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Research Objectives


  • The neurodegeneration programme aims to conduct in-depth analyses of factors which contribute to, or modulate, degeneration of the nervous system.
  • Research is centered on the role of excitotoxicity in aging and dementia, and the role of free radicals in this process.
  • The role of glial cells and vascular factors in promoting neuroinflammation are also elucidated.
  • An accumulation of iron and lipid mediators including cholesterol oxidation products can also be toxic to neurons, and research is carried out, to elucidate the role of metal ions and lipids in neurodegeneration.
  • Possible avenues for neuroprotection and promoting resolution of neuronal injury are also explored.



Research Areas


  • Role of oxidative stress in neuronal injury
  • Role of lipid mediators in neuronal injury
  • Role of glial response and neuroinflammation in propagation of neuronal injury
  • Role of vascular factors in neuronal injury
  • Role of dysregulation of metal ions in neuronal injury
  • Biomarkers of neuronal injury
  • Resolution of neuronal injury
  • Novel neuroprotective agents and their delivery into the brain
  • Evaluating the efficacy of novel neuroprotective strategies


Programme Highlights

Collaborative projects have been carried out between members of the group, resulting in several papers in premium journals, book chapters, and awards at international conferences. Individual members have also been awarded several grants for research on cell models of neurodegenerative diseases, and translational research, on the development of antioxidants to treat neurological disorders.


Key Representative Publications


  1. Lee LH, Shui G, Farooqui AA, Wenk MR, Tan CH, Ong WY. Lipidomic analyses of the mouse brain after antidepressant treatment: evidence for endogenous release of long-chain fatty acids? Int J Neuropsychopharmacol. 2009 Feb 10:1-12.
  2. Zhou ZD, Lim TM. Dopamine (DA) induced irreversible proteasome inhibition via DA derived quinones. Free Radic Res. 2009 Apr;43(4):417-30.
  3. Zhou ZD, Kerk SY, Xiong GG, Lim TM. Dopamine auto-oxidation aggravates non-apoptotic cell death induced by over-expression of human A53T mutant alpha-synuclein in dopaminergic PC12 cells. J Neurochem. 2009 Feb;108(3):601-10. Epub 2008 Nov 27.
  4. Ong WY, Halliwell B. Iron, atherosclerosis, and neurodegeneration: a key role for cholesterol in promoting iron-dependent oxidative damage? Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2004 Mar;1012:51-64. Review.


Member(s) of Programme

Programme Coordinator:

Assoc Prof Ong Wei Yi


Assoc Prof Lim Tit Meng
Assoc Prof Benjamin Ong Kian Chung


Contact Details


Associate Professor Ong Wei Yi

Department of Anatomy
Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine
National University of Singapore
MD10, 4 Medical Drive
Singapore 117597
Tel     : 6516 3662
Fax    : 6776 7643
Email :