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Leading Solutions through Innovation in Synthetic Biology


Our Research

Sustainable Bioproduction

Sustainable bioproduction offers the versatility to synthesize a wide range of chemicals and materials from renewable feedstocks by employing and improving enzymes or biocatalysts originating from the nature. In Chang lab, we aim to engineer microbial hosts, enzymes and pathways to develop novel bioprocesses for the production of value-added compounds in a sustainable manner.

Synthetic Genomics

Synthetic genomics is a branch of synthetic biology that aims to customize organisms by redesigning their genomic sequences to confer novel functionalities. In Chang lab, we aim to employ synthetic genomics in microbes and mammalian cells to develop genome editing tools, gain deeper understanding of biological functions and create biological systems for biotechnological applications.


The microbiome is the collection of microbes and their genomes in a particular environment. The presence or absence of certain microbial communities in the body has been implicated in a variety of human health conditions. In Chang lab, we aim to develop novel therapeutic modalities that can rewire host–microbiome interactions such as host metabolism and immunity for disease prevention and treatment.


Our Funding Partners


Our Story

We are an interdisciplinary team of graduate and undergraduate students, scientists, engineers, clinicians and visiting scholars from diverse backgrounds. Since 2007, we have been aspiring to be a leading research group in synthetic biology, occupying a central role in the dissemination of engineering and biological knowledge for the creation of technological solutions for global challenges. We pride ourselves in building new engineering biology knowledge and solutions, educating the next generation of synthetic biologists and serving the communities in Singapore and beyond. In Singapore, we led the establishment of NUS Synthetic Biology for Clinical and Technological Innovation (SynCTI), Wilmar-NUS Corporate Laboratory ([email protected]) and Singapore Consortium for Synthetic Biology (SINERGY). Globally, we played a key role in founding the Global Biofoundries Alliance (GBA) and the Asian Synthetic Biology Association (ASBA). Our lab alumni include over 50 undergraduate and high school students, 20 Ph.D. students and 40 research scientists, many now in leadership roles in academia, government and industry.

Graduate students

Undergraduates and Interns






Our Latest Publications

Future Trends in Synthetic Biology in Asia

Ning Mao, Nikhil Aggarwal, Chueh Loo Poh, Byung Kwan Cho, Akihiko Kondo, Chenli Liu, Wen Shan Yew, Matthew Wook Chang

Advanced Genetics, DOI:https://doi.org/10.1002/ggn2.10038, 5 March 2021

Tweak to Treat: Reprograming Bacteria for Cancer Treatment
Sieow BFL, Wun KS, Yong WP, Hwang IY, Chang MW Trends in Cancer, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.trecan.2020.11.004 December (2020)
Engineering an Alcohol-Forming Fatty Acyl-CoA Reductase for Aldehyde and Hydrocarbon Biosynthesis in Saccharomyces cerevisiae
Foo J L, Rasouliha B H, Susanto A V, Leong S S J and Chang MW Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2020.585935 October 2020
Mechanism-Driven Metabolic Engineering for Bio-Based Production of Free R-Lipoic Acid in Saccharomyces cerevisiae Mitochondria
Chen B, Foo JL, Ling H, Chang MW Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology. doi.org/10.3389/fbioe.2020.00965 August 2020
Development of a Proline-Based Selection System for Reliable Genetic Engineering in Chinese Hamster Ovary Cells
Sun T, Kwok WC, Chua KJ, Lo T-M, Potter J, Yew WS, Chesnut JD, Hwang IY, and Chang MW ACS Synthetic Biology. (2020) (In press)

Get in Touch!

We are excited to work with brilliant minds beaming with fresh ideas and insights into the curious natural world we live in. If you care about this planet and want to make a difference to it, then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for exciting opportunities in Chang Lab.