TAN Lik Tong

Senior Lecturer

Natural Sciences & Science Education (NSSE)

Office Location



Office Telephone Number

Research Interests
marine natural products, marine chemical ecology, marine cyanobacterial secondary metabolites

  • Dr. Tan Lik Tong obtained his BSc (Hon) from the Department of Zoology at the National University of Singapore. In 1993, he was awarded the Japanese Government (Monbusho) Scholarship to pursue MSc (Marine Sciences) research, under the supervision of Professor Tatsuo Higa, at the University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan.  His MSc research topic was on the isolation and characterization of bioactive secondary metabolites from marine sponges.  His continued interests in marine natural products brought him to Oregon State University at the College of Pharmacy, where he obtained his PhD in Medicinal and Natural Products Chemistry.  His PhD dissertation was on the biomedical potential of marine cyanobacteria, conducted at the laboratory of Professor William Gerwick. Subsequently, he undertook Post-Doctoral research at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography (SIO), University of California, San Diego.  His research at SIO involved drug discovery from novel marine microbes as well as chemical ecology of marine algae.  This was at the laboratory of Professor William Fenical.  Before joining NIE, he was Senior Research Chemist at Merlion Pharmaceuticals in Singapore.  Dr. Tan is also a reviewer for many top tier journals, including the Journal of Natural Products, co-published by the American Chemical Society and the American Society of Pharmacognosy.

    Academic Background
    • PhD Oregon State University, USA
    • MSc University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa, Japan
    • BSc (Hons) National University of Singapore
    Professional Organisations
    • The Singapore Institute of Biology
    • AAY104  Introductory Organic Chemistry
    • AAY203  Further Organic Chemisty
    • AAY303  Experimental Techniques in Chemistry
    • AAY433  Medicinal Chemistry
    • AAB301  Biochemistry
    • ASK201  Topics in Physical Science for Primary Science Teaching
    • MLS810  Plant Secondary Metabolites 
    • MLS811  Separation and Analytical Techniques
    • MLS822  Bioactive Natural Products and their Derivatives 
    • MLS862  Chemical Zoology
    Research Interests
    • Drug discovery from marine cyanobacteria
    • Chemical ecology of marine cyanobacteria
    • Isolation and purification of natural products
    • Structural elucidation of natural products
    Research Grants
    • Marine cyanobacteria:  potential source of new therapeutic agents
      Amount awarded:  $61,300
      Period:  Feb 2011 – Jan 2014
      NIE AcRF, Principal Investigator
    • New therapeutic agents from marine algae and invertebrates
      Amount awarded:  $100,896
      Period:  Dec 2005 – Aug 2009
      NIE AcRF, Principal Investigator
    • Biomedical potential of marine fouling sponges collected from Singapore waters
      Amount awarded:  $4,996.66
      Period:  Jan 2005 – Dec 2007
      SIBiol Research Trust Fund, Principal Investigator
    Graduate Supervision

    PhD (Research)

    • Ashootosh Tripathi, Sole Supervisor.

    Master of Science (Life Sciences) Thesis - 6 AU

    Names Supervision Year graduated
    Christopher Talbot Sole Oct 2006
    Yoges Selvaraja Sole Oct 2006
    Chang Yingyan Main Feb 2008
    Tay Choon Yen Sole Dec 2008
    Joyce Ng Poh Chuan Sole Apr 2009
    Nur Aishah Binte Abdul Rahim Sole Apr 2009
    Patrick Tan Hong Meng Main Sep 2010
    Annie Lim Huichang Main Apr 2011
    Tham Lai Yee Main May 2011

    Master of Science (Life Sciences):  MLS800 (3 AU)

    Names Supervision Year graduated
    Sharizah Binte Mohamed Sole Jun 2009
    Jayashree Sitaraman Sole Jun 2009
    Lim Mui Gek Co-Supervisor Jun 2009
    Sudalai Rajan Sole Jun 2010
    Ivan Soh Ban-Hwee Sole Jun 2010
    Martin K.P. Sole Jun 2010
    Koh Seow Wei Main Jun 2010
    Rubina Pasha Co-Supervisor Jun 2010
    Gregory Peck Chin Hee Co Supervisor Jun 2010