Matthew Wook CHANG

Associate Professor


Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS.
Programme Leader, NUS Synthetic Biology for Clinical and Technological Innovation (SynCTI).
Director, Singapore Consortium for Synthetic Biology (SINERGY).


Matthew Chang has made contributions in the field of engineering biology. His research interests lie in synthetic biology of microbial systems, with particular emphasis on development of synthetic microbes that perform programmable functions for engineering applications. In line with this emphasis, his current projects involve reprogramming of microbes for disease treatment and prevention, and biochemicals production, which have been funded by local and international funding organizations such as National Research Foundation, National Medical Research Council, A*STAR, National Environment Agency, Korean Ministry of Trade, Industry and Energy, U.S. Air Force, and U.S. Defense Threat Reduction Agency. In particular, he has pioneered the development of microbes programmed to perform targeted pathogen eradication. His scientific contributions have been recognised with international honours and awards, including the Scientific and Technological Achievement Award from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and featured worldwide in the public media, including the Economist, Reuters, Nature News, and Science. He serves as an editorial board member for ACS Synthetic Biology and Biotechnology Journal, and as an associate editor for Biotechnology for Biofuels.

Research Interest

1. Microbiome engineering for prevention and treatment of human diseases.
2. Functional probiotics as advanced dietary supplements.
3. Engineering biology for production of value-added chemicals.

Selected Publications

  1. Chen BB, Lee DY, Chang MW (2015) Combinatorial metabolic engineering of Saccharomyces cerevisiae for terminal alkene production. Metabolic Engineering. 31:53-61

  2. Ling H, Teo W, Chen B, Leong SSJ, Chang MW (2014) Microbial tolerance engineering toward biochemical production: from lignocellulose to products. Current Opinion in Biotechnology. 29:99-106.

  3. Hwang IY, Tan MH, Koh E, Ho CL, Poh CL, and Chang MW (2014) Reprogramming microbes to be a pathogen-seeking killer. ACS Synthetic Biology. 3:228-237.

  4. Lo T, Teo WS, Ling H, Chen BB, Kang A, Chang MW (2013) Microbial engineering strategies to improve cell viability for biochemical production. Biotechnology Advances. 31:903-914.

  5. Saeidi N, Wong CK, Lo T, Nguyen HX, Ling H, Leong SSJ, Poh CL, and Chang MW (2011) Engineering microbes to sense and eradicate Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a human pathogen. Molecular Systems Biology. 7:521.