Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Assoc Prof Cho Nam-Joon


Associate Professor

School of Materials Science & Engineering
College of Engineering

Email: NJCHO@NTU.EDU.SG
Phone: (+65)6592 7945
Office: RTP-XF06-05A

Education
  • PhD (Chemical Engineering) Stanford University 2006
  • MS (Material Sci & Engineering) Stanford University 2003
  • BS Eng (Civil) University of California, Berkeley 1996
Biography
Dr. Cho is a graduate of Stanford University where he earned an M.S. in Materials Science and Engineering, and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering under the guidance of Professor Curtis W. Frank. During his doctoral studies, Dr. Cho first gained an interest in research at the interface of molecular virology and biomaterials. The principal goal of his thesis work was to develop lab-on-a-chip technologies for analysis of viral protein interactions with lipid membranes.

Dr. Cho then continued his postdoctoral training in Professor Jeffrey S. Glenn’s group in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He applied these engineering technologies to combat the Hepatitis C virus (HCV), which affects over 150 million people worldwide. His work has led to significant advances for treating HCV, including new drugs currently in preclinical or clinical trials. In addition, Dr. Cho has pioneered a novel approach to liver tissue engineering that has enabled an improved artificial organ system for studying liver disease.

His passion for translational and regenerative medicine has been recognized by several prestigious international honors and awards from the American Liver Foundation, Beckman Foundation, and leading global universities and companies including Chalmers University of Technology and Roche Ltd. In 2011, Dr. Cho was named an NRF Fellow by the Singapore National Research Foundation, and was also appointed to a Nanyang Associate Professorship. In addition to his academic duties, Dr. Cho is the founder of infollutionZERO, a global nonprofit organization committed to building a green digital world for future generations by eradicating infollution (information + pollution) from the digital world.
Research Interests
Our research is focused on engineering approaches to solve challenging medical problems with strong emphasis on: 1) biosensing, 2) hydrogel tissue engineering, 3) biopharmaceuticals, and 4) drug delivery.

To support these translational projects, we have several ongoing academic and industrial collaborations including those with Harvard University, Stanford University, and Roche Ltd.
Despite advances in therapeutic drugs and tools, much work remains towards the early identification and eradication of infectious diseases. We are developing model membrane sensing platforms to interrogate the mechanisms of virus life cycles, especially that of the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). We are also leveraging these engineering strategies to combat a wide range of viruses including dengue and influenza. In a related project, we are characterizing the molecular interactions of phospholipases involved in inflammatory response and the pathogeneses of many cancers.

To more effectively translate new medicines into clinical therapies, we also have an active regenerative medicine team focused on liver tissue engineering. The liver is an important organ that is the site of HCV infection. Moreover, liver toxicity is a major challenge which accounts for the costly failure of many drugs late in the pipeline. Therefore, our primary aim in this area is to develop an artificial liver tissue platform to study HCV infection and drug toxicity.

Taken together, our overall research initiative seeks to engineer artificial membrane and tissue platforms to probe biological systems, and to translate these findings into enhanced therapeutic and drug delivery options that more effectively target infectious diseases, inflammatory disorders, and cancer.
Research Grant
  • A*STAR - NHG - NTU Skin Research Grant (2014-)
  • NRF Competitive Research Program (2013-) [by National Research Foundation (NRF)]
  • NRF Proof of Concept (2015-)
  • NTU Internal Funding (2015-)
  • NTU-JSPS Joint Research Project (2015-)
  • NTU-NHG Ageing Research Grant (2014-)
  • NTU-NHG Ageing Research Grant (2015-)
  • Samsung Global Research Programme (2015-)
Current Projects
  • Affordable U-Healthcare Platform for Diabetes Management
  • Affordable U-healthcare Platform for Diabetes Management
  • Artificial Cell Membrane Microarray Platform for Molecular Diagnostics and Profiling
  • Artificial Liver Platform for Next-Generation Drug Discovery and Development
  • Biophysical Applications of Scanning Ion Conductance Microscopy
  • Combating Infectious Diseases: Engineering Strategies for Molecular Virology
  • Development of next generation biosensing devices with high sensitivity and selectivity based on surface-enhanced Raman scattering
  • Discovering Future Materials Project
  • Fusogenic Liposomes with Broad-Spectrum Antibacterial Activity for Topical Skin Applications
  • Liposome Technology towards the Development of a Cytokine-Based Peptide as a Biopharmaceutical Drug Candidate for Skin and Aging Applications
  • Liposome Technology towards the Development of a Cytokine-based Peptide as a Biopharmaceutical Drug Canddiate for Skin and Aging Application
  • Methods for production and quality control of mesenchymal stem cell-based therapies
  • Nanofiber-Encapsulated, Anti-Infective Agents for Treatment of Bacterial Skin Infections
  • Targeting Assembly and Function of Hepatitis C Virus Replicase
Selected Publications
  • Prabhakar Arun Kumar, Lai Hui Ying, Michael G. Potroz, Michael K. Corliss, Jae Hyeon Park, Raghavendra C. Mundargi, Daeho Cho, Sa-Ik Bang, and Nam-Joon Cho. (2017). Chemical Processing Strategies to Obtain Sporopollenin Exine Capsules from Multi-Compartmental Pine Pollen.. Journal of Industrial And Engineering Chemistry, .
  • Lee JS, Song JK, Kim SO, Kim SB, Lee WJ, Jackman JA, Kim DC, Cho NJ, Lee JC. (2016). Multifunctional Hydrogel Nano-Probes for Atomic Force Microscopy. Nature Communications, .
  • Kim SO, Jackman JA, Mochizuki M, Yoon BK, Hayashi T, Cho NJ. (2016). Adhesion and Conformational Response of Peptides Differentially Triggered by Inorganic Materials. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, .
  • Jackman JA, Mészáros T, Fülöp T, Urbanics R, Szebeni J, Cho NJ. (2016). Comparison of Complement Activation-Related Pseudoallergy in Miniature and Domestic Pigs: Foundation of a Validatable Immune Toxicity Model. Nanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology and Medicine, 12(4), 933–943.
  • Jackman JA, Yoon BK, Li D, Cho NJ. (2016). Nanotechnology Formulations for Antibacterial Free Fatty Acids and Monoglycerides. Molecules, 21(3), 305.

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