Mechanobiology Institute’s Governing Board

The Governing Board oversees the mission of the Institute by providing strategic direction and good stewardship.

The Governing Board serves to ensure the alignment of research carried out in MBI through regular appraisals and reviews of the performance of the institute. It also oversees the implementation of all governance policies, financial accountability and ethical conduct in research.

Tan Kim Siew

Dr Tan Kim Siew

Chair, MBI Governing Board
Senior Consultant in the Ministry of Finance

Dr Tan Kim Siew served in the Ministry of Defence till 1994. During this period he held various appointments including Head, Joint Communications and Electronic Department, Head, Joint Plans Department, and Director, Defence Materials Organisation.

Thereafter, Dr Tan served in the Ministry of National Development where he was the Deputy Secretary before his appointment as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Planner, Urban Redevelopment Authority from 1996 to 2001. Dr Tan led URA to realise its vision of turning Singapore into a tropical city of excellence. He was awarded the Public Administration Medal (Gold) in 2001.

Dr Tan served as Deputy Secretary (Policy) in the Ministry of Finance from 2001 to 2003 before his appointment as Second Permanent Secretary (Defence). He was appointed as Permanent Secretary (Defence Development) in 2005. Dr Tan has played a key role in strengthening MINDEF’s financial and personnel systems, as well as building up the Singapore’s defence and technological capabilities to meet the challenges of the future.

Dr Tan then served as the Commissioner of Inland Revenue and Chief Executive Officer of IRAS from 2012 to 2014.

He had also held other appointments in the public service, including Chairman of the Defence Science and Technology Agency, and Chairman of the DSO Laboratories.

Dr Tan is a graduate of the University of Cambridge, UK with a Bachelor of Arts (Engineering), Master of Arts (Engineering) and PhD in Engineering.

Dr Tan is presently a Senior Consultant in the Ministry of Finance and Chairman of the Governing Board for the Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore.

Lim Khiang Wee

Dr Lim Khiang Wee

Member, MBI Governing Board
Executive Director of Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (CREATE)

Prior to his current appointment, he has overseen talent development through scholarships, fellowships, collaborative and Outreach Programs at A*STAR. He has also served as the Executive Director of a research institute from 2002 to 2010, leading the Singapore Institute of Manufacturing Technology (SIMTech) and the Institute for Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE).

He set up IPI-Singapore in 2011 to catalyse intellectual property intermediation activities that support and enhance the innovation capacity of Singapore enterprises.

Learn more about CREATE, the Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise.

Prof Chen Tsuhan

Member, MBI Governing Board
Deputy President (Research and Technology) and Distinguished Professor, National University of Singapore

Professor Chen Tsuhan was appointed Deputy President (Research and Technology) and Distinguished Professor at the National University of Singapore (NUS) on 1 June 2018. Prof Chen is a renowned expert in pattern recognition, computer vision, and machine learning. He is also the Chief Scientist of AI Singapore, a national programme in artificial intelligence hosted at NUS.

Prof Chen joined NUS from the Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, United States, where he has been the David E. Burr Professor of Engineering since 2009. From 2015 to 2017, Prof Chen was the Cheng Tsang Man Chair Professor and Dean of the College of Engineering (CoE) at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore. From 2009 to 2013, he served as the Director of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell. During his term as director, Prof Chen promoted the School to top ranking positions, and launched several initiatives to encourage innovation and to promote research and teaching excellence. He also directed the Advanced Multimedia Processing Laboratory, which conducts research in areas including computer vision and pattern recognition; multimedia coding and retrieval; as well as biometric authentication.

Prof. Chen received the MS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from the California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California, in 1990 and 1993, respectively, and the Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the National Taiwan University in 1987. From 1993 to 1997, Prof Chen was with AT&T Bell Laboratories, Holmdel, New Jersey in the US, before appointed professor with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in the US from 1997 to 2008.

Prof Chen also served on the Editorial Board of IEEE Signal Processing Magazine and as Associate Editor for IEEE Trans. on Circuits and Systems for Video Technology, IEEE Trans. on Image Processing, IEEE Trans. on Signal Processing, and IEEE Trans. on Multimedia. He has published more than 300 technical papers and holds 29 US patents and served as President of the IEEE Signal Processing Society 2013 -2014.

Prof Yeol Sasson

Member, MBI Governing Board
Professor Emeritus of Applied Chemistry, Hebrew University of Jerusalem

Yoel Sasson is a Professor (currently emeritus) of Applied Chemistry at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem (since 1976) and the incumbent of the Lester Aronberg Chair of Applied Chemistry. He served as a visiting scientist and visiting Professor at the University of Waterloo (Ontario), Virginia Polytechnic Institute, the University of Paris Sud, the National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University and at the Experimental Station of Du-Pont (Delaware). For 12 years (1994-2005) He held the post of VP of R&D at Makhteshim Chemical Works , a global manufacturer of crop protection chemicals (today “Adama”) in Beer Sheva. He also acted as consultant for other leading Israeli chemical companies. Through 2010-2013 Sasson served as Head of the Institute of Chemistry at the Hebrew University. Since 2016 Sasson is the Director and CEO of SHARE (Singapore Hebrew University Alliance for Research and Enterprise).

