Human Infectious Diseases Logo
BII's unique combination of research groups from different disciplines (gene expression, protein sequence, protein structure, bioimaging) opens the opportunity to cover a wide range of aspects of collaborative research on infectious diseases that are not easily found under the same roof in other institutes. To coordinate our efforts, we have established a cross-division research programme called the Human Emerging Infectious Diseases Initiative, or HEIDI.

Human Emerging Infectious Diseases Initiative Logo

Known for being at the forefront of research during the 2009 (H1N1) pandemic, we are well prepared for coming influenza seasons, new pandemics and challenges of novel infectious agents. We are also involved in the development of new antibiotics to treat eye infections and participate in several other local and international efforts on infectious diseases. Interested clinicians, industry partners, researchers and health authorities are welcome to contact the programme director (Sebastian Maurer-Stroh) for collaborations.
Current main research areas:
  • Influenza
  • Flaviviruses (Dengue and Zika)
    • Structure-guided in silico drug design of dengue protease inhibitors.
      (in collaboration with Duke-NUS, ETC, Goethe University Frankfurt and University of Ulm)

  • Antibacterial drugs
    • Defensin derived antimicrobials with a focus on eye infections
      (in collaboration with Singapore Eye Research Institute (, NTU, NUS, Singapore General Hospital Pathology)
      • new molecules in pre-clinical testing show activity against clinical strains of Pseudomonas, MRSA and fungus
      • Visit Defensins Knowledgebase
    • Computational antibiotic susceptibility profiles from whole genome data
    • Automated classification of beta-lactamases based on substrate binding pocket similarities
      (in collaboration with SGH and NPHL/MOH)

  • Contributions to A*STAR BMRC infectious disease research topics:
    • Influenza vaccine
    • Tuberculosis
    • Malaria
    • Dengue
    • HFMD/EV71
Recent publications:

Su CT, Kwoh CK, Verma CS, Gan SK. Modeling the full length HIV-1 Gag polyprotein reveals the role of its p6 subunit in viral maturation and the effect of non-cleavage site mutations in protease drug resistance. J Biomol Struct Dyn. 2017 Dec 13:1-40. doi: 10.1080/07391102.2017.1417160. PubMed PMID: 29237328.

Taye B, Yeo D, Lee RTC, Tan BH, Sugrue RJ, Maurer-Stroh S. Inter-Species Host Gene Expression Differences in Response to Human and Avian Influenza A Virus Strains. Int J Mol Sci. 2017 Nov 1;18(11). pii: E2295. doi: 10.3390/ijms18112295. PubMed PMID: 29104227; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5713265.

Joshi A, Cox EK, Sedano MJ, Punke EB, Lee RT, Maurer-Stroh S, Kaur P, Ng OT, Garg H. HIV-1 subtype CRF01_AE and B differ in utilization of low levels of CCR5, Maraviroc susceptibility and potential N-glycosylation sites. Virology. 2017 Dec;512:222-233. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2017.09.026. PubMed PMID: 29020646; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5653400.

Marakasova ES, Eisenhaber B, Maurer-Stroh S, Eisenhaber F, Baranova A. Prenylation of viral proteins by enzymes of the host: Virus-driven rationale for therapy with statins and FT/GGT1 inhibitors. Bioessays. 2017 Oct;39(10). doi: 10.1002/bies.201700014. Review. PubMed PMID: 28885709.

Liu H, Wang Z, Li Y, Yu G, Fu X, Wang C, Liu W, Yu Y, Bao F, Irwanto A, Liu J, Chu T, Andiappan AK, Maurer-Stroh S, Limviphuvadh V, Wang H, Mi Z, Sun Y, Sun L, Wang L, Wang C, You J, Li J, Foo JN, Liany H, Meah WY, Niu G, Yue Z, Zhao Q, Wang N, Yu M, Yu W, Cheng X, Khor CC, Sim KS, Aung T, Wang N, Wang D, Shi L, Ning Y, Zheng Z, Yang R, Li J, Yang J, Yan L, Shen J, Zhang G, Chen S, Liu J, Zhang F. Genome-Wide Analysis of Protein-Coding Variants in Leprosy. J Invest Dermatol. 2017 Dec;137(12):2544-2551. doi: 10.1016/j.jid.2017.08.004. PubMed PMID: 28842327.

