Contact Information:

Department of Biological Sciences
National University of Singapore
14 Science Drive 4
Singapore 117543

6516 2776
6779 2486

Academic Qualifications

Ph.D.(Royal Postgraduate Medical School,University of London, UK

Research Interests

Innate immunity and cancer immunomodulation

We study innate immune response to acute phase infection, defining novel functions of frontline defense proteins eg: plasma lectins, complements, proteases, protease inhibitors, natural antibodies and TLR-mediated signaling – the ensemble of immune-responsive pathogen-recognition receptors and what regulates their immediate action which boosts pathogen surveillance and immune response.

Since infection-inflammation condition is a precursor to the tumor microenvironment and cancer metastasis, we also focus attention on such pathophysiological conditions which might impact or direct innate immune sentinal cells to cross-talk and mediate /suppress cancer cell growth and proliferation.

Some research projects in our lab include investigations on: (a) how polymicrobial infections drive crosstalk between TLR pathways, and how immune responsive transcription factors and gene promoters are regulated; (b) how cytokine genes are regulated during infection and tumorigenesis; (c) how macrophages live or die during acute phase infection and how they crosstalk with natural killer cells to immunomodulate cancer cells.

Research Highlights/Accomplishments

  1. 1995 National Science & Technology Award for ‘outstanding contributions to genetic engineering’

  2. 2000 Far Eastern Economic Review Award for Scientific Innovations

  3. 2000 NUS Outstanding Researcher Award

  4. 2008 Faculty of Science, NUS Outstanding Researcher Award

  5. 2009 Provost Chair Professorship

  6. 2012 Innovation & Enterprise Award, NUS

  7. 2016 Fellow, Singapore National Academy of Science


Selected Publications

  1. Riva Verma, Jun Zhi Er, Ren Wei Pu, Jameelah Sheik Mohamed, Ross A. Soo, Harish Mithiran Muthiah, John Kit Chung Tam and Jeak Ling Ding* (2020), Eomes expression defines Group 1 innate lymphoid cells during metastasis in human and mouse. Frontiers in Immunology doi: 10.3389/fimmu.2020.01190 | link

  2. Tiffany T. Ong, Zhiwei Ang, Riva Verma, Ricky Koean, John Kit Chung Tam and Jeak Ling Ding* (2020), pHLuc, a Ratiometric Luminescent Reporter for in vivo Monitoring of Tumor Acidosis. Frontiers in Bioengineering & Biotechnology doi: 10.3389/fbioe.2020.00412  link

  3. Qing Wei Winnie Choo, Ricky Abdi Gunawan Koean, Shu-Chun Chang, Wee Joo, Chng, Ming Chun Chan, Wilson Wang, Jun Zhi Er & Jeak Ling Ding* (2020), Macrophages protect mycoplasma-infected chronic myeloid leukemia cells from natural killer cell killing. Immunology & Cell Biology doi: 10.1111/imcb.12309 | link

  4. Yang L, Zheng LZ, Chng WJ, and Ding JL* (2019), Comprehensive Analysis of ERK1/2 Substrates for Potential Combination Immunotherapies. Trends in Pharmacological Sciencesdoi.org/10.1016/j.tips.2019.09.005  | Link

  5. Yang, L. & Ding J.L. (2019). MEK1/2 inhibitors unlock the constrained interferon response in macrophages through IRF1 signaling. Frontiers in Immunology | Link

  6. Ang, Z., Koean, R. A. G., Er, J. Z., Lee, L. T., Tam, J. K. C., Guo, H., & Ding, J. L. (2019). Novel AU-rich proximal UTR sequences (APS) enhance CXCL8 synthesis upon the induction of rpS6 phosphorylation. PLOS GENETICS, 15(4), 28 pages. doi:10.1371/journal.pgen.1008077

  7. Ye Chean Teh, Jeak Ling Ding, Lai Guan Ng & Shu Zhen Chong (2019). Capturing the Fantastic voyage of monocytes through time and space. Frontiers in Immunology doi:10.3389/fimmu.2019.00834, 16 April 2019. https://doi.org/10.3389/fimmu.2019.00834 | pdf

  8. Jun Zhi Er, Ricky Abdi Gunawan Koean & Jeak Ling Ding (2018) Loss of T-bet confers survival advantage to influenza–bacterial superinfection The EMBO Journal e99176 | 2018 pdf

