PhD, BSc Hons
A/Prof Tang graduated from The Scripps Research Institute, USA in 1998 on a Glaxo Wellcome-EDB funded scholarship. She subsequently undertook postdoctoral training at the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology, Singapore (cell cycle) and the Howard Florey Institute, Melbourne in developmental neurobiology. Together with her Co-Principal Investigator and neurosurgeon colleague, A/Prof Ang Beng Ti, they established the Neuro-Oncology Research Laboratory in 2006.
The lab’s research focuses on primary brain tumours, specifically glioblastoma (GBM). Histologically identical GBM tumour tissue sections from different patients have been shown to be molecularly heterogeneous; possibly accounting for the frequently observed interpatient variability to treatment response. Over the years, the team has utilised large public clinical databases to establish hypotheses for biological validation. Pivotal to the neuro-oncology effort is the setup of GLIOPORTAL, NNI’s first tumour resource complete with molecular annotation of de-identified patient-derived cell lines and orthotopic xenograft mouse tumours, fully integrated with the patient’s clinical information. GLIOPORTAL provides biological validation critical in preclinical studies, and potentially offers re-identified patients the option for targeted therapy. This forms a core capability of precision medicine.
The multidisciplinary team comprising investigators from NUS, Duke-NUS, A*STAR and NTU was awarded the Translational and Clinical Research (TCR) Flagship Programme Grant in 2016. The research programme seeks to establish a seamless transition of basic science discoveries to clinical implementation by prioritising specific technologies capable of discerning GBM molecular subtypes. These include the creation of minimally invasive diagnostic platforms, imaging modalities and novel therapeutic strategies associated with stratified patient cohorts.
In 2021, the team was once again awarded the Large Collaborative Grant administered by the National Medical Research Council, which seeks to translate research findings into clinical practice. Themes include the evaluation of immunotherapeutic strategies targeting the mesenchymal transition and tumour cell plasticity. Through participation in GBM adaptive trials, the team will implement patient stratification methods in the diagnosis and treatment decisions of patients with GBM.
The lab also takes great pride in mentoring young scientists and clinical investigators who are critical to the continuity of any meaningful diseased-focused research programme.
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