Institute of Dentistry - Barts and The London

Dr Muy-Teck Teh, BSc (Hons.), PhD, FHEA.

Muy-Teck

Senior Lecturer in Head and Neck Cancer

Email: m.t.teh@qmul.ac.uk
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7882 7140
Room Number: Blizard Building

Profile

Dr Muy-Teck Teh pursued his Biomedical Science degree (B.Sc. Hons, 1996) and PhD in Physiology (2000) from King’s College London. Following two postdoctoral trainings funded by Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK, he is currently a tenured Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in Head and Neck Cancer at the Barts & the London School of Medicine & Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, leading a translational research group investigating cancer biomarker discovery, molecular diagnostics, molecular reprogramming of adult epithelial stem cell renewal, differentiation, and senescence. He aims to translate basic science into clinical applications and towards personalised medicine based on molecular signatures. Dr Teh has international collaborators from USA, Norway, Switzerland, India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and China on clinical translation of the world’s first FOXM1-based digital squamous cancer test – “qMIDS” for quantitative cancer diagnosis and prognosis.

Teaching

 

Teaching 

Dr Teh has been involved in teaching and administration at QMUL since 2005. He is a Fellow of the UK Higher Education Academy (Ref: PR110539, 28th July 2016) in recognition of attainment against the UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching and learning support in higher education. Dr Teh is involved in undergraduate (BDS, BSc, intercalated BSc) and postgraduate (MSc, MClinDent, PhD) teaching within the Barts & the London School of Medicine and Dentistry. In addition, he is involved in the development of each course curriculum, student feedbacks/reflection and improvement of the lecture courses, setting exam questions, marking exam scripts and individual student support.
Research Projects

Dr. Teh actively involved in PhD and MSc supervision on research projects in the field of both basic and translational research. Past research projects include: the cellular and molecular effects of tobacco/betel quid alkaloids on oral mucosal keratinocytes in culture, therapeutic potential of oncogene-silencing using RNA interference in oral cancer, identification of diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers for early oral cancer detection, diagnostic markers for cancer stem cells, mechanism of cancer stem cell initiation, quantitative study of epigenomic fingerprints in cancer stem cells as potential biomarkers for personalised medicine, etc. Future research projects may involve interdisciplinary approaches involving cell and molecular techniques for gene transcription data generation, bioinformatics meta-analysis of published transcriptome data for biomarkers discovery and mathematical artificial intelligence (AI) methods for pattern recognition.

Research

Research Interests:


Research Achievements

 

Dr Teh identified and delineated the mechanism of a key driver oncogene FOXM1 in human cancer [1-11] which subsequently led to the Molecule of the Year 2010 Award [12]. He later pioneered the world first FOXM1-based digital molecular cancer test - "quantitative malignancy diagnostic system (qMIDS)" for early detection oral cancer risk [13]. The qMIDS test has been validated on several hundreds of oral cancer patients from UK, Norway, China and India with highly accurate results (>90%) compared to conventional histopathology [13, 14]. The qMIDS test requires only a tiny 1 mm (a grain of rice) tissue biopsy and test results could be obtained within 90 mins by measuring 16 genes to produce a malignancy index via an algorithm [13]. The qMIDS test may potentially revolutionise oral cancer diagnosis in the future by providing a cost-effective, fully automated, high-throughput, rapid, quantitative, digital diagnostic system for managing ever increasing population of patients with oral lesions. Rapid segregation and release of majority (>90%) of low risk patients from surveillance whilst channelling funding and resources to treat high-risk patients will result in long-term benefits for both the patients and healthcare establishments. Dr Teh’s current research aims to identify novel extracellular vesicle/exosome biomarkers for developing non-invasive salivary or blood-based diagnostic tests [15].
 

