Dr Vinod A/L RMT Balasubramaniam

Senior Lecturer

Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine & Health Sciences

Email: vinod.balasubramaniam@monash.edu
Tel: +603551 46000 (ext-61366)
Office: Room 3-2-12

ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-9583-307X

Profile Summary

Dr Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam graduated from Asian Institute of Medicine, Science and Technology (AIMST) majoring in Biotechnology in 2007. During this period, he managed to publish several papers on plant genetic engineering, especially on genetically engineered orchids which have resistance towards fungus. In 2008, he worked as a research assistant with Associate Professor Sharifah Syed Hassan in her newly formed infectious disease laboratory in Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia.

Dr Vinod embarked on his PhD course a year later under her supervision working on the various host cellular genes infected with Avian Influenza Virus H5N1 and their protein-protein interactions with viral genes. He graduated with merit in 2014 and continued to work as a post-doctoral fellow in Associate Professor Sharifah’s laboratory before joining Professor Adolfo Garcia-Sastre's laboratory in Mount Sinai hospital New York, which is one of the leading Influenza research laboratory in the world.

Throughout his graduate studies, he has acquired the skills and training in various advanced molecular biology and proteomics techniques such as yeast two hybrid system, reverse genetics, 2D Gel electrophoresis and lentiviral based screenings to dissect cross-talks between host cellular factors and viruses. He has co-authored various publications (Cell Host Microbe, Nature Microbiology, Plos Pathogens) on various aspects of host response towards different types of viruses. After his post-doctoral experience in the “Big Apple”, he has returned to where it all started, back in Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia.

Qualifications

  • Postdoctoral training (Molecular virology), Icahn School of Medicine in Mount Sinai, New York 2015-2017
  • Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.), Monash University
    Host Cellular Genes Regulations during H5N1 Avian Influenza Virus Infection And Their Protein-Protein Interactions
  • Bachelor of Science (B.Sc. Hons) majoring in Biotechnology, AIMST University, Malaysia
    Amplification and Cloning of a Phenylalanine Ammonia Lyase promoter gene fragment from Dendrobium crumenatum

Work Experience

  • 2017- present Senior Lecturer in Microbiology, Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia
  • 2015 – 2017 Post-doctoral Research Associate, Microbiology Department, Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York
  • 2014-2015 Post-doctoral fellow, Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia
  • 2011-2013 Tutor, B. Pharm: Microbiology and Immunology, Monash University Malaysia

Affiliations / Memberships

  • Global Health and Emerging Pathogens Institute (GHEPI), Mount Sinai, New York
  • International Society for Infectious Diseases (ISID)
  • American Society for Virology (ASV)
  • Malaysian Society for Biochemistry & Molecular Biology (MSBMB)
  • Monash Alumni
  • Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine Early Career Research (ECR) representative
  • Monash University Malaysia Academic Staff Association (MUMASA)

Research

Summary

Host cellular machinery plays a vital role in the survival of viruses. The outcome of infection is determined by complex host-virus interactions with a large number of altered transcriptional and translational rates, and functional kinetics of participating genes. To date, the first-hand information on the molecular changes in the host induced by the virus to promote its replication and also the pathways triggered in the host that result in immunity and or clearance of the viral infection are still lacking. Having insights into the host's responses to viruses would help define targets for therapeutic intervention. Dr Vinod is particularly interested in crosstalks between host and viral proteins; specifically, how host cells interact and the molecular mechanisms underlying the pathophysiologic process of virus infection. Some of Dr Vinod's previous and recent ongoing work include;

  • Regulations of host cellular responses (comparison with various types of Gallus gallus organs) during infection with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus.
  • Protein-protein interaction between host proteins (Gallus gallus lung and brain cDNA libraries) and Influenza A nucleoprotein.
  • Interaction of Aedes aegypti proteins with Dengue serotype 2 Envelope protein.
  • Evasion of Zika virus from Type I Interferon response in human and mouse cells.
  • Live visualization of hemagglutinin dynamics during infection by using biarsenically labeled replication competent Influenza A virus.
  • Using STAT2 knockout mice as disease model for Zika virus pathogenesis.
  • Role of host KSHRP protein in Influenza A lifecycle.
  • Deciphering neurotropism mechanism by Flaviviruses.

Research Interests

Keywords: Virology, CRISPR, yeast two hybrid, Innate Immunity, Interactomics, Infectomics, Differential proteomics, NGS, Host-Pathogen Cross-talks, Cell Culture

Research Strengths

Molecular Biology, Microbiology, Virology, IFN Signaling, 2D Proteomics, Protein-protein interaction, Animal cell culture, siRNA based antivirals, Avian Influenza, Flavivirus, cDNA Library.

