Professor Uma Devi A/P M Palanisamy


Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Tel: +603 5514 5840
Office: Room 4-4-22


Profile Summary

Dr Uma Palanisamy is Professor in Biochemistry at the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia. Dr Uma completed her undergraduate degree in Biochemistry and furthered to obtain an MPhil from the University of Malaya. She pursued her PhD at Cambridge on a project designing affinity ligands for the selective binding of the glycoprotein pharmaceuticals. She presented her work orally at the 12th International Conference on Affinity Techniques in Kalmar, Sweden in 1997 and was awarded First Prize in the Young Scientists section. Prior to joining Monash, Dr Uma was in SIRIM for a period of 17 years, where she has carried out extensive work to aid natural product research in Malaysia. Her research expertise are in screening local natural resources for its cosmeceutical, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical content and to develop medium-throughput screening techniques particularly to identify antioxidants, antipsoriatics, antiarthritics, antiglycemic, antifungals - to name a few. She was also attached to a Japanese Pharmaceutical company for a period of six months where she purified antifungals and immunomodulant bioactives from soil microorganisms. Dr Uma has to her name a number of innovation awards, four patents and a number of publications.


  • Executive Program on Leadership and Innovation Health, Harvard Macy Institute, 2018
  • Graduate Certificate in Higher Education, Monash University, 2013
  • PhD, Biochemistry (Combinatorial Synthesis of Affinity Ligands), University of Cambridge, 1998
  • MPhil, Biochemistry (Enzymology, Protein Chemistry, & Purification, Kinetics), University Malaya, 1991
  • BSc(Honours), Biochemistry Protein Purification and Enzymology,  University Malaya, 1986

Academic & Research History

2013 University of Toronto, Canada
Completed a sabbatical at the Risk Factor Modification Centre, Dept of Nutrition with Prof David Jenkins. Hands on experience on randomized clinical trials studying the effect of dietary modification on glycemic control and CVD risk factors in Type 2 Diabetes patients.

July 2021 – Professor in Biochemistry, Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine of Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia

2011–June 2021 – Associate Professor in Biochemistry, Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine of Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia

2008–2010 – Senior Lecturer in Biochemistry, Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine of Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia
Dr Uma joined academia after spending a large part of my career in an industrial Research Institute.  She has since established leadership in several academic areas and contributed significantly to innovative curriculum reform and design.

1991–2008 – Research Officer & Senior Researcher, SIRIM Bhd, Malaysia (An industrial research institute)
Pioneered the Institute’s Research journal. In 1995, pursued her PhD at University of Cambridge. Upon her return, she established the natural product research group to aid the local cosmeceutical and nutraceutical industries. She was also trained in natural product drug discovery at a Japanese pharmaceutical company for six months. Here I focused on the isolation and characterization of anti-fungals and anti-inflammatory agents from microbial sources.

Service Leadership

  • Promoting  Equity and Diversity through Symposiums, Chair, 2009-current
  • School Occupational Health and Safety (OHS) Management, Chair, 2008-

Other Responsibilities

  • Vice-President, Monash University Staff Association 2015-
  • Faculty of Science, Monash University, External Research Reviewer 2014-
  • Year 2 MBBS Academic Coordinator 2014-
  • School Head of Bioactive Compound Research Cluster 2008-
  • Member of Schools Curriculum Committee 2010-
  • Member of Multicampus Pharmacy Course Management Committee 2009-
  • Member of School’s Research Committee 2008-
  • Member of Campus OHS Committee 2008-
  • Member of Campus IP policy sub-committee 2008-2009

Professional & Other Affiliations

  • Science Council of the International Society for Phytocosmetic Science 2013
  • Member of the Association for Community Organization & Social Administration (ACOSA) 2011-
  • Member, American Chemical Society 2010-
  • Member of International Society for Horticultural Science 2010-
  • Commission member
    Fruits and Vegetables and Health
    Medicinal and Aromatic Plants Section
    Tropical and Subtropical Fruits
  • Certified ISO 9001:2000 Auditor, International Registrar of Certified Auditors, UK 2000-
  • Member of the Oxford, Cambridge Society of Malaysia 2000-
  • Member of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 1996-

