Journal Articles

Title: Comparative Flavivirus-Host Protein Interaction Mapping Reveals Mechanisms of Dengue and Zika Virus Pathogenesis
Vinod
Dr Vinod RMT Balasubramaniam
Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Dr. Vinod Balasubramaniam completed his PhD in Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, focussing on regulation of various host cellular genes infected with Avian Influenza Virus H5N1 and their molecular interactions with viral genes. He graduated with merit in 2014 and continued his post-doctoral journey in Professor Adolfo Garcia-Sastre's lab; a world leading lab for Influenza research, Mount Sinai Hospital New York. Dr. Vinod has co-authored on various aspects of host response towards different types of viruses in high impact journals namely, Cell Host Microbe, Nature Microbiology, Plos Pathogens and Cell.
Synopsis:

Mosquito-borne Flaviviruses, including dengue virus (DENV) and Zika virus (ZIKV), are a growing public health concern. It is a global health threat due its ability to cause epidemics and neurological complications in humans. Systems level analysis of how Flaviviruses hijack cellular processes through virus-host protein-protein interactions (PPIs) provide information about their replication and pathogenic mechanisms.

The researchers used affinity purification-mass spectrometry (APMS) to compare Flavivirus-host interactions for two viruses (DENV and ZIKV) in two hosts (human and mosquito). The paper shows that: i) a comparative study of AP-MS (Affinity Purified Mass Spectrometry) reveals shared and virus-specific interactions (virus- hosts), ii) NS5 protein of Zika virus supresses interferon stimulated genes by inhibiting PAF1C recruitment, iii) Pharmacological modulation of the SEC61 translocon inhibits virus replication (this makes it an interesting target for drug design in the future), iv) Zika virus NS4A inhibits brain development in vivo in an ANKLE2 dependent manner (ANKLE2 identified as the host factor involved in Zika induced microcephaly).

The paper has contributed to virology research by providing biological insights and answers to questions from the research community and the world to better understand the fundamental strategy used by these viruses to replicate and overcome host defence mechanisms contributing to infection outcomes.

It has also placed Monash University Malaysia as an important centre for virology research which is drawing worldwide collaboration. Opportunities for further research and the discovery of potential anti-virals or drugs targeting that particular protein are future possibilities.

Source: Cell, vol. 175, no. 7, 2018, pp. 1931–1945.e18.

Co-authors: Priya S. Shah, Nichole Link, Gwendolyn M. Jang, Phillip P. Sharp, Tongtong Zhu, Danielle L. Swaney, ... Nevan J. Krogan.
Title: Graphitic Carbon Nitride (g-C3N4)-Based Photocatalysts for Artificial Photosynthesis and Environmental Remediation: Are we a step closer to achieving sustainability?
Chai Siang Piao
Professor Chai Siang Piao
School of Engineering

Professor Chai Siang Piao is Deputy Head of School (Research), School of Engineering and the Head of Nano-Analytical Platform at Monash Malaysia. He holds professional credentials, for both Chartered Chemical Engineer (CEng) from the Engineering Council (UK), and Professional Engineer (PEng) from the Board of Engineers Malaysia. Professor Chai’s specialisations are in the fields of catalysis, photocatalysis, reaction engineering and advanced functional materials. He has published over 130 ISI-papers, accumulated total citations of above 7000, with a H-index of over 40. He also serves on the editorial board for 6 international journals.

Dr. Estee Yong Siek Ting
School of Engineering

Dr. Estee Yong Siek-Ting specialises in research related to a broad range of high-efficiency clean energy technologies, in particular solid oxide fuel cell and photocatalysis. She has also ventured into research on functionalized-hollow fiber for dialysis. She is keenly pursuing to commercialise the pending patent developed by her research group and has filed with Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (myIPO) on A method and a fuel cell for management of biomass. Dr. Yong obtained her PhD in 2018 from The National University of Singapore. She undertakes extensive collaborative research with a variety of industrial partners and research institutes across Malaysia.
Synopsis:

As a fascinating conjugated polymer, graphitic carbon nitride (g-C3N4) has become a new research hotspot and drawn broad interdisciplinary attention as a metal-free and visible-light-responsive photocatalyst in the arena of solar energy conversion and environmental remediation. This paper critically reviews the latest progress related to the design and construction of pristine g-C3N4 and g-C3N4-based nanocomposites and provides insightful outlook on charge carrier dynamics and applications.