  9. Chang SC and Ding JL (2018) Ubiquitination and SUMOylation in the chronic inflammatory tumor microenvironment. BBA Reviews on Cancer. doi: 10.1016/j.bbcan.2018.08.002

  10. Ang ZW, Xiong D, Wu M and Ding JL (2018)  FFAR2-FFAR3 receptor heteromerization modulates short-chain fatty acid sensing. FASEB J 32 (2018), 289-303 doi: 10.1096/fj.201700252RR pdf

  11. Wai Hoe Lau, Xiphias Ge Zhu, Shamaine Wei Ting Ho, Shu Chun Chang, Jeak Ling Ding (2017).
    Combinatorial treatment with polyI:C and anti-IL6 enhances apoptosis and suppresses metastasis of lung cancer cells. Oncotarget DOI: 10.18632/oncotarget.15862 pdf

  12. Zhiwei Ang, Jun Zhi Er, Nguan Soon Tan, Jinhua Lu, Yih-Cherng Liou, Johannes Grosse & Jeak Ling Ding, Human and mouse monocytes display distinct signalling and cytokine profiles upon stimulation with FFAR2/FFAR3 short-chain fatty acid receptor agonists. Scientific Reports | 6:34145 | DOI: 10.1038/srep34145 pdf

  13. Bing Liu, Qian Liu, Lei Yang, Sucheendra K. Palaniappan, Ivet Bahar, P. S. Thiagarajan, Jeak Ling Ding, Innate immune memory and homeostasis may be conferred through crosstalk between the TLR3 and TLR7 pathways. Science Signaling.org 12 July 2016 Vol 9 Issue 436 ra70 pdf

  14. Qian Liu and Jeak Ling Ding, The molecular mechanisms of TLR-signaling cooperation in cytokine regulation. Immunology and Cell Biology (2016), 1–5 pdf

  15. Zhiwei Ang and Jeak Ling Ding, GPR41 and GPR43 in Obesity and inflammation – Protective or Causative? Frontiers in immunology, Mini Review, (2016) pdf

  16. Carlsson E, Ding JL, Byrne B. SARM modulates MyD88-mediated TLR activation through BB-loop
    dependent TIR-TIR interactions. Biochimica et Biohysica Acta (Molecular Cell Research) 1863 (2016) 244-253 pdf

  17. Chang SC, Ding JL. SAG-UPS regulates malignant transformation – from chronic inflammation to protumorigenesis to liver cancer. Cell Death and Diseases (2015) 6, e1941; doi:10.1038/cddis.2015.312

  18. Chang SC, Choo WQW, Toh HC, Ding JL. SAG-UPS attenuates proapoptotic SARM and Noxa to confer survival advantage to early hepatocellular carcinoma. Cell Death Discovery (2015) 1, 15032; doi:10.1038/cddiscovery.2015.32

  19. Liu Q, Zhu Y, Yong WK, Sze NSK, Tan NS, Ding JL. Synchronisation of IRF1, JunB & C/EBPb activities during TLR3-TLR7 crosstalk orchestrates timely cytokine synergy in the proinflammatory response J. Immunol. Cutting Edge (2015) 195: 801-805

  20. Panneerselvam P, Ding JL. Beyond TLR signalling – the role of SARM in antiviral immune defense, apoptosis and development. Intl. Revs. Immunol. (2015) 34: 432-444. doi:10.3109/08830185.2015.1065826

  21. Ang ZW, Er JZ, Ding JL. The short-chain fatty acid receptor GPR43 is transcriptionally regulated by XBP1 in human monocytes. Scientific Reports (2015) 5: 8134 doi:10.1038/srep08134

  22. Lee SK, Goh SY, Wong YQ, Ding JL. Response of neutrophils to extracellular haemoglobin and LTA in human blood system. EBioMedicine (2015) http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ebiom.2015.01.003

  23. Panda S, Ding JL. Natural antibodies bridge innate and adaptive immunity. J. Immunol. (2015) 194: 13-20

  24. Leong KW, Ding JL. The unexplored roles of human serum IgA. DNA Cell Biol. (2014) 33(12): 823-829

  25. Chang SC, Ding JL. Ubiquitination by SAG regulates macrophage survival/death and immune response during infection. Cell Death Differentiation (2014) 21: 1388-1398  pdf

  26. Tan ST, Ho B, Leung BPL, Ding JL. TLR crosstalk confers specificity to innate immunity. Intl Reviews of Immunol. (2014) 33:443–453