Research Performance Indicators (Oct 2018)

  • h index (scopus) = 16; Citations 789
  • h index (google scholar) = 19; Citations 1223
  • Researchgate =31

Research Expertise

  • Identify and evaluate bioactives from natural sources for its potential health benefits, particular interest in plant bioactives targeting metabolic syndrome
  • Screening of local natural resources for its cosmeceutical, nutraceutical and pharmaceutical content and develop medium-throughput screening techniques to aid the growth of the natural product research in Malaysia
  • Purification and characterisation of bioactives from various plant sources intended for cosmeceutical, nutraceutical or pharmaceutical application.
  • Computational and combinatorial chemistry tools to aid drug discovery

Consultancy/Technology Transfer

  • Non-Disclosure Agreement signed with two local nutraceutical manufacturers on the use of research findings
  • Completed feasibility studies with Bio-Ti International on the patent, ostrich oil stabilization with natural extracts. Currently, negotiating with the company on its commercialisation
  • Consultant to Furley Bioextracts Sdn Bhd on the bioactivity, characterization and formulation of herbal extracts for use in nutraceutical/cosmeceutical development

Patents Granted/Filed

  • Malaysian Patent granted: A method for producing a non-ionic surface active agent from palm oil in an organic medium: PI 9905657 (2002) MY-124682
  • Malaysian Patent granted: Skin whitening composition- PI 20044336 (2004) MY-140952
  • Malaysian Patent granted: Method and use of plant extract to stabilise oil: PI 2010000206
  • PCT (WO 2008/066370 A1) and Malaysian Patent Filed: Nephelium lappaceum  skin peel extracts with high free radical scavenging activity for cosmeceutical and nutraceutical applications – PI 20064567(2006)
  • Malaysian Patent Filed:Syzygium aqueum extracts for cosmeceutical and nutraceutical applications (2008)-PI 20080735
  • Malaysian Patent Filed: Extract and fraction having antiglycemic activity (2009):PI20090710
  • Malaysian Patent Filed: Phospholipid complex of geraniin and preparation method thereof  (PI 2017704622)

Media Coverage of Research

  • Paper published in 2011 was highlighted in Nutra an online newsletter on News on Supplements & Nutrition: ‘Water apple’ extract may provide dietary support for diabetes, Nathan Gray, 20 Jan 2012
  • Paper published in 2010 was highlighted in VerticalNews, an online news publishing the largest weekly database of current news, research, and reports, 24 Feb, 2011
  • Fruits rich in anti-oxidants. 13 October 2010.
  • Local Fruits Found Rich With Anti-Oxidants, Shamini Darshni, 7 October 2010

Recent Publications

Please refer to the full academic profile for the complete list of publications.

Cheng, H. S., Kadir, K. A., Ton, S. H., Palanisamy, U.D.  & Tan, J. B.H. (in review). Ellagitannin Geraniin – A Multifunctional Polyphenol against Metabolic Syndrome and Its Effects on Hepatic Transcriptomes in Rats on High-Fat Diet. Diabetes & Metabolism Journal.

Jacob S, Chong E, Goh S, Palanisamy U. A qualitative study on the design and development of an mHealth app to facilitate communication with the Deaf community: perspective of the Deaf community. Journal of the American Pharmacists Association. (in review)

Bavani Arumugam, Uma Devi Palanisamy, Kek Heng Chua, Umah Rani Kuppusamy (accepted). Protective effect of myricetin derivatives from Syzygium malaccense against hydrogen peroxide-induced stress in ARPE-19 cells. Molecular Vision.

Sonia Phang, Palanisamy, U. D and Kadir, KA (accepted). Effects of geraniin (rambutan rind extract) on blood pressure and metabolic parameters in rats fed with high-fat diet. Journal of Integrative Medicine.

Chong, E. Y-C, Palanisamy, U.D, Jacob, S. A. (accepted).  A qualitative study on the design and development of an mHealth app to facilitate communication with the Deaf community: perspective of community pharmacists. Patient Preference and Adherence.