 Research interests:


1. Transcriptome Pattern Recognition in Pre-Cancer Cells

All cellular processes are tightly regulated by a complex network of interacting biomolecules. Given that mRNA transcription precedes protein translation, change in gene expression levels often precedes visible pathological manifestation. Hence, transcriptome instability in the form of gene expression alterations serves as key signals for subsequent disease initiation and manifestation. Dr Teh hypothesised that if we could recognise and measure cancer-associated transcriptome instability, this could enable better understanding of cancer initiation and smarter way to predict cancer risk[13, 14] in otherwise asymptomatic patients[7-9]. With the help of Artificial Intelligence (AI), this study could be translated into a clinically useful clinical AI tool for risk prediction before disease manifestation.
2. Transcriptome Signature of Therapeutic Resistance in Cancer Cells

Multidrug resistance renders chemotherapeutic treatment failure in large proportion of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) patients requiring multimodal therapy involving chemotherapy in conjunction with surgery and/or radiotherapy. Molecular events conferring chemoresistance remain unclear. This project investigates a number of chemical, biological and physical strategies for targeting molecular vulnerabilities of chemoresistant cancer cells whilst sparing non-cancer cells. A large panel of chemical library consisting of synthetic and natural compounds will be screened using human cell culture models. We aim to identify the most potent multimodal anticancer therapy with the least toxicity to prevent or reverse chemoresistance in HNSCC patients.
Key References

1. Teh, M.T., et al., FOXM1 is a downstream target of Gli1 in basal cell carcinomas. Cancer Research, 2002. 62(16): p. 4773-4780.

2. Gemenetzidis, E., et al., Induction of human epithelial stem/progenitor expansion by FOXM1. Cancer Res, 2010. 70(22): p. 9515-26.

3. Teh, M.T., A.G. Quinn, and M.P. Philpott, The Human forkhead transcription factor FOXM1B enhances DNA repair and suppresses UVB-induced apoptosis. British Journal of Dermatology, 2005. 152(4): p. 842-843.

4. Gemenetzidis, E., et al., FOXM1 upregulation is an early event in human squamous cell carcinoma and it is enhanced by nicotine during malignant transformation. PLoS One, 2009. 4(3): p. e4849.

5. Teh, M.T., et al., Upregulation of FOXM1 induces genomic instability in human epidermal keratinocytes. Mol Cancer, 2010. 9(1): p. 45.

6. Waseem, A., et al., Downstream targets of FOXM1: CEP55 and HELLS are cancer progression markers of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. Oral Oncol, 2010. 46(7): p. 536-42.

7. Teh, M.T., Initiation of Human Tumourigenesis: Upregulation of FOXM1 Transcription Factor, in Stem Cells and Cancer Stem Cells,Volume 3, M.A. Hayat, Editor. 2012, Springer Netherlands. p. 149-154.

8. Teh, M.T., Cells brainwashed by FOXM1: do they have potential as biomarkers of cancer? Biomark Med, 2012. 6(4): p. 499-501.

9. Teh, M.T., FOXM1 coming of age: time for translation into clinical benefits? Front Oncol, 2012. 2(146): p. 146.

10. Teh, M.T., et al., FOXM1 induces a global methylation signature that mimics the cancer epigenome in head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. PLoS One, 2012. 7(3): p. e34329.

11. Hwang, S., et al., Identification of FOXM1-induced epigenetic markers for head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. Cancer, 2013. 119(24): p. 4249-58.

12. Shen, V., 2010 Molecule of the Year. Biotechniques, 2011: p. http://archive.is/jldm.

13. Teh, M.T., et al., Exploiting FOXM1-orchestrated molecular network for early squamous cell carcinoma diagnosis and prognosis. Int J Cancer, 2013. 132(9): p. 2095-106.

14. Ma, H., et al., Independent evaluation of a FOXM1-based quantitative malignancy diagnostic system (qMIDS) on head and neck squamous cell carcinomas. Oncotarget, 2016. 7(34): p. 54555-54563.

15. Qadir, F., et al., Transcriptome reprogramming by cancer exosomes: identification of novel molecular targets in matrix and immune modulation. Mol Cancer, 2018. 17(1): p. 97.

 

Publications

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/?term=teh+mt

    Supervision


    Dr. Teh actively involved in PhD and MSc supervision on research projects in the field of both basic and translational research. Past research projects include: the cellular and molecular effects of tobacco/betel quid alkaloids on oral mucosal keratinocytes in culture, therapeutic potential of oncogene-silencing using RNA interference in oral cancer, identification of diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers for early oral cancer detection, mechanism of cancer stem cell initiation, quantitative study of epigenomic fingerprints in cancer stem cells as potential biomarkers for personalised medicine.

     

    We welcome informal email enquiries regarding potential research projects under Dr Teh's supervision.