Nicholas Tolwinski

Science (Biology)

Assistant Professor of Science

Dr Tolwinski received his BA from the University of Colorado in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology in 1996. He completed his PhD at Princeton University in Molecular Biology in 2004. In 2004, Dr Tolwinski became the first Frank A Howard Scholar in Developmental Biology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Prior to joining the faculty of Yale-NUS, Dr Tolwinski was a Research Assistant Scientist in the department of Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology at the University of Michigan.

Research Interests

Dr Tolwinski specialises in analysing the early embryonic development of Drosophila. His research focuses on signal transduction, or the intra-cellular communication that organises groups of cells into tissues, and what goes wrong when cells disregard signals and form cancers. He has led a team of four to five researchers exploring these basic mechanisms of cancer. He has published in several journals, including Developmental Cell, EMBO Journal and PLOS.

Teaching and Residential Life

Dr Tolwinski’s courses have included basic Biology, Genetics, Laboratory courses, and Human Genetics, Reproduction and Public Policy. Dr Tolwinski’s teaching has been recognised with the Princeton University teaching award.

On Joining Yale-NUS College

Yale-NUS offers a unique opportunity to create a new college from scratch. I am especially enthusiastic about teaching scientific inquiry in our common curriculum science courses. I look forward to sharing with students the most exciting part of science, namely, asking questions that haven’t been asked before.

As a centre for biomedical research, Singapore has attracted world-class scientists to its state-of-the-art laboratories; I am excited to join Yale-NUS, this innovative educational institution located in such a strong research environment.


Assistant Professor