Senior Investigator

Christopher WONG, Ph.D., M.B.A.
Chief Operating Officer, Polaris


As a technopreneur, I have been involved in developing technology and products for diagnostics, prognostics and theranostics, in the fields of cancer and infectious diseases, through interdisciplinary and collaborative efforts with academic and industry partners. Products developed previously include resequencing chips for SARS, Dengue and Influenza A H1N1(2009).
I firmly believe that it is important that good scientific discoveries should have an impact beyond the research laboratory. Thus, I am testing out 2 model systems to see which method would be more efficient in achieving this goal.

  1. Spinning out a company for Pathogen Discovery and Diagnostics. We have developed a pathogen chip which can detect >50,000 virus and >20,000 bacteria genomes from patient samples.
    Together with 3 other scientists (Martin Hibberd, Ken Sung, Charlie Lee) from GIS, we founded PathGEN Dx Pte. Ltd. As founder and director of PathGEN Dx, I am responsible for fund-raising and promoting adoption of this technology by researchers and clinicians globally.

  2. Large-scale inter-disciplinary collaborative project: POLARIS (Personalized OMIC Lattice for Advanced Research and Improving Stratification) POLARIS is a strategic initiative for introducing and embedding OMIC information into the diagnosis and treatment of medical diseases in Singapore. It is a partnership initially between A*STAR, SingHealth and NUH, but open to other collaborators as the program matures. Initial disease focus areas are lung cancer, gastrointestinal cancer, eye and infectious diseases.
    As Chief Operating Officer for POLARIS, I am responsible for all business development activities, partnerships and collaborations with industry and healthcare partners, as well as ensuring that the laboratory infrastructure and operations meets required standards for licensing and accreditation.

    In July 2014, POLARIS launched it's first clinical test, the POLARIS™ TGFBI test for identifying patients who may be at risk of developing corneal stromal dystrophy.

Research Focus

Postdocs, graduate students and returning A*STAR scholars who are interested in a career as an entrepreneur in the biotech/biomed fields are welcome to contact me.


Dec 2012 Singapore Management University, Singapore, Master of Business Administration
Dec 2008 University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX, Laboratory Biosafety Level 3 Training Program for Biosafety Professionals
May 2001 University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104, Doctor of Philosophy, Biomedical Graduate Studies
Doctoral Thesis:
'Direct Visualization of Metastases and Apoptosis in the Lung: A Model For Tumor Progression in the Lung'
Dec 1990Beloit College, Beloit, WI 53511 Bachelor of Science in Molecular Biology (Department Honors) and Music (Department Honors)

Professional Appointments

2013-currentPOLARIS. Chief Operating Officer.
2011-currentPathGEN Dx Pte. Ltd. Founder and Director.
2009-2013Genome Institute of Singapore, Biomarker Development. Chief Scientific Officer.
2008-2011Biopolis Shared Facilities (BSF). Head.
2006-Biopolis Shared Facilities (BSF) High Content Screening (HCS) facility. Officer-in-charge.
2004-2009Genome Institute of Singapore, Microarray and Expression Genomics. Research Scientist
2001-2004Genome Institute of Singapore, Microarray and Expression Genomics. Research Associate. Mentor: Edison Liu, M.D.
1995-2001University of Pennsylvania, Dept of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Graduate student. Laboratory of Ruth J. Muschel, M.D., Ph.D.
1994-1995University of Pennsylvania. Graduate student. Laboratory of WilliamLee, M.D., Ph.D.
1993-1994University of Pennsylvania, Dept of Radiation Oncology. Research Specialist Junior. Laboratory of Gillies W. McKenna, M.D., Ph.D.
1991Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Washington University, St. Louis, MO. Research Assistant. Laboratory of J. Evan Sadler, M.D., Ph.D.
1990Washington University, St. Louis, MO. Developmental Biology Undergraduate Research Program. Laboratory of Jeffrey W. Lichtman, M.D., Ph.D.

Honors and Awards

2012 Dean's List, Singapore Management University
2011 A*STAR MBA Sponsorship
2003 National University of Singapore/National University Hospital Young Scientist (Poster) Award
For co-developing a SARS Resequencing Array enabling rapid contact tracing and identification of the infectious source.
2001 AACR-Pfizer Scholar in Training Award
For the discovery that apoptosis is the rate-limiting step in the metastatic cascade, and that proliferation of metastatic tumor cells occur within the lung vasculature in a mouse tumor model.

Committee and Advisory Board

2013Member, Industry and Commercialisation Group, A*STAR
2012Member, Leadership Advance Committee for Medical Devices, A*STAR
2011Review Editor, Frontiers in Cancer Genetics

External Grant

2013-2015POLARIS – Transforming Disease Management Through Personalised OMIC Profiling by BMRC, A*STAR (S$19,999,999)
2011-2012A chip that can detect protein, RNA and DNA targets simultaneously in 1 chip for infectious disease diagnostics and prognostics by BMRC, A*STAR (S$142,582)
2011-2012Validation of chip for detecting and identifying bacteria from patient samples by IDG, A*PRE*COT fund (S$235,906)
2009-2013Biomarker Flagship - Diagnostic content technologies by Exploit Technologies ( S$5,000,000)


2012US 8,234,079 B2 : Method and/or apparatus of oligonucleotide design and/or nucleic acid detection (Granted)
2012Australia 2006280489 : Method and/or apparatus of oligonucleotide design and/or nucleic acid detection (Granted)
2010Singapore patent # 139255 : Method of probe design and/or of nucleic acids detection (Granted)
2010179731 : Methods and arrays for DNA sequencing (Granted)
2010201002998-1 : Methods and/or primers for the detection of Influenza A (Filed)
2006EU 06769707.8-1222 : Method and/or apparatus of oligonucleotide design (Filed)

