The Monash Science Symposium (MSS) is a student-led event by the School of Science postgraduate students of Monash University Malaysia (MUM). We hope to initiate the conference as an annual event that acts as a platform for students to gain experience and valuable insight towards their research. It also serves as a promotional event to highlight the capabilities of postgraduates in research outputs and the dissemination of their scientific findings to a broader, and ideally, international audience. It is also can be the future direction of this event will aim to showcase research here in Monash to engage with other universities and industries to increase the networking opportunities.
MSS was first held in 2013 as a gathering of local science graduate research students to share and discuss their research findings. Since then, it has grown in size and scope to include the student community of other local and international universities and research institutes. True to the Monash motto “Ancora Imparo”, the Symposium aims to enhance the science learning experience by encouraging knowledge exchange between researchers, promoting local research work, exploring potential collaborations, and fostering closer ties with other research universities.
In 2014, the Symposium has registered more than 150 student participants, half of which represent participants from 9 other different local universities/research institutes. In 2016, the symposium was held with more registered participants, including external participants who were from 13 universities and a government agency. A new scope was introduced in MSS 2016, covering a total of 6 major life sciences branches and were presented over 3-day periods. The Symposium had received overwhelming positive feedback from the participants. In 2018, an intervarsity symposium which served as a promotional event to highlight the capabilities of HDR students of Monash University Malaysia in producing quality research outputs and the dissemination of their scientific findings to a broader audience.
For MSS 2022, we intend to continue the legacy by making the event bigger as well as introduce a new science category, “Science Communication and Safety”. We also intend to encourage supervisors/lecturers to partake in MSS 2022 as the scientific committee which would assist in the abstract screening process. We therefore propose for an intervarsity symposium to be held for the graduate research students, staff and company agencies.
Assoc. Prof. Adeline Chia Associate Professor at the School of Biosciences, Taylor's University
Associate Professor Dr Adeline Chia obtained her PhD at Monash University. She is currently the Programme Director for the Biomedical Science programme and Associate Professor in the School of BIosciences at Taylor's University. She is a lifetime member of the Malaysian Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (MSBMB), Young Scientist Network-Academy of Science Malaysia (YSN-ASM), Malaysian Diabetes Association, Malaysian Endocrine & Metabolic Society (MEM), For Women in Science and Organization for Women in Science for the Developing World. Dr Adeline is also the international ambassador of the Biochemical Society (UK) and a member of the Royal Society of Biology, whereby she is responsible for linking the national society with international affiliates.
Dr Adeline has publilshed over 25 full journal papers in ISI and Scopus indexed journals and was involved in several research projects securing more than RM 1,000,000.00 in grant funding as the team leader or a team member. She has won 9 national and international awards from both research and teaching, including the Vice Chancellor's Award for Taylor's Most Cited Academic, Taylor's President's Award for Teaching & Learning, Anugerah Fasilitator e-Pembelajaran Terbaik (NUCEL) as well as the International Union of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Women in Science Travel Grant.
Her research interest is on characterization of the mechanisms of action of natural compounds in the regulation of lipid and carbohydrate metabolism as well as molecular modeling of the analogues to target Alzheimer's Disease and metabolic disorders, with specific interest in disorders of the reproductive system and aging. She has successfully supervised 4 PhD students and 5 Master's students at Taylor's and other universities.
Prof. Lim Kuan Hon BSc Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences Programme Director, University of Nottingham Malaysia
Professor Dr Lim Kuan Hon graduated from the Department of Chemistry, University of Malaya with a BSc (Hons) in Chemistry in 2003 and subsequently a PhD (Organic Chemistry) in 2009. Dr Lim was appointed to a lectureship at the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) in 2009. He was promoted to Associate Professor in 2013 and Full Professor in 2020. Dr Lim is currently the Director of the BSc Pharmaceutical and Health Sciences (Hons) programme at UNM. His research is centred on identifying plant natural products with novel molecular structures and/or potential applications in the treatment of cancer and resistant hypertension. His research group also focuses on the synthesis/semisynthesis of biologically active natural products, as well as structural modification of natural products for structure-activity relationship investigations.