  27. Bahl N, Winarsih I, Tucker-Kellogg L, Ding JL. Extracellular haemoglobin upregulates and binds to tissue factor on macrophages: implications for coagulation and oxidative stress. Thrombosis and Haemostasis (2014) 111: 67-78

  28. Panda S, Zhang J, Yang LF, Anand GS, Ding JL. Molecular interaction between natural IgG and ficolin – mechanistic insights on adaptive-innate immune crosstalk. Scientific Reports 4: 3675 DOI: 10.1038/srep03675

  29. Panda, S., Zhang, J., Tan, N.S., Ho, B. and Ding, J.L. Natural IgG antibodies provide innate protection against ficolin-opsonized bacteria. EMBO J. Advance online publication, 3 September 2013; doi:10.1038/emboj.2013.199

  30. Rebecca Suet Ting Tan, Bin Lin, Qian Liu, Lisa Tucker-Kellogg, Bow Ho, Bernard PL Leung and Jeak Ling Ding. The synergy in cytokine production through MyD88-TRIF pathways is co-ordinated with ERK phosphorylation in macrophages. Immunol. Cell Biol. (2013) doi:org/10.1038/icb.2013.13

  31. Karthik Subramanian, Ruijuan Du, Nguan Soon Tan, Bow Ho and Jeak Ling Ding. CD163 and IgG Codefend against Cytotoxic Hemoglobin via Autocrine and Paracrine Mechanisms. J. Immunol. (2013) doi:10.4049/jimmunol.1202648

  32. Panneerselvam P, Laishram PKS, Selvarajoo V, Chng WJ, Ng SB, Tan NS, Ho B, Chen JZ and Ding JL. T cell death following immune activation is mediated by mitochondria-localized SARM. Cell Death and Differentiation (2013) 20, 478–489

  33. Panneerselvam P, Laishram PKS, Ho B, Chen JZ and Ding JL. Targeting of pro-apoptotic TLR adaptor, SARM, to mitochondria: definition of critical region and residues in the signal sequence. Biochem. J. (2012) 442: 263-271.

  34. Du R, Winarsih I, Ho B and Ding JL. Lipid-free apolipoprotein AI exerts an antioxidative role against cell-free hemoglobin. Am. J. Clin. Exp. Immunol. (2012) 1: 33-48.

  35. Bahl N, Du R, Winarsih I, Ho B, Tucker-Kellogg L, Tidor B and Ding JL. Delineation of LPS-binding sites on hemoglobin – from in silico predictions to biophysical characterization. J. Biol. Chem. (2011) 286: 37793-37803.

  36. Zhu PC, Tan MJ, Huang R-L, Tan CK, Chong HC, Pal M, Lam CRI, Boukamp P, Pan JY, Tan SH, Kersten S, Li HY, Ding JL and Tan NS. Angiopoietin-like 4 Protein Elevates the Prosurvival Intracellular O2– : H2O2 Ratio and Confers Anoikis Resistance to Tumors. Cancer Cell (2011) 19: 401-415.

  37. Bing Liu, Jing Zhang, Pei Yi Tan, David Hsu, Anna M. Blom, Benjamin Leong, Sunil Sethi, Bow Ho, Jeak Ling Ding*, P. S. Thiagarajan* A Computational and Experimental Study of the Regulatory Mechanisms of the Complement System
    PLoS Comput Biol (2011) 7(1): e1001059. doi:10.1371/journal.pcbi.1001059

  38. Low DHP, Frecer F, Le Saux A, Srinivasan GA, Ho B, Chen J, and Ding JL. Molecular Interfaces of the Galactose-binding Protein Tectonin Domains in Host-Pathogen Interaction. J. Biol. Chem. (2010) 285 (13): 9898–9907

  39. Zhang J, Yang L, Ang ZW, Yoong SL, Tran TTTT, Ganesh SA, Tan NS, Ho B and Ding JL. Secreted M-ficolin anchors onto monocyte transmembrane GPCR43 and crosstalks with plasma CRP to mediate immune signaling and regulate host defense. J. Immunol. (2010): 6899-6910.

  40. SARM inhibits both TRIF- and MyD88-mediated AP-1 activation Jun Peng, Quan Yuan, Bin Lin, Porkodi Panneerselvam, Xiaowei Wang, Xiao Lei Luan, Soon Kok Lim, Bernard P Leung, Eur. J. Immunol.(2010). 40: 1738-1747

  41. Du RJ, Ho B & Ding JL. Rapid reprogramming of haemoglobin structure-function exposes multiple dual-antimicrobial potencies. EMBO J. (2010) doi:10.1038/emboj.2009.380

  42. Zhang J, Koh JY, Lu JH, Thiel S, Leong BSH, Sethi S, He CYX, Ho B & Ding JL. Local inflammation induces complement crosstalk which amplifies the antimicrobial response. PLoS Pathogens (2009) 5 (1): 1-15.