A top research priority area at Monash University Malaysia (MUM) is Advanced Engineering. This work has greatly contributed to MUM’s research priority and to two of the nation’s and the world’s grand challenges: environmental issues (clean energy) and the imminent energy crisis (depleting fuel resources). Artificial photosynthesis through the use of low-cost and non-toxic carbon-materials, namely the technologies reported here, have opened doors to discussions for new research, both in Malaysia and beyond. Countries along the Equator with easy access to infinite solar energy are potential beneficiaries of this work.

Source: Chemical Reviews, vol. 116, no. 12, 2016, p. 7159-7329.

Co-authors: Wee-Jun Ong, Lling-Lling Tan and Yun Hau Ng.        
Title: A Genomic History of Aboriginal Australia
Maude
Professor Maude E. Phipps
Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Maude E. Phipps is Professor of Human Genetics at the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She obtained her doctorate in Human Molecular Genetics from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Maude is a national resource person for genetics. Her pioneering works have contributed greatly to biomedical degree programs, specialist training and research in molecular genetics.

Maude is a member of the Human Genome Organization, American Society of Human Genetics and the UNESCO Bioethics program. She is co-chair of the Policy Review Board HUGO PANSNP Initiative and a life member of Genetics Society of Malaysia. In recent years her research has focussed on the genomics and health of indigenous communities in Asia and Oceania.
Synopsis:

During this study that involved international and multi-institutional collaboration, 83 modern Aboriginal Australian genomes from different tribes across Australia along with 25 modern Papuan genomes were sequenced to shed light on the population history of Aboriginal Australia. Based on DNA-sequences, results showed that Aboriginal Australians and Papuans split from Europeans and Asians about 58,000 years ago and were the ancestors of most, if not all, modern day Australia. Subsequently, the ancestral Australian population split 31,000 years ago into subgroups with amazing genetic diversity among Aboriginal Australians.

Australia has one of the longest histories of continuous human settlement outside Africa. However, peopling and subsequent demographic history of the continent has been a matter of debate between scientists for decades. Also, the genetic relationship between historical settlers of Australia with present day Aboriginal people has remained largely unknown. At the time when this study was conducted, only three genome sequences from Aboriginal Australians were available and that was not sufficient to answer all questions. This study substantially improved our knowledge about the genetic diversity of Aboriginal Australians. It provides an understanding of human migration after initial Out-of-Africa human dispersal. Apart from the scientific leap in the knowledge of Aboriginal Australia and the genomic links to populations in Asia, this work was a true engagement and partnership between institutional researchers and the Aboriginal elders and communities. This research has attracted collaboration from various parts of the world, demonstrating its impact and reach.

Source: Nature, vol. 538, no. 7624, 2016, pp. 207–214.

Co-authors: Anna-Sapfo Malaspinas, Michael C. Westaway, Craig Muller, Vitor C. Sousa, Oscar Lao, Isabel Alves, ... Eske Willerslevv.
Title: The Prehistoric Peopling of Southeast Asia
Maude
Professor Maude E. Phipps
Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences
Maude E. Phipps is Professor of Human Genetics at the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She obtained her doctorate in Human Molecular Genetics from the University of Cambridge, United Kingdom. Maude is a national resource person for genetics. Her pioneering works have contributed greatly to biomedical degree programs, specialist training and research in molecular genetics.