Chung, A. P., Gurtu, S., Chakravarthi, S., Moorthy, M., & Palanisamy, U. D. (2018). Geraniin Protects High-Fat Diet-Induced Oxidative Stress in Sprague Dawley Rats. Frontiers in nutrition, 5, 17.

Tan, B.H., Ahemad, N., Pan, Y., Palanisamy, U.D., Othman, I., Yiap, B.C. and Ong, C.E., 2018. Cytochrome P450 2C9‐natural anti-arthritic interactions: evaluation of inhibition magnitude and prediction from in vitro data. Biopharmaceutics & drug disposition.

Dong, A.N., Pan, Y., Palanisamy, U.D., Yiap, B.C., Ahemad, N. and Ong, C.E., 2018. Site-Directed Mutagenesis of Cytochrome P450 2D6 and 2C19 Enzymes: Expression and Spectral Characterization of Naturally Occurring Allelic Variants. Applied biochemistry and biotechnology, pp.1-13.

Bavani Arumugam, Umah Rani Kuppusamy, Chua Kek Heng and Uma Devi Palanisamy (2018). Studies on the Effects of Chemical Constituents from Syzygium malaccense on Diabetes Mellitus and its Related Complications, Chapter 14, Recent Progress in Medicinal Plants, Volume 46 Metabolic Disorder Diabetes, Part II Chief Editor J.N. Govil, Studium Press LLC, U.S.A.(2018), ISBN : 1-62699-083-2 SERIES ISBN : 0-9656038-5-7.

Kanathasan, J.S., Swamy, V., Palanisamy, U.D. and Radhakrishnan, A.K.G., 2017. Legumain Targeting Peptide Conjugated Fluorescent Porous Silicon Nanoparticles for Breast Cancer Imaging. In Advances in Science and Technology (Vol. 102, pp. 45-50). Trans Tech Publications.

Rehman, I.U., Wu, D.B.C., Lai, S.M.P., Palanisamy, U.D., Kun, L.S. and Khan, T.M., 2017. Translation of the 5D itching scale from english to Malay, and its Validation among Patients with chronic Kidney Disease in Malaysia. Frontiers in medicine, 4, p.189.

Ahmad, S.A.A., Palanisamy, U.D., Tejo, B.A., Chew, M.F., Tham, H.W. and Hassan, S.S., 2017. Geraniin extracted from the rind of Nephelium lappaceum binds to dengue virus type-2 envelope protein and inhibits early stage of virus replication. Virology journal, 14(1), p.229.

Tee, L.H., Yang, B., Tey, B.T., Chan, E.S., Azlan, A., Ismail, A., Sun, J., Lau, C.Y., Palanisamy, U.D., Ramanan, R.N. and Prasad, K.N., 2017. Valorization of Dacryodes rostrata fruit through the characterization of its oil. Food Chemistry, 235, pp.257-264.

Jacob, S.A., Palanisamy, U.D. and Chung, C.M.C., 2017. Perception of a privilege walk activity and its impact on pharmacy students’ views on social justice in a service learning elective: a pilot study. Journal of Pharmacy Practice and Research. December 2017, Vol.47(6), pp.449-456

Usha Sundralingam, Tahir Mehmood Khan, Sumita Elendran, Saravanan Muniyandy and Uma D. Palanisamy (2017). Patient-controlled transdermal 4-hydroxy tamoxifen (4-OHT) vs. Oral Tamoxifen: a systematic review and meta analysis. Pakistan Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences [Accepted for publication].

Ser, H. L., Tan, L. T. H., Palanisamy, U. D., Malek, S. N. A., Yin, W. F., Chan, K. G., ... & Lee, L. H. (2016). Streptomyces antioxidans sp. nov., a novel mangrove soil actinobacterium with antioxidative and neuroprotective potentials. Frontiers in Microbiology, 7.

Ser, H. L., Palanisamy, U. D., Yin, W. F., Chan, K. G., Goh, B. H., & Lee, L. H. (2016). Streptomyces malaysiense sp. nov.: A novel Malaysian mangrove soil actinobacterium with antioxidative activity and cytotoxic potential against human cancer cell lines. Scientific Reports, 6, 24247.

