ong EZ*, Budigi Y*, Tan HC, Robinson LN, Rowley KJ, Winnett A, Hobbie S, Shriver Z, Babcock GJ, Ooi EE. Preclinical evaluation of VIS513, a therapeutic antibody against dengue virus in non-human primates. Antiviral Res. 2017 May 18. pii: S0166-3542(17)30264-4.


Manokaran G, Finol E, Wang C, Gunaratne J, Bahl J, Ong EZ, Tan HC, Sessions OM, Ward AM, Gubler DJ, Harris E, Garcia-Blanco MA, Ooi EE (2015). Dengue subgenomic RNA binds TRIM25 to inhibit interferon expression for epidemiological fitness. Science. 2015 Oct 9;350(6257):217-21.


Chan KR*, Ong EZ*, Tan HC, Zhang SL, Zhang Q, Tang KF, Kaliaperumal N, Lim AP, Hibberd ML, Chan SH, Connolly JE, Krishnan MN, Lok SM, Hanson BJ, Lin CN, Ooi EE. Leukocyte immunoglobulin-like receptor B1 is critical for antibody-dependent dengue. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014 Feb 18;111(7):2722-7.


*Co-first author