Maude is a member of the Human Genome Organization, American Society of Human Genetics and the UNESCO Bioethics program. She is co-chair of the Policy Review Board HUGO PANSNP Initiative and a life member of Genetics Society of Malaysia. In recent years her research has focussed on the genomics and health of indigenous communities in Asia and Oceania.
Synopsis:

Southeast Asia is one of the most genetically diverse regions in the world. However, for more than 100 years the origin and population history of Southeast Asia has been heavily debated. One theory believed that the indigenous hunter-gatherers who populated Southeast Asia from 44,000 years ago adopted agricultural practices independently, without the input from early farmers from East Asia. Another theory, referred to as the 'two-layer model' favours the view that migrating rice farmers from what is now China replaced the indigenous hunter-gatherers. This study aimed to debunk these two competing theories by retrieving and analysing the genomes of ancient human remains as well as present day hunter-gatherers and agriculturists.

A consortium of 64 international researchers sequenced 26 ancient human genomes from Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos and Japan dating as far back as 8,000 years and compared them with DNA samples from people living in Southeast Asia today, including Jehai, the last of hunter gatherers in Malaysia. It was found that present-day Southeast Asians derive their ancestry from at least four ancient populations. This study elucidates human evolutionary history and advances knowledge for human health and diseases, thus contributing to the Tropical Medicine and Biology platform at Monash University Malaysia.

Source: Science, vol. 361, no. 6397, 2018, pp. 88–92.

Co-authors: Hugh McColl, Fernando Racimo, Lasse Vinner, Fabrice Demeter, Takashi Gakuhari, J. Víctor Moreno-Mayar, ... Eske Willerslev.
Title: FineMAV: Prioritizing Candidate Genetic Variants Driving Local Adaptations in Human   Populations
Qasim
Associate Professor Dr. Qasim Ayub
School of Science
Dr. Ayub joined Monash University Malaysia in September 2017 as Associate Professor in Genomics and Director, Monash University Malaysia Genomics Facility. He trained as a clinician in Pakistan and obtained his doctorate from the University of North Texas, Denton, USA. From 2008 - 2017 he worked at the world renowned Wellcome Sanger Institute. He has many high impact publications on human evolutionary genetics. Several male specific markers that he identified are now routinely used in DNA forensics. For this work, he was awarded the President of Pakistan’s Medal of Excellence in 2006. His research focuses on evolutionary and disease genomics.
Synopsis:

This paper presents a new method, termed Fine-Mapping of Adaptive Variation (FineMAV), which focuses on a high throughput method for prioritizing genetic variations associated with positive selection for functional follow-up. It combines population differentiation, variant frequency and molecular functionality to prioritize positively selected candidate single nucleotide variants for functional follow-up.

In this paper, the researchers calibrated and tested FineMAV using eight “gold standard’ positively selected variants and simulations. Applying FineMAV to the 1000 Genomes Project Phase 3 dataset, they report many selected novel variants, including ones in TGM3 and PRSS53, genes that are associated with hair thickness and its curvature. This method can be applied to analyse whole genome sequencing data from humans or other species.

This research work has contributed to several follow up studies and collaborations with experts working on metabolic, skin, hearing and brain disorders. It is an excellent example of establishing linkages and collaborations with world renowned sequencing centres such as the Wellcome Sanger Institute and it showcases how small centres, like the Monash University Malaysia Genomics Facility, can leverage their expertise and contribute towards understanding biological questions, promoting research excellence and developing regional and international linkages.

Source: Genome Biology, 19(1), [article] 5.

Co-authors: Michał Szpak, Massimo Mezzavilla, Yuan Chen, Yali Xue and Chris Tyler-Smith.
Title: Habenular Kisspeptin Modulates Fear in the Zebrafish
Ishwar Satoshi
Professor Ishwar S. Parhar
Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Professor Ishwar received his Ph.D from the National University of Singapore and worked at The Rockefeller University, USA and Nippon Medical School, Japan. He is the Director of the Brain Research Institute and Head of Neuroscience, Jeffery Cheah School of Medicine, Monash University. Professor Ishwar is internationally recognized in the field of Reproductive and Aging Neuroscience. He has published 190 research articles and co-authored several books. He is on the Editorial Board of international journals and is the President of Neuro Malaysia Society. His scientific achievements have gained him the ‘Top Scientist Award’ Malaysia, ‘Hind Rattan Award’ India and Narishige Award Japan.

