Human challenge studies: new opportunities for Singapore

Start Date & Time: 
Thursday, 7 March, 2013 - 15:00
End Date & Time: 
Thursday, 7 March, 2013 - 16:00

Duke-NUS, Amphitheatre, 2nd Floor

Speaker Details: 

Dr Annelies Wilder-Smith 



Human challenge studies have a long and illustrious history of advancing understanding of the pathogenesis, management and prevention of infectious diseases (Pollard, Savulescu et al. 2012). The fundamental scientific value of being able to control the nature and timing of infection and interventions in well characterized human subjects remain unchanged, but is now greatly enhanced by advances in areas such as functional genomics, microbiomics, systems biology, and pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics. 

Human challenge studies are an important strand of much current research, particularly in the development of vaccinations. Research into malarial vaccines is a good example, where the detailed study of both the clinical and immune responses of healthy volunteers to inoculation with candidate vaccines, followed by challenge with the infective organism, is proving an important approach to developing what is hoped will be an effective vaccine.

Human challenge studies are becoming a core methodology in modern infectious diseases research, and is a methodology in which Singapore can excel, offering a unique platform in Asia for step-changes in understanding of disease pathogenesis and diagnostics, and for testing new therapeutics and vaccines.  We plan to provide a short overview of human challenge studies, describe some influenza related challenge studies and the first publication on dengue challenge studies.


Annelies Wilder-Smith is Consultant and Associate Professor in the Department of Medicine, NUHS and holds a joint academic position with the Emerging Infectious Diseases Program at Duke-NUS.

Her special interest is in dengue, in particular dengue vaccine development. She was the PI for the Phase 2b chimeric dengue vaccine trial at NUHS. Furthermore, she co-led the community based intervention trial with chloroquine for the prevention of influenza (CHIP trial). 

Currently, Annelies is the Principal Investigator and Director of a 5.6 million Euro grant by the European Commission on dengue (


Dr Manoj N Krishnan

Assistant Professor

Program in Emerging Infectious Diseases

Contact Person: 

Ms Serene Chee