Current Personnel

Ms Seah Hui Maan (Senior Research Assistant)
Mr Paul Cheng Chung Pui (Senior Research Assistant)
Ms Katie Cheung (Research Officer)
Ms Chan Yang Sun (Laboratory Manager)

Previous Personnel

Mr Nor Rizal Bin Ahmad (GIS Position: Laboratory Technician)
Current Position: Senior Business Intelligence Analyst, FireForge
Ms Han Bing Ling (GIS Position: Research Officer)
Current Position: Senior Executive, Institute of Mental Health, Singapore
Ms Thien Pei Ling (GIS Position: Senior Research Officer)
Current Position: Senior Officer, Biomedical Sciences Directorate, National Research Foundation
Ms Geraldine Nai Yi Wen (GIS Position: Research Officer)
Current Position: Executive, Operational Excellence Dept, National Environment Agency
Ms Leong Wan Yee (GIS Position: Senior Research Assistant)
Current Position: PhD student, Johns Hopkins University, USA
Dr Ong Swee Hoe (GIS Position: Post Doctoral Fellow)
Current Position: Computational Biologist, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, UK
Ms Catherine Phua (GIS Position: Senior Research Assistant)
Current Position: Lecturer, Singapore Polytechnic
Mr Koh Chee Wee (GIS Position: Research Officer)
Current Position: Application Specialist, Qiagen
Ms Nur Lina Binte Mohd Salleh (GIS Position: Senior Research Officer)
Current Position: Laboratory Executive, Cancer Science Institute of Singapore

Selected Publications

  1. Simões EA, Patel C, Sung WK, Lee CW, Hon LK, Lucero M, Nohynek H, Nai G, Ling TP, Wee KC, Sun CY, Ma J, Maurer-Stroh S, Carosone-Link P, Hibberd ML, Wong CW "A Pathogen Chip for Respiratory Tract Infections." J Clin Microbiol 2013 Jan 9 Abstract     

  2. Inoue M, Barkham T, Leo YS, Chan KP, Chow A, Wong CW, Tze Chuen Lee R, Maurer-Stroh S, Lin R, Lin C "Emergence of Oseltamivir-Resistant Pandemic (H1N1) 2009 Virus within 48 Hours." Emerg Infect Dis 2010 Oct ; 16(10) : 1633-6 Abstract     

  3. Lee VJ, Yap J, Cook AR, Chen MI, Tay JK, Tan BH, Loh JP, Chew SW, Koh WH, Lin R, Cui L, Lee CW, Sung WK, Wong CW, Hibberd ML, Kang WL, Seet B, Tambyah PA "Oseltamivir Ring Prophylaxis for Containment of 2009 H1N1 Influenza Outbreaks." N Engl J Med 2010 Jun 10 ; 362(23) : 2166-2174 Abstract      Supplemental Link     

  4. Lee CW, Koh CW, Chan YS, Aw PP, Loh KH, Han BL, Thien PL, Nai GY, Hibberd ML, Wong CW, Sung WK "Large-scale evolutionary surveillance of the 2009 H1N1 influenza A virus using resequencing arrays." Nucleic Acids Res 2010 Feb 25 Abstract      Supplemental Link     

  5. Zhang Jinqiu, Liu Xuejing, Datta Arpita, Govindarajan Kunde, Tam Wai Leong, Han Jianyong, George Joshy, Wong Christopher W, Ramnarayanan Kalpana, Phua Tze Yoong, Leong Wan Yee, Chan Yang Sun, Palanisamy Nallasivam, Liu Edison Tak-Bun, Karuturi Krishna Murthy, Lim Bing, Miller Lance David "RCP is a human breast cancer-promoting gene with Ras-activating function." J. Clin. Invest. 2009 Aug ; 119(8) : 2171-83 Epub 2009 Jul 20 Abstract     

  6. Lee Wah Heng, Christopher W Wong, Leong Wan Yee, Lance D Miller, Sung Wing Kin "LOMA: a fast method to generate efficient tagged-random primers despite amplification bias of random PCR on pathogens." BMC Bioinformatics 2008 ; 9 : 368 Epub 2008 Sep 10 Abstract     

  7. Wong, C. W., Lee, C.W.H., Leong, W.Y., Soh, S.W.L., Kartasasmita, C.B., Simoes, E.A.F., Hibberd, M.L., Sung, W.-K., Miller, L.D. (2007) “Optimization and Clinical Validation of a Pathogen Detection Microarray.” Genome Biology. 8:R93. doi:10.1186/gb-2007-8-5-r93 Abstract      Supplemental Link     

  8. Christopher WONG, Albert, T.J, Vinsensius Berlian VEGA, Norton, J.E., Cutler, D.J., Richmond, T.A, Lawrence STANTON, Edison Tak-Bun LIU, Lance D MILLER (2004) "Tracking the Evolution of the SARS Coronavirus using Rapid, High-throughput, High-density Resequencing Arrays" Genome Research 14(3) 398-405 Abstract      Supplemental Link      Supplemental Data File     

  9. Christopher WONG, Song, C., Grimes, M. M, Fu, W, Dewhirst, M. W., Muschel, R. J., Al-Mehdi, A-B (2002) "Intravascular Location of Breast Cancer Cells after Spontaneous Metastasis to the Lung" American Journal of Pathology 161(3) 749-753 Abstract     

  10. Christopher WONG, Lee, A., Shientag, L., Jong, Y., Dong, Y., Kao, G., Al-Mehdi, A., Bernhard, E., Muschel, R. J. (2001) "Apoptosis is the Rate-limiting Step in Metastatic Inefficiency." Cancer Res 61 (1) 333-38 Abstract     

Complete Publications List

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