Dr. Satoshi Ogawa
Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences

Dr. Estee Yong Siek-Ting specialises in research related to a broad range of high-efficiency clean energy technologies, in particular solid oxide fuel cell and photocatalysis. She has also ventured into research on functionalized-hollow fiber for dialysis. She is keenly pursuing to commercialise the pending patent developed by her research group and has filed with Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (myIPO) on A method and a fuel cell for management of biomass. Dr. Yong obtained her PhD in 2018 from The National University of Singapore. She undertakes extensive collaborative research with a variety of industrial partners and research institutes across Malaysia.
Synopsis:

Fear is a negative and innate emotion, which is vital for the survival of living organisms, where it protects from danger by prompting either a fight or flight response. Kisspeptin, is a naturally occurring brain hormone that stimulates reproductive functions and thus plays a key role in vertebrate reproduction. The researchers previously discovered predominant expression of kisspeptin receptor in the habenula, a small brain structure that codifies negative motivational value. However, the function of kisspeptin in the habenuIa, besides reproduction, remains unknown in vertebrate species including in humans.

In this paper, the researchers demonstrated, for the first time a unique role for the kisspeptin system in inhibiting fear emotion that extends beyond the control of reproduction. Their findings suggest that kisspeptin may serve as a novel therapeutic agent, against stress and mental disorders.

This study, published in PNAS, a prestigious and high impact journal (Ogawa et al., 2014; PNAS 111,3841- 46), has significantly contributed to MUM research priorities. More importantly, the work is relevant to government and policymakers, including the Ministry of Health, Malaysia and the World Health Organization (WHO), as these organisations pursue comprehensive strategic action plans to address growing mental health issues worldwide.

Source: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States, vol. 111, no. 10, 2014, pp. 3841–3846.

Co-author: Fatima M. Nathan
Title: Heterostructured AgX/g-C3N4 (X=Cl and Br) nanocomposites via a sonication-assisted deposition-precipitation approach: Emerging role of halide ions in the synergistic photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide
Estee Yong Siek Ting Chai Siang Piao
Dr. Estee Yong Siek Ting
School of Engineering

Dr. Estee Yong Siek-Ting specialises in research related to a broad range of high-efficiency clean energy technologies, in particular solid oxide fuel cell and photocatalysis. She has also ventured into research on functionalized-hollow fiber for dialysis. She is keenly pursuing to commercialise the pending patent developed by her research group and has filed with Intellectual Property Corporation of Malaysia (myIPO) on A method and a fuel cell for management of biomass. Dr. Yong obtained her PhD in 2018 from The National University of Singapore. She undertakes extensive collaborative research with a variety of industrial partners and research institutes across Malaysia.

Professor Chai Siang Piao
School of Engineering

Professor Chai Siang Piao is Deputy Head of School (Research), School of Engineering and the Head of Nano-Analytical Platform at Monash Malaysia. He holds professional credentials, for both Chartered Chemical Engineer (CEng) from the Engineering Council (UK), and Professional Engineer (PEng) from the Board of Engineers Malaysia. Professor Chai’s specialisations are in the fields of catalysis, photocatalysis, reaction engineering and advanced functional materials. He has published over 130 ISI-papers, accumulated total citations of above 7000, with a H-index of over 40. He also serves on the editorial board for 6 international journals.
Synopsis:

In this work, visible-light-active silver halide AgX (X = Cl, Br) deposited on protonated graphitic carbon nitride was fabricated via a sonication-assisted deposition-precipitation route at room temperature. This hybrid material demonstrated very high efficiency in photocatalytic carbon dioxide reduction into methane (a hydrocarbon fuel) in the presence of water vapour under the low energy visible-light irradiation. The whole process mimics the natural photosynthesis in green plants.

This work has contributed to nanoscale-level engineering research through the design and development of novel nanomaterials and advanced characterization for photocatalytic applications of carbon dioxide reduction and water splitting. Its impact for research is evidenced in the 150 citations it has received since publication in 2016. It paves the way for exploration of next-generation highly-efficient photocatalysts. The study has put MUM research priorities in good standing, nationally and regionally, as the work presents a rational design of materials in harvesting solar energy and providing new horizons for studies in renewable energy. These are important building blocks for the development and growth of renewable energy in the nation and in society.

