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Prof Chowbay Balram

Prof Chowbay Balram

​PhD (Singapore)

Principal Investigator

Principal Clinical Pharmacologist

National Cancer Centre Singapore

Clinical Appointments

  • Principal Investigator Cellular & Molecular Research National Cancer Centre SingaporeNational Cancer Centre Singapore

Academic Appointments

  • Adjunct Professor

Profile

Professor Balram Chowbay is the Principal Clinical Pharmacologist at NCCS. As one of Singapore’s leading researchers in pharmacology, his research focuses on applying pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics principles for dose optimization and using pharmacogenomics to understand the inter-individual and inter-ethnic variability in clinical outcomes, especially in Asian ethnic groups. A trained pharmacist, Prof Balram has initiated key pharmacy services including therapeutic drug monitoring, drug utilization evaluations and pharmacy counselling groups at both the ward level and institution-wide. He previously headed the SingHealth Clinical Pharmacology, a core service platform which offers therapeutic drug monitoring, bioanalytical, pharmacokinetics and genotyping services to local healthcare institutions, pharmaceutical companies and academic research laboratories and currently serves as their Consultant. He has co-authored over 90 publications and is an editorial board member for numerous drug metabolism and pharmacology-based journals. Prof Balram holds multiple academic appointments at Duke-NUS Medical School and Nanyang Technological University, Singapore Immunology Network, A*STAR and currently serves on advisory committees, grant review boards and research councils both nation and institution-wide and is an external reviewer at local tertiary institutions.

Education

​· PhD (Singapore) 2003
· BSc Pharm (Singapore) 1989

Professional Appointments and Committee Memberships

• Editorial Member, International Union of Basic & Clinical Pharmacology, 2018 - Present
• Pharmacogenetics Expert Panel Member, Health Sciences Authority Singapore, 2008 – Present
• Vice-Chairman, Ministry of Social and Family Development Review Committee (Welfare Homes), 2011 – Present
• Scientific Review Panel Member, National Medical Research Council Clinician Scientists IRG, 2012 – 2017
• Director, SingHealth Clinical Pharmacology, 2011 – 2017
• Research Advisor, NUS Pharmacy Department, Singapore, 2019 – Present
• Consultant, SingHealth Clinical Pharmacology, Singapore, 2018 - Present
• Specialist Advisory Panel, Annals Academy of Medicine, Singapore, 2004 – Present
• Member, SingHealth Centralised Institutional Review Board B, 2014 - Present
• Research Group Member, SingHealth, Personal Data Protection Act (PDPA), 2014 – Present
• EX-Officio Member, NCCS Research Committee, 2014 – Present
• External Reviewer, Ngee Ann Polytechnic, 2016 - Present
• Committee Member, NCCS Research Biosafety, 2011 – Present
• Executive Committee Member, Investigational Medicine Unit SingHealth, 2008 – Present
• Grant Review Panel Member, SingHealth Start-Up/Project-based Research, 2008 - Present
• EXCO member, Academic Medicine Research Institute, 2011 – Present
• Subcommittee Member, SingHealth Clinical Trials Administrative Support, 2002 – Present
• Adjunct Associate Professor, School of Chemical & Biomedical Engineering, Nanyang Technological University 2012 – 2018
• Training committee, Pharmaceutical Society of Singapore pre-registration pharmacists, 1994 – 2000
• Visiting Scientist, KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital, 2013 – 2018
• Joint Researcher Appointment, Pharmacy Department, KKWCH 2015 – 2017
• Ex-Officio Member, KK Hospital Research Committee, 2014 – 2015
• Scientific Review Panel Member, National Medical Research Council, 2009 – 2012
• Member of the Complaints Panel. Singapore Pharmacy Council, 2009 – 2013
• EDG Review panel Member, National Medical Research Council, 2007 – 2009
• National Cancer Centre Clinical Trials Steering Committee Member, 2008 – 2012
• External evaluator for the Centre for pharmaceutical administration and Centre for drug evaluation, 2001 – 2003
• Editorial Committee Member of SGH Postgraduate Medical Institute Proceedings Journal, 1995 – 2004
• Reviewer of clinical pharmacology papers for SGH Postgraduate Medical Institute Proc SGH Intensive Care Units Committee, 1995 – 1999
• Head, Inpatient Pharmacy, Singapore General Hospital 1990 – 1998


Academic Appointments

​1. Adjunct Professor
Centre for Clinician-Scientist Development
Duke-NUS Medical School

2.  Adjunct Principal Investigator
Singapore Immunology Network (SIgN), A*STAR

Awards

​• Singapore Cancer Society Fellowship, 1999
• Health Manpower Development Program in Infectious Disease, 1996

Research Interests

​• Clinical Pharmacology
• Pharmacogenetics
• Pharmacokinetics and Pharmacodynamics
• Therapeutic Drug Monitoring
• Phase I Clinical Trials