Taye B, Vaz C, Tanavde V, Kuznetsov VA, Eisenhaber F, Sugrue RJ, Maurer-Stroh S. Benchmarking selected computational gene network growing tools in context of virus-host interactions. Sci Rep. 2017 Jul 19;7(1):5805. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-06020-6. PubMed PMID: 28724991; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5517527.

Arellano-Llamas R, Alfaro-Ruiz L, Arriaga Canon C, Imaz Rosshandler I, Cruz-Lagunas A, Zúñiga J, Rebollar Vega R, Wong CW, Maurer-Stroh S, Romero Córdoba S, Liu ET, Hidalgo-Miranda A, Vázquez-Pérez JA. Molecular features of influenza A (H1N1)pdm09 prevalent in Mexico during winter seasons 2012-2014. PLoS One. 2017 Jul 10;12(7):e0180419. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0180419. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28692701; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5503254.

Chang HH, Huber RG, Bond PJ, Grad YH, Camerini D, Maurer-Stroh S, Lipsitch M. Systematic analysis of protein identity between Zika virus and other arthropod-borne viruses. Bull World Health Organ. 2017 Jul 1;95(7):517-525I. doi: 10.2471/BLT.16.182105. PubMed PMID: 28670016; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5487971.

Taye B, Chen H, Myaing MZ, Tan BH, Maurer-Stroh S, Sugrue RJ. Systems-based approach to examine the cytokine responses in primary mouse lung macrophages infected with low pathogenic avian Influenza virus circulating in South East Asia. BMC Genomics. 2017 May 30;18(1):420. doi: 10.1186/s12864-017-3803-6. PubMed PMID: 28558796; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5450074.

Singapore Zika Study Group. Outbreak of Zika virus infection in Singapore: an epidemiological, entomological, virological, and clinical analysis. Lancet Infect Dis. 2017 Aug;17(8):813-821. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(17)30249-9. PubMed PMID: 28527892.

Kam YW, Lee CY, Teo TH, Howland SW, Amrun SN, Lum FM, See P, Kng NQ, Huber RG, Xu MH, Tan HL, Choo A, Maurer-Stroh S, Ginhoux F, Fink K, Wang CI, Ng LFP, Rénia L. Cross-reactive dengue human monoclonal antibody prevents severe pathologies and death from Zika virus infections. JCI Insight. 2017 Apr 20;2(8). pii: 92428. doi: 10.1172/jci.insight.92428. PubMed PMID: 28422757; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5396524.

Raj P, Tay J, Ang LW, Tien WS, Thu M, Lee P, Pang QY, Tang YL, Lee KY, Maurer-Stroh S, Gunalan V, Cutter J, Goh KT. A large common-source outbreak of norovirus gastroenteritis in a hotel in Singapore, 2012. Epidemiol Infect. 2017 Feb;145(3):535-544. doi: 10.1017/S095026881600248X. PubMed PMID: 27788694.

Virk RK, Gunalan V, Lee HK, Inoue M, Chua C, Tan BH, Tambyah PA. Molecular Evidence of Transmission of Influenza A/H1N1 2009 on a University Campus. PLoS One. 2017 Jan 6;12(1):e0168596. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0168596. eCollection 2017. PubMed PMID: 28060851; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5218485.

Mendenhall IH, Borthwick S, Neves ES, Low D, Linster M, Liang B, Skiles M, Jayakumar J, Han H, Gunalan V, Lee BPY, Okahara K, Wang LF, Maurer-Stroh S, Su YCF, Smith GJD. Identification of a Lineage D Betacoronavirus in Cave Nectar Bats (Eonycteris spelaea) in Singapore and an Overview of Lineage D Reservoir Ecology in SE Asian Bats. Transbound Emerg Dis. 2017 Dec;64(6):1790-1800. doi: 10.1111/tbed.12568. PubMed PMID: 27637887.

Samsudin F, Ortiz-Suarez ML, Piggot TJ, Bond PJ, Khalid S. OmpA: A Flexible Clamp for Bacterial Cell Wall Attachment. Structure. 2016 Dec 6;24(12):2227-2235. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2016.10.009. PubMed PMID: 27866852.