Source: Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, vol. 180, 2016, pp. 530–543.

Co-authors: Wee-Jun Ong, Lutfi Kurnianditia Putri and Lling-Lling Tan
Title: Unravelling Charge Carrier Dynamics in Protonated g-C3N4 Interfaced with Carbon Nanodots as Co-catalysts toward Enhanced Photocatalytic CO2 Reduction: A Combined Experimental and First-principles DFT Study
Chai Siang Piao
Professor Chai Siang Piao
School of Engineering
Professor Chai Siang Piao is Deputy Head of School (Research), School of Engineering and the Head of Nano-Analytical Platform at Monash Malaysia. He holds professional credentials, for both Chartered Chemical Engineer (CEng) from the Engineering Council (UK), and Professional Engineer (PEng) from the Board of Engineers Malaysia. Professor Chai’s specialisations are in the fields of catalysis, photocatalysis, reaction engineering and advanced functional materials. He has published over 130 ISI-papers, accumulated total citations of above 7000, with a H-index of over 40. He also serves on the editorial board for 6 international journals.
Synopsis:

This work presents the successful construction of zero-dimensional/two-dimensional carbon nanodot-hybridized protonated g-C3N4 heterojunction photocatalysts for the application of carbon dioxide reduction into carbon-neutral fuels. A series of experimental and computational works reveals the fundamental contributing factors in this tailor-made photocatalyst for its enhancement in carbon dioxide reduction, thereby achieving waste-to-fuel conversion by exploiting solar light.

Published in 2017, this work has received more than 120 citations till date, evidencing its impact in this research field. It aligns with MUM top research priorities for Advanced Engineering as advanced techniques are used in the development of nanostructured semiconductor photocatalysts and their characterization that has direct applications for environmental remediation and renewable energy harvesting. The technology reported here namely, artificial photosynthesis, through the use of low-cost and non-toxic carbon-materials, will greatly contribute to Malaysia and other regions, in addressing environmental remediation challenges and renewable energy harvesting for society, particularly among countries that have access to infinite solar energy.

Source: Nano Research, vol. 10, no. 5, 2017, pp. 1673–1696.

Co-authors: Wee-Jun Ong, Lutfi Kurnianditia Putri, Yoong-Chuen Tan, Lling-Lling Tan, Neng Li, Yun Hau Ng, and Xiaoming Wen.
Title: Going Keyless for a Seamless Experience: Insights from a Unified Hotel Access Control System
Pervaiz Teh
Professor Pervaiz Khalid Ahmed
School of Business

Pervaiz K Ahmed is Professor of Management at Monash University Malaysia. He is also the Deputy Head of School (Research), Director of Global Asia in the 21st Century (GA21), and Director of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Hub (eiHub). His experience in academia, industry and government is far reaching and speaks for his many contributions. These include advising blue chip companies, Unilever, FORD, NCR, national bodies such as SPRING Singapore, Dubai Government, Public Services sector, Economic Planning Unit (under the Prime Minister’s Office) Malaysia, as well as the Malaysian Plastics and Machinery Association (MPMA), etc. He has published over 100 research papers in top tiered international journals and has authored 4 books with established publishers

Dr. Teh Pei Lee
School of Business

Dr. Teh Pei Lee is Associate Professor and Head of Department (Management) at the School of Business, Monash University Malaysia. She is also Director of the Gerontechnology Laboratory. Dr Teh holds a bachelor’s degree in information technology and has specialisations in management. Her research interests cover management information systems, innovation and learning. Her research profile is interdisciplinary and is internationally recognized. She has published several journal papers, accumulated total citations of more than 1370 and H-index 20. Dr Teh’s multidisciplinary research in management has received the backing of local and international public and private institutions with grants of more than RM3.9 million.
Synopsis:

This paper used an engineering approach to service systems development and examined hotel guests’ acceptance of the keyless option system, UHACS (unified hotel access control system) for seamless hotel check-in and room access.

