Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Prof Chen Wei Ning, William

Professor, School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering
Director, Food Science Technology (FST) Programme

Email: wnchen@ntu.edu.sg
Prof Chen Wei Ning, William

Biography
Professor Chen received his university education (both B.Sc. and D.Sc.) from Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium.

Professor Chen joined NTU as an Associate Professor in 2002, and received his tenure award (Associate Professor) in 2008. He was promoted to tenured Full Professor in 2011. At the University level, Professor Chen is the Director of the Food Science & Technology Programme (FST) in collaboration with Wageningen University & Research (WUR) from the Netherlands since 2014. Under his leadership, the NTU-WUR collaboration has now expanded from a Joint 2nd Major in FST to a Joint PhD programme. In 2018, a new MoU has been signed between NTU and WUR during President Halimah's State Visit to the Netherlands. New components of the collaboration under the MoU would include a SkillsFuture food science programme, joint research efforts in food ingredients and green food processing, as well as nurturing next-generation food technology leaders through student exchange programmes and workshops.

Professor Chen has shown outstanding dedication towards training university students at all levels. Twenty-eight PhD, 12 MSc, and numerous undergraduate students have graduated from his NTU lab . Professor Chen was honoured at the 2010 NTU convocation with the “Inspirational Mentorship”, in recognition of his effort in guiding the top undergraduate student in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering to be the recipient of both Lee Kuan Yew Gold Medal and Koh Boon Hwee Scholar’s Awards. In 2013, his Science Research Programme student from Raffles Institution won an individual Gold Medal at the prestigious Singapore Science & Engineering Fair (SEEF).

Professor Chen’s research is highly inter-disciplinary with a strong focus on platform technologies for food tech innovations, which have resulted in his active joint R&D with food industry, government agencies and non governmental organisations. His research in nutrient recovery from food waste and natural food preservatives was covered in Future Forward programme by Channel News Asia (Jan 2015), reported in The Straits Times (Jun 2015, Apr 2016, Mar 2017, Aug 2018, and Jan 2019) as well as in an Exclusive report in The Business Times (Apr, 2019), and international media including from Europe and USA. He has been extensively interviewed by many media outlets, including BBC World News, CNBC and CNN, for his views on future food technologies and food security matters. He is now Director of F&N-NTU Innovation Lab which was opened by Minister for Education Mr. Ong YK in Jan 2019.

Professor Chen has been appointed by NTU in 2019 as the Michael Fam Chair Professor in Food Science and Technogy.

Professor Chen is active as PI and Co-PI of competitive external research grants from major government funding agencies as well as leading international food industries, totalling more than S$20 million. He has published extensively (with more than 200 papers) in peer-reviewed international journals, and has been invited as a Plenary Speaker at various international conferences. He has also been invited as a Visiting Professor by Zhejiang University of Technology in 2016. In recognition of his contributions, he is now a Fellow of the US Food Systems Leadership Institute (FSLI) and has been appointed by Singapore Food Agency to its Advisory Committee.

Professor Chen is active in professional services. He is an Academic Editor of PLoS ONE, and an Associate Editor/member of the Editorial Board of eight international journals. Professor Chen has been involved in organizing international conferences. He was the Organizing Chairman of the inaugural International Symposium on Synthetic Biology in 2010, an event widely reported in Singapore local media including a column analysis in The Straits Times.

In addition to teaching and research, Professor Chen has made dedicated service contributions to School of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, NTU and Singapore society at large.
Research Interests
1. Food Waste Management; 2. Food Processing Tech Innovations; 3. Metabolic and Microbial Engineering for Valuable Chemicals; 4. Sustainable Production of Food Ingredients; 5. Fermentation Technology; 6. Biomarkers Identification for Nutrition and Food Safety
Current Projects
  • Bio-Fermentation of Okara into Valuable Ingredient for Poultry Feed
  • Chiral Drugs and Cellular Signaling: Protein and Metabolite Profiling
  • F&N-NTU F&B Innovations Lab
  • Food Science Research
  • Green extraction of natural carotenoids from algae and yeast using supercritical carbon dioxide for food additives application
  • Improvement of peeling step in Cashew Nuts Pre-processing
  • Liver cancer proteomics research
  • Metabolomics platform development for biomarker detection in mindset learning
  • Michael Fam Chair Professorship in Food Science and Technology
  • P2biotics for Healthy Living
  • Preclinical Investigation of Drug De-blocking Mechanism
  • Probiotics as Healthy Ingredient for Ice Application
  • Selective contact-active antimicrobial bio-macromolecules
  • Signaling of RhO GTP-binding Proteins in HBV Replication
  • Spent Grain Materials
  • Technology Innovation for Food Security
  • Undertaking a metabolic profiling analysis on sample essence for healthy living
Selected Publications
  • Jain A, Li X, and Chen W*. (2019). An untargeted fecal and urine metabolomics analysis of the interplay between the gut microbiome, diet and human metabolism in Indian and Chinese adult. Scientific Reports, 9, 9191.
  • Zhao G, Lyu X, Lee J, Cui X, and Chen W*. (2019). Biodegradable and transparent cellulose film prepared eco-friendly from durian rind for packaging application. Food Packaging and Shelf Life, 21, 100345.
  • Tan YX, Mok WK, Lee J, Kim J, and Chen W*. (2019). Solid State Fermentation of Brewers’ Spent Grains for Improved Nutritional Profile Using Bacillus subtilis WX-17. Fermentation, 5, 52.
  • Lyu X, Zhao G, Ng KR, Mark R, and Chen W*. (2019). Metabolic Engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for De Novo Production of Kaempferol.. Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, 67(19), 5596-560.
  • Ng KR, Lyu XM, Mark R, Chen W*. (2019). Antimicrobial and antioxidant activities of phenolics metabolites from flavonoid-producing yeast: potential as natural food preservatives. Food Chemistry, 270, 123-8.

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