Dr. Chong Chun Wie Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of School (Research) at the School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia
Dr Chong Chun Wie's current main research focus is on the microbial ecology of the human gut. Dr Chong has collaborated widely with both local and international researchers on topics such as the gut-brain axis (e.g. Parkinson’s disease and Alzheimer’s disease), gut microbiome and metabolic health (e.g. diabetes and obesity) and the influence of diets and functional foods to gut health. In addition, he is a strong advocate for microbiome research in Malaysia and had been actively involved in public talks, and bioinformatics workshops organisation. Dr Chong is also a consultant for a microbiome start-up in the region and serves as an academic editor for PLOS ONE and guest editor for Frontiers in Microbiology.
Dr. Khayriyyah Mohd Hanafiah Senior Lecturer at the School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia
Kye conducts research in infectious disease at the School of Biological Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia and adjunctly at Burnet Institute, Australia. She was awarded the prestigious Australian Endeavour Research Fellowship in 2017, became the first female Asian Champion of FameLab International in 2018, and received the Ministry of Youth and Sports Malaysia “Youth Award” in 2019. She conducts regular science communication training for students and researchers at various stages of their career, and adjudicated science communication competitions nationally and internationally. She has given numerous public talks and interviews and produced a documentary on sustainable palm oil and short videos to raise awareness on various SDG-related issues. She regularly writes for The Star in her column “Science, She Wrote”.
Dr. Chen Jit Ern Research Fellow at the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development, Jeffrey Cheah Institute on Southeast Asia
Dr. Chen Jit Ern is a Research Fellow at the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development and a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Biological Sciences at Sunway University. His primary research interest is in the development and utilization of genetic engineering techniques and molecular tools on various microalgae, to study the underlying mechanisms for physiological traits such as lipid accumulation and heat tolerance. Dr Chen’s current project in Sunway University is focused on studying the potential for increased heat-tolerance in Zooxanthellae (Symbiodinium microadriaticum), the photosynthetic coral endosymbiont, with an emphasis on heat-activated Zooxanthellae retrotransposons retrotransposons and on experimental evolution of heat-tolerance in microalgae. Other areas of interests include genetic engineering of the model green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for protein production, the effects of algae auxins on the growth profile of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and monitoring the biodiversity of plants and algae in Bandar Sunway.
Prof. Ir. Ts. Pau-Loke Show Professor of Biochemical Engineering, University of Nottingham Malaysia
Professor Ir. Ts. Dr. Pau-Loke Show is a Professor of Biochemical Engineering from University of Nottingham, Malaysia. His research interests cover from upstream to downstream bioprocessing, microalgae technology and circular economy. Professor Show published over 650 research papers and contributed more than 200 talks to international congresses as well as a few patents that currently applied in industry. All these papers have been cited 16000 times and current h-index is 62. Also, he published three books entitled "Bioprocess Engineering: Downstream Processing" (2019), "Liquid Biphasic System: Fundamentals and Applications in Bioseparation Technology" (2020), and "The Prospect of Industry 5.0 in Biomanufacturing" (2021). With his excellence contributions, his has received numerous prestigious academic awards from national and international organisations. He is now serving as an Editor-in-chief in Current Nutrition & Food Science, Editor in Scientific Report, Biocatalysis and Agricultural Biotechnology, Associate Editor at Bioengineered; Current Biochemical Engineering, and Editorial board member in Journal of Hazardous Materials, Bioresource Technology and, Biochemical Engineering Journal. He also managing guest editor for many well reputation journals, examples, Journal of Hazardous Materials; Bioresource Technology, Chemosphere, Clean Technologies and Environmental Policy, Bioengineered, and more. For more information about Prof Show, please view his website: https://showpauloke.com
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chai Lay Ching Associate Professor at the Institue of Biological Sciences, University of Malaya
