Academic Profile

Academic Profile

Prof Chen Wei Ning, William

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

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. He was promoted to tenured Full Professor in 2011. At the University level, Professor Chen is the Director of the Food Science & Technology Programme (NTU 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.

Professor Chen has shown outstanding dedication towards training university students at all levels. Thirty-one PhD, 18 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). In 2019, Prof. Chen was awarded the Outstanding Mentor Award by Ministry of Education, for guiding four teams from Raffles Institution in Science Mentorship Programme under MOE's Gifted Education Programme.

Professor Chen’s research is highly inter-disciplinary with a strong focus on platform development for food tech innovations, which have resulted in his active joint R&D with food industry, government agencies and non-governmental organizations. In 2019, Singapore Minister of Education Mr. Ong Ye Kung opened the F&N-NTU F&B Innovation Lab, the first external lab in the company's 135 years of history.

Prof. Chen's research in zero food waste processing and Circular Food Economy was covered by Channel News Asia, reported in The Straits Times on several occasions as well as in an Exclusive report in The Business Times. His tech innovations have been featured in international media including BBC, CNBC and CNN. The ‘Going Green’ programme by CNN (Dec 2019) described Prof. Chen as a Game-Changing Leader in the green revolution of the food system.

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, totaling more than S$30 million. He has published extensively (with more than 200 papers) in peer-reviewed international journals. Prof. Chen has been appointed by NTU as the Michael Fam Chair Professor in Food Science & Technology, to the Advisory Committee of the Singapore Food Agency, to Tech Committees with Singapore Food Standards Committee, to the Expert Advisory Panel of FoodInnovate Asia as well as to the Scientific Advisory Board of IFWRC with Waters Corporation.

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
  • 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
  • Microalgae as Alternative Protein Source
  • 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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