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Translational Pre-Clinical Model Research Platform


Animal models of ocular diseases continue to be an important experimental tool for SERI with the fundamental knock-out mice becoming an integral part of SERI’s research. The animal facility at the Singapore Experimental Medicine Centre (SEMC) is well equipped with the instrumentation necessary for ocular research and is an essential adjunct facility utilised extensively by SERI scientists.

This group involves a multidisciplinary team that provides expertise and instrumentation facilitating translational and basic ocular disease research using animal models. It works with all SERI project teams that require the use of disease-specific animal models. The teams provide technical support, as well as expert guidance on the selection of the appropriate animal to be utilised as an experimental model for human ocular disease study.

Many animal models are currently being explored for ongoing SERI studies. Future SERI's plans involve shifting the focus to understanding the cellular, genomics, proteomics and molecular levels of major ocular diseases in both anterior and posterior segments.

This will be greatly aided by both the in-vitro and in-vivo models of disease studies that would facilitate the SERI team to explore new therapeutics that are currently being developed.

Fundus Photography & Macula/Optic-disc OCT Imaging


The animal lab is shared with the SingHealth Experimental Medical Centre (SEMC) of the Singapore General Hospital. SERI has five rooms in SEMC, which are fully equipped with ophthalmological instruments (see listing below) to aid in ocular translational research and pre-clinical testing.

SERI provides comprehensive translational research expertise and facilities within the confines of a single institution. SERI has a highly skilled and competent personnel group and well-established infrastructure to orchestrate and support research projects in accordance with the highest international standards. A team of professional staff, including scientists, veterinarians, clinicians and technicians, help support a broad range of in-vitro and in-vivo animal research.

SEMC became the first academic animal research facility in Singapore to be fully accredited by the Association for Assessment and Accreditation of Laboratory Animal Care International (AAALAC) in 2006.

Research Goal

Our research goal is to understand disease processes at their cellular and molecular level in order to design and innovate better methods for the treatment of human ocular diseases.

  • Carl Zeiss Femtosecond Laser Suite

  • Baush & Lomb Technolas Excimer laser Suite

  • Heidelberg HRT in-vivo Confocal Microscope

  • Topcon Slit-lamp microscopy with video captures function

  • Specular Microscope for in-vivo endothelial cell count

  • Topcon Fundus Microscope

  • Heidelberg HRT Posterior Segment OCT

  • NIDEK OCT-A for anterior and posterior segment

  • Carl Zeiss Anterior Segment OCT

  • Topcon Purepoint Laser Slit lamp Delivery System

  • Micron IV comprehensive suite for rodent eye research

  • Autorefractor

  • Real-Time IOP device

  •  Ocumetrics Fluorotron Master & Outflow facility set up

  • Tonopen for both large and small animals

  • Dissecting/Surgical Microscope

  • Retinoscopy

  • A-Scan Ultrasound for Biometry measurements

  • Carl-Zeiss OLCI AC-Master for mouse biometry measurements

  • Automated Infrared Photorefraction Setup for mouse & chicken

  • Vitrectomy and Indirect Ophthalmoscope

  • ESPION & Roland ERG set-up for small and large animals

  • Olympus FV3000 In-Vivo Confocal Microscopy


Selected Publications

  1. Lai CM, Barathi A, et al. Long-term evaluation of AAV-mediated sFlt-1 gene therapy for ocular neovascularization in mice and monkeys. Mol Ther 2005; 12(4):659-668. IF = 6.825.

  2. Lei Zhou, Amutha Barathi, et al. Proteomic analysis of rabbit tear fluid: Defensin levels after an experimental corneal wound are correlated to wound closure. Proteomics 2007; 7(17): 3194-3206. IF = 5.5.

  3. Barathi VA, et al. Two models of experimental myopia in the mouse. Vision Res. 2008 Mar;48(7):904-16. IF = 2.2.

  4. Barathi VA, Beuerman RW and Schaeffel F. Effects of unilateral topical atropine on binocular pupil responses and eye growth in mice. Vision Research, 2009,Mar;48(7):904-16. IF = 2.2.

  5. Barathi VA, et al. Transglutaminases (TGases) in Ocular and Periocular Tissues: Effect of Muscarinic Agents on TGases in Scleral Fibroblasts. PLOS One. 2011 Apr 6;6(4):e18326. IF = 4.56.

  6. Remya Robinson, Barathi VA, et al. Current update on animal models of diabetic retinopathy. 2012. Dis Model Mech. 2012 Jul;5(4):444-56. IF: 4.584.

  7. Fan Q, Barathi VA. et al. Genetic variants on chromosome 1q41 influence ocular axial length and high myopia. PLoS Genet. 2012 Jun;8(6):e1002753. Epub 2012 Jun 7. IF: 9.543.

  8. Lai CM, Barathi VA, et al. Preclinical safety evaluation of subretinal AAV2.sFlt-1 in non-human primates. Gene Ther. 2012 Oct;19(10):999-1009. IF: 4.5.

  9. Khanh-Nhat Tran-Viet, Barathi VA, et al. Identification of a Novel Gene for Autosomal Dominant High-Grade Myopia Using Whole Exome Sequencing. Amr J Hum Genet, 2013 May 2;92(5):820-6. IF: 11.202.

