Programme Leader


Markus R Wenk
Provost’s Chair, Professor and Head, Department of Biochemistry
Director, Singapore Lipidomics Incubator (SLING)
Centre for Life Sciences, 28 Medical Drive, #03-03, Singapore 117456
Tel: +65 6516 3624


Markus Wenk has been interested in membrane lipids, their structure and function since his undergraduate years at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel. At Yale he introduced and established novel techniques for analysis of phospholipid metabolism at the neurological nerve terminal. His work resulted in scientific publications which have major impact on conceptual advancements in the field of lipid metabolism. He is now spearheading novel approaches in systems scale analysis of lipids and their interactors (lipidomics) and is recognized as one of the thought leading investigators worldwide in this emerging field. He established SLING, the Singapore lipidomics incubator, an interdisciplinary program at NUS dedicated to innovation, education and partnership in lipidomics research. Markus Wenk is Provost’s Chair, Professor and Head of the Department of Biochemistry at the National University of Singapore (NUS), founding director of SLING and Privatdozent at the University of Basel. He is also founder and organizer of the biennial International Singapore Lipid Symposium and Executive Editor of Progress in Lipid Research (Elsevier).

Major Research Interests

Human health and disease are based on many critical biochemical reactions in the body that go far beyond what can be explained by genetic background and genetic variation. These biochemical components—nucleic acids (DNA, RNA), proteins, carbohydrates, metabolites and lipids—and their natural variations are often poorly characterized in human populations. SLING harbours considerable domain knowledge in lipid biochemistry and analytics. We capitalize on this core strength and believe that better analytics will inevitably offer new opportunities. The most exciting advances occur at interfaces of different disciplines. We therefore seek true interdisciplinary collaboration to build the community and to advance knowledge in lipid biology.

Recent Publications

1. W.S. Chew, F. Torta, S. Ji, H. Choi, H. Begum, X. Sim, C.M. Khoo, E.Y.H. Khoo, W.Y. Ong, R.M. Van Dam, M.R. Wenk, E.S. Tai, D.R. Herr. Large-scale lipidomics identifies associations between plasma sphingolipids and T2DM incidence. 2019 JCI Insight, in press
2. B. Burla, M. Arita, M. Arita, A.K. Bendt, A. Cazenave-Gassiot, E.A. Dennis, K. Ekroos, X.L. Han, K. Ikeda, G. Liebisch, M.K. Lin, T.P. Loh, P.J. Meikle, M. Orešič, O. Quehenberger, A. Shevchenko, F. Torta, M.J.O. Wakelam, C.E. Wheelock and M.R. Wenk. 2018 MS-based lipidomics of human blood plasma – a community-initiated position paper to develop accepted guidelines. Journal of Lipid Research 59(10):2001-2017
3. J.P. Chan, B.H. Wong, C.F. Chin, D.L.A. Galam, J.C. Foo, L.C. Wong, S. Ghosh, M.R. Wenk, A. Cazenave-Gassiot, D.L. Silver. 2018 The lysolipid transporter Mfsd2a regulates lipogenesis in the developing brain. PLoS Biology 16(8):e2006443.
4. W.Y. Saw, E. Tantoso, H. Begum, L. Zhou, R. Zou, C. He, S.L. Chan, L.W. Tan, L.P. Wong, W. Xu, D.K.N. Moong, Y. Lim, B. Li, N.E. Pillai, T.A. Peterson, T. Bielawny, P.J. Meikle, P.A. Mundra, W.Y. Lim, M. Luo, K.S. Chia, R.T. Ong, L.R. Brunham, C.C. Khor, H.P. Too, R. Soong, M.R. Wenk, P. Little, Y.Y. Teo. 2017 Establishing multiple omics baselines for three Southeast Asian populations in the Singapore Integrative Omics Study. Nature Communication 21;8(1):653
5. L.N. Nguyen, D. Ma, G. Shui, P. Wong, A. Cazenave-Gassiot, X. Zhang, M.R. Wenk, E.L. Goh, D.L. Silver. 2014 Mfsd2a is a transporter for the essential omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid. Nature 509(7501):503-511