Dr Polly Yap

Research Fellow

Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Email: Polly.Yap@monash.edu

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-1615-3138

Profile Summary

Dr Polly Yap obtained her BSc (Hons) Medical Biotechnology and MSc (By Research) Medical Sciences from International Medical University, Malaysia. She obtained her PhD in Medical Microbiology from University of Malaya. Her PhD thesis involved studying the temporal dynamics of gut microbiome and metabolome of preterm neonates. Her research has also targeted to elucidate the resistance mechanism of intestinal carriage of multidrug resistant bacteria. She is also interested in improving methods and knowledge of the sources and transmission data of antimicrobial resistance between humans, animals from food, and the environment.


  • Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Microbiology, University of Malaya
  • Master of Science in Medical Sciences (By Research), International Medical University
  • Bachelor of Science (Hons) Medical Biotechnology, International Medical University

Research / Education interests

Dr Polly Yap started her research career with her master project heavily involved in elucidating the mechanisms of antibiotic resistance reversal potential of essential oils against the clinically important and multidrug resistant bacteria. Since then, she hopes her work will contribute in reducing and combating the burden of antimicrobial resistance.

Her PhD training has enabled her to gain technical skills in 16S data processing, whole genome sequencing, and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy. She is also experienced in troubleshooting and library sample preparation on the Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) platforms.

Dr Polly’s main research interests include analysis of sources and transmission pathways of multidrug resistant bacteria in a One Health perspective, using techniques such as genomics, multivariate analyses, and machine learning. She is also interested to investigate the human health consequences of intestinal carriage of multidrug resistant bacteria. She hopes to use her work to bring awareness to the wider population that human health is closely related to the animal, environmental and public health.

Research Interest and Area of Expertise

  • Medical Microbiology – NGS of clinically important pathogens; Antimicrobial Resistance; Molecular Genomics; Molecular Epidemiology
  • Urban and Rural Health – Gut microbiome; One Health; infectious diseases
  • Omics Technologies – Metagenomics and Metabolomics
  • Natural products – Drug discovery; Reversal of antimicrobial resistance and mechanism


Book Chapters

Yap, P. S. X., Seboussi, R., Lai, K. S., Lim, S. H. E., (in press). The potential of essential oils as topical antimicrobial agents in the age of artificial intelligence. Springer Nature (Singapore).

Yap, P. S. X., Yang, K. C., Lai, K. S., Lim, S. H. E. 2017 Essential oils: The ultimate solution to antimicrobial resistance in Escherichia coli? Intech Open, Croatia. ISBN 978-953-51-3330-8, Print ISBN 978-953-51-3329-2, Published: July 12, 2017.

Journal Articles

Yang S-K, Yusoff K, Ajat M, Wee C-Y, Yap P-S-X, Lim S-H-E and Lai K-S (2021) Combinatorial Antimicrobial Efficacy and Mechanism of Linalool Against Clinically Relevant Klebsiella pneumoniae. Frontiers in Microbiology. 12:635016.

Teh, C.S.J., Yap, P.S.X., Zulkefli, N.J., Subramaniam, P., Sit, P.S., Kong, Z.X., Wie Chong, C., Vellasamy, K.M., Mariappan, V., Ponnampalavanar, S. and Vadivelu, J. (2021), Overview of the distribution of Burkholderia pseudomallei Sequence Types and the Emergence of Sequence Type 1342 in Malaysia. Transboundary and Emerging Diseases. 2021 Jan 27. doi: 10.1111/tbed.14005.

Yap, P.S.X., Chong, C.W., Ahmad Kamar, A. et al. Neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) exposures exert a sustained influence on the progression of gut microbiota and metabolome in the first year of life. Scientific Reports 2021. 11:1353.

Yap PSX, Tan TS, Chan YF, Tee KK, Kamarulzaman A, Teh CSJ. An overview of the genetic variations of the SARS-CoV-2 genomes isolated in Southeast Asian countries. J Microbiol Biotechnol. 2020 Jul 28;30(7):962-966.