Associate Professor Dr Chai Lay Ching, from Institute of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Science, UM, was appointed by the Academy of Sciences Malaysia as the Chairperson of YSN-ASM starting Dec 2018. Dr Chai joined YSN-ASM as an affiliate in 2015 and became a member in 2016. She was subsequently elected as the co-chair of the Science Integrity Working Group in 2016 for her persistence effort and excellent work in promoting research integrity in Malaysia. Dr Chai is also one of the main authors of the Malaysian Educational Module on Responsible Conduct of Research, which was published and launched in 2018. Dr Chai’s research focuses on food safety and microbiology. Dr Chai serves as the Vice Chair of the Technical Working Group of Microbiology under the Food Analysis Committee (JKAM) chaired by the Department of Chemistry Malaysia, MESTECC. Dr Chai has also established great linkages with the industry and has been identified as the Key Opinion Leader in the field of food safety and microbiology. Her active contribution and involvement in food safety research has won her the Malaspina International Award by the International Life Science Institute (ILSI). She is now been a member of the scientific advisory panel of ILSI South East Asia Region that provides guidance and advice on the food safety and risk assessment in the region. Dr Chai also serves as the Vice Chair of the Southeast Asia International Association of Food Protection. Dr Chai was awarded the L’Oreal-UNESCO Women in Science Award in 2018 for her great passion and achievements in science. Dr Chai was also listed as one of the 25 Marie Claire Amazing Women in Malaysia and Prestige 40-under-40 in 2019.
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Jen Martin Associate Professor, University of Melbourne
Associate Professor Dr. Jen Martin spent many years working as a field ecologist until she decided the most useful thing she could do was teach other scientists how to be effective and engaging communicators. Jen founded and leads the University of Melbourne's acclaimed Science Communication Teaching Program and hosts the Let’s Talk SciComm podcast. She also practises what she preaches: for 16 years she’s been talking about science each week on 3RRR radio, writes for a variety of publications and MCs events. Jen was named the 2019 Unsung Hero of Australian Science Communication and is a member of the Homeward Bound Teaching Faculty. Jen’s first popular science book, ‘Why am I like this? The science behind your weirdest thoughts and habits’ will be published in 2022.
Dr. Adzzie Shazleen Lecturer in the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
Dr. Adzzie Shazleen was awarded a Ph.D. from Monash University Malaysia in 2016, studying the characterization of novel rare Actinobacteria from mangrove and their bioactivities. Currently, she is a Lecturer in Microbiology at the School of Science. Her current research focus is still on the bioactivities of the secondary metabolites of Actinobacteria. Other than that, she also focuses on the zoonotic vector-borne and oral pathogens projects. Dr. Adzzie is an Editorial Board of Tropical Biomedicine and a member of the Malaysian Society of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine and the International Association for Dental Research.
Dr. Cheow Yuen Lin Senior Lecturer in the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
Dr. Cheow Yuen Lin is currently a senior lecturer with the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia (MUM). He obtained his BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and MSc in Natural Product Chemistry from University Putra Malaysia. He then undertook his PhD in Organometallic Chemistry at Nanyang Technological University Singapore. He is a trained synthetic chemist in making asymmetric phosphine and arsine ligands. Areas of interest include synthesising and evaluating biological properties of new metal N-heterocyclic carbene complexes and carbon monoxide releasing molecules.
Dr. Joash Tan Ban Lee Senior Lecturer in the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
Dr Joash Tan Ban Lee is a senior lecturer at the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia. His field of research is primarily on natural products and their applications in treating illnesses and diseases including bacterial infections, diabetes, and hypertension. He currently has nearly 650 citations with a h-index of 12. As a principal investigator, he has successfully obtained competitive government and industrial grants, and has thus far graduated six postgraduates, with four more currently under his direct supervision. His research has also won several awards, including local (Pecipta), international (ITEX), and institutional recognition (PVC Award for Excellence in Research).
