Yasunori Saheki, M.D., Ph.D. Nanyang Assistant Professor Principle Investigator Cell Biology and Molecular Neuroscience Laboratory, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
Yasunoriattended Okayama University Medical School in Okayama, Japan, obtaining his M.D. in 2005. He then pursued his graduate studies at the Rockefeller University in New York, USA. Working in the laboratory of Dr. Cori Bargmann, he investigated the mechanisms of ion channel localization at the nerve terminals using C. elegans. After receiving his Ph.D. in Neurobiology in 2010, Yasunori moved to the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, where he worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of Dr. Pietro De Camilli, supported by fellowships from the Uehara memorial foundation and the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science. Using a combination of genome editing, biochemistry, quantitative cellular imaging, and optogenetics, he studied the regulatory mechanisms that govern cellular lipid homeostasis. Yasunori joined the faculty at Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine as a Nanyang Assistant Professor in March, 2016. His laboratory employs the combination of C. elegans genetics and mammalian cell biology to tackle fundamental questions in cellular lipid regulation as well as the mechanisms that underlie neurological disorders.
Darshini received her Bachelor of Science (Honours) with Highest Distinction/ First Class Honours in Life Sciences from National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2016, supported by ASEAN Undergraduate Scholarship. During her final year project, she investigated the role of conserved kinases and phosphatases in cell polarization, using RNAi-based screen in C. elegans under the supervision of Dr. Fumio Motegi at Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL) and Mechanobiology Institute (MBI) in Singapore. Her accomplishments culminated in the Lijen Industrial Development Medal, Student Achievement Award, and Dean’s List Recipient in 2016. Prior to her undergraduate study, she attended Republic Polytechnic (RP) in Singapore and obtained her diploma in Biotechnology with Diploma Gold Medal Award and Merit Award. Darshini joined our lab and started her graduate study in January 2017. In the Saheki lab, Darshini aims to study the neuronal regulation of cellular lipid homeostasis using C. elegans as a primary model system. Native of Malaysia, Darshini enjoys her life in Singapore and frequently visits her family in Johor Bahru.
Jingbo received his Ph.D. from State Key Laboratory of Plant Physiology and Biochemistry, China Agricultural University, Beijing in 2016 under supervision of Professor Tonglin Mao. Prior to his graduate studies, Jingbo attended Weifang University, obtaining his Bachelor of Science in Seed Science and Engineering. Being supported by Chinese Government Scholarship for Graduate Studies, Jingbo studied the molecular mechanisms of microtubule-based hypocotyl cell elongation in response to ethylene using Arabidopsis as a model system. He published his findings in Plant Physiology and Journal of Cell Science as a first author. He also collaborated with other members of the Mao lab and published several articles in The Plant Cell as a co-author. In the Saheki lab, Jingbo studies the molecular mechanisms that regulate the formation and maintenance of membrane contact sites.
Tomoki received his Ph.D. from Kyoto University, Japan in 2017 under supervision of Dr. Hye-Won Shin and Dr. Kazuhisa Nakayama. Prior to his graduate studies, Tomoki attended Kyoto University, obtaining his Bachelor of Science (2012) and Master of Science (2014) both in Pharmaceutical Science. Being supported by Japan Society for the Promotion of the Science (JSPS) Research Fellowship for Young Scientists (2016-2017 as DC2, 2017-2018 as PD), Tomoki studied the role of phospholipid flippase in plasma membrane bilayer asymmetry. He published his findings in The Journal of Biological Chemistry as a first author. He also co-authored papers in Nature Communications, Molecular Biology of the Cell, The EMBO Journal. In the Saheki lab, Tomoki studies the role of membrane contact sites in intracellular lipid traffic.
Bilge Ercan, Ph.D. (Chemistry) Research Fellow (September 2018 - )
Bilge received her Ph.D. from National University of Singapore (NUS) in 2018 under supervision of Dr. Shu-Sin Chng. Being supported by SINGA Fellowship, Bilge studied the role of phospholipid transfer in the maintenance of lipid asymmetry in Escherichia coli, using cell-free in vitro reconstitution approaches. She published her findings in eLife as a co-first author. Prior to her graduate studies, Bilge received her Bachelor of Science (BSc) in Chemistry from Hacettepe Uniersity, Turkey and obtained her Master of Science (MSc) in Materials Science and Engineering from Koc University, Turkey under supervision of Dr. A. Levent Demirel. In the Saheki lab, Bilge studies the role of membrane contact sites in intracellular lipid traffic.
Dhakshenya received her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Sciences from Imperial College London, UK, in 2017. During her final year project, she explored isothermal DNA amplification techniques for the detection of breast cancer mutations using microchip technology in Christofer Toumazou’s lab. Dhakshenya joined us and started her graduate study in January 2018. In the Saheki lab, Dhakshenya aims to study the mechanisms of cellular lipid homeostasis focusing on the roles played by membrane contact sites. Dhakshenya is native of Singapore and besides training to be a scientist, is an aspiring Street Latin dancer.
Nur Raihanah Binte Mohd Harion, B.Eng. (Hons) Graduate Student LKCMedicine PhD program (July 2018 - )
Raihanah received her Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) with Distinction in Bioengineering from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU) in 2018. During her final year project, she investigated the molecular mechanisms of aging, using yeast Saccharomyces cerevisiae under the supervision of Dr. Miao Yansong at NTU. Prior to her undergraduate study, she attended Nanyang Polytechnic in Singapore and obtained her diploma in Biomedical Engineering with Merit, winning the BD Medical Bronze Award. Raihanah joined our lab and started her graduate study in July 2018. In the Saheki lab, Raihanah aims to study the functions of membrane contact sites in neurons. Native of Singapore, Raihanah spends her free time watching documentaries and tutoring students.
Hong Zheng (Dylan) Koh Undergraduate Student Nanyang Technological University, School of Biological Sciences (May 2018 - )
Previous Lab Members
Yun Xuan (Philip) Ngo Undergraduate Student Nanyang Technological University, School of Biological Sciences (April 2017 - January 2018) Next position: Intern, the Karolinska Institute, Sweden
Logesvaran Krshnan, Ph.D. (Structural Biology) Research Fellow (April 2017 - April 2018 ) Next position: Postdoc, The University of Oxford, U.K.
Chek Mei Bok, M.Sc. Research Associate (May 2016 -December 2017 ) Next position: Research Associate, Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS)
Naoki Arasaki Visiting Undergraduate Student University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine, Japan (February 2017 - March 2017) Next position: Student, University of the Ryukyus School of Medicine, Japan