Matae Ahn

Duke-NUS Medical School


My research projects focus on learning from bats with exceptional disease resistance aiming to translate these lessons into treatments for human diseases. Bats have several unique features of high value to human health including long lifespan and asymptomatically hosting many viruses lethal to humans. Bats appear to have a unique balance between host defense and immune tolerance (Nature 2021) and our mission is to uncover what makes them special. One of the key lessons learnt is that they have naturally evolved to dampen inflammation and protect themselves from inflammatory diseases  (Nat Micro 2019, PNAS 2020, Cell 2023). This work has led to patents and ongoing commercialization of new anti-inflammatory drugs. My pre-clinical and clinical studies are in the areas including skin diseases, neurodegenerative diseases, atherosclerosis and metabolic diseases. In addition we have recently won an international grant to study new anti-aging strategies from bats (ERC Synergy Grant 2023- BATPROTECT).