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Neuroscience Research Laboratory

NNI Dr Murni Tio.jpg

Murni Tio, Ph.D.
Associate Research Scientist, Neuroscience Research Laboratory
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School

Contact Information

Neuroscience Research Laboratory
National Neuroscience Institute - SGH Campus
20 College Road, The Academia, Level 9 (Discovery Tower)
Singapore 169856
Tel: (65) 6576 7831 (Office)
Email: murni.tio@singhealth.com.sg

Research Focus

In our laboratory, the fruit flies Drosophila melanogaster is used as an in vivo model organism to study movement disorders and neurodegenerative diseases (such as Parkinson's disease, essential tremor, etc.). We are particularly interested in understanding the mechanistic pathways involved in the pathogenesis of these diseases. In addition, we are also investigating processes of neuronal development/differentiation and how perturbation of it can lead to neurodegeneration. Among the approaches that we are using are human genetic analysis (in collaboration with Dr. E K Tan at NNI/SGH/Duke-NUS and Dr. Zhao Yi at DCR), the powerful genetics of Drosophila, transcriptome-translatome analysis (in collaboration with Dr. Guo Hui Li at A-Star) and searches for drugs. Due to high degree of conservation of genes, molecular/signalling pathways as well as physiological processes between human and flies, we believe that our research will lead to the discovery of causative aberrant mechanisms in human movement disorders and neurodegenerative diseases. We hope to apply this knowledge for preventive measures (bio-marker for detection of disease at early stages) as well as for treatment (through application of drugs currently used in clinics and development of new pharmacological drugs).

Selected Publications

  1. Tio, M., Ma, C. and Moses, K. (1994). spitz, a Drosophila homolog of transforming growth factor-α, is required in the founding photoreceptor cells of the compound eye facets. Mechanisms of Development 48, 13-23.
  2. Tio, M. and Moses, K. (1997). The Drosophila TGF – homolog Spitz acts in photoreceptor recruitment in the developing retina. Development 124, 343-351.
  3. Kumar, J.P., Tio, M., Hsiung, F., Akopyan, S., Gabay, L., Seger, R., Shilo, B-Z. and Moses, K. (1998). Dissecting the roles of the Drosophila EGF receptor in eye development and MAP kinase activation. Development 125, 3875-3885.
  4. Tio, M., Zavortink, M., Yang, X. and Chia, W. (1999). A functional analysis of inscuteable and its roles during Drosophila asymmetric cell divisions. Journal of Cell Science 112, 1541-1551.
  5. Tio, M., Udolph, G., Yang, X. and Chia, W (2001). cdc2 links the Drosophila cell cycle and asymmetric division machineries. Nature 409, 1063-1067.
  6. Buescher, M., Svendsen, P. C., Tio, M., Miskolczi-McCallum, C., Tear, G., Brook, W. J. and Chia, W. (2004). Drosophila T-box proteins break the symmetry of hedgehog-dependent activation of wingless. Current Biology 14, 1694-1702.
  7. Buescher, M., Tio., M., Tear, G., Overton, P. M., Brook, W. J. and Chia, W. (2006). Functions of the segment polarity genes midline and H15 in Drosophila melanogaster neurogenesis. Developmental Biology 292, 418-429.
  8. Wang, T. T., Tio, M., Lee. W., Beerheide, W. and Udolph, G. (2007). Neural differentiation of mesenchymal-like stem cells from cord blood is mediated by PKA. Biochem. Biophys. Res. Commun. 357, 1021-1027.
  9. Udolph, G., Rath, P., Tio, M., Toh, J., Fang, W., Pandey, R., Technau, G. M. And Chia, W. (2009). On the roles of Notch, Delta, kuzbanian and inscuteable during the development of Drosophila embryonic neuroblast lineages. Developmental Biology 336, 156-168.
  10. Tio, M., Tan, K. H., Lee, W., Wang, T. T. and Udolph, G. (2010). Roles of db-cAMP, IBMX and RA in aspects of neural differentiation of cord blood derived mesenchymal-like stem cells. Plos One 5, e9398.
  11. Tio, M., Toh, J., Fang, W., Blanco, J. and Udolph, G. (2011). Asymmetric cell division and Notch signaling specify dopaminergic neurons in Drosophila. Plos One 6, e26879.
  12. Wang, H., Toh, J., Ho, P., Tio M., Zhao, Y. and Tan, E.K. (2014). In vivo evidence of pathogenicity of VPS35 mutations in the Drosophila. Mol. Brain 7: 73