Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio UniversityInstitute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio University

About IAB

HOME About IAB Kumar Selvarajoo

Kumar Selvarajoo


Kumar Selvarajoo, PhD
Institute for Advanced Biosciences
Keio University
14-1 Baba-cho, Tsuruoka
Yamagata, Japan 997-0035

Email: kumar[at]

Tel: +81-235-29-0830
Fax: +81-235-29-0809

My book on: "Immuno Systems Biology: A macroscopic approach for immune cell signaling" is available in major libraries including Stanford, MIT, Yale, Penn, Cornell, etc.,.

Welcome to the: 2nd Symposium on Complex Biodynamics & Networks, May 2015


Born and bred in the tiny island nation of Singapore, I began having interest in airplanes when I was six. It was intriguing to me then how a massive heavy structure could fly so seamlessly. From then, I developed passion towards becoming a 'designer' for airplanes which led me to pursue Aeronautical Engineering in the UK. There, I learnt about the physical laws of nature at play, that marvelously 'help' do things that otherwise looks impossible. Later, I developed interest in biology to investigate whether similar laws guide living systems.

Research Interests:

At macroscopic level, biological systems show remarkably well orchestrated, self-organized, robust and stable behavior to a wide range of perturbations. At microscopic level, single cells display noisy or stochastic and bursting behaviors. Such dual-mode phenomenon is observed in any complex system (see commentary and review). However, can complex and nonlinear systems display simple linear response? Our research investigates the fundamental behavior of cell response and focuses on the innate immunity and its link to cancer. Over the years, for population level response of immune cells to targeted perturbation, we have shown that the intracellular downstream signaling can be approximated using linear rules derived from the physical law of conservation. In 2011 (see paper), we have used such simplicity to predict a target to enhance apoptosis (programmed cell death) for TRAIL-resistant cancer cells. This has been highlighted by the Science Media Centre of Japan, Nature Japan and several Japanese dailies such as the Yomiuri Shimbun. More recently, we have performed experiments on two cancer types and have confirmed our model prediction (see article). Furthermore, we used our systems biology approach to identify a crucial target for suppressing TNF-induced proinflammatory response experimentally (see article). Overall, our current investigations focus on understanding the unifying laws of microscopic to macroscopic response. Knowing this will potentially enable us to utilize biological 'noise' for useful treatment purposes, for example, overcoming the effects of dynamic heterogeneity in cancer therapeutics. Our current investigations focus on self-organizations of cancer cells. For research opportunities, please write to my email above.


  • 2006-present, Assistant to Associate Professor, Institute for Advanced Biosciences, Keio University, Japan
  • 2004-2006, Project Leader, Cell-Interaction Group, Bioinformatics Institute, A*STAR, Singapore
  • 2001-2004, Bioinformatics Specialist, National Cancer Centre, Singapore
  • 2002-2004, Director of Technology, Systome Therapeutics Pte Ltd (spin-off company)
  • 1998-2000, Computational Analysis Engineer, Singapore Technologies

Academic duties

  • Instructor, Biological Networks (Graduate Course, Spring Semester, covering Boolean Logics, Differential Equations, Stochastic Algorithm, Correlation Metrics)
  • Chair, Undergraduate English skill evaluation committee
  • Instructor & Reviewer, Master Recherche en Informatique (University of Rennes 1, France)

Editorial duties

  • 2012-present, Editor-in-Chief, Advances in Systems Biology, Research Publisher, USA
  • 2014-present, Member, Editorial Board, In Silico Biology, IOS Press, The Netherlands
  • 2011-present, Member, Editorial Board, Scientific Reports, Nature Publishing Group, UK
  • 2008-2015, Member, Editorial Board, Public Library of Science ONE, USA
  • 2010-2014, Associate Editor, Frontiers in Systems Biology, Switzerland

Research Projects

  • Systems Biology of Innate Immune and Cancer Cell Signaling
  • Multi-dimensional Dynamic Gene Expression and Noise Analysis

Conference/Symposium Committee

  • 2015, Chair, 2nd Symposium on Complex BioDynamics & Networks (cBio 2015), Tsuruoka
  • 2014, Member, 5th International Conference on Computational Systems-Biology and Bioinformatics, Singapore
  • 2014, Member, 25th Genome Informatics Workshop (GIW), Tokyo
  • 2013, Chair, 1st Symposium on Complex BioDynamics & Networks (cBio 2013), Tsuruoka
  • 2013, Member, 24th Genome Informatics Workshop (GIW), Singapore
  • 2012, Member, 4th Foundations of Systems Biology in Engineering (FOSBE), Tsuruoka
  • 2006, Chair, The Systems Biology Symposium, Tsuruoka
  • 2006, Member, Toll-like Receptors in Immunity and Disease, Biopolis, Singapore
  • 2005, Chair, Explorations of Multidisciplinary Advances for Biomarkers Discovery, Biopolis, Singapore


  • 2000-2004, Doctor of Philosophy (Systems Biology), Nanyang Technological University, Singapore
  • 1997, Research Internship (Turbomachinery), Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH, Zurich
  • 1993-1997, Master of Engineering (Aeronautics), Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, London
  • 1990-1993, Singapore Armed Forces (National Service)













  • Tan P & Selvarajoo K, 'Modelling of Biochemical Pathways ' US National Application Number: 10/222 029, International Application Number: PCT/ GB2002 /003
  • Selvarajoo K & Tsuchiya M, 'Non-Integral Connectivity Method (NICM) for the Discovery of Biological Network Topology' Priority Application Number: 60/728,299

Awards & Honors

  • 2011, Marquis Who's Who in the World.
  • 2011, 2000 Outstanding Intellectuals of the 21st Century, IBC, Cambridge.
  • 2004 Finalist, Young Inventors Award 2003. Far Eastern Economics Review and Dow Jones.
  • 2002 Winner and Team Leader of Systome Therapeutics. StartUp@Singapore Competition. A National Techno-Venture Business Plan Competition
  • 2001 Winner, Best Intellectual Property Filing. National Cancer Centre's Annual Academic Awards
  • 2000 Nanyang Technological University CANES Research Scholar
  • 1994 Winner, Best Aircraft Structure Design Competition, Imperial College.