Chris Soon Heng Tan

Associate Professor Department of Chemistry

Chris graduated with B.Sc (2001) in Molecular Biology and a M.Sc (2005) in Computer Science from the National University of Singapore. He completed his PhD (2011) training at the University of Toronto, Canada with the late Prof. Tony Pawson. There, he made seminal contribution to our understanding of signaling network evolution related to organismal complexity and human diseases (Tan et al. Science 2009; Tan et al. Science Signaling 2009, Tan et al. Nature Method 2012). He subsequently moved to the Center of Molecular Medicine (CeMM) in Vienna, Austria and contributed to the development of a novel drug target deconvolution technology (Huber et al., Nature Method 2015) based on Cellular Thermal Shift Assay (CETSA). He was invited to join Institute of Molecular & Cell Biology (IMCB), A*STAR in 2015 by the inventor of CETSA, Prof. Pär Nordlund, and invented the first system-wide method for studying the dynamic of protein complexes directly from intact cells and tissues (Tan et al. Science 2018). Prior joining SUSTech, Chris led a research group in IMCB and the Bioinformatics Institute (BII), A*STAR, Singapore. Chris had published more than 30 articles in international journals and conferences, including first or corresponding authors in Science, Nature Methods, Science Signaling and Bioinformatics journals.

Personal Profile



Sep 06 – Jul 11

Doctor of Philosophy, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Jul 03 – Dec 05

Master of Science (Computer Science), School of Computing, National University of Singapore, Singapore

Jul 98 – May 01

Bachelor of Science, 2nd Upper Honors (Molecular Biology), School of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore, Singapore


Research Experience                                                                                                  

Aug 19 - Present

Associate ProfessorDepartment of Chemistry, Southern University of Science & Technology, Shenzhen, China.

Apr 18 – Present

Joint Independent Fellow (Group Leader)Institute of Molecular and Cellular Biology & Bioinformatics Institutes, A*STAR, Singapore.

May 15 – Mar 18

Senior Research FellowInstitute of Molecular and Cellular Biology, A*STAR, Singapore. Mentor: Prof. Pär Nordlund

Jul 11 – Mar 15

Postdoctoral scientist, Research Center for Molecular Medicine (CeMM), Vienna, Austria. Mentor: Prof. Giulio Superti-Furga

Sep 06 – Jun 11

Ph.D. studentDepartment of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Canada. Supervisors: Prof. Tony Pawson, Prof. Gary Bader & Prof. Rune Linding

Jul 03 – Dec 05

M.Sc. student, School of Computing, National University of Singapore, Singapore. Supervisor: Prof. See-Kiong Ng & Prof. Wing-Kin Sung.

Dec 01 – Aug 06

Research Engineer, Department of Knowledge Discovery & Data Mining, Institute for Infocomm Research, A*STAR, Singapore.



  1. Industry Alignment Fund (Pre-positioning): Toxicity Mode-of-Action Discovery (ToxMAD) Platform, May 2018 – April 2021, Co-PI, SGD1,102,417
  2. A*STAR-EDB Industry Alignment Fund: Study the Modes-of-Action (MoA) of Phthalates and Diketones using Toxicity MoA Discovery (ToxMAD) platform, Feb 2018 – Jan 2019, Co-PI, SGD110,000
  3. A*STAR Young Investigator Award: Thermal Proximity-based Co-Aggregation for System-level Monitoring of Protein Complexes in Primary and Non-engineered Cells, May 2016 – Apr 2019, PI, SGD195,000


Network Biology

Systems Toxicology

Systems Pharmacology

Systems Chemical Biology

Computational Proteomics

Publications Read More

Chris had published more than 30 articles in international journals and conferences, including first or corresponding authors in Science, Nature Methods, Science Signaling and Bioinformatics journals. He has a H-index of 21 and his work had been highlighted in Science, Nature Genetics Review, Nature Methods, F1000Prime, Science Signaling, ACS Chemical Biology and Cell Systems. He had served as reviewer for Science, Nature Biotechnology, Nature Communication, and Bioinformatics.

