Shanshan Howland obtained her B.Sc. and M.Sc. from Stanford University, studying Chemical Engineering with a focus on biological applications. In 2008, she received her Ph.D. in Biological Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, working at the interface of protein engineering and cancer immunology under the supervision of Dane Wittrup. Upon her return to Singapore as an A*STAR scholar, she researched the role of pathogenic CD8 T cells in malaria in Laurent Renia’s lab in SIgN. After a year in industry, she re-joined SIgN in 2018, heading the Immunogenomics Platform.

The Immunogenomics Platform supports the SIgN community by providing expertise in all areas of functional genomics.

 Postdocs (Ph.D) Research Officers
  • Srinivasan K.G
  • Ivy FOO
  • Avery KHOO
  • Geraldine KOH
  • Josephine LUM
  • Alicia TAY


Fernandes P, Howland SW, Heiss K, Hoffmann A, Hernández-Castañeda MA, Obrová K, Frank R, Wiedemann P, Bendzus M, Rénia L, Mueller AK. A Plasmodium Cross-Stage Antigen Contributes to the Development of Experimental Cerebral Malaria. Front Immunol. 2018 Aug 14;9:1875.

Gun SY, Claser C, Teo TH, Howland SW, Poh CM, Chye RRY, Ng LFP, Rénia L. Interferon regulatory factor 1 is essential for pathogenic CD8+ T cell migration and retention in the brain during experimental cerebral malaria. Cell Microbiol. 2018 May;20(5):e12819.

Schmidt KE, Kuepper JM, Schumak B, Alferink J, Hofmann A, Howland SW, Rénia L, Limmer A, Specht S, Hoerauf A. Doxycycline inhibits experimental cerebral malaria by reducing inflammatory immune reactions and tissue-degrading mediators. PLoS One. 2018 Feb 13;13(2):e0192717.


Teo TH, Howland SW, Claser C, Gun SY, Poh CM, Lee WW, Lum FM, Ng LF, Rénia L. Co-infection with Chikungunya virus alters trafficking of pathogenic CD8+ T cells into the brain and prevents Plasmodium-induced neuropathology. EMBO Mol Med. 2017 Nov 7. pii: e201707885.

Kam YW, Lee CY, Teo TH, Howland SW, Amrun SN, Lum FM, See P, Kng NQ, Huber RG, Xu MH, Tan HL, Choo A, Maurer-Stroh S, Ginhoux F, Fink K, Wang CI, Ng LFP, Rénia L. Cross-reactive dengue human monoclonal antibody protects against Zika virus. JCI Insight. 2017 Apr 20; 2(8). pii: 92428.


Howland SW, Gun SY, Claser C, Poh CM, Rénia L. Measuring antigen presentation in mouse brain endothelial cells ex vivo and in vitro. Nat Protoc. 2015 Dec; 10(12):2016-26.

Howland SW, Ng GX, Chia SK, Rénia L. Investigating proteasome inhibitors as potential adjunct therapies for experimental cerebral malaria. Parasite Immunol. 2015 Nov; 37(11):599-604.

Howland SW, Poh CM, Rénia L. Activated brain endothelial cells cross-present malaria antigen. PLoS Pathog. 2015 Jun 5; 11(6):e1004963.

Howland SW, Claser C, Poh CM, Gun SY, Rénia L. Pathogenic CD8+ T cells in experimental cerebral malaria. Semin Immunopathol. 2015 May; 37(3):221-31.


Poh CM, Howland SW, Grotenbreg GM, Rénia L. Damage to the blood-brain barrier during experimental cerebral malaria results from synergistic effects of CD8+ T cells with different specificities. Infect Immun. 2014; 82(11):4854-64.

Rénia L, Howland SW. Targeting the olfactory bulb during experimental cerebral malaria. Trends Parasitol. 2014; 30(8):375-6.


Koh S, Shimasaki N, Suwanarusk R, Ho ZZ, Chia A, Banu N, Howland SW, Ong AS, Gehring AJ, Stauss H, Renia L, Sällberg M, Campana D, Bertoletti A. A practical approach to immunotherapy of hepatocellular carcinoma using T cells redirected against hepatitis B virus. Mol Ther Nucleic Acids. 2013; 2:e114.

Howland SW, Poh CM, Gun SY, Claser C, Malleret B, Shastri N, Ginhoux F, Grotenbreg GM, Rénia L. Brain microvessel cross-presentation is a hallmark of experimental cerebral malaria. EMBO Mol Med. 2013; 5(7):916-31.


Rénia L, Howland SW, Claser C, Charlotte Gruner A, Suwanarusk R, Hui Teo T, Russell B, Ng LF. Cerebral malaria: mysteries at the blood-brain barrier. Virulence. 2012; 3(2):193-201.


Malleret B, Claser C, Ong AS, Suwanarusk R, Sriprawat K, Howland SW, Russell B, Nosten F, Rénia L. A rapid and robust tri-color flow cytometry assay for monitoring malaria parasite development. Sci Rep. 2011; 1:118.

Howland SW, Poh CM, Rénia L. Directional, seamless, and restriction enzyme-free construction of random-primed complementary DNA libraries using phosphorothioate-modified primers. Anal Biochem. 2011; 416(1):141-3.

Rénia L. CD8+ T cells and IFN-* mediate the time-dependent accumulation of infected red blood cells in deep organs during experimental cerebral malaria. PLoS One. 2011; 6(4):e18720.


Hackel BJ, Ackerman M, Howland SW, Wittrup KD. Stability and CDR composition biases enrich binder functionality landscapes. J Mol Biol. 2010; 401(1): 84-96.


Howland SW, Tsuji T, Gnjatic S, Ritter G, Old LJ, Wittrup KD. Efficient cross-priming using antigen-coated yeast particles. J Immunother. 2008; 31(7):607-19.

Howland SW, Wittrup KD. Antigen release kinetics in the phagosome are critical to cross presentation efficiency. J Immunol. 2008; 180(3):1576-83.


Piatesi A*, Howland SW*, Rakestraw JA, Renner C, Robson N, Cebon J, Maraskovsky E, Ritter G, Old L, Wittrup KD. Directed evolution for improved secretion of cancertestis antigen NY-ESO-1 from yeast. Protein Expr Purif. 2006; 48(2):232-42.


Ma N*, Wu SS*, Ma YX, Wang X, Zeng J, Tong G, Huang Y, Wang S. Nerve growth factor receptor-mediated gene transfer. Mol Ther. 2004; 9(2):270-81.

* denotes shared first authorship

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