Who We Are

People

Dr. Wei Lin Lee

Research Scientist

Dr Lee Wei Lin joined Prof Eric Alm’s group in 2020 to work on wastewater-based methods for early disease outbreak detection. Before this, she was part of Prof Peter Dedon’s group in SMART, having received the SMART postdoctoral fellowship in 2016 to work on mechanisms of RNA modification involving phenotypic and genotypic antimicrobial resistance in Enterococci. In recognition of her postdoctoral work on antimicrobial resistance, she was awarded the 2017 Young Investigator Award by the Society of Infectious Disease (Singapore) and Institut Mérieux. She received a Young Individual Research Grant (YIRG) from NMRC in 2016 to work on unravelling pathogen-host interactomes in sexually transmitted Chlamydia. She did her undergraduate in National University of Singapore in life sciences with a minor in technopreneurship; and with a scholarship from A*STAR, completed her DPhil in Clinical Medicine in Oxford University in 2014.

High population densities and international travel are catalysts for transmission of infectious diseases. While clinical data remains the gold standard for disease surveillance, disease transmission commonly go undetected when populations with symptoms below the testing threshold fail to be clinically detected and reported. This calls for alternative means for population wide tracking of diseases, in the form of wastewater-based surveillance. In the Alm group, we hope to apply technological innovation to wastewater-based methods, to achieve effective and near real-time disease surveillance in a way that can significantly impact public health. In the past year we have been working on infectious diseases important to Singapore – COVID-19 and dengue. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were involved in developing methods and supporting local efforts at SARS-CoV-2 detection and quantitation in wastewater. With the emergence of SARS-CoV-2 variants, we developed methods for quantitative tracking of SARS-CoV-2 variants in wastewater. This work was mentioned on major news outlets in Singapore, and internationally renowned World Economic Forum published an article featuring this work. Besides SARS-CoV-2, the Alm group works on developing methods to track dengue outbreaks in Singapore via wastewater surveillance.

Research Interests

Enterococci

Chlamydia

RNA modifications

Antimicrobial chemotherapy

Phenotypic resistance