Su CT, Ling WL, Lua WH, Haw YX, Gan SK. Structural analyses of 2015-updated drug-resistant mutations in HIV-1 protease: an implication of protease inhibitor cross-resistance. BMC Bioinformatics. 2016 Dec 22;17(Suppl 19):500. doi: 10.1186/s12859-016-1372-3. PubMed PMID: 28155724; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5259968.

Li J, Koh JJ, Liu S, Lakshminarayanan R, Verma CS, Beuerman RW. Membrane Active Antimicrobial Peptides: Translating Mechanistic Insights to Design. Front Neurosci. 2017 Feb 14;11:73. doi: 10.3389/fnins.2017.00073. eCollection 2017. Review. PubMed PMID: 28261050; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5306396.

Huber RG, Marzinek JK, Holdbrook DA, Bond PJ. Multiscale molecular dynamics simulation approaches to the structure and dynamics of viruses. Prog Biophys Mol Biol. 2017 Sep;128:121-132. doi: 10.1016/j.pbiomolbio.2016.09.010. Review. PubMed PMID: 27765545.

Santos-Moreno J, East A, Guilvout I, Nadeau N, Bond PJ, Tran Van Nhieu G, Francetic O. Polar N-terminal Residues Conserved in Type 2 Secretion Pseudopilins Determine Subunit Targeting and Membrane Extraction Steps during Fibre Assembly. J Mol Biol. 2017 Jun 2;429(11):1746-1765. doi: 10.1016/j.jmb.2017.04.005. PubMed PMID: 28427876.

Boags A, Hsu PC, Samsudin F, Bond PJ, Khalid S. Progress in Molecular Dynamics Simulations of Gram-Negative Bacterial Cell Envelopes. J Phys Chem Lett. 2017 Jun 1;8(11):2513-2518. doi: 10.1021/acs.jpclett.7b00473. PubMed PMID: 28467715.

Petrlova J, Hansen FC, van der Plas MJA, Huber RG, Mörgelin M, Malmsten M, Bond PJ, Schmidtchen A. Aggregation of thrombin-derived C-terminal fragments as a previously undisclosed host defense mechanism. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2017 May 23;114(21):E4213-E4222. doi: 10.1073/pnas.1619609114. PubMed PMID: 28473418; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5448181.

Lipsitch M, Barclay W, Raman R, Russell CJ, Belser JA, Cobey S, Kasson PM, Lloyd-Smith JO, Maurer-Stroh S, Riley S, Beauchemin CA, Bedford T, Friedrich TC, Handel A, Herfst S, Murcia PR, Roche B, Wilke CO, Russell CA. Viral factors in influenza pandemic risk assessment. Elife. 2016 Nov 11;5. pii: e18491. doi: 10.7554/eLife.18491. PubMed PMID: 27834632; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5156527.

Maurer-Stroh S, Mak TM, Ng YK, Phuah SP, Huber RG, Marzinek JK, Holdbrook DA, Lee RT, Cui L, Lin RT. South-east Asian Zika virus strain linked to cluster of cases in Singapore, August 2016. Euro Surveill. 2016 Sep 22;21(38). doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2016.21.38.30347. PubMed PMID: 27684526; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC5073200.

Krawczyk K, Sim AY, Knapp B, Deane CM, Minary P. Tertiary Element Interaction in HIV-1 TAR. J Chem Inf Model. 2016 Sep 26;56(9):1746-54. doi: 10.1021/acs.jcim.6b00152. PubMed PMID: 27500460.

Chen H, Deng Q, Ng SH, Lee RT, Maurer-Stroh S, Zhai W. Dynamic Convergent Evolution Drives the Passage Adaptation across 48 Years' History of H3N2 Influenza Evolution. Mol Biol Evol. 2016 Dec;33(12):3133-3143. PubMed PMID: 27604224.

Hurt AC, Besselaar TG, Daniels RS, Ermetal B, Fry A, Gubareva L, Huang W, Lackenby A, Lee RT, Lo J, Maurer-Stroh S, Nguyen HT, Pereyaslov D, Rebelo-de-Andrade H, Siqueira MM, Takashita E, Tashiro M, Tilmanis D, Wang D, Zhang W, Meijer A. Global update on the susceptibility of human influenza viruses to neuraminidase inhibitors, 2014-2015. Antiviral Res. 2016 Aug;132:178-85. doi: 10.1016/j.antiviral.2016.06.001. PubMed PMID: 27265623.