News More

  • Science: Turning up the heat on protein interactions

  • SUSTech wins Shenzhen “Talent Bole Award” for 4th consecutive year

  • SUSTech ranked 7th in Nature Index Young Universities world rankings


Lab members Read More

Join us

Postdoctoral Fellows in Systems Studies in Biology, Chemical Biology and Pharmacology


The research group of Prof. Chris Soon Heng TAN is an interdisciplinary lab combining methods in data analytics, molecular biology, chemical biology and proteomics to elucidate the general principles governing how biomolecular interactions are organized and regulated to carry out cellular functions, with a focus on understanding how the organization is modulated in human diseases and perturbed by chemicals.  Particularly, the lab seeks to understand a) how chemicals can perturb proteins and rewire biomolecular interaction networks leading to diseased phenotypes, and conversely, b) how chemicals (drugs inclusive) can be used to alter cell behaviours for therapeutic or industrial purposes. Toward these missions, we develop novel experimental techniques and computational methods for system profiling of biomolecular interaction networks underlying various cellular phenotypes. We also integrate our interaction data with other “omics” data to understand the interplay between different regulatory systems in the cells with applications for cell biology, toxicology and pharmacology. More information about our lab is available at

The group had developed state-of-the-art proteome-wide approaches to characterize intracellular biomolecular interactions (Tan et al., Science 2018, Huber et al., Nature Methods 2015) for mapping signalling, metabolic and biosynthesis pathways, with access to high-resolution mass spectrometers (TimsTOF Pro, Orbitrap Exploris™480, Obitrap Q-HF Exactive™). Members of the lab comes from diverse background and training including chemistry, biology, machine learning and protein mass spectrometry. Our research projects, which span biology, informatics and chemistry, include 1) elucidating the mechanism-of-action of drugs and bioactive/toxic compounds, 2) mapping the biosynthesis pathways of structurally complex natural products, and 3) design of novel data mining and computational tools for reconstruction of biological network from “omics” data. Interested graduate or graduating students with training in any life science disciplines or computational science (e.g. bioinformatics and computational biology) are encouraged to enquire with Prof. Chris Soon Heng TAN through


Remuneration and Career Development

Basic salary is ~330,000 RMB/year (including 150,000 RMB/year tax-free subsidy from the Guangdong municipal government and 60,000 RMB/year tax-free subsidy from the Shenzhen municipal government) with insurance package and additional monetary reward for publications. Top candidates are eligible to apply for the ‘Chancellor’s Outstanding Postdoc’ position which promises an annual salary of ~500,000 RMB/year. PhD graduates from top 200 universities worldwide, including National University of Singapore, will receive additional tax-free top-up of at least 320,000 RMB/year for 5 years (see additional benefit below) among others.

Additional benefits:

  1. Candidates holding a Ph.D. degree from top 200 universities worldwide (based on the Times Higher Education World University Ranking in the year of application) are entitled to apply for the provincial ‘Pearl River Talent’ postdoc living allowances with 300,000 RMB/year for two years.
  2. Candidates meeting Shenzhen’s Peacock or High-level Talent Programs requirements are entitled to apply for tax-free living allowance of 1,600,000 RMB, 2,000,000 RMB or 3,000,000 RMB over 5 years depending on achievement.
  3. Candidates can apply for 300,000 RMB tax-free start-up fund if decided to continue to work in Shenzhen after the postdoc appointment. Candidates who do not meet a) and b) can still apply for 1,600,000 RMB (tax-free) as the Shenzhen Municipal Reserved Talents after working in Shenzhen for three consecutive years.
  4. Children of candidates are entitled to enter the university’s top-quality kindergartens and affiliated primary schools for excellent education.
  5. Candidates are entitled to apply for research funding from national, provincial and Shenzhen municipal programs.
  6. Outstanding candidates can also be promoted to Research Assistant Professor after the postdoc appointment.


Overview of Lab Research

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Contact Us

Contact Address

430, Faculty Research Building 1, 1088 Xueyuan Road, Nanshan District, Shenzhen, Guangdong, China

Office Phone

0755-8801 8080


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