Dr. Keng Yoon Yeong Lecturer in the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
Dr. Keng Yoon Yeong is currently a Medicinal and Organic Chemistry lecturer in Monash University Malaysia, having obtained his PhD from University Science Malaysia. Before joining Monash University, he spent 11 years as a research scientist in various companies where he worked on small molecule organic synthesis. He has co-authored over 60 research publications in the field of medicinal chemistry and drug discovery. In addition, he has secured numerous internal and external grants and is a constant journal reviewer. He is a co-inventor for 6 patent applications and is the recipient of the 2021 PVC Excellence Award for Research (ECR).
Dr. Tan Hock Siew (Patrick) Lecturer in the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
Dr Tan Hock Siew (Patrick)’s research expertise focuses on pathogens’ antimicrobial resistance (AMR) and the molecular biology of bacteria. He is interested in characterising novel regulatory mechanisms of AMR in clinical pathogens. His lab studies the spread of AMR genes and pathogens in the environment and human populations. Dr Tan’s group aims to utilise this information to combat AMR pathogens and employs Synthetic Biology approaches to explore the potential of nucleic acids as an alternative antimicrobial agent. He has received 348 citations and numerous competitive grants for his work. He was awarded the Dean’s Excellence in Teaching Award in 2021.
Prof. Qasim Ayub Professor and Deputy Head of School (Research) in the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
Professor Qasim Ayub graduated from Khyber Medical College in Pakistan and obtained his Ph.D. from the University of North Texas, Denton, USA. He has worked in the USA, Pakistan, Italy and at the world-renowned Wellcome Sanger Institute where he was a member of the Human Evolution Team. He was awarded the President of Pakistan’s Medal of Excellence for contributions to science in 2006. He is currently the Deputy Head (Research) and Director of the Monash University Malaysia Genomics Facility in the School of Science. His research focuses on population and evolutionary genomics in human and non-human species.
Dr. Wee Sim Choo Senior Lecturer in the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
Dr. Wee Sim Choo completed a Bachelor Science in Food Studies (2001) majoring in Food Quality Management with a First Class Honours and Master of Science (2004) in the field of Food Chemistry and Biochemistry from the Universiti Putra Malaysia. She then joined the Malaysian Palm Oil Board as a research officer before moving to the University of Otago, New Zealand to complete a Ph.D. in Food Science in 2008. She joined Monash University soon after and is currently a Senior Lecturer for the School of Science. Dr. Choo's current research interests focus on functional foods, extraction and application of bioactive compounds from food sources, phytochemicals, probiotics and prebiotics.
Assoc. Prof. Adeline Ting Associate Professor and Head of Discipline, Biological Sciences School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
Associate Professor Adeline Ting is a highly dedicated academic and passionate researcher. She has more than 17 years of experience in both education and research. She is dynamic, progressive, creative and innovative in both teaching and research. Her research focus is on applied microbiology, investing in biological, agricultural, and environmental applications. Adeline has been awarded 14 external grants as PI and Co-researcher, and has published more than 90 journal articles. Adeline was the recipient of the National Outstanding Researcher Award (Biological Science) in 2018.
Dr. Michelle Yap Senior Lecturer in the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
Dr. Michelle Yap is currently a senior lecturer and coordinator of Peer-Assisted Study Session at the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia. Her research expertise focuses on toxin pharmacology and toxicology. She has strong interests in pharmaco-proteomics, immunological and molecular modeling of bioactive toxins. Her current research interests also focus on molecular mechanisms of cytotoxicity of venom cytotoxin and toxin-receptor interactions. Her ultimate goal is to develop an enriched tool for next generation biotherapeutics.
