TOO Heng-Phon

Associate Professor

+65 6516 3687


Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS
Adjunct Scientist, Bioprocess Technology Institute, A*STAR
Advisor, Biotransformation Innovation Platform, A*STAR
Founder, MiRXES Pte LTD


Degree and Institution Year(s)
B.Sc, ARCS. in Biochemistry, Imperial College of Science & Technology, UK 1982
PhD, Imperial College & Institute of Ophthalmology, London, UK 1985

Professional Experience

Title Year(s)
Co-Chair, Fellow, Chemical Pharmaceutical Engineering (CPE), SMA 2006-2016
Fellow, Mol Eng of Biol & Chem Systems (MEBCS), SMA 2001-2006
Research Fellow & Teaching Fellow, Dept. of Anesthesiology, Harvard Medical School 1989-1993
Research Fellow &Teaching Fellow, Dept. of Biological Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, USA 1987-1993
Postdoc Fellow, Dept. of Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School, USA 1986-1987
Postdoc Fellow, Molecular Neurobiology Unit, MRC, Cambridge, England 1985-1986

HP Too received his undergraduate training in Biochemistry, Imperial College of Science & Technology, UK. He then continued with his PhD training in a joint research project in Imperial College, Institute of Ophthalmology and West Minister Hospital, London. Thereafter, he received further training in the Medical Research Council, Cambridge (UK), where he was a Procter & Gamble Fellow. He then moved to the Department of Anesthesiology and Department of Biological Chemistry & Molecular Pharmacology, Harvard Medical School where he was a recipient of the Merck Sharpe Dohme Academic Development Fellowship. Currently, he is a faculty in the Department of Biochemistry, National University Singapore, a Principal Scientist in the Bioprocess Technological Institute and was a Fellow of the Singapore Massachusetts Institute of Technology Alliance (Molecular Engineering of Biological & Chemical Systems program; Chemical & Pharmaceutical Engineering program). His laboratory was funded by Roche Diagnostics (USA & Asia Pacific) and National Institute of Health (USA) to develop qPCR assays for infectious diseases. He is an awardee of a number of Commercialization of Technology grants from A*STAR and Singapore-Massachusetts Research & Technology (SMART). He has intellectual property protections on specific diagnostic platforms with various departments and with Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA. He is collaborating with a number of clinical groups locally and globally on discovery and development of microRNA biomarkers.

Research Interest

Bioanalytics (qPCR, bionanotechnology), MicroRNA, GDNF, Metabolic Engineering of Isoprenoids, Gene Delivery, Stem Cells.

Selected Publications

  1. Zhang C, Seow VY, Chen X, Too HP. Multidimensional heuristic process for high-yield production of astaxanthin and fragrance molecules in Escherichia coli. Nat Commun. 9(1):1858 (2018).

  2. Saw WY, Tantoso E, Begum H, Zhou L, Zou R, He C, Chan SL, Tan LW, Wong LP, Xu W, Moong DKN, Lim Y, Li B, Pillai NE, Peterson TA, Bielawny T, Meikle PJ, Mundra PA, Lim WY, Luo M, Chia KS, Ong RT, Brunham LR, Khor CC, Too HP, Soong R, Wenk MR, Little P, Teo YY. Establishing multiple omics baselines for three Southeast Asian populations in the Singapore Integrative Omics Study. Nat Commun. 8(1):653 (2017).

  3. Neo SH, Chung KY, Quek JM, Too HP. Trehalose significantly enhances the recovery of serum and serum exosomal miRNA from a paper-based matrix. Sci Rep. 7(1):16686 (2017)

  4. Y.K. Ho, L.H. Zhou, K.C. Tam, H.P. Too. Enhanced non-viral gene delivery by coordinated endosomal release and inhibition of β-tubulin deactylase. Nucleic Acids Res. 45(6):e38 (2017).

  5. Chen X, Zhang C, Zou R, Stephanopoulos G, Too HP. In Vitro Metabolic Engineering of Amorpha-4,11-diene Biosynthesis at Enhanced Rate and Specific Yield of Production. ACS Synth Biol. 6:1691-1700 (2017).

  6. S. Wu, Y. Zhou, T. Wang, H.P. Too, D. I. C. Wang, Z. Li. Highly regio- and enantioselective multiple oxy- and amino-functionalizations of alkenes by modular cascade biocatalysis. Nat Commun. (2016) 7:11917. Cheng H, Zhou L, Li B, Zhu M, Too HP, Choi WK. Nano-topology guided neurite outgrowth in PC12 cells is mediated by miRNAs. Nanomedicine. 2014. 10(8):1871-5.

  7. Ajikumar PK, Xiao WH, Tyo KE, Wang Y, Simeon F, Leonard E, Mucha O, Too HP, Pfeifer B, Stephanopoulos G. Isoprenoid pathway optimization for Taxol precursor overproduction in Escherichia coli. Science (2010) 330 (6000):70-4

  8. Wan G, Lim QE, Too HP. High-performance quantification of mature microRNAs by real-time RT-PCR using deoxyuridine-incorporated oligonucleotides and hemi-nested primers. RNA (2010) 16(7):1436-45