Department of Biochemistry

Leading the way in Biomedical Sciences



Associate Professor CHANG Wook Chang



Associate Professor CHANG, Matthew Wook


Tel: (65) 6601 3687 | Email: matthew_chang@nuhs.edu.sg | Web: Lab Page




Affiliations Associate Professor, Department of Biochemistry, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, NUS.


Matthew Chang has made contributions in the fields of biochemical engineering and synthetic biology, publishing over 50 peer-reviewed articles. 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 infection treatment, functional probiotic development, and biochemical 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 work has received international recognition and is featured in leading media agencies worldwide including The Economist, Reuters, Nature News, and Science. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Maryland, U.S.A., and B.S. degree from Seoul National University, Korea. He has been honored with the Scientific and Technological Achievement Award from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and invited to give plenary and keynote lectures at premier scientific meetings such as the International Meeting on Synthetic Biology by the BioBricks Foundation, the International Symposium on Synthetic Biology by the Helmholtz Association, and the EMBL Symposium on Competition in Biology.

Matthew Chang’s laboratory focuses on:

1. Reprogramming of therapeutic microbes for prevention and treatment of infectious disease.
2. Development of functional probiotics as advanced dietary supplements.
3. Engineering biology for production of valuable chemicals.

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

  2. Reprogramming microbes to be a pathogen-seeking killer. Hwang IY, Tan MH, Koh E, Ho CL, Poh CL, and Chang MW* ACS Synthetic Biology. 3:228-237. (2014).
    Featured in The Economist, Nature News, Medical News, Science World Report, Science Daily; Press release by American Chemical Society

  3. Development and characterization of AND-gate dynamic controllers with a modular synthetic core promoter in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Teo W, Chang MW* Biotechnology and Bioengineering. 111:144-151. (2014)

  4. Transcriptome response to alkane biofuels in Saccharomyces cerevisiae: identification of efflux pumps involved in alkane tolerance. Ling H, Chen BB, Kang A, Lee J, Chang MW* Biotechnology for Biofuels. 6:95. (2013).
    Featured in Biofuels International

  5. Designing a synthetic genetic circuit that enables cell density-dependent auto-regulatory lysis for macromolecule release. Lo T, Tan MH, Hwang IY, Chang MW* Chemical Engineering Science. 103:29-35. (2013)

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

  7. Transporter engineering for improved tolerance against alkane biofuels in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Chen BB, Ling H, Chang MW* Biotechnology for Biofuels. 6:21. (2013)
    Featured in the Global Knowledge Center on Crop Biotechnology

  8. Engineering microbes to sense and eradicate Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a human pathogen. Saeidi N, Wong CK, Lo T, Nguyen HX, Ling H, Leong SSJ, Poh CL, and Chang MW* Molecular Systems Biology. 7:521. (2011) Highlighted in Nature Reviews Genetics 9:699, and Nature Reviews Microbiology 12:668.
    This paper was reported by over 70 news media agencies worldwide, such as Reuters, CBS News, Fox News, Chicago Tribune, Australia Broadcasting Corporation News, Nature, Science, Yahoo News, The Scientist, Discover Magazine, International Business Times, and National Geographic. Locally, this work has been selected as one of the top 10 discoveries in 2011 by Straits Times, and featured by most local news agencies including Channel News Asia.

  9. A predicted S-type pyocin shows a bactericidal activity against clinical Pseudomonas aeruginosa isolates through membrane damage. Ling H, Saedi N, Rasouliha BH, and Chang MW* FEBS Letters. 584:3354-3358. (2010)