Lai, P., Ng, E., Yang, S., Moo C., Low WY, Yap PSX, Lim SHE, Lai KS*. Transcriptomic analysis of multi-drug resistant Escherichia coli K-12 strain in response to Lavandula angustifolia essential oil. 3 Biotech. 2020;10, 313.

Lau MY, Ponnampalavanar S, Lee WS, Abdul Jabar K, Chua KH, Idris N, Chong CW, Yap PSX, Teh CSJ* First detection of Klebsiella quasipneumoniae producing OXA-181 carbapenemase in Malaysia, J Infect Chemother. Oct 2020;26(10):1058-1061.

Yap PSX, Ahmad Kamar A, Chong CW, Yap IKS, Teh CSJ* Whole genome analysis of multidrug resistant Citrobacter freundii B9-C2 isolated from preterm neonate’s stool in the first week. Journal of Global Antimicrobial Resistance.June 2020;21:246-251.

Yap PSX, Ahmad Kamar A, Chong CW, Ngoi ST, Teh CSJ* Genomic Insights into Two Colistin-Resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae Strains Isolated from the Stool of Preterm Neonates During the First Week of Life. Microb Drug Resist. 2020 Mar;26(3):190-203.

Cheong HC, Yap PSX, Chong CW, Abu Bakar S, Teh CSJ, Chang LY, Wong WF* Diversity of Endocervical Microbiota Associated with Genital Chlamydia trachomatis Infection and Infertility among Women Visiting Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics in Malaysia. PLoS One 2019 Nov 18;14(11):e0224658.

Yang SK, Yap PSX, Krishnan T, Chan KG, Lai KS, Yusoff K, Lim SHE* Mode of action: Synergistic interaction of peppermint (Mentha x piperita L. Carl) essential oil and meropenem against plasmid-mediated resistant E. coli. Records of Natural Products, 2018; 12(6), 582-594.

Yang SK, Low LY, Yap PSX, Yusoff K, Mai CW, Lai KS and Lim SHE* Plant-Derived Antimicrobials: Insights into Mitigation of Antimicrobial Resistance. Records of Natural Products 12(4):195-216.

Low YM, Yap PSX, Abdul Jabar K, Ponnampalavanar S, Karunakaran R, Velayuthan R, Chong CW, Abu Bakar S, Md Yusof MY, Teh CSJ, The emergence of carbapenem resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in Malaysia: Correlation between microbiological trends with host characteristics and clinical factors, Antimicrob Resist Infect Control 2017; 6: 5.

Yap PSX, Ahmad Kamar A, Chong CW, Yap IK, Thong KL, Choo YM, Md Yusof MY, Teh CSJ. Intestinal carriage of multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria in preterm infants during hospitalisation in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Pathog Glob Health.2016 Sep; 110(6):238-246.

Research Grants

Dr Cindy Teh Shuan Ju, Polly Yap Soo Xi. Longitudinal study on gut microbial progression on term and preterm babies in Malaysia population. University of Malaya Postgraduate Research Grant (PPP). Reference Number: PG179-2015A. RM 26,800.00 (Nov 2015 – Nov 2017)

Research Supervision

Awards and Achievements

Young Scientist Network-Academy Science Malaysia (YSN-ASM) Chrysalis Award Top 15 finalist. (2020)

Conference Award to attend Joint International Tropical Medicine Meeting (JITMM), 15-16 December 2020 (Virtual), participated as e-poster presenter

Fee waiver to attend World One Health Congress, Virtual Edition, 30 Oct- 3 Nov 2020, participated as e-poster presenter

First prize winner in 'CRL 3 Minutes Pitch Your Project' 26th September 2019, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya

Travel grant (SGD 1,000) to attend International Union of Microbiological Societies (IUMS), 17 - 21 July 2017, Marina Bay Sands, Sands Expo and Convention Centre, Singapore, participated as speaker

MyBrain 15 Scholarship (MyPhD), MoHE, Malaysia (2014 - 2017)

MyBrain 15 Scholarship (MyMaster), MoHE, Malaysia (2011 - 2013)