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SESSIONS October Michael


  • NUS Saw Swee Hock School of Public Health (Primary)
  • NUS Department of Pharmacy (Joint)

Research Interests:

I have a particular interest in the mechanisms that define the pathogenic potential of flaviviruses. My laboratory frequently utilizes high-throughput sequencing and more traditional molecular genetics and microbiological techniques to elucidate these mechanisms. These tools readily translate to the mechanistic analysis of other pathogens as well. In collaboration with clinical partners both local and international, we are applying these tools to study the emergence of novel pathogens as well as known pathogens with novel clinical manifestations/associations.

Academic/Professional Qualifications:

  • BSc Biology, University of Arkansas (USA)
  • PhD Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, Duke University (USA)

Teaching Activities in NUS:

  • School of Public Health Community Health Project
  • PR1111 Pharmaceutical Biochemistry
  • PR1120 Microbiology for Pharmacy

Selected Publications:

1) Barrows NJ, Campos RK, Liao KC, Prasanth KR, Soto-Acosta R, Yeh SC, Schott-Lerner G, Pompon J, Sessions OM, Bradrick SS, Garcia-Blanco MA. Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Flaviviruses. Chem Rev. 2018 Apr 25;118(8):4448-4482. doi: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.7b00719. Epub 2018 Apr 13. PMID: 29652486

2) Ho M, Hapuarachchi C, Barkham T, Chow A, Ng LC, Lee V, Leo YS, Prem K, Lim G, deSessions P, Rabaa M, Chong CS, Tan CH, Rajarethinam J, Tan J, Anderson D, Ong X, Cook AR, Chong Cy, Hsu LY, Yap G, Lai YL, Chawla T, Pan L, Sim S, Chen M, Koh CT, Yung CF, Li JH, Ng D, Nandar K, Ooi PL, Lin R, Aw P, Uehara A, De P, Soon W, Hibberd ML, Ng HH, Maurer-Stroh S, Sessions OM. Outbreak of Zika virus infection in Singapore: an epidemiological, entomological, virological, and clinical analysis. Lancet Infect Dis. 2017 May 17. pii: S1473-3099(17)30249-9. doi: 10.1016/S1473-3099(17)30249-9. PMID: 28527892

3) Pompon J, Morales-Vargas R, Manuel M, Huat Tan C, Vial T, Hao Tan J, Sessions OM, Vasconcelos PDC, Ng LC, Missé D. A Zika virus from America is more efficiently transmitted than an Asian virus by Aedes aegypti mosquitoes from Asia. Sci Rep. 2017 Apr 27;7(1):1215. doi: 10.1038/s41598-017-01282-6. PMID: 28450714

4) Too IH, Yeo H, Sessions OM, Yan B, Libau EA, Howe JL, Lim ZQ, Suku-Maran S, Ong WY, Chua KB, Wong BS, Chow VT, Alonso S. Enterovirus 71 infection of motor neuron-like NSC-34 cells undergoes a non-lytic exit pathway. Sci Rep. 2016 Nov 16;6:36983. doi: 10.1038/srep36983. PMID: 27849036

5) Lee HG, William T, Menon J, Ralph AP, Ooi EE, Hou Y, Sessions O, Yeo TW. Tuberculous meningitis is a major cause of mortality and morbidity in adults with central nervous system infections in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia: an observational study. BMC Infect Dis. 2016 Jun 16;16:296. doi: 10.1186/s12879-016-1640-x. PMID: 27306100

6) Choy MM, Sessions OM, Gubler DJ, Ooi EE. Production of Infectious Dengue Virus in Aedes aegypti Is Dependent on the Ubiquitin Proteasome Pathway. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 Nov 13;9(11):e0004227. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004227. eCollection 2015 Nov. PMID: 26566123

7) Sessions OM, Wilm A, Kamaraj US, Choy MM, Chow A, Chong Y, Ong XM, Nagarajan N, Cook AR, Ooi EE. Analysis of Dengue Virus Genetic Diversity during Human and Mosquito Infection Reveals Genetic Constraints. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2015 Sep 1;9(9):e0004044. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0004044. eCollection 2015 Sep. PMID: 26327586

8) Manokaran G, Finol E, Wang C, Gunaratne J, Bahl J, Ong EZ, Tan HC, Sessions OM, Ward AM, Gubler DJ, Harris E, Garcia-Blanco MA, Ooi EE. Dengue subgenomic RNA binds TRIM25 to inhibit interferon expression for epidemiological fitness. Science. 2015 Oct 9;350(6257):217-21. doi: 10.1126/science.aab3369. Epub 2015 Jul 2. PMID: 26138103

9) Sessions OM, Khan K, Hou Y, Meltzer E, Quam M, Schwartz E, Gubler DJ, Wilder-Smith A. Exploring the origin and potential for spread of the 2013 dengue outbreak in Luanda, Angola. Glob Health Action. 2013 Aug 2;6:21822. doi:10.3402/ gha.v6i0.21822. PMID: 23911088

10) Sessions OM, Tan Y, Goh KC, Liu Y, Tan P, Rozen S, Ooi EE. Host transcriptome profile during wild-type and attenuated dengue virus infection. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 2013 Mar;7(3):e2107. doi: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0002107. PMID 23516652

11) Sessions OM, Barrows NJ, Souza-Neto JA, Robinson TJ, Hershey CL, Rodgers MA, Ramirez JL, Dimopoulos G, Yang PL, Pearson JL, Garcia-Blanco MA. Discovery of insect and human dengue virus host factors. Nature. 2009 Apr 23;458(7241):1047-50. PMID: 19396146

Assistant Professor 


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