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Dr Lee Mei Chin

Dr Lee Mei Chin


Academic Appointments

  • Instructor SingHealth Duke-NUS Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Academic Clinical Programme


​Dr Lee obtained her PhD in biochemistry in 2010 at the National University of Singapore. She joined Singapore Eye Research Intitute (SERI) in 2012 to set up its biochemical research arm within the Ocular Genetics Laboratory. Dr Lee’s long-term goal is to improve the translation of biochemical insights into opportunities for development of novel diagnostic and therapeutic tools for managing glaucoma diseases.

Her current research focus on assay innovation and development as an objective method to unravel the mechanisms of mutant alleles identified via next generation sequencing and genome wide association study (GWAS) for rare and common glaucoma-type eye diseases. She is also involved in drug discovery research to reveal novel therapeutic indications of current glaucoma drugs. Over the years, she had participated in multiple international transdisciplinary collaborations. Many of her contributions were published in internationally acclaimed journals. To date, she had successfully obtained multiple national level grants as well as industry funds amounting up to $10.3 million dollars in collaboration with clinician scientists at SERI and principal investigators from different institutes.


  • PhD (2010)
  • BSc (2002)

Professional Appointments and Committee Memberships

  • Member, The Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) (2014 - present)
  • Member, Faculty and Professional Development Committee, Duke-NUS Ophthalmology & Visual Sciences Academic Clinical Programme (2018 – present)


  • Scientific Staff Development Award, A*STAR, Singapore (2004 – 2010)
  • Best Poster Award, IMCB Scientific Retreat, Singapore (2009)
  • Dean's commendation for high achievement, The University of Queensland, Australia (2002)

Research Interests

  • Implementation and utilization of biochemical cell-based approaches to characterize novel glaucoma  susceptibility genes in relation to the pathophysiological aspects of the diseases
  • Translational research leading to drug screening to alleviate glaucoma disease progression
  • To improve early diagnosis of glaucoma via molecular biomarkers


  1. Aung T, Ozaki M, Lee MC, Schllötzer-Schrehardt U, Thorleifsson G, Mizoguchi T, Igo P, Haripriya A, Williams SE, Astakhov YS, Orr AC, Burdon KP, Nakano S, Mori K, Abu-Amero K, Hauser M, Li Z, Prakadeeswari G, Cooke Bailey JN, Cherecheanu AP, Kang JH, Nelson S, Hayashi K, Manabe S, Kazama S, Zarnowski T, Inoue K, Irkec M et al. Worldwide genetic association study of exfoliation syndrome identifies highly protective rare variants at LOXL1 and five new common-variant susceptibility loci. Nat Genet. 2017; 49(7):993-1004. Joint-first Author

  2. Lee MC, Shei W, Chan AS, Chua BT, Goh SR, Chong YF, Hilmy MH, Nongpiur ME, Baskaran M, Khor CC, Aung T, Hunziker W, and Vithana EN. Primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) susceptibility gene PLEKHA7 encodes a novel Rac1/Cdc42 GAP that modulates cell migration and blood-aqueous barrier function. Hum Mol Genet. 2017; 26(20):4011-4027. First-Author

  3. Khor CC, Do T, Jia H, Nakano M, George R, Abu-Amero K, Duvesh R, Chen LJ, Li Z, Nongpiur ME, Perera SA, Qiao C, Wong HT, Sakai H, Barbosa de Melo M, Lee MC, Chan AS, Azhany Y, Dao TL, Ikeda Y, Perez-Grossmann RA, Zarnowski T, Day AC, Jonas JB, Tam PO, Tran TA, Ayub H, Akhtar F, Micheal S, Chew PT, Aljasim LA, Dada T, Luu TT, et al. Genome-wide association study identifies five new susceptibility loci for primary angle closure glaucoma. Nat Genet 2016; 48(5):556-62. Co-Author