  10. Veluchamy A Barathi, Jia Lin Kwan, Queenie S.W Tan, Sung Rhan Weon, Li Fong Seet, Liang Kee Goh, Eranga N Vithana, and Roger W Beuerman. Muscarinic Cholinergic Receptor (M2) Plays A Critical Role In The Development Of Myopia. 2013 May 2, Dis Model Mech. 2013. IF: 5.0.

  11. Veluchamy A. Barathi, Yeo S.Wey, Robyn H. Guymer, Tien Y. Wong, Chi D. Luu. Effects of Simvastatin on retinal structure and function of a high-fat atherogenic mouse model of thickened bruch membrane. IOVS, 2014 Jan 7. doi: 10.1167/iovs.13-11636. IF: 3.441.

  12. Jayaganesh V. Natarajan, Anastasia Darwitan, Veluchamy A. Barathi, Marcus Ang, Hla Myint Htoon, Freddy Boey, Kam C. Tam, Tina T. Wong, Subbu S. Venkatraman. Sustained Drug Release in Nanomedicine: A Long-Acting Nanocarrier-Based Formulation for Glaucoma. ACS Nano. 2014 Jan 28;8(1):419-29. IF: 12.06.

  13. Sridhar R, Lakshminarayanan R, Madhaiyan K, Barathi V A, Lim KH, Ramakrishna S. Electrosprayed nanoparticles and electrospun nanofibers based on natural materials: applications in tissue regeneration, drug delivery and pharmaceuticals. Chem Soc Rev. 2014 Nov 19. IF: 30.425.

  14. Jörg Regula, Gosta Lundh von Leithner, Veluchamy A Barathi, Gemmy Cheung Chui Ming, Sai Bo Bo Tun, Yeo Sia Wey, Mirek Dostalek, Jörg Möllecken, Kay Gunnar Stubenrauch, Eric Ng, Everson Nogocecke, Michael Koss, Tony Adamis, David Shima & Guido Hartmann. A bispecific crossmab antibody optimized for neovascular indications of the eye: combining dual inhibition of Vascular endothelial growth factor-A and angiopoietin-2 with an effectorless Fc domain. EMBO Mol Med. 2016, 2016 Nov 2;8(11):1265-1288. IF: 8.665.

  15. Diez JA, Arrojo E Drigo R, Zheng X, Stelmashenko OV, Chua M, Rodriguez-Diaz R, Fukuda M, Köhler M, Leibiger I, Tun SBB, Ali Y, Augustine GJ, Barathi VA, Berggren PO. Pancreatic Islet Blood Flow Dynamics in Primates. Cell Rep. 2017 Aug 8;20(6):1490-1501. IF: 8.728.

  16. Chaurasia SS, Lim RR, Parikh BH, Wey YS, Tun BB, Wong TY, Luu CD, Agrawal R, Ghosh A, Mortellaro A, Rackoczy E, Mohan RR, Barathi VA. The NLRP3 Inflammasome May Contribute to Pathologic Neovascularization in the Advanced Stages of Diabetic Retinopathy. Sci Rep. 2018 Feb 12;8(1):2847. IF: 4.259.

  17. Tu L, Wang JH, Barathi VA, Prea SM, He Z, Lee JH, Bender J, King AE, Logan GJ, Alexander IE, Bee YS, Tai MH, Dusting GJ, Bui BV, Zhong J, Liu GS. AAV-mediated gene delivery of the calreticulin anti-angiogenic domain inhibits ocular neovascularization. Angiogenesis. 2018 Feb;21(1):95-109. IF: 5.253.

  18. Wong CW, Czarny B, Metselaar JM, Ho C, Ng SR, Barathi AV, Storm G, Wong TT. Evaluation of subconjunctival liposomal steroids for the treatment of experimental uveitis. Sci Rep. 2018 Apr 26;8(1):6604. IF: 4.259.

  19. Yong Li, Joanna Marie Busoy, Ben Alfyan Achirn Zaman, Queenie Shu Woon Tan, Gavin Siew Wei Tan, Veluchamy Amutha Barathi, Ning Cheung, Jay Ji-Ye Wei, Walter Hunziker, Wanjin Hong, Tien Yin Wong, Chui Ming Gemmy Cheung. A novel model of persistent retinal neovascularization for the development of sustained anti-VEGF therapies. Exp Eye Res, 2018 Sep 174:98–106. IF: 3.15.

  20. Kelvin Yi Chong Teo, Shu Yen Lee, Veluchamy Amutha Barathi, Sai Bo Bo Tun, Licia Tan, Ian Jeffery Constable. Surgical removal of Internal Limiting Membrane and layering of AAV vector on the retina under air enhances gene transfection in a Non-Human Primate. IOVS, 2018, In Press. . IF: 3.303.


SERI has staff who are well versed in the principles of Good Lab Practice (GLP) that attributes to the quality of our animal model research. The strength of SERI Experimental & translational/pre-clinical has a team mainly:

Principal Investigators (18)

Veterinarians (5)

Clinician scientists/Fellows (14)

Research Associates (5)

Research Officers (6)

Research Assistants (6)


Assoc Prof Velachamy A Barathi