Teaching Commitments

  • my Development PhD program : MUM MNHS: CRISPR and qRT-PCR Techniques in Microbiology (FMNHS-Malaysia MUM0118A) (10 hours)
  • Student Project Cases tutor (2018)
  • Young Scholars Program Co-Coordinator

Publications

Wickremsinghe, I.A.C., R. M. T. Balasubramaniam, V., Mot, Y.Y., Dhanoa, A., & Hassan, S.S. (2018). Identification of Differentially Expressed Genes in BALB/c Mouse Liver upon Primary Infection with DENV1 and Sequential Heterologous Infection with DENV2. Pathogens, 7, 78.

Jaafar, N.I., Vasudevan, R., Ismail, P., Abdul Aziz, A.F., Mohamad, N.A., Kandavello, G., Raja Adnan, R.N.E., & Balasubramaniam, V. (2018). Analysis of Angiotensin Converting Enzyme, Endothelial Nitric Oxide Synthase & Serotonin Gene Polymorphisms among Atrial Septal Defect Subjects with and without Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension. Journal of Cardiovascular Development and Disease, 5, 48.

Wai, T.H., Balasubramaniam, V., Kwan, O.M. & Fang, C.M. (2018). Viral Determinants and Vector Competence of Zika Virus Transmission. Frontiers in Microbiology, 9, 1040.

Janssens, S., Schotsaert, M., Karnik, R., Balasubramaniam, V., Dejosez, M., Meissner, A., García-Sastre, A., & Zwaka, T.P. (2018). Zika Virus Alters DNA Methylation of Neural Genes in an Organoid Model of the Developing Human Brain. mSystems, 3, e00219-17.

Zhou, H., Liu, L., Li, R., Qin, Y., Fang, Q., Balasubramaniam, V.R.M.T., Wang, G., Wei, Z., Ouyang, K., Huang, W., & Chen, Y. (2017). High prevalence and genetic diversity of canine astrovirus in pet dogs. Virology Journal, 14, 156.

Khairat, J.E., Balasubramaniam, V., Othman, I., Omar, A.R., & Hassan, S.S. (2017). Interaction of Recombinant Gallus gallus SEPT5 and Brain Proteins of H5N1-Avian Influenza Virus-Infected Chickens. Proteomes, 5(3), 23.

Tripathi, S., Balasubramaniam, V.R.M.T., Brown, J.A., Mena, I., Grant, A., Bardina, S.V., Maringer, K., Schwarz, M., Maestre, A., Sourisseau, M., Albrecht, R., Krammer, F., Evans, M., Fernandez-Sesma, A., Lim, J.K., & García-Sastre, A. (2017). A Novel Murine Model Reveals Lineage Specific Differences in Zika Virus Pathogenesis and Host Inflammatory Immune Response. PLoS Pathogens, 13(3), e1006258.

Soonthornvacharin, S., Rodriguez-Frandsen, A., Zhou, Y., Galvez, F., Huffmaster, N., Tripathi, S., Balasubramaniam, V., Inoue, A., de Castro, E., Moulton, H., Stein, D., Sánchez-Aparicio, M., De Jesus, P.D., Nguyen, Q., König, R., Krogan, N., García-Sastre, A., Yoh, S., & Chanda, S.K. (2017). Systems-based Analysis of RIG-I-dependent Signaling Identifies KHSRP as an Inhibitor of RIG-I Receptor Activation. Nature Microbiology, 2, 17022.

Grant, A., Ponia, S.S., Tripathi, S., Balasubramaniam, V., Miorin, L., Sourisseau, M., Schwarz, M.C., Sánchez-Seco, M.P., Evans, M.J., Best, S.M., & García-Sastre, A. (2016). Zika Virus Targets Human STAT2 to Inhibit Type I Interferon Signaling. Cell Host Microbe, 19(6), 882-90.

Wai, T.H., Balasubramaniam, V., Fang, C.M., Ahmad, H., & Hassan, S.S. (2015). Protein-protein interactions between Ae. Aegypti midgut and dengue virus 2: two-hybrid screens using the midgut cDNA library. The Journal of Infection in Developing Countries, 9(12), 1338-49.

Wai, T.H., Balasubramaniam, V., Tejo, B.A., Ahmad, H., & Hassan, S.S. (2014). CPB1 of Aedes aegypti Interacts with DENV2 E Protein and Regulates Intracellular Viral Accumulation and Release from Midgut Cells. Viruses, 6(12), 5028-5046.