Marzinek JK, Holdbrook DA, Huber RG, Verma C, Bond PJ. Pushing the Envelope: Dengue Viral Membrane Coaxed into Shape by Molecular Simulations. Structure. 2016 Aug 2;24(8):1410-20. doi: 10.1016/j.str.2016.05.014. PubMed PMID: 27396828.

Morkunas B, Gal B, Galloway WR, Hodgkinson JT, Ibbeson BM, Tan YS, Welch M, Spring DR. Discovery of an inhibitor of the production of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa virulence factor pyocyanin in wild-type cells. Beilstein J Org Chem. 2016 Jul 11;12:1428-33. doi: 10.3762/bjoc.12.137. PubMed PMID: 27559393; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4979876.

Kamran M, Sinha S, Dubey P, Lynn AM, Dhar SK. Identification of putative Z-ring-associated proteins, involved in cell division in human pathogenic bacteria Helicobacter pylori. FEBS Lett. 2016 Jul;590(14):2158-71. doi: 10.1002/1873-3468.12230. PubMed PMID: 27253179.

Garg H, Lee RT, Maurer-Stroh S, Joshi A. HIV-1 adaptation to low levels of CCR5 results in V3 and V2 loop changes that increase envelope pathogenicity, CCR5 affinity and decrease susceptibility to Maraviroc. Virology. 2016 Jun;493:86-99. doi: 10.1016/j.virol.2016.03.010. PubMed PMID: 27017055.

Hapuarachchi HC, Koo C, Kek R, Xu H, Lai YL, Liu L, Kok SY, Shi Y, Chuen RL, Lee KS, Maurer-Stroh S, Ng LC. Intra-epidemic evolutionary dynamics of a Dengue virus type 1 population reveal mutant spectra that correlate with disease transmission. Sci Rep. 2016 Mar 4;6:22592. doi: 10.1038/srep22592. PubMed PMID: 26940650; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4778070.

Virk RK, Gunalan V, Tambyah PA. Influenza infection in human host: challenges in making a better influenza vaccine. Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2016;14(4):365-75. doi: 10.1586/14787210.2016.1155450. Review. PubMed PMID: 26885890.

Wee KB, Lee RT, Lin J, Pramono ZA, Maurer-Stroh S. Discovery of Influenza A Virus Sequence Pairs and Their Combinations for Simultaneous Heterosubtypic Targeting that Hedge against Antiviral Resistance. PLoS Comput Biol. 2016 Jan 15;12(1):e1004663. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1004663. PubMed PMID: 26771381; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4714944.

Maurer-Stroh S, Lee CW, Patel C, Lucero M, Nohynek H, Sung WK, Murad C, Ma J, Hibberd ML, Wong CW, Simões EA. Comparison of microarray-predicted closest genomes to sequencing for poliovirus vaccine strain similarity and influenza A phylogeny. Diagn Microbiol Infect Dis. 2016 Mar;84(3):203-6. doi: 10.1016/j.diagmicrobio.2015.11.003. PubMed PMID: 26658310.

Van TD, Tran N, Le L, Eisenhaber F. A Perspective on Rational Designs of a Hemagglutinin Based Universal Influenza Vaccine. Curr Pharm Des. 2016 Apr 19. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 24308491.

Marzinek JK, Lakshminarayanan R, Goh E, Huber RG, Panzade S, Verma C, Bond PJ. Characterizing the Conformational Landscape of Flavivirus Fusion Peptides via Simulation and Experiment. Sci Rep. 2016 Jan 20;6:19160. doi: 10.1038/srep19160. PubMed PMID: 26785994; PubMed Central PMCID: PMC4726195.

Cording A, Gormally M, Bond PJ, Carrington M, Balasubramanian S, Miska EA, Thomas B. Selective inhibitors of trypanosomal uridylyl transferase RET1 establish druggability of RNA post-transcriptional modifications. RNA Biol. 2016 Jan 20:1-9. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 26786754.
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