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Biological Studies

In Our research spans key areas of molecular, cell and systems biology using animal models in addition to translational work in cell culture. Research in this group incorporates both fundamental and applied research directed towards new drug discovery and development especially for the treatment of diabetes, cancer, malaria and microbial metabolites. The primary function of the group is to characterize biological activities, both in vitro and in vivo of natural products. Our research encompasses and integrates the following areas:

  • Diabetes mellitus
  • Malaria Molecular
  • Genetics Molecular
  • Cancer Therapeutics
  • Wound Healing
  • Anti-quorum sensing microbial metabolites

The anti-quorum sensing microbial metabolites unit is focusing on finding quorum quenching metabolites that have the properties to degrade microbial biofilms of Streptococcus mutans and other pathogenic bacteria. Quorum sensing is a system used by bacteria for communication between cells using small diffusible molecules secreted by individual cells. These signalling molecules increase in concentration as a function of the bacterial cell density, allowing a coordinated population response. We screened huge numbers of our culture collection of endophytic actinomycetes and endophytic fungi for the capacity to degrade the biofilm formation in S. mutans by interfering with QS-mediated signals. In order to discover the biosynthesis of the quorum quenching as well as other metabolites from these endophytes, genome sequencing will be carried out. Several gene clusters including a biosynthetic gene cluster will be identified and used to further elucidate the biosynthesis pathway of the quorum sensing antimetabolites.

This group is also applying current molecular biology techniques to develop models to study metabolism-based pharmacokinetics and the possibilities of drug-herb interactions. The metabolic fates of herbal constituents and their effects on drug metabolism or endogenous metabolism in the human body have not been well-investigated. Notably, the concomitant use of herbal medicines may lead to clinically relevant herb-drug interactions or adverse reactions or even metabolic disorders, when some herbs are co-administered with those drugs with narrow therapeutic indices. Compounds of herbal components may interact with a wide range of proteins in various metabolic organs (such as the intestine, liver and kidney) in extremely complex ways. The lack of this key information has aroused great concerns on the risks of herb-drug interactions or herb-endobiotic interactions. Improvements in the knowledge of the metabolic fates of herbal constituents, as well as the interactions of herbal products with therapeutics, will be very helpful for the rational use of herbal products in clinical settings, especially to avoid the occurrences of clinically relevant interactions.

Research Fellows

Dr Rozaini Mohd Zohdi
Dr Rozaini Mohd ZohdiDevelopment of wound care products from indigenous natural products Cellular & molecular mechanisms of wound healing Understanding immunomodulatory activities of natural products. rozainizohdi@uitm.edu.my
Dr Normala Abd Latip
Dr Normala Abd LatipCancer progression, Chemotherapy resistance, Cell differentiation and de-differentationdrnormala6351@uitm.edu.my
Dr Nurul 'Izzah Mohd Sarmin
Dr Nurul 'Izzah Mohd SarminEndophytic actinomycetes, Natural products, Oral microorganisms, and Medicinal plants izzahsarmin@uitm.edu.my
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