This website provides an overview of our research activities. Interested potential study participants can find out more about ongoing clinical studies and contact us for more details. We welcome enquiries from interested potential research collaborators.
For latest updates on Singapore's dengue epidemic, please visit the NEA website.
Latest press coverage on our international, multi-centre adult dengue platelet study
Straits Times, 16 Nov 2013
Lianhe Zaobao, 16 Nov 2013
New discovery brings hope to universal dengue vaccine
A new strategy that cripples the ability of the dengue virus to escape the host immune system has been discovered by A*STAR's Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN).
The discovery, scientists said, brings hope to what may become the world's first universal dengue vaccine that can give full protection from all four types of the virus.
The dengue virus requires the enzyme called MTase, also known as 2'-O-methyltransferase, to chemically modify its genetic material to escape detection.
In this study, the researchers discovered that by introducing a genetic mutation to deactivate the MTase enzyme of the virus, initial cells infected by the weakened MTase mutant virus are immediately recognised as foreign.
As a result, a strong protective immune response is triggered.
At the same time the mutant virus hardly has a chance to spread in the host.
This research was done in collaboration with Singapore's Novartis Institute of Tropical Diseases (NITD) and Beijing Institute of Microbiology and Epidemiology and is published in the PlosPathogens journal.
It is also supported by Singapore STOP Dengue Translational and Clinical Research (TCR) Programme grant.
Dr Katja Fink, team leader from SIgN, said: “There is still no clinically-approved vaccine or specific treatment available for dengue, so we are very encouraged by the positive results with this novel vaccine strategy.
“Our next step will be to work on a vaccine formulation that will confer full protection from all four serotypes with a single injection. If this proves to be safe in humans, it can be a major breakthrough for the dengue vaccine field.”
Associate Professor Leo Yee Sin, clinical director of Communicable Diseases Centre and Institute of Infectious Disease and Epidemiology at Tan Tock Seng Hospital, who heads the Singapore STOP Dengue Translational and Clinical Research (TCR) Programme said: "We are into the seventh decade of dengue vaccine development, this indeed is an exciting breakthrough that brings us a step closer to an effective vaccine."
[From Channel News Asia: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/health/new-discovery-brings-hope/775100.html]
STOP dengue research goals and objectives
The goal of the STOP dengue research program is to overcome major gaps in the treatment and management of dengue through the translation of our research findings through the following:
- Create a world centre of excellence for clinical studies and management of dengue diseases.
- Establish a centre for clinical trials of small molecules and therapeutic antibodies to all four serotypes of the dengue virus.
- Elucidate the pathogenesis of dengue disease and identify new biomarkers for prognostication of dengue diseases for therapeutic monitoring.
- Develop a new strategy to disease control using state-of-the-art epidemiology and full-genome analysis.
We aim to target zero death from dengue infection in Singapore adults, through:
- Prevention of dengue transmission through entomological control.
- Early diagnosis & prognosis through identifying those at risk of poor outcomes from dengue by better diagnostic and prognostic tools.
- Clinical management to improve management of dengue illness through evaluation of current therapeutic strategies and development of new ways to treat dengue.