Department of Biochemistry

Matthew Wook CHANG

Associate Professor


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.

Research Interest

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.

Selected Publications

  1. Yu AQ, Pratomo Juwono NK, Leong SSJ and Chang MW (2015) Production of fatty acid-derived valuable chemicals in synthetic microbes. Frontiers in Bioengineering and Biotechnology 2:78.

  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. Chen BB, Ling H, Chang MW (2013) Transporter engineering for improved tolerance against alkane biofuels in Saccharomyces cerevisiae. Biotechnology for Biofuels. 6:21

  6. 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.