Dynamo Symposium

Date: 20 September 2018
Time: 8:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Venue: Academia Auditorium

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  • Inaugural symposium for the Diabetes studY in Nephropathy And other Microvascular cOmplications (DYNAMO) research team.
  • A team of 70 clinicians and scientists spanning across 6 countries from 25 institutions such as A*STAR, Singapore General Hospital, Singapore National Eye Centre, National University Health System, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital, Duke-NUS Medical School, Lee Kong Chien School of Medicine etc.
  • Gathers the leading international experts, scientists, academics and clinicians to share their latest findings and insights, with the objective of forging further collaborations and synergy to advance translational research on Diabetic Nephropathy.


8:00AM – 8:30AM Registration
8:30AM – 8:45AM Welcome Address
Prof Thomas Coffman
Dean & DYNAMO Lead PI, Duke-NUS Medical School
8:45AM – 9:45AM Keynote Session I:
Epigenetic and Genomics Informed Genetics in Diabetic Kidney Disease
Prof Katalin Susztak
Professor of Medicine (Renal Electrolyte and Hypertension Division) and Genetics, University of Pennsylvania, USA
9:45AM – 10:00AM Tea Break
10:00AM – 10:30AM Theme Presentation (Theme 1-A):
The Power of (Affordable) WGS Analyses to Understand the Genetic Architecture of Diabetic Nephropathy
Dr Petretto Enrico Giuseppe
Associate Professor, Cardiovascular & Metabolic Disorders, Duke-NUS Medical School
10:30AM – 11:00AM Theme Presentation (Theme 2-A):
Modeling Progression of Diabetic Kidney Disease in Patients
Dr Kavita Venkataraman
Assistant Professor, Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health, National University of Singapore
11:00AM – 11:30AM Theme Presentation (Theme 3-A):
Retinal Microvascular Abnormalities and DKD, Implications for Prediction
Dr Simon Nusinovici
Research Fellow, Ocular Epidemiology Unit, Singapore Eye Research Institute
11:30AM – 12:45PM Lunch and Poster Showcase
12:45PM – 1:45PM Keynote Session II:
Transforming Healthcare
Prof Tan Chorh Chuan
Chief Health Scientist & Executive Director, Healthcare Transformation, Ministry of Health, Singapore
1:45PM – 2:15PM Theme Presentation (Theme 4-A):
Diabetic ESRD - A Registry Perspective
Prof Lina Choong
Senior Consultant, Department of Renal Medicine, Singapore General Hospital
2:15PM – 2:45PM Theme Presentation (Theme 1-B):
Using Mouse Models to Understand Diabetic Nephropathy in Humans
Prof Thomas Coffman
Dean & DYNAMO Lead PI, Duke-NUS Medical School
2:45PM – 3:15PM Theme Presentation (Theme 2-B):
Pattern of CKD Progression (eGFR decline) in Asians with Type 2 Diabetes
Dr Liu Jian-Jun
Principal Research Fellow, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital
3:15PM – 3:30PM Tea Break
3:30PM – 4:00PM Theme Presentation (Theme 3-B):
Metabolic Profiling in Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Kidney Disease
Dr Zhou Lei
Senior Principal Research Scientist & Head, Proteomics Support Platform, Singapore Eye Research Institute
4:00PM – 4:30PM Theme Presentation (Theme 4-B):
Impact of Diabetic Retinopathy and Diabetic Kidney Disease on All-Cause and Cardiovascular Mortality
A/Prof Charumathi Sabanayagam
Senior Clinician Scientist & Deputy Head, Ocular Epidemiology Research Group, Singapore Eye Research Institute

Serum Uric Acid and Diabetic Kidney Disease Progression: A Mendelian Randomisation Study
Dr Resham Gurung
Senior Research Officer, Clinical Research Unit, Khoo Teck Puat Hospital

4:30PM – 5:00PM Pilot Projects Presentation
5:00PM – 5:15PM Closing Address
5:15PM – 6:30PM Networking Reception


Susztak, Katalin
Professor of Medicine (Renal Electrolyte and Hypertension Division)
and Genetics
University of Pennsylvania, USA

Dr Katalin Susztak is a physician-scientist at the University of Pennsylvania. Her laboratory is interested in understanding the pathomechanism of chronic kidney disease development. Her laboratory uses next generation sequencing methods and a large collection of human kidney tissue samples to identify novel pathways and biomarkers. At present there are more than 1,400 kidney tissue samples in her Biobank. The samples are carefully annotated with functional (eGFR, albuminuria) and structural (glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis) parameters. RNAsequencing analysis has been completed for more than 600 microdissected glomerular and tubular samples. These discovery approaches are complemented with careful cell and molecular biological studies to define the role of individual genes and pathways. This analysis identified a concerted dysregulation of immune system, metabolic and developmental genes (Niranjan et al. Nature Medicine 2008, Kang et al Nature Medicine 2015). While transcript level differences can highlight important changes in human CKD, we believe that integrating these results with genetic and epigenomic studies will be essential to identify causal pathways for CKD development. As such her laboratory has been part of the NIH Roadmap Epigenomics Projects to characterize the epigenome of healthy and diseased kidneys.

Dr Susztak has been the recipient of the 2011 Young Investigator Award of the American Society of Nephrology and American Heart Association; one of the most prestigious award given to researchers under the age of 41 in the field of nephrology. Her laboratory is supported by the National Institute of Health, the American Diabetes Association, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation and private sources.

“I think this is a really exciting time in science. New technologies are emerging, which will really accelerate research progress, and I think we have fantastic new discoveries ahead of us in biology.”

Tan, Chorh Chuan
Chief Health Scientist
Executive Director, Healthcare Transformation
Ministry of Health, Singapore

Professor Tan Chorh Chuan was appointed as the inaugural Chief Health Scientist and concurrently, Executive Director of the new Office for Healthcare Transformation in Singapore’s Ministry of Health with effect from 1 January 2018.

Prof Tan’s concurrent appointments include the Chairman of the Board of the National University Health System; member, Board of Directors of the Monetary Authority of Singapore; and member, Board of Directors of Mandai Park Development.

Prof Tan served as President of the National University of Singapore from 2008 to 2017. He held the positions of NUS Provost, then Senior Deputy President from 2004 to 2008. He was former Dean of the NUS Faculty of Medicine and served as the Director of Medical Services, Ministry of Health, from 2000 to 2004, in which capacity he was responsible for leading the public health response to the 2003 SARS epidemic. As the inaugural Chief Executive of the National University Health System in 2008, he brought the NUS Medical and Dental Schools and the National University Hospital under single governance.

Prof Tan is a key leader in Singapore's Biomedical Sciences Initiative since its inception in 2000, for which he was awarded the National Science and Technology Medal in 2008. He also received the Public Service Star in 2003 for outstanding contributions to overcoming SARS in Singapore; the Public Administration Gold Medal in 2004 for his work as Director of Medical Services in the Ministry of Health; and the Meritorious Service Medal in 2015. Other awards include the Dr. John Yu Medal from the George Institute for Global Health, Australia; the Albert Schweitzer Gold Medal from the Polish Academy of Medicine; Honorary Doctor of Medicine from King's College; Honorary Doctor of Science from Duke University; Honorary Doctor of Science from Loughborough University; Achievement Medal from the Singapore Society of Nephrology and the 1996 Singapore Youth Award. Prof Tan is the first Singaporean to be elected as an international member of the US National Academy of Medicine.

A renal physician, he obtained his medical training at NUS, and research training at the Institute of Molecular Medicine, Oxford.