Academic Staff

Associate Professor
S Thameem DHEEN

(PhD; M Phil; MSc; BSc)

Head, Department of Anatomy, NUS
Assistant Dean (PhD Program)


Tel: +65 6516 3200
Office: MD10 #04-01P

Research Interests
    • Generation of human neuronal progenitor cells from umbilical cord mesenchymal stem cells to study gestational diabetes mellitus-induced molecular and epigenetic changes in the fetal brain.
    • Molecular characterization of microglial cells and development of strategies to inhibit microglia-mediated neuroinflammation in CNS disease and injury.
    • Role of microglia in memory formation and learning.
Selected Publications
  • KARTHIKEYAN, A, R PATNALA, S JADHAV, E A Ling and S T Dheen*, "MicroRNAs: Key players in microglia and astrocyte mediated inflammation in CNS pathologies." Current medicinal chemistry, (2016).
  • PARAKALAN, R, A KARTHIKEYAN and S T Dheen*, "Role of dietary phenols in mitigating microglia-mediated neuroinflammation". Neuromolecular Medicine, 18, no. 3 (2016): 453-464.
  • PARAKALAN, R, A KARTHIKEYAN, J LU, E A Ling and S T Dheen*, "Sirtuin 3 regulates Foxo3a-mediated antioxidant pathway in microglia." Neuroscience, 17, no. 311 (2015): 398.
  • JADHAV, S, SP KAMATH, M Choolani, J LU and S T Dheen*, "microRNA-200b modulates microglia-mediated neuroinflammation via the cJun/MAPK pathway." Journal of Neurochemistry, 130, no. 3 (2014): 388-401.
  • Baby, N, Y LI, E A Ling, J LU and S T Dheen*, "Runx1t1 (runt-related transcription factor 1; translocated to, 1) epigenetically regulates the proliferation and nitric oxide production of microglia". PLoS One, 9, no. 2 (2014).
  • PARAKALAN, R, E A Ling and S T Dheen*, "Potential Drugs Targeting Microglia: Current Knowledge and Future Prospects". CNS & Neurological Disorders - Drug Targets, 12, no. 6 (2013).
  • SUKANYA, S, S JADHAV, B H Bay, S S W Tay, SD Kumar, D Rangasamy and S T Dheen*, "Analysis of epigenetic factors in mouse embryonic neural stem cells exposed to hyperglycemia". PLoS One, 8, no. 6 (2013): e65945.
  • PARAKALAN*, R, B JIANG, N B Baby, J MANIVANNAN, Manikandan Jayapal, J LU, S S W Tay, E A Ling and S T Dheen, "Transcriptome analysis of amoeboid and ramified microglia isolated from the corpus callosum of rat brain". BMC Neuroscience, 13, no. 64 (2012).
  • HUO, Y, R PARAKALAN, E A Ling and S T Dheen, "Dexamethasone inhibits the Nox-dependent ROS production via suppression of MKP-1-dependent MAPK pathways in activated microglia". BMC Neuroscience, 12, part. 49 (2011).
  • Lin, Haiyan, N Baby, J LU, C Kaur, Chuansen Zhang, Jiajun Xu, E A Ling and S T Dheen*, "Expression of sphingosine kinase 1 in amoeboid microglial cells in the corpus callosum of postnatal rats". Journal of Neuroinflammation, 8 (2011): 13. 
  • Nayak Deepti, Yingqian Huo, Wei Xin Timothy Kwang, Pushparaj Peter Natesan, S D Kumar, E A Ling and S T Dheen*, "Sphingosine kinase 1 regulates the expression of proinflammatory cytokines and nitric oxide in activated microglia". Neuroscience, 166 (2010): 132-144.
  • Fransisca, I, P T H Wong, Y E L Elgin, Y K Ng and S T Dheen*, "Upregulation of Dpysl2 and Spna2 gene expression in the rat brain after ischemic stroke". NEUROCHEMISTRYINTERNATIONAL, 55, no. 4 (2009): 235-242
  • Dheen*, S T, S S W Tay, B JIANG, W T LOH, S D Kumar, J FU and E A Ling, "Recent studies on neural tube defects in embryos of diabetic pregnancy: An overview (Review)". Current Medicinal Chemistry, 16, no. 18 (2009): 2345-2354.
  • Jiang, B, S D Kumar, W T LOH, Manikandan Jayapal, E A Ling, S S W Tay and S T Dheen*,"Global gene expression analysis of cranial neural tubes in embryos of diabetic mice ". Journal of Neuroscience Research, 86, no. 16 (2008): 3481-3493.
  • Fu J, SSW Tay, EA Ling, and ST Dheen, Aldose reductase is implicated in high glucose-induced oxidative stress in mouse neural stem cells. J. Neurochem. 103, no. 4 (2007): 1654-1665.