Publications

​1. An intronic FTO variant rs16952570 confers protection against thiopurine-induced myelotoxicities in multi-ethnic Asian IBD patients. Chen S, Tan WZ, Sutiman N, Lim C, Lee SS, Leong WF, Tjai M, Wang C, Kong CSC, Chuah SW, Schwender BJ, Chan W, Shim HH, Lim WC, Khor CC, Ling KL, Chowbay B. Pharmacogenomics J. 2019 Dec 9 epub

2. Predictive role of NUDT15 variants on thiopurine-induced myelotoxicity in Asian inflammatory bowel disease patients. Sutiman N, Chen S, Ling KL, Chuah SW, Leong WF, Nadiger V, Tjai M, Choon Kong CS, Schwender BJ, Chan W, Shim HH, Lim WC, Khor CC, Cheung YB, Chowbay B. Pharmacogenomics. 2018 Jan;19(1):31-43.

3. Long non-coding RNA EGFR-AS1 mediates Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor addiction and modules treatment response in squamous cell carcinoma. Tan DSW, Chong FT, Leong HS, Toh D, Lau DP, Kwang XL, Zhang X, Sundaram GM, Tan GK, Chang MM, Chua BT, Lim DWT, Tan EH, Ang MK, Lim TKH, Sampath P, Chowbay B, Skanderup AJ, DasGupta R, Iyer NG. Nat Med. 2017 Oct;23(10):1167-1175.

4. Improved Prediction of Endoxifen Metabolism by CYP2D6 Genotype in Breast Cancer Patients Treated with Tamoxifen. Schroth W, Winter S, Mürdter T, Schaeffeler E, Eccles D, Eccles B, Chowbay B, Khor CC, Tfayli A, Zgheib NK, Eichelbaum M, Schwab M and Brauch H. Front Pharmaco.l 2017 Aug 24;8:582

5. Genetic association study of exfoliation syndrome identifies a protective rare variant at LOXL1 and five new susceptibility loci. Aung T, Ozaki M, Lee MC, Schlötzer-Schrehardt U, Thorleifsson G, Mizoguchi T, Igo RP Jr, Haripriya A, Williams SE, Astakhov YS, Orr AC, Burdon KP, Nakano S, Mori K, Abu-Amero K, Hauser M, Li Z, Prakadeeswari G, Bailey JNC, Cherecheanu AP, Kang JH, Nelson S, Hayashi K, Manabe SI, Kazama S, Zarnowski T, Inoue K, Irkec M, Coca-Prados M, Sugiyama K, Järvelä I, Schlottmann P, Lerner SF, Lamari H, Nilgün Y, Bikbov M, Park KH, Cha SC, Yamashiro K, Zenteno JC, Jonas JB, Kumar RS, Perera SA, Chan ASY, Kobakhidze N, George R, Vijaya L, Do T, Edward DP, de Juan Marcos L, Pakravan M, Moghimi S, Ideta R, Bach-Holm D, Kappelgaard P, Wirostko B, Thomas S, Gaston D, Bedard K, Greer WL, Yang Z, Chen X, Huang L, Sang J, Jia H, Jia L, Qiao C, Zhang H, Liu X, Zhao B, Wang YX, Xu L, Leruez S, Reynier P, Chichua G, Tabagari S, Uebe S, Zenkel M, Berner D, Mossböck G, Weisschuh N, Hoja U, Welge-Luessen UC, Mardin C, Founti P, Chatzikyriakidou A, Pappas T, Anastasopoulos E, Lambropoulos A, Ghosh A, Shetty R, Porporato N, Saravanan V, Venkatesh R, Shivkumar C, Kalpana N, Sarangapani S, Kanavi MR, Beni AN, Yazdani S, Lashay A, Naderifar H, Khatibi N, Fea A, Lavia C, Dallorto L, Rolle T, Frezzotti P, Paoli D, Salvi E, Manunta P, Mori Y, Miyata K, Higashide T, Chihara E, Ishiko S, Yoshida A, Yanagi M, Kiuchi Y, Ohashi T, Sakurai T, Sugimoto T, Chuman H, Aihara M, Inatani M, Miyake M, Gotoh N, Matsuda F, Yoshimura N, Ikeda Y, Ueno M, Sotozono C, Jeoung JW, Sagong M, Park KH, Ahn J, Cruz-Aguilar M, Ezzouhairi SM, Rafei A, Chong YF, Ng XY, Goh SR, Chen Y, Yong VHK, Khan MI, Olawoye OO, Ashaye AO, Ugbede I, Onakoya A, Kizor-Akaraiwe N, Teekhasaenee C, Suwan Y, Supakontanasan W, Okeke S, Uche NJ, Asimadu I, Ayub H, Akhtar F, Kosior-Jarecka E, Lukasik U, Lischinsky I, Castro V, Grossmann RP, Megevand GS, Roy S, Dervan E, Silke E, Rao A, Sahay P, Fornero P, Cuello O, Sivori D, Zompa T, Mills RA, Souzeau E, Mitchell P, Wang JJ, Hewitt AW, Coote M, Crowston JG, Astakhov SY, Akopov EL, Emelyanov A, Vysochinskaya V, Kazakbaeva G, Fayzrakhmanov R, Al-Obeidan SA, Owaidhah O, Aljasim LA, Chowbay B, Foo JN, Soh RQ, Sim KS, Xie Z, Cheong AWO, Mok SQ, Soo HM, Chen XY, Peh SQ, Heng KK, Husain R, Ho SL, Hillmer AM, Cheng CY, Escudero-Domínguez FA, González-Sarmiento R, Martinon-Torres F, Salas A, Pathanapitoon K, Hansapinyo L, Wanichwecharugruang B, Kitnarong N, Sakuntabhai A, Nguyn HX, Nguyn GTT, Nguyn TV, Zenz W, Binder A, Klobassa DS, Hibberd ML, Davila S, Herms S, Nöthen MM, Moebus S, Rautenbach RM, Ziskind A, Carmichael TR, Ramsay M, Álvarez L, García M, González-Iglesias H, Rodríguez-Calvo PP, Cueto LF, Oguz Ç, Tamcelik N, Atalay E, Batu B, Aktas D, Kasım B, Wilson MR, Coleman AL, Liu Y, Challa P, Herndon L, Kuchtey RW, Kuchtey J, Curtin K, Chaya CJ, Crandall A, Zangwill LM, Wong TY, Nakano M, Kinoshita S, den Hollander AI, Vesti E, Fingert JH, Lee RK, Sit AJ, Shingleton BJ, Wang N, Cusi D, Qamar R, Kraft P, Pericak-Vance MA, Raychaudhuri S, Heegaard S, Kivelä T, Reis A, Kruse FE, Weinreb RN, Pasquale LR, Haines JL, Thorsteinsdottir U, Jonasson F, Allingham RR, Milea D, Ritch R, Kubota T, Tashiro K, Vithana EN, Micheal S, Topouzis F, Craig JE, Dubina M, Sundaresan P, Stefansson K, Wiggs JL, Pasutto F, Khor CC. Nat Genet. 2017 Jul;49(7):993-1004.

