Our Team

Key Leader

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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.

University Collabolator

Kae Yi Tan is working in Protein and Interactomics Laboratory, Department of Molecular Medicine, and a 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.

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 diazepam 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).

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.

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. 

Stephenie Chong Ho Phin

Ho Phin obtained her honors in B.Sc. Biomedical Science from International Medical University (IMU) through her study on the effect of copper on the growth and metabolism of Antarctic bacteria. She presented her honors project at the 8th Symposium of Biomedical Science and was awarded Best Oral Presenter (under microbiology and virology). During her bachelors, she was given a pristine opportunity to intern under Assistant Professor Ashley St. John of Emerging Infectious Disease department, DUKE-NUS graduate medical school, Singapore, where she investigated the role of NK-T cells in Zika and dengue infections. Ho Phin joined Vetox lab as a Masters candidate in late 2017, investigating the biomedical characterization of cytotoxic proteins in Malaysian cobra venoms. She has obtained 2 awards in 2018, presenting her work at scientific conferences, Best Oral Presenter in ASEAN Emerging Researcher Conference and 2nd place Oral Presentation at the 8th Regional Conference on Molecular Medicine (RCMM) in conjunction with 4th National Conference for Cancer Research (NCCR).

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.

Hia Yi Lin

Yi Lin completed her B.Sc Biomedical Science at Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and her dissertation was on the effect of antioxidants on the expression of ABCA1 gene. Before joining this lab, she has previously worked as a research assistant in exploring potential anti-diabetic agents from natural products. Yi Lin is currently a Master’s candidate at Vetox Lab. Her research focuses on the proteomics and toxinology characterization of Southeast Asian kraits species.

Praneetha Palasuberniam

Praneetha completed her M.D. and served her compulsory service in the Ministry of Health before pursuing her MSc in Clinical Pharmacology. Prior to becoming a member of the Vetox team, she was attached to University Malaysia Sabah as a Trainee Lecturer in Pharmacology. Previously she was working on cell-cell communication mainly looking at cAMP downstream mediators Epac, PKA and POPDC1 on gastric cancer cell migration and proliferation prior to joining the team. She is currently a PhD candidate with her focus on proteomics and antineoplastic activity of venom proteins from elapid snakes.

Ooi Pei Wan

Pei Wan completed her BSc. study (Biochemistry) from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman and was worked on phytotoxic potential of local plant species (Leucaena leucocephala). Following that, she obtained her master degree in MSc. Health Toxicology from Advanced Medical and Dental Institute (AMDI), Universiti Sains Malaysia. Pei Wan is currently a PhD candidate in Vetox Lab with research project focusing on proteomics and toxinological characterization of Asian lance-headed pit viper venoms.

Louisa Lee Pernee

Louisa has an undergraduate background in Biotechnology, and obtained her MSc in Biomedical and Molecular Science research in King's College London with a dissertation on "characterising the molecular response of an immortalised human cell line to environmental carcinogens". Her research will look into the toxinology and proteomics of Southeast Asian arboreal pit viper venoms, and currently exploring the development of snakebite envenomation point-of-care diagnostic kits.

Ong Hui Ling

Hui Ling completed her B.Sc. (Biochemistry) from University of Malaya and her dissertation was on “conjugation of toxins by cytosolic glutathione S-transferase (GST) of larvae Hermetia illucens, black soldier fly”. She joined Vetox Lab as a Master’s candidate in year 2019. Her research project focuses on the development of diagnostic device for snakebite envenomation.

Chan Yi Wei

Yi Wei holds a B. Sc. (Hons) in Biotechnology from Inti International University, and later acquired his M. Sc. in the same discipline on bioprocessing-leaning (fabrication of large volume monolithic adsorbent). During his tenure as research assistant at Biotechnology Research Institute, UMS, he participated in ancillary projects associated to the application of analytical scale monolithic adsorbent in cellulase-immobilization and biosensors development. At present, Yi Wei joined Vetox Lab as PhD candidate, working on assessing the interaction of IgG and venom proteins through in vitro, in vivo and in silico approaches.

Aymeric Bourges

Graduated Students

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. She has completed her study and graduated in Nov 2019.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Ng Tzu Shan (former team member)

Tzu Shan Ng received his PhD from Universiti Putra Malaysia (2016) and previously worked on the characterization of glucose sensing mechanism of Candida glabrata, an emerging medically important fungal pathogen. He worked as Technical Application Specialist at Research Instruments Sdn Bhd, before joining as a post-doctoral researcher at generic viagra online and Interactomics Laboratory to work on venom and toxin research in year 2018. His research interests include the venom gland transcriptomic and proteomic characterization of snake venoms as well as the investigation into the therapeutic potential of snake venom toxins.

Final Year Project Students

2014

Liew Sin Teng, Tan Qian Yi

2015

Nor Izzati Azmi, Farah Nadhirah Abdul-Rahman

2016

Tan Kee Mee,

2017

Eric Laja Ak Smail, Kwong Ee Wern, Nor Naimah Binti Shamsuddin, Nur Jamilah binti Abdul Jale

2018

Chuah Chia Jin, Doris Tang Ying Ying, Doreen Yek En Qin, Lau Diew Fung

Internship/Exchange students

2017

Liew Ya Wen (UTAR)

2018

Aymeric Bourges (France)

2019

Chen Pei Yu (Taiwan)

2020

Ng Kar Soon (Curtin University)