Ng Shyh-Chang, A.B.

Ph.D. Candidate, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, Harvard Medical School
A.B. in Molecular Biology (summa cum laude), Princeton University

I was born and raised in Singapore. Prior to military service, I did scientific research for the first time under the mentorship of Dr. Chang Chan Fong at the National University of Singapore, where I studied the role of CD38 in NAD+ metabolism and murine germ cell development. Then I came to the United States for my undergraduate studies. My senior thesis was completed in the lab of Dr. Eric Wieschaus at Princeton University where I studied the dynamics of morphogen gradients established by the Bicoid RNA-binding protein and its target the Hunchback transcription factor, during Drosophila fruit fly embryogenesis. Upon graduation I went to the Genome Institute of Singapore for a year as a National Science Scholar, under the guidance of Dr. Lim Bing and in collaboration with Dr. Harvey Lodish at MIT, where I studied the role of mammalian lin-4 (or miR-125b) in coordinating self-renewal of neuroblastoma and stem cells via p53, as well as the molecular programming of cancer stem cells in lung cancer.

I am now training as a Ph.D. candidate under the mentorship of Dr. George Daley at Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School. We are investigating how the miRNA let-7 and its regulator the Lin-28 RNA-binding proteins program stem cell metabolism during aging and tissue repair. This isan ancient RNA regulatory pathway conserved from C. elegans worms to mammals. With the co-mentorship of Dr. Lewis Cantley, I am also using an unbiased metabolomics approach to elucidate the role of amino acid metabolism in maintaining the pluripotent state of embryonic stem cells, over the course of mammalian evolution from our rodent-like ancestors to primates and humans.

My present vision is to use the latest technologies in metabolomics, microscopy and single-cell microfluidics, to understand how we can modulate druggable metabolic networks to regulate the growth, differentiation, and death of stem cells for the purposes of regenerative medicine and treating aging-related diseases such as cancer and diabetes.

Articles in PubMed