Ser, H. L., Law, J. W. F., Chaiyakunapruk, N., Jacob, S. A., Palanisamy, U. D., Chan, K. G., Bey Hing Goh, and  Lee, L. H. (2016). Fermentation conditions that affect clavulanic acid production in Streptomyces clavuligerus: a systematic review. Frontiers in Microbiology, 7, 522.

Jacob, S. A., Chin, J. R., Qi, T. Y., and Palanisamy, U. D. (2016). The needs of the deaf and hard of hearing when seeking pharmaceutical care. Research in Social and Administrative Pharmacy. 12(4), 664-665

Arumugam, B., Palanisamy, U. D., Chua, K. H., & Kuppusamy, U. R. (2016). Potential antihyperglycaemic effect of myricetin derivatives from Syzygium malaccense. Journal of Functional Foods, 22, 325-336.

Palanisamy, U.D. and Manaharan, T. (2015). Syzygium aquem leaf extracts for possible antidiabetic treatment.  Acta horticulturae 09/2015; DOI:10.17660/Acta Hortic.2015.1098.1

Gaddam, A., Galla, C., Thummisetti, S.,Marikanty, R. K., Palanisamy, U. D., & Rao, P. V. (2015). Role of Fenugreek in the prevention of type 2 diabetes mellitus in prediabetes. Journal of Diabetes & Metabolic Disorders, 14(1), 1-10.

Ser, H.-L., Palanisamy, U.D.,Yin, W.-F., (...), Goh, B.-H., Lee, L.-H.(2015). Presence of antioxidative agent, Pyrrolo[1,2-a]pyrazine-1,4-dione, hexahydro- in newly isolated Streptomyces mangrovisoli sp. nov. Frontiers in Microbiology, 6 (AUG), 854

Perera, A., Ton, S.H. and Palanisamy, D. (2015). Perspectives on Geraniin, a multifunctional natural bioactive compound. Trends in Food Science and Technology., 44(2), 243–257.

Shonia Subramaniam, Ammu Radhakrishnan, Srikumar Chakravarthi, Uma Devi Palanisamy and Nagaraja Haleagrahara (2015). Antihyperglycemic Effects of Nephelium lappaceum Rind Extract in High Fat-Induced Diabetic Rats. International Journal of Pharmacology, 11(6), 542-551.

Elendran,S., Lee, W. W., Prankerd, R., and Palanisamy, D. (2015). The physicochemical properties of geraniin, a potential anti-hyperglycemic agent. Pharmaceutical Biology. Apr 8:1-8.

Uma D Palanisamy, Muniswaran Sivanathan, Thavamanithevi Subramaniam, Ammu K Radhakrishnan, Nagaraja Haleagrahara, Usha Sundralingam and Gan Seng Chiew. (2015). Refining Ostrich Oil and its Stabilization with Curcumin. J Nutr Health Food Eng. 2(2): 00051

Ser HL, Zainal N, Palanisamy UD, Goh BH, Yin WF, Chan KG, Lee LH.(2015). Streptomyces gilvigriseus sp. nov., a novel actinobacterium isolated from mangrove forest soil. Antonie Van Leeuwenhoek.107(6):1369-78.

Manaharan, T., Chakravarthi, S., Radhakrishnan, A.K., and Palanisamy, U.D (2014). In vivo toxicity evaluation of a standardized extract of Syzygium aqueum leaf, Toxicology Reports. 1:718–725

Arumugam, B, Manaharan, T., Chua, K.H., Kuppusamy, U.H., Palanisamy, U.D. (2014). Antioxidant and antiglycemic potentials of standardized extract of Syzygium malaccense. LWT - Food Science and Technology. 59(2), Part 1:707–712

Alexis Y. S. Chung, Sunil Gurtu, Ton So Ha, Uma D. Palanisamy. (2014)  Geraniin Ameliorates Metabolic Risks in High-Fat Diet-Induced Obese Sprague Dawley Rats. Journal of Functional Foods. 9, 173–182.

Uma Devi P (2014) Plants as Effective Agents in Treating Diabetes and Its Complications. J Nutrition Health Food Sci 1(2): 1-2.

