News: The inaugural CHA-NTU collaborative symposium

By Sarah Zulkifli, Science Writer, Communications & Outreach

The inaugural CHA-NTU collaborative symposium kicked off on 31 March. About 100 international clinician-scientists and faculty from both NTU and the CHA University Graduate School of Medicine attended the inaugural symposium virtually.

Focusing on stem cells and regenerative medicine, the symposium ran in two segments and was jointly organised by NTU and CHA University, Korea.

The first segment was chaired by Professor Ho-Sup Yoon, President of CHA Advanced Research Institute, Korea and Professor at the NTU School of Biological Sciences, and Professor Jihwan Song of the Department of Biomedical Science at CHA University.

Kicking off the first part of the symposium titled “Current Status of Stem Cell Research at CHA University and CHA Bio Group”, Prof Yoon said, “I hope this symposium will be valued and will provide the perfect opportunity for the development of research collaborations.”

He added, “There has been an amazing study in stem cells and results in the medical research area. To find impactable solutions to medical needs, across border collaborations are much needed now more than ever. In today’s meeting, eminent speakers from those institutions will showcase the recent trends and research in the field.”


The first segment featured five presentations focusing on stem cell research at CHA University and CHA Bio Group. The speakers and their presentations include:

 ·      Professor Ho-Sup Yoon – Welcome & CHA Research Overview

·      Professor Jihwan Song – Cell and Gene Therapy for Huntington’s Disease

·      Assistant Professor Eunju Kang – Hematopoietic Stem Cells Derived from Pluripotent Stem Cells and Their Applications

·      Associate Professor Jisook Moon – Fetal Neural Stem Cells and Their Applications for Parkinson’s Disease

·      Professor Inbo Han – A Multicellular Bio-Printed Cell Construct for Vascularised Bone Tissue Regeneration


The second segment of the symposium was chaired by LKCMedicine Vice-Dean (Research) Professor Lim Kah Leong, who is also the President’s Chair in Translational Neuroscience and Research Director of NTU Biomedical and Life Sciences, and Professor Philip Ingham, Programme Director of Development Biology & Regenerative Medicine.

Focusing on stem cell research done at LKCMedicine, the second segment was aptly titled “Current Status of Stem Cell Research at Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University.” 

The speakers and their presentations include:

·      Professor Lim Kah Leong – Welcome & LKCMedicine Research Overview

·      Professor Philip Ingham – Replacing Skeletal Muscle Fibres: Lessons from Zebrafish

·      Associate Professor Ray Dunn – Transcriptional Regulation of the Developing Human Pancreas

·      Nanyang Assistant Professor Xia Yun – Using Kidney Organoid Model to Emulate Polycystic Kidney Disease

·      Nanyang Assistant Professor Christine Cheung – Functional Genomics of the Risk Locus 6p24 in Vascular Dysfunction

In closing, Prof Lim said, “We had such excellent speakers from both sides and I would like to express my sincere thanks to all our speakers and attendees for your participation.

“In NTU, we often say that it takes three meetings to move an initiative across. The first is with the leadership, to map out the strategy. The second, which is the most important one – like today – is the series of talks from both sides which undoubtedly will be the start of many collaborations. And the third goes back to the leadership to map out some strategic resources to support further collaborations.”