Balasubramaniam, V., Wai, T.H., Tejo, B.A., Omar, A.R., & Hassan, S.S. (2013). Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus Nucleoprotein Interacts with TREX Complex Adaptor Protein Aly/REF. PLoS ONE, 8(9), e72429.

Peer Reviewed Proceedings Published

National 

3rd Advanced Medical and Dental Institute International Biohealth Sciences Conference
18th – 20th January 2018, Riverside Majestic Hotel, Kuching, Sarawak.
Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam, Abdul Rahman Omar, Shahjahan Yasin, Iekhsan Othman and Sharifah Syed Hassan.
Zika NS5 Protein Interactomics Reveal Possible Role Played By RPS20 In Pathogenesis.

International Meeting & 42nd Annual Conference of the Malaysian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSBMB) 16th – 17th August 2017, Pullman Kuala Lumpur.
Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam, Guojun Wang, Nacho Mena, Ying Chen, Abdul Rahman Omar, Shahjahan Yasin, Iekhsan Othman and Sharifah Syed Hassan.
Interactomics of H5N1 Avian Influenza.

38th Annual Conference of the Malaysian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSBMB) 28th – 29th August 2013, Marriott Putrajaya, Federal Territory, Malaysia.
Hong Wai Tham, Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam, Hamdan Ahmad and Sharifah Syed Hassan.
Construction of whole adult Aedes aegypti cDNA library for use in yeast-two hybrid system in Dengue research.

38th Annual Conference of the Malaysian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSBMB) 28th – 29th August 2013, Marriott Putrajaya, Federal Territory, Malaysia.
Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam, Hong Wai Tham, Bimo Ario Tejo, Abdul Rahman Omar and Sharifah S Hassan.
Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Nucleoprotein Interacts with TREX Complex Adaptor Protein Aly/REF.

International Postgraduate Conference on Biotechnology (IPCB) 15th –18th December 2011,   UMT, Terengganu, Malaysia.
Tham Hong Wai, Sharifah S Hassan, Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam, Hamdan Ahmad. Expression and Purification of Dengue Virus Non-Structural Protein 1 (NS1) for   Virus-Host Cell Protein Interaction Studies.

Regional Conference on Molecular Medicine (RCMM) 2nd-4th May 2009, Kelantan, Malaysia.
Sharifah S.H., Vinod B., Maizan M., Suriani M.N., Ramlan M., and Othman I.
Transcriptome Analysis of Lungs and Brains of Chickens during Infection with a Low Pathogenic H5N2 and High Pathogenic H5N1 Viruses.

International

Negative Strand Viruses, NSV 2018, June 17th – June 22nd 2018, Verona, Italy.
Raquel Muñoz-Moreno, Carles Martínez-Romero, Asiel Arturo Benitez, Christian Forst, Daniel Blanco-Melo, Raffael Nachbagauer, Vinod Balasubramaniam, Ilseob Lee, Sadaf Aslam, Maryline Panis, Ignacio Mena, Juan Ayllón, David Sachs, Florian Krammer, Benjamin R. Tenoever, Adolfo García-Sastre.
A Barcoded Library Unveils NS1-Driven Influenza Virus Tropism.

Keystone Symposia Meeting on “Type I Interferon: Friend and Foe Alike” March 19th - March 23rd 2017, Fairmont Banff Springs, Banff, Alberta, Canada.
Raquel Muñoz‐Moreno, Asiel Arturo Benitez, Carles Martínez‐Romero, Vinod Balasubramaniam, Maryline Panis, Ignacio Mena, Juan Ayllón, David Sachs, Benjamin R. tenOever, Adolfo García-Sastre.
A novel Influenza A barcoded‐library reveals NS1 adaptations to the host.

30th Symposium on Virus-Host Interactions, The New York Academy of Medicine (NYAM), January 31st, 2017 New York, NY 10029, USA.
Shashank Tripathi, Vinod Balasubramaniam, Julia A. Brown, Ignacio Mena, Alesha Grant, Susana V. Bardina, Kevin Maringer, Ana Maestre, Marion Sourisseau, Randy Albrecht, Florian Krammer, Matthew Evans, Ana Fernandez-Sesma, Jean K. Lim, Adolfo García-Sastre. A Novel Murine Model Reveals Lineage Specific Differences in Zika Virus Pathogenesis and Host Inflammatory Immune Response.

9th Annual NIAID Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS) Conference, June 26th - June 29th, 2016 Memphis, TN, USA.
Vinod Balasubramaniam, Luiz Gustavo dos Anjos Borges, Randy Albrecht, Adolfo García-Sastre, Shashank Tripathi.
Live visualization of Hemagglutinin dynamics during infection by using biarsenically labeled replication competent Influenza A virus.

