Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD): In Search of Therapeutic Targets

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease (HFMD): In Search of Therapeutic Targets

13 September 2019

04:00PM - 04:45PM


INFUSE Theatre, Connexis South, Level 14

Parents with preschoolers will know how heart-wrenching it is to watch their young children go through the symptoms of HFMD, which although are generally not life-threatening, causes great discomfort. HFMD is highly contagious. Alternative childcare arrangements have to be made, young siblings have to be segregated from each other, not to mention caregivers can also end up getting HFMD! The current prescription is to “wait it out”, as there is no treatment for viral infections. It is well-known that once a virus invades a host cell, normal protein synthesis is rapidly shut down, as the virus hijacks the host’s machinery to make more copies of itself. HFMD is no different.

Can we make use of this fact to identify host factors that are particularly needed by the virus? The ability to do so would enable the development of drugs that would greatly relieve the social and economic burden currently wrought by viruses causing HFMD (yes there is more than one!).



Dr Guo Huili

Dr Guo Huili

Independent Fellow
Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (IMCB), A*STAR

Huili Guo graduated from the University of Cambridge in 2005 with a B.A. degree in Natural Sciences. In 2011, she received the Ph.D. degree in Biology from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her lab focuses on RNA biology, with particular emphasis on how dysregulation of protein synthesis in the cell can affect human health and disease. Huili is an Adjunct Assistant Professor with the Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore. She has been an Ambassador for the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) programme run by the Singapore Committee for UN Women since 2013. Huili is a recipient of the L’Oréal Singapore For Women In Science National Fellowship (2014) and the President’s Young Scientist Award (2016). In 2018, Huili was named one of four emerging female stars in the STEM world by the Diversity Action Committee in Singapore.