Our Team

Key Leader

Choo Hock Tan (MBBS, PhD) is currently leading the Venom Research and Toxicology Laboratory (Vetox Lab). His research interests span a wide range of subjects in the field of venom toxinology, which include molecular and functional characterization of venoms, medical pharmacology of antivenom (production, kinetics and dynamics), “-omics” of venomous species and toxins in drug discovery. Choo Hock enjoys passionately his toxinology research activities, from collecting specimens in the wild to conducting experiments in his laboratory. He is also affiliated to several professional bodies: as the Honorary Secretary of the Malaysian Society on Toxinology, and as a faculty member for the Annual Marine and Snake Envenomation Management Symposium/Workshop (AMSEM) as well as the Toxinological Society of India Conferences (TSICON). He is also a recipient of awards such as the Academic Training Fellowship from the Malaysian government and the International Award of Young Scientist from the Japanese Association of Laboratory Animal Sciences, Japan.

Advisory Consultant

Debra Si Mui Sim is currently a professor at the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya. She obtained her Ph.D. in Pharmacology from the University of Liverpool, U.K., before joining the present university as a lecturer in 1984. Debra’s research interests include pharmacokinetics and snake venom pharmacology, with expertise in pharmacokinetics and pharmacological assessment of venom effects applying the anesthetized whole animal model and tissue-organ bath. She is currently the Chairman of the Faculty of Medicine Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (FOM-IACUC) and also serves in the Medical Education and Research Development Unit (MERDU). She is the Secretary of the Asia-Pacific Association on PBL in Health Sciences (APA-PHS, since 2002), and was a 2007-Fellow of the FAIMER Institute, based in Philadelphia, USA.

Nget Hong Tan is a Professor in the Department of Molecular Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya. He was a research associate at the University of Chicago in 1976-1977, and joined University of Malaya as a lecturer in 1977. Professor Tan established venom research in University of Malaya since 1977 and greatly contributes to the pharmacological and biomedical studies of snake venom toxins for over the past 40 years. He is a recognized toxinologist and well-known toxinologist in the regions with his outstanding contribution towards toxinology research. He had served as the President of the International Society on Toxinology, Asia Pacific Section and Council member of the International Society on Toxinology, Malaysian Institute of Chemistry and Malaysian Scientific Association. He was also the recipient of Asean Regional Fellowship (1982), International Union of Biochemistry Congress Travel Fellowship (1982, 1988) and Science and Technology Award (2009) from Malaysian Toray Science Foundation (MTSF).

University Collabolator

Kae Yi Tan is collaborator of Venom and Toxin Research Laboratory (Vetox Lab). He received his PhD from University of Malaya (2016) and has joined Department of Molecular Medicine in the year 2017. His PhD research was about toxinological and pharmacological characterization of Southeast Asian monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia) venom, in which the study has revealed the geographical variation of N. kaouthia venom from different locales. Besides, his research interests include molecular and functional characterization of snake venom and antivenom, venom proteomics, and venom gland transcriptomics studies. He is a member of the Malaysian Society on Toxinology (MST) and the Malaysian Society on Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSBMB). He was the recipient of SLAI fellowship from University of Malaya.

Research Students

Liew Jia Lee

Jia Lee completed her undergraduate study in B.Sc. Resource Biotechnology at University Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) and previously worked with natural product to search for potential anti-cancer agents. She is now a Ph.D. candidate at Vetox Lab of the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya. Her research interest lies in the area of toxinology and drug discovery, where she is focusing on the venom proteomics, functional characterization, antivenom neutralization studies, as well as venturing into the potential therapeutic toxins from viperid venoms, in collaboration with international institutions.

Wong Kin Ying

Kin Ying completed her BSc. in Biotechnology in University Malaysia Kelantan. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate at the Vetox Lab of the Department of Pharmacology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya. She actively taking part in toxinological research of Afro-Asian cobra venoms, covering the venom proteomics, antivenom assessment as well as toxin-specific neutralization studies which reveal the limitation of antivenom and provide clue for the development of the envisioned polyspecific highly effective cobra antivenom for broad regional use.

Angeline Oh

Angeline is a B.Sc. Biomedical Sciences graduate from Management and Science University. Prior joining Vetox Lab, she worked as a intern in Department of Physiology, UM and research on the effect of natural products towards endocrine system. At present, she is a Ph.D. candidate at Vetox Lab and her current research falls in the studies covering the molecular and functional characterization of Asiatic kraits venoms and assessing the efficacy of heterologous antivenom towards congeneric species.

Tasnim Faizal

Tasnim completed her undergraduate study in B.Sc. Biomedical Sciences at Management and Science University and has previously worked on behavioral studies applying natural products as antidepressant agents. She joined as a post-grad M.Sc. candidate at Vetox Lab in year 2016. Her research focuses on the biomedical studies of viper venoms and toxins from South Asia regions, and assessment of venom neutralization using regional antivenom. 

Chong Ho Phin

Ho Phin has obtained her B.Sc. Biomedical Science from International Medical University (IMU), where her dissertation was on the effect of copper on the growth and metabolism of Antarctic bacteria. Prior to joining Vetox Lab, she was an intern at DUKE-NUS, Singapore, under Emerging Infectious Disease department investigating on the role of NKT cells in Zika and Dengue infections. Ho Phin is currently a Masters candidate at Vetox Lab. Her research involves the biomedical characterization of cytotoxic proteins in Malaysian Cobra venoms. She was awarded Best Oral Presenter (under category microbiology and virology) at the 8th Symposium of Biomedical Science in 2017.

Thava Malar Changra Lingam

Malar obtained her B.Sc. Biomedical Sciences at Mahsa University and her dissertation was on antioxidant activities and toxicity in Chinese Herb (Prunella vulgaris). Malar is currently a Master’s candidate at Vetox Lab. Her research focuses on the venom proteomics and functional study of Eastern Russell’s viper (Daboia siamensis) and assessment of venom neutralization using antivenom.