Uma D. Palanisamy, Thamilvaani Manaharan and Theanmalar Masilamani (2014). Anti-hyperglycemic Agents from Tropical Plant Extracts. Acta Hort. (ISHS) 2014, 1040, 231-233.

Uma D. Palanisamy and T. Manaharan. (2013). Antioxidant, antidiabetic and chemical composition of Syzygium aqueum leaf extracts. First Euro - India International Conference on Diabetics, Apple Academic Press, Canada (Research Book chapter)

Thamilvaani Manaharan, Cheng Hwee Ming and Uma D. Palanisamy. (2013). Syzygium aqueum leaf extract and its bioactive compounds enhances pre-adipocyte differentiation and 2-NBDG uptake in 3T3-L1 cells. Food Chem. 136 (2), 354-363.

Research Grants

  • Currently involved in various projects with a total grant of RM 500,000.
  • Held over twenty research grants since 2008 totaling over RM 2.5 million
  • Currently submitted two proposals for funding totaling RM 0.6 million

Research Supervision (in recent years)

Ser Hooi Leng
Discovery of novel Streptomyces species from mangrove forest and bioactivities screening of their secondary metabolites

Sumita Elendran
Gerannin, a novel insulin sensitizer: Investigating physicochemical parameters, permeability critical for its oral delivery

Usha Sundralingam
Non-polymeric nanoparticles (Ethosomes): a novel delivery system for the treatment of breast cancer

Siti Aisyah
In-vitro inhibition of dengue virus type-2 and identification of viral proteins that bind to geraniin and its metabolites  extracted from the rind of rambutan , Nephelium lappaceum

Ameilia Dong
Pharmacogenetic study of cytochrome P450 2D6 (CYP2D6): determining the functional consequences of genetic mutations in three major alleles CYP2D6*2, CYP2D6*10 and CYP2D6*17

Bavani Arumugam
Studies on the effects of chemical constituents from Syzygium sp. on oxidative stress in diabetes mellitus and related complications

Tan Boon Hooi
Evaluation of the modulatory effect of glucosamine chondroitin and diacerein on human Cyt P450 isoenzymes

Alexis Chung Y.S
Geraniin's in Vivo effects on high-fat diet-induced metabolic risks and oxidative stress in sprague dawley rats

Honours & Awards

  • 2018 – Innovation & Technology Exhibition, ITEX, an app to help Deaf communicate
  • 2012 – PVC Award for Research, Monash Malaysia
  • 2011 – PVC Award for Research, Monash Malaysia
  • 2011 – Dean’s Award for Workplace Excellence and  Equity, Monash Australia
  • 2011 – Poster Award, International Conference of Oxidative Stress, Havana, Cuba
  • 2009 – PVC Award for Teaching, Monash Malaysia
  • 2009 – PVC Award for Research, Monash Malaysia
  • 2007 – Best Research Group, SIRIM Bhd
  • 2006 – Silver Award-Skin Whitening Formulation, Malaysia Technology Exposition (MTE)
  • 2005 – Silver Award for Skin Whitening Formulation, Industrial Design and Technology Exhibition (ITEX)
  • 1998 – Third Year Student’s Prize from the Institute of Biotechnology, Cambridge, Roche ''Young Investigators Award"
  • 1997 – 12th International Conference on Affinity Interactions Sweden
  • 1996 – "Queens' Award for Technological Advancement", UK to our group from University of Cambridge, led by Prof. C.R. Lowe
  • 1995 – Government of Malaysia Postgraduate (PhD) Scholarship Award
  • 1994 – Merit Award from SIRIM Bhd
  • 1987 – University of Malaya graduate fellow