  • Dheen, S T, C Kaur and E A Ling, Microglial activation and its implications in the brain diseases. Current Medicinal Chemistry, 14 (11), 1189-1197 (2007, Invited Review).
  • Zhou Y, EA Ling, and ST Dheen, Dexamethasone suppresses monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 production via mitogen activated protein kinase phosphatase-1 dependent inhibition of Jun N-terminal kinase and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase in activated rat microglia. J Neurochem. 102 (3), 667-678 (2007).
  • Fu, J, S S W Tay, E A Ling and S T Dheen, High glucose alters expression of genes involved in proliferation and cell fate specification of embryonic neural stem cells .Diabetologia, 49 (2006): 1027-1038.
  • Dheen,ST., Yan Jun, Zhou Yan, SSW Tay and EA Ling, Retinoic acid inhibits the expression of TNF-α and iNOS in the activated rat microglia. Glia 50, 21-31 (2005).
  • Liao DM, YK Ng, SSW Tay, EA Ling and ST Dheen, Altered gene expression with abnormal patterning of the telencephalon in embryos of diabetic mice. Diabetologia 47, 3 (2004):523-531.
  • Ji JF, BP He, ST Dheen and SSW Tay, Interactions of chemokines and chemokine receptors mediate the migration of mesenchymal stem cells to the impaired sites in the brain after hypoglossal nerve injury. Stem cells 22, 3 (2004): 415-427.
  • Dheen ST, AJ Hao, YK Ng and EA Ling, Regulatory factors and functions of microglia during development. Neuroembryology 1, 3 (2002): 105-112.
  • Dheen ST, I Sleptsova, Y Xu, M Clark, H Lehrach, ZY Gong and V Korzh, Zebrafish tbx-c functions during formation of midline structures. Development, 126 (1999): 2703-2713.
  • Dheen ST, K Rajkumar and LJ Murphy, Islet cell proliferation and apoptosis in insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 transgenic mice. Journal of Endocrinology, 155, 3 (1997): 551-558.
  • Rajkumar, K, M Krsek, S T Dheen* and L J Murphy, "Impaired glucose homeostasis in insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 ransgenic mice". Journal of Clinical Investigation, 98, no. 8 (1996): 1818-1825.
  • Dheen ST, K Rajkumar and LJ Murphy, Effects of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) on pancreatic islet function in insulin-like growth factor binding protein-1 transgenic mice. Diabetologia, 39, 11 (1996): 1249-1254.
Honours & Awards
    • Pio del Rio Hortega award for excellence in microglia research presented by International Society for Neurochemistry (2015).
    • Fellowship in Reproduction and Endocrinology [FRE] by Society for Reproductive Biology and Comparative endocrinology (2010)
    • Canadian Diabetes Association Postdoctoral Fellowship (1995-1996)
    • University of Manitoba (Canada), Faculty of Medicine Postdoctoral Fellowship (1994-1995)
    • NUS Research Scholarship (1991-1994)
Other Appointments
  • President, Singapore Neuroscience Association
  • Member, Society for Neuroscience, USA
  • Member, Microscopy Society (Singapore)
  • Governing Council Member, International Brain Research Organization (IBRO)
  • Council Member, Federation of Asian-Oceanian Neuroscience Societies (FAONS)
  • Singapore National Coordinator, International Brain Bee Challenge
  • Associate Editor, Annals of Microscopy
  • Editorial Advisory Board member, Recent Patents on Endocrine, Metabolic & Immune Drug Discovery
  • Editorial board member of World Journal of Diabetes (WJD)
  • International Reviewer Board member, Neural Regeneration Research by Elsevier
  • Editorial Board Member, Indian Journal of Experimental Biology
  • Academic Council Member, Singapore-Stanford Biodesign, A*STAR
  • Advisor, NUS Medicine Graduate Program Committee
Current PhD Students and PostDocs
      • Ms. Radhika Patnala (August 2012-)
      • Ms. Aparna Karthikeyan (January 2014-)
      • Ms. Ramya Seshadri (August 2014-)
      • Ms Deepika Kandilya (August 2015-)
      • Ms. Genevieve Saw Tse Jing  (Jan 2016-)
      • Ms Tan Kai Leng (2016)
      • Dr Avijit Banik (2015)