6. Hydration effects on the efficacy of the Epidermal growth factor receptor kinase inhibitor afatinib. Kannan S, Pradhan MR, Tiwari G, Tan WC, Chowbay B, Tan EH, Tan DS, Verma C. Sci Rep. 2017 May 8;7(1):1540.

7. Influence of KDM4A rs586339 polymorphism on overall survival in Asian non-small cell lung cancer patients. Marvalim C, Wong JXG, Sutiman N, Lim WT, Tan SW, Kanesvaran R, Ng QS, Jain A, Ang MK, Tan WL, Toh CK, Tan EH, Chowbay B. Pharmacogenetics and Genomics. 2017 Mar;27(3):120-123

8. Metronomic chemotherapy: A relook at its basis and rationale. Rajasekaran T, Ng QS, Tan DS, Lim WT, Ang MK, Toh CK, Chowbay B, Kanesvaran R, Tan EH. Cancer Lett. 2017 Mar 1;388:328-333.

9. EGFR mutation subtypes influence survival outcomes following first-line gefinitib therapy in advanced Asian NSCLC patients. Sutiman N, Tan SW, Tan EH, Lim WT, Kanesvaran R, Ng, QS, Ang MK, Tan WL, Toh CK, Chowbay B. J Thoracic Oncol. 2017 Mar;12(3):529-538

10. Pharmacogenetics of drug transporters in modulating imatinib disposition and treatment outcomes in CML and GIST patients. Chen S, Sutiman N and Chowbay B.  Pharmacogenomics. 2016; 17(17):1941-1955.

Research Trials

​• The genetic basis of endoxifen pharmacokinetics with the purpose of tamoxifen dosage optimization to prevent breast cancer recurrence/progression. 2015 – present
• Phase II trial of oxaliplatin/adriamycin/5-fluorouracil in continuous infusion/interferon -2b (OXAFI) combination as neoadjuvant therapy in metastatic and locally advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. 2010 – 2016
• A phase I study of oral vinorelbine in combination with erlotinib in advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) using two different schedules. 2009 – 2013
• Phase I study to investigate genotype-based dose individualization of irinotecan in Asian cancer patients 2008 – 2012
• Pharmacogenomics of efflux transporters and their impact on the disposition of doxorubicin in Asian breast cancer patients 2009 – 2014
• CYP2D6 pharmacogenetics and its influence on tamoxifen pharmacokinetics and clinical outcome in Asian metastatic breast cancer patients. 2008 – 2013

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