National & International Contributions

Invited Speaker to Conferences

  • Speaker at Bioavailability 2018, Sept, Norwich, UK
  • Invited speaker at the “Plant Based Natural Products: Phytocosmetics, Phytotherapeutics and Phytonutraceutics”, February 19-21, 2018 at Udaipur, India
  • 8th International Seminar of the Asian Network on Anti-diabetic plants (ANRAP 2015), Shah Alam, Malaysia, 23-25 Nov 2015.
  • 2nd Annual NPRONET Meeting, Manchester, UK, 9-10th Sept, 2015.
  • International Symposium on Medicinal Plants and Natural Products, Montreal, ISHS, 2013
  • Ethno-Forestry Study & Workshop on Accessing and Commercializing Biodiversity, Kota Kinabalu , Malaysia, 2013
  • Toronto International Pharmacy Conference, 2012
  • First Euro - India International Conference on Diabetes,  Kerala, India, 2012
  • 3rd World Congress on Bioavailability and Bioequivalence: R&D Summit, Hyderabad, India, 2012
  • TCM & NP Active Ingredients and Standardizations Symposium and 2nd International Mangiferin Research Forum, Guangxi, P.R.China, 2011Havana Redox Conference, Havana, Cuba, 2011
  • 1st Annual International Symposium of Mycology, Beijing, China, 2010
  • COSTAM/SFRR International Workshop, Malaysia, 2009
  • Asia-Pacific Symposium on Assuring Quality and Safety of Agri-Foods, Bangkok, ISHS, 2008
  • The Academy of Sciences Lecture Series, Malaysia, 2007

Editorial Board Member

  • International Journal of Phytocosmetics and Natural Ingredients (IJPNI)
  • Journal of Community Practise, Taylor & Francis
  • Fronteirs Food Chemistry, Fronteirs
  • Journal of Nutritional Health and Food Engineering  (Medcrave)
  • International Journal of Chemistry (Journal Network)
  • Food and Nutrition Sciences (Scrip)
  • Journal of Nutrition and Food (Scholarena)
  • Journal of Food and Nutritional Sciences (SciencePG)
  • International Journal of Food Science, Nutrition and Dietetics (IJFS)
  • Oxidants and Antioxidants in Medical Science, ScopeMed (past)
  • Emirates Journal of Food and Agriculture, UAEU (past)

Reviewer of Journals

  • Trends in Food Science and Technology (Elsevier)
  • Nutrition Research (Elsevier)
  • Toxicology in Vitro (Elsevier)
  • Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology (Elsevier)
  • Food Chemistry (Elsevier)
  • Separation and Purification Technology (Elsevier)
  • Journal of Ethnopharmacology (Elsevier)
  • Journal of Molecular Recognition (Wiley)
  • Journal of Herbs, Spices and Medicinal Plants (Taylor & Francis)
  • Food Research International (Elsevier)
  • International Journal of Diabetes in Developing Countries (Springer)
  • Pharmaceutical Biology (Informa Healthcare)
  • Molecules (MDPI)
  • Botany (NRC Research Press)
  • Malaysian Journal of Science (University Science Malaysia Press)
  • African Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology [Academic journals]

Other Past and Current Positions

  • Reviewer of BBSRC- Research Council UK grants
  • Expert panel for European Commission Research and Innovation
  • Scientific Member of International Society of Phytocosmetic Science
  • National and International External Examiner of  HDR programs
  • Council Member for Nutritional and Environmental Medicine (CONEM)
  • Grant Proposal Reviewer for the Sultan Qaboos University, Oman
  • Committee Member of the International Association of Mangiferin Research For Free Radical Research (Asia/Malaysia)
  • Scientific Committee Member of the 2nd ASFE 2014, Agricultural Science and Food Engineering, Shenzhen, China
  • Advisory Member to SIRIM’s Research Panel
  • University Malaya Technical Committee Evaluating Marine Science Grants
  • Advisory Board Member for the Australian Degree Transfer Programme, INTI University
  • Panel Member of the National Science Fund (NSF) scholarship (past)
  • Executive Editor of SIRIM's Journal of Industrial Technology(past)

Presentations/Conferences Proceedings

More than 60 presentations in the last 5 years

International Collaborators

  • Dr Jose Prieto Garcia, UCL, School of Pharmacy, UK
  • Prof Yves Desjardines, University of Laval, Canada
  • Dr Richard Prankerd, Monash University Australia
  • Dr Yoshiro Saito, Doshisha University, Japan
  • Dr Eliana Moreno, Monash University Australia