IMED 2013, February 15th -18th 2013, Hilton Vienna, Austria.
Tham Hong Wai, Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam, Hamdan Ahmad, Iekhsan Othman and Sharifah Syed Hassan.
Discovery of novel mosquito-dengue viral protein interactions: Construction of whole adult Aedes aegypti cDNA library for use in yeast–two–hybrid system.

IMED 2013, February 15th -18th 2013, Hilton Vienna, Austria.
Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam, Bimo A Tejo, Abdul Rahman Omar, Iekhsan Othman and Sharifah Syed Hassan.
SRSF3 interacts with Nucleoprotein of Influenza A virus: Implications on viral mRNA nuclear export?

Influenza2012: One Influenza, One World, 11th -13th September 2012, St. Hilda’s College, Oxford, United Kingdom.  
Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam, Abdul R Omar, Iekhsan Othman and Sharifah S Hassan. Construction of a chicken lung cDNA library and interaction with Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAIV) H5N1 Nucleoprotein.

HUPO 11th Annual Congress (HUPO 2012), 9th -13th September 2012, Hynes Convention Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.
Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam, Iekhsan Othman, Abdul R Omar and Sharifah S Hassan. Chicken Serine/Arginine-rich Splicing Factor Interacts with Nucleoprotein of Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza Virus.

Keystone Symposia Meeting on “Pathogenesis of Influenza: Host-Virus Interaction” 23rd May-28th May 2011, Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel & Towers, Kowloon, Hong Kong, China.
Vinod B., Sharifah Syed Hassan, A.R. Omar, I. Othman.
Cellular transcripts regulated during infections with Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza virus in 3 host systems.

Research Grants

2018 Tropical Medicine & Biology Platform Monash University Malaysia Seed Fund (RM 10,000)
Position: Project Leader
Title: Mapping of Zika virus NS5 protein interactomics with human universal cDNA library.
Dr Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam (ECR), Assoc Prof Sharifah Syed Hassan, Hesham (HDR student)

2018 Jeffrey Cheah Scholar-in-Residence Programme in Brasenose College, Oxford (Travel grant)
Travel grant 
Title: Unraveling Zika Virus pathogenesis using IPS derived cerebral organoids
(Attachment in Prof William James lab, Oxford Stem Cell Centre)

2018 Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) from Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) Malaysia (2018-2021)
Position: Project Leader 
Title: Deciphering Zika virus induced neurotropism via whole genome mapping of Zika virus interactomics with human brain library
Dr Vinod, Assoc Prof Sharifah Syed Hassan, Dr Tham Hong Wai

Research Supervision

Graduate Research Students

Candidate: (Ms) Nur Omar Macha
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy, PhD
Supervisor: Associate
Date of commence: 1/9/2015, On-going (Full-time)

Candidate: (Mr) Hesham Moustafa Elshahawi
Degree: Postgraduate Diploma
Supervisor: Associate
Date of commence: 1/3/2018, On-going (Full-time)

Candidate: (Ms) Nur Amelia Azreen
Degree: Doctor of Philosophy, PhD
Supervisor: Associate
Date of commence: 1/11/2018, On-going (Full-time)

Awards

National (Malaysia)

Best Poster Award – Microbial Biotechnology Category
International Postgraduate Conference on Biotechnology (IPCB) 15th –18th December 2011, UMT, Terengganu, Malaysia.
Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam, Sharifah S Hassan, Tham H Wai, Abdul R Omar, Iekhsan Othman.
Cellular Transcripts of Chicken Brain Tissues in Response to H5N1 infection.

Best Poster Award – Agrobiotechnology Category
Conference on Applied Sciences (CAS), 13th -14th June 2006, Shah Alam, Malaysia.
Sreeramanan, S., Vinod, B., Shymala, S., and Xavier, R.
Transfer and expression of kanamycin, a selectable marker resistance gene in Labisia pumila var alata (Kacip Fatimah) plants.

International

Young Scientist Travel Award
AOHUPO 6th Congress, 5th May-7th May 2012, Beijing, China
Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam, Iekhsan Othman, Abdul R Omar and Sharifah S Hassan.
Differential Proteomics of Bursal Tissues of Chickens Infected with Highly Pathogenic H5N1 Avian Influenza virus.

Awarded scholarship to participate in 7th HKU-PASTEUR VIROLOGY COURSE, 7 - 23 July 2010 HKU-Pasteur Research Centre, Hong Kong.