  4. Li Z, Allingham RR, Nakano M, Jia L, Chen Y, Ikeda Y, Mani B, Chen LJ, Kee C, Garway-Heath DF, Sripriya S, Fuse N, Abu-Amero KK, Huang C, Namburi P, Burdon K, Perera SA, Gharahkhani P, Lin Y, Ueno M, Ozaki M, Mizoguchi T, Krishnadas SR, Osman EA, Lee MC, Chan AS, Tajudin LS, Do T, Goncalves A, Reynier P, Zhang H, Bourne R, Goh D, Broadway D, Husain R, Negi AK, Su DH, Ho CL, Blanco AA, Leung CK, Wong TT, Yakub A, Liu Y, et al. A common variant near TGFBR3 is associated with primary open angle glaucoma. Hum Mol Genet 2015; 24(13):3880-92. Co-Author

  5. Aung T, Ozaki M, Mizoguchi T, Allingham RR, Li Z, Haripriya A, Nakano S, Uebe S, Harder JM, Chan AS, Lee MC, Burdon KP, Astakhov YS, Abu-Amero KK, Zenteno JC, Nilgun Y, Zarnowski T, Pakravan M, Safieh LA, Jia L, et al. A common variant mapping to CACNA1A is associated with susceptibility to exfoliation syndrome. Nat Genet 2015; 47(4):387-92. Co-Author

  6. Lee MC, Chan AS, Goh SR, Hilmy MH, Nongpiur ME, Hong W, Aung T, Hunziker W, Vithana EN. Expression of the primary angle closure glaucoma (PACG) susceptibility gene PLEKHA7 in endothelial and epithelial cell junctions in the eye. Invest Ophthalmol Vis Sci 2014; 55(6):3833-41. First-Author

  7. He H, Lee MC, Zheng LL, Zheng L, Luo Y. Integration of the metabolic/redox state, histone gene switching, DNA replication and S-phase progression by moonlighting metabolic enzymes. Bioscience reports 2013; 33(2):e00018. Co-Author

  8. Goh LH, Zhou X, Lee MC, Lin S, Wang H, Luo Y, Yang X. Clueless regulates aPKC activity and promotes self-renewal cell fate in Drosophila lgl mutant larval brains. Dev Biol. 2013; 381(2):353-64. Co-Author

  9. Lee MC, Toh LL, Yaw LP, Luo Y. Drosophila octamer elements and Pdm-1 dictate the coordinated transcription of core histone genes. The Journal of biological chemistry 2010; 285(12):9041-53. First-Author

  10. Wan KF, Chan SL, Sukumaran SK, Lee MC, Yu VC. Chelerythrine induces apoptosis through a Bax/Bak-independent mitochondrial mechanism. The Journal of biological chemistry 2008; 283(13):8423-33. Co-Author

  11. Zhang YH, Bhunia A, Wan KF, Lee MC, Chan SL, Yu VC, Mok YK. Chelerythrine and sanguinarine dock at distinct sites on BclXL that are not the classic BH3 binding cleft. J Mol Biol 2006; 364(3):536-49. Co-Author

  12. Chan SL, Lee MC, Tan KO, Yang LK, Lee AS, Flotow H, Fu NY, Butler MS, Soejarto DD, Buss AD, Yu VC. Identification of chelerythrine as an inhibitor of BclXL function. The Journal of biological chemistry 2003; 278(23):20453-6.In press) Co-Author

Research Trials

  • Santen-SERI industrial alignment grant for Pseudo-exfoliation Glaucoma Project (2020-present)
  • Harnessing LOXL1 as a potential therapeutic candidate for exfoliation syndrome and exfoliation glaucoma (2018-2021)
  • Santen-SERI industrial alignment grant for Glaucoma Project 2 (2018-present)
  • Whole exome sequencing to identify actionable mutations causative of exfoliation syndrome and exfoliation glaucoma (2016 – present)
  • Cord derived mesenchymal trabecular meshwork stem cell replacement therapy (COMETS) in laser induced OHT rat model (2016 – 2017)
  • Whole exome sequencing to identify actionable mutations causative of Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma (2016 – 2019)
  • Characterizing the role of CACNA1 in Exfoliation Syndrome and Glaucoma (2015 – 2017)
  • Characterization of PLEKHA7 role in Primary Angle Closure Glaucoma Pathogenesis (2013 – 2017)