Sasson is active in the area of green chemistry and environmental and process catalysis, photocatalysis, nanocatalysis and catalysis in energy conversion processes. He has published 270 articles and reviews and 50 patents in these fields. Sasson has coached 130 graduate students in their Ph.D. and M.Sc. theses in Applied Chemistry. He is the founder of five start-up companies: Mercuremoval (2014), NRGStorEdge (2016) SalamandraZone (2017) CataLife (2018) and Plastic2NRG (2018).

Anthony Hyman

Prof Anthony Hyman

Member, MBI Governing Board
Director and Group Leader, Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics

Prof Dr Anthony Hyman is Director and Group Leader at the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics.

In 1984 he received his BSc first class in Zoology from the University College in London, where he had also been working as research Assistant in 1981.

From 1985 to 1987 he wrote his PhD about “The establishment of division axes in early C.elegansembryos” under the supervision of Dr John White at the Laboratory of Molecular Biology, MRC in Cambridge, England. After that he moved to San Francisco where he did his postdoctoral research in the lab of Prof Tim Mitchison at the University of California investigating the mechanism of chromosome movement studied in vitro. In 1993 he became Group Leader at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg, before he moved to Dresden in 1999 as one of the founding directors of the Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics. In 2002 he was named honorary Professor of Molecular Cell Biology at the Technical University, Dresden. The year after he was awarded the EMBO Gold Medal. In 2007 he was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society and was awarded the Leibniz Prize in 2011. Most recently, in 2017, he was honored to receive the Schleiden Medal from the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina. This award is given once every two years for outstanding findings in the field of cell biology.

His research covers the mitotic spindle assembly and function, focusing on centrosomes; distribution of force generating mechanisms necessary for the first asymmetric division; establishment of cortical polarity. He primarily works in C.elegans embryos, but is also studying aspects of these problems in human cells using the emerging techniques of BAC transgenesis. Learn more about Prof Hyman.

Prof Patrick J Casey

Member, MBI Governing Board
Professor and Senior Vice Dean, Research Duke-NUS Medical School

Patrick J. (Pat) Casey, PhD, is the Senior Vice Dean of Research at the Duke-NUS Medical School. He is also James B. Duke Professor of Pharmacology and Cancer Biology at Duke University. A recognized authority in the fields of lipid modifications of proteins and in G protein signaling, he has received numerous awards for his work including the Established Investigator Award from the American Heart Association, the Amgen Award from the American Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and the recent Duke Medical Alumni Distinguished Faculty Award. Dr Casey was the founding Director of the Duke Center for Chemical Biology, established to spearhead interdisciplinary research and training in the application of fundamental chemical principles to the study of biology and the basis of disease and therapies. He has been involved in the Singapore Biomedical Sciences Initiative since arriving in Singapore in 2005, serving on advisory committees for programmes at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR), National Medical Research Council (NMRC) and National Research Foundation (NRF).

Mr Ong Tze-Ch’in

Member, MBI Governing Board
Coordinating Divisional Director of the Higher Education Group, Ministry of Education (MOE)

Mr Ong Tze-Ch’in is the Coordinating Divisional Director of the Higher Education Group, in the Ministry of Education in Singapore. He leads the Group in steering and supporting the provision of quality post-secondary education, through the autonomous universities, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education. The Group is also responsible for the formulation and implementation of academic research policies and programmes. It is responsible for the registration of private schools in Singapore. It facilitates the development of educational initiatives carried out through the Singapore Science Centre and the Institute of Southeast Asian Studies.

Tze-Ch’in is a member of the Governing Boards of Singapore Polytechnic, Duke-NUS Medical School and several research institutes in National University of Singapore and Nanyang Technological University.

Tze-Ch’in started out with a career in the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), attaining the rank of Brigadier General after almost 25 years of service. His last 2 appointments in the SAF were: Director of Military Intelligence; and Commander of the 3rd Singapore Division. Tze-Ch’in was also previously a Director on the board of ST Electronics, a Member of the Ngee Ann Polytechnic Council, and Chairman of Sembawang Country Club.

Tze-Ch’in received a Masters in Business Administration from INSEAD in 2010 and a Masters in Defence Studies from King’s College London in 2006. He graduated from Stanford University in 1998 with Masters and Bachelor degrees in Electrical Engineering.

Prof Li Rong

Member, MBI Governing Board
Director and Principal Investigator, Mechanobiology Institute, National University of Singapore

Professor Li is a globally respected leader in the study of cellular dynamics and mechanics. Her interdisciplinary research integrates genetics, quantitative imaging, biophysical measurements, mathematical modelling, genomics and proteomics — to understand how eukaryotic cells transmit their genomes, adapt to the environment, and establish distinct organisation to perform specialised functions. She has made seminal discoveries in the regulation of cell division, cell polarity, the actin cytoskeleton, aneuploidy and proteostasis. The insights gained from her research have contributed to the fundamental understanding of cancer and age-related diseases.

She has had over 125 papers published in peer-reviewed journals, with many appearing in top-tier publications such as Cell, Nature and Science. Her work has received more than 14,000 citations. Professor Li has served on editorial boards of Molecular Biology of the Cell, Development, Biophysical Journal, and BMC-Cell Biology.