  43. Low DHP, Ang ZW, Yuan Q, Frecer V, Ho B, Chen J & Ding JL. A novel human Tectonin protein with multivalent b-propeller folds interacts with ficolin and binds bacterial LPS. PLoS One (2009) 4 (7):e6260, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.006260.

  44. Leptihn S, Har JY, Chen J, Ho B, Wohland T & Ding JL. Single molecule resolution of the antimicrobial action of quantum dot-labeled sushi peptide on live bacteria. BMC Biol. (2009) 7:22, doi:10.1186/1741-7007-7-22.

  45. Jiang N, Thangamani S, Chor CF, Wang SY, Winarsih I, Du RJ, Sivaraman J, Ho B & Ding JL. A novel serine protease inhibitor acts as an immunomodulatory switch while maintaining homeostasis. J Innate Immunity(2009) 1 (5): 465-479.

  46. Ding JL, Gan ST & Ho B (2009) ssDNA oligoaptamers: molecular recognition and LPS-antagonism are length- and secondary structure-dependent. J Innate Immunity 1 (2009):46-58

  47. Le Saux A, Ng MLP, Koh JJY, Low DHP, Leong GEL, Ho B & Ding JL. The macromol assembly of PRRs is impelled by serine proteases via their CCP modules. J Mol Biol 377 (2008): 902-913.

  48. Loh WCB, Wang XW, Bui THH, Luan XL, Ho B, Ding JL, SARM: a novel Toll-like receptor adaptor, is functionally conserved from arthropod to human Mol. Immunol. (2008): 45 (2008) 1732–1742

  49. Wang XW, Tan BZ, Sun M, Ho, B and Ding JL. TXNL6 protects retinal cell line from photooxidative damage by upregulating NF-kB activity. Free Rad Biol Med. 45 (2008): 336-344.

  50. Fan ZH, Wang XW, Lu JH, Ho B & Ding JL. Elucidating the function of an ancient NF-kB p100 homologue, CrRelish, in antibacterial defense. Infection & Immunity 76 (2008): 664-670

  51. Li Y, Ng MLP, Ho B & Ding JL. CrOctin is a femal-specific pentraxin that binds microbial phosphoethanolamine and bridges PRRs to the invading bacteria. Eur. J. Immunol. 37 (2007): 3477-3488.

  52. Jiang N, Tan NS, Ho B & Ding JL. Respiratory proteins generate ROS as an antimicrobial strategy. Nature Immunology, doi. 10.1038/ni1501 (Sept 2007)

  53. Ng PML, Le Saux A, Lee CM, Tan NS, Lu JH, Thiel S, Ho B & Ding JL. C-reactive protein collaborates with plasma lectins to boost immune response against bacteria. EMBO J. (2007) (online publication doi: 10.1038/sj.emboj.7601762).

  54. Wang XW, Tan NS, Ho B & Ding JL. Evidence for the ancient origin of the NFkB/IkB cascade – its archaic role in infection and immunity. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci (USA). 103 (2006): 4204-4209.

  55. Li P, Sun M, Ho B & Ding JL. The specificity of sushi peptides for endotoxin and anionic phospholipids: potential application of POPG as an adjuvant for anti-LPS strategies. Biochem. Soc. Trans. (London) 34 (2006):270-272. (pdf of paper– Mounted on the Internet with the permission of The Biochemical Society, 2006)

  56. Ding JL, Tan KC, Thangamani S, Kusuma N, Seow WK, Hanh BTH, Wang J & Ho B. Spatial and temporal co-ordination of expression of immune response during Pseudomonas infection of horseshoe crab, Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda. Genes & Immunity 6 (2005): 557-574.

  57. Ong ST, Wang LH, Zhu Y, Ho B & Ding JL. The response of ferritin to LPS and acute phase of Pseudomonas infection. J. Endotoxin Res. 11 (2005): 268-280.

  58. Tan SSH, Ng PML, Ho B & Ding JL. The antimicrobial properties of C-reactive protein (CRP). J. Endotoxin Res. 11 (2005):249-256.