The authors saw this as an opportunity to develop and implement a system to address contemporary challenges of hoteliers (e.g., customer complaints of long check-ins and waiting times and malfunctioning smartcards) and to provide hotel guests with a seamless experience.

User evaluations of UHACS were gathered through two sample surveys; a hands-on survey during an international technology exhibition in Kuala Lumpur in 2014 and an online survey.

The study contributed to the development of innovative service systems, better understanding and practical insights for hoteliers on user perceptions of going keyless and sensing the seamless experience. In addition, the study provided new evidence to resolve the two existing paradoxes: the risk factor and the security factor.

This project contributes to MUM’s research priorities as it addresses Sustainable Development Goal 9: Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure and Research cluster, Science, Technology and Society under the Global Asia in the 21st Century Multidisciplinary Platform.

Source: International Journal of Hospitality Management, vol. 75, 2018, pp. 105–115.

Co-authors: Weng Marc Lim, Soon-Nyean Cheong, Huo-Chong Ling and Wen-Jiun Yap.
Title: New Constellations of Social Power: States and Transnational Private Governance of Palm Oil Sustainability in Southeast Asia
Helen
Professor Helen E.S. Nesadurai
School of Arts and Social Sciences
Helen E.S. Nesadurai is Professor of International Political Economy at Monash University Malaysia where she is also the Head of the School of Arts and Social Sciences. Originally trained in biochemistry, she holds an MSc in Economics for Development from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick.

Prof Helen Nesadurai’s current research examines transnational private governance as a new mode of authority in world politics, focusing on the case of private standards for sustainable palm oil.
Synopsis:

Malaysia and Indonesia face the EU’s decision to deem palm oil as a high risk crop for climate change. This article shows that global private sustainability standards developed by NGOs and corporations working together can lead to change in agricultural practices implicated in the environmental damage and social conflicts caused by oil palm cultivation in Indonesia and Malaysia.

Governments should stop using development and smallholder welfare as excuses to resist comprehensive sustainability standards because both environmental sustainability and smallholder livelihoods can be secured through the private certification standards of the Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) and the No-Deforestation standards of the Palm Oil Innovation Group (POIG).

Although these changes are for now limited to the cultivation sites linked to globally-oriented palm oil plantation multinationals, the findings challenge sceptical voices that reform is not possible in this industry. Whether these changes are extended across the industry requires governments to recognise and to work collaboratively with the industry. The challenges to ensure the entire industry is sustainable are massive, but governments have to start now.

Source: Journal of Contemporary Asia, vol. 48, no. 2, 2018, pp. 204–229.
Title: Who Governs and How? Non-state Actors and Transnational Governance in Southeast Asia
Helen
Professor Helen E.S. Nesadurai
School of Arts and Social Sciences
Helen E.S. Nesadurai is Professor of International Political Economy at Monash University Malaysia where she is also the Head of the School of Arts and Social Sciences. Originally trained in biochemistry, she holds an MSc in Economics for Development from the University of Oxford and a PhD in Politics and International Studies from the University of Warwick.

Prof Helen Nesadurai’s current research examines transnational private governance as a new mode of authority in world politics, focusing on the case of private standards for sustainable palm oil.
Synopsis:

This paper introduces a 2018 Special Issue of the Journal of Contemporary Asia that documents the research undertaken in a project funded by the Monash-Warwick Alliance and led by the article’s co-authors. The article argues for a more systematic study of transnational governance whereby a variety of non-state actors provide rules, standards and practices to regulate varied economic activities in Southeast Asia. The article challenges views that continue to see states or governments as the only relevant, appropriate and effective providers of governance and order in the region. The many gaps in what states have been willing or able to do make it vital for scholars to examine other modes of governance such as those undertaken by non-state actors. However, this does not mean that non-state transnational governance is “better” than that provided by governments. This article thus provides an analytical framework not only to guide scholars on how to examine transnational governance in Southeast Asia but to also explore its progressive potential and limitations.

Source: Journal of Contemporary Asia, vol. 48, no. 2, 2018, pp. 187–203.

Co-author: Shaun Breslin