Dr. Beng-Kah Song Senior Lecturer in the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
Dr. Beng-Kah Song has a long-standing interest in researching the evolutionary processes shaping the genomes of weedy rice, which is biologically similar to the cultivated rice (Oryza sativa L.). His main research focus is on genomics, transcriptomics and evolutionary studies of agronomic traits underlying phenotypic adaptations in Southeast Asian weedy rice. His passion in weedy rice in the past 10 years has testified through top tier international scientific journals. He sits on the review panels for local and international scientific funding agencies, and course advisory committees in local universities.
Dr. Thoo Yin Yin Senior Lecturer in the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
Yin Yin has teaching and research responsibilities in food science and technology. She is a researcher with expertise in biopolymer based packaging and alternative methods of preserving and processing food. She has completed supervision of 1 Ph.D. student and more than 10 Honours and third-year project students. Currently, she has a group of 3 Ph.D. students and 1 Honours student. Her research group has won several prizes: A silver medal at 32nd ITEX, 2021 and best poster presentation at MIFT, 2021. She publishes 21 peer reviewed papers and 2 book chapters with an h-index of 12.
Dr. Wai-Leng Lee Senior Lecturer in the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
Dr Wai-Leng Lee started her research on the discovery of novel anticancer activities of plant-based therapeutic agents when she was a post-doctoral research fellow in Academia Sinica. After joining Monash in 2013, she has won several grants that support her research on the potential of extracellular vesicles as chemoresistance markers for cancer management. In collaboration with the Monash Centre of Biospectroscopy, Dr Lee set up a platform for FTIR analysis of extracellular vesicles (EVs) isolated from urine for prostate cancer detection, leading to winning of a silver medal in the 31st International Invention, Innovation & Technology Exhibition, Malaysia ITEX 2020.
Assoc. Prof. Siow Lee Fong Associate Professor in the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
Associate Professor Siow Lee Fong works in the area of microencapsulation and controlled release of active compounds. She is also interested in valorizing underutilized or by-products to produce foods for the health and well-being of consumers. Currently she has 7 graduate students under her main supervision. She published more than 50 papers and several book chapters in the field. She was the nominee for the 2020 Monash Graduate Association (MGA) Supervisor of the year.
Dr. Holly Barclay Lecturer in the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
Dr Holly Barclay was awarded a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in Natural Sciences by the University of Cambridge, UK and then undertook her PhD in Zoology at the same university studying the ecology of freshwater mussels in China as part of a World Bank/GEF lake restoration project. After a short postdoctoral period, she took up the position as a lecturer in the School of Science at Monash in 2014. Dr Barclay's main research interest is the ecology and conservation of freshwater biodiversity in SE Asia, although she is increasingly also interested in studying the effectiveness of sustainability certification schemes on agricultural management practices. Her current research focuses on the effects of land use change on the ecology and biodiversity of aquatic invertebrate communities in Malaysian waterways and potential management strategies for mitigating these impacts.
Prof. Chow Sek Chuen Professor and Head of Discipline (Medical Bioscience) in the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia
He completed his Doctor of Medical Science degree in Immunology from the Karolinska Institute (Sweden) in 1990. After postdoctoral research at the Mayo Clinic (US) and the Karolinska Institute, he joined the Medical Research Council (MRC) Toxicology Unit at Leicester University (UK) as MRC fellow. Following that he joined Nottingham University (UK) as a lecturer and in 2002, he returned to the MRC Toxicology Unit as Senior Group Leader in Immunotoxicology. In 2007 he joined the School of Science at Monash University Malaysia as Associate Professor and served as Deputy Head of School for research in 2008. He was appointed Professor of Biomedical Sciences in 2011 and currently Head of Discipline of Medical Bioscience. As founding member of the Malaysia Society of Toxicology, he was appointed Vice President (2010) and President (2012-2014). From 2014-2018, he served on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Institute for Research, Development and Innovation at International Medical University, Malaysia. His research interest includes Immunotoxicology, T cell signalling and regulation of apoptosis/program cell death in mammalian cells and Toxoplasma gondii.