  59. Yong Zhu, Saravanan Thangamani, Bow Ho and Jeak Ling Ding, The ancient origin of the complement system. The EMBO Journal (2005) 24, 382-394

  60. Li, P., Wohland, T, Ho, B. and Ding JL. Perturbation of LPS micelles by Sushi3 (S3) antimicrobial peptide: the importance of intermolecular disulfide-bond in S3 dimer for binding, disruption and neutralisation of LPS. J. Biol. Chem. 279 (2004): 50150-50156.

  61. Ng, MLP., Tan, SH., Ho, B. and Ding JL. The C-reactive protein: a predominant LPS-binding acute phase protein responsive to Pseudomonas infection. J. Endotoxin Res. 10 (2004): 163-174.

  62. Ding, JL, Wang, LH. And Ho, B. Current genome-wide analysis on serine proteases in innnate immunity. Current Genomics 5 (2004): 147-155.

  63. Frecer, V. Ho, B. and Ding, JHL. Denovo design of potent antimicrobial peptides. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 48 (2004): 3349-3357.

  64. Wang LH, Ho B & Ding J L, Transcriptional regulation of a limulus Factor C: repression of an NF?B motif modulates its responsiveness to bacterial lipopolysaccharide. J. Biol. Chem. 278 (2003): 49428-49437

  65. Li AK, Sadasivam M & Ding J L, Receptor-ligand interaction: Vtg receptor and Vtg, implications on LDLR and Apo B/E. The first three ligand binding repeats of Vtg receptor interact with the N-terminal region of Vtg. J. Biol. Chem. 278 (2003): 2799-2806

  66. Zhu Y, Ho B & Ding J L, Sequence and structural diversity in endotoxin-binding dodecapeptides. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1611 (2003): 234-242

  67. Li CG, Ng P M L, Zhu Y, Ho B & Ding J L, Tandem repeats of sushi peptide with enhanced LPS-binding and –neutralising activities. Protein Engineering 16 (2003): 629-635

  68. Wang J, Tan N S, Ho B & Ding J L, Modular arrangement and secretion of a multidomain serine protease: evidence for involvement of proline-rich region and N-glycans in the secretion pathway. J. Biol. Chem. 277 (2002): 36363-36372

  69. Goh YY, Ho B & Ding J L, A novel fluorescent protein-based biosensor for gram-negative bacteria. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 68 (2002): 6343-6352

  70. Goh YY, Frecer V, Ho B & Ding J L, Rational design of green fluorescent protein mutants as biosensor for bacterial endotoxin. Protein Engineering 15 (2002): 493-502

  71. Tan N S, Ding J L & Ho B, Engineering a novel secretion signal for cross-host rcombinant protein expression. Protein Engineering 15 (2002): 337-345

  72. Ding J L & Ho B, New era in pyrogen testing. Trends in Biotechnology, 19 (2001): 277-281

  73. Yau YH, Ho B, Tan N S, Ng P M L & Ding J L, The high therapeutic index of Factor C sushi peptides: potent antimicrobials against Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Antimicrobial Agents Chemotherapy, 45 (2001): 2820-2825

  74. Ding J L, Zhu Y & Ho B, High performance affinity capture/removal of bacteiral pyrogen from solutions. J. Chromatography, 795 (2001): 237-246.

  75. Tan NS, Ho B & Ding JL (2000) High affinity LPS-binding domain(s) in recombinant Factor C of a horseshoe crab neutralizes LPS-induced lethality. FASEB Journal 14: 859-870.

  76. Frecer V, Ho B & Ding JL (2000) Interpretation of biological activity data of bacterial endotoxins by simple molecular models of mechanism of action. Eur. J. Biochem. 267: 837-852

  77. Tan NS, Ho B & Ding JL (2000) Definition of endotoxin-binding sites in horseshoe crab Factor C recombinant sushi proteins and neutralisation of endotoxin by sushi peptides. FASEB Journal 14: 1801-1813

  78. Frecer V, Ho B & Ding JL (2000) Molecular dynamics study of lipid A from E. coli and its monophospho and dephospho analogues. Biochim. Biophys. Acta 1466: 87-104.


1998, 1999, 2001, 2002 -Cloning and expression of horseshoe crab Factor C for detection, removal of endotoxin & endotoxin therapeutics (US Patents granted)

1998 – 2009 Isolated nucleic acids encoding a secretory signal for expression and secretion of heterologous recombinant proteins (US Patent filed).