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Pharmacology Department

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The Department of Pharmacology is one of the foundation departments of the Faculty of Medicine which was established in the 1963. Originally dedicated to the training of undergraduate and postgraduate medical students, department over the years has expanded its teaching responsibilities to cover other healthcare related disciplines within and outside the Faculty of Medicine – like the undergraduate and postgraduate Dental programmes, Nursing diploma and degree programmes, Pharmacy undergraduate programmes and the Biomedical Sciences programmes. For each programme, the over all objective is to produce graduate with knowledge, attitudes and skill appropriate to the particular profession and at a depth and scope which commensurate to the level of specialization as defined by the programmes.

In addition to the above, there also exists some speciality which are grouped according to research and teaching functions. These speciality consist of :

  • Cardiovascular & Smooth Muscle
  • Pharmacokinetics & Bioequivalence studies
  • Analytical and clinical pharmacology
  • Toxicology
  • Ethnopharmacology
  • Molecular pharmacology


The vision of Department, in view of the above, is to become a centre of excellence that provides leadership in Pharmacology education, training, research, development and related services to the Malaysian community in particular, and to mankind in general.


The Department’s mission at the undergraduate level is to contribute in the overall training of the medical house officer, through enriching him with the knowledge, attitudes and skills needed for rational drug prescription, so that he can fit effectively and efficiently, not only into the Malaysian national health care service system, but also into the international arena.


The department is one of the foundation academic departments of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya. Together with the University Hospital, the Faculty ( and, thus, the Department) has become part of an institution known as the University of Malaya Medical Centre or UMMC. The previous heads of the Department of Pharmacology includes Professor Chan Onn Leng, Professor Chan Kok Eu, Professor Philip Chang, Professor Yeoh Peng Nam, Datin Professor Zahurin Mohamed, Professor Mohd Rais Mustafa, Professor Mustafa Ali Mohd Professor Nor Azizan Abdullah and Associate Professor Dr Zamri Chik.


Associate Prof. Dr. Zamri Chik

Head of Department

Bil Salutation Name Email Phone
1 Professor Dr. Sim Si Mui debrasim@ummc.edu.my 03-7967 4951
2 Professor Datin Dr. Zahurin Mohamed zahurin@ummc.edu.my 03-7967 5725
3 Professor Dr. Mohd Rais Mustafa raism@ummc.edu.my 03-7967 4952
4 Professor Dr. Nor Azizan Abdullah azizan@ummc.edu.my 03-7967 5724
5 Associate Prof. Dr. Zamri Chik zamrichik@ummc.edu.my 03-79674702/9
6 Associate Prof. Dr. Ivy Chung ivychung@ummc.edu.my 03-7967 3199
7 Associate Prof. Dr. Wong Pooi Fong pfwong@ummc.edu.my 03-7967 2065
8 Associate Prof. Dr. Kiew Lik Voon lvkiew@ummc.edu.my 03-7967 5720
9 Associate Prof. Dr. Mohammed Abdullah Mahdi Al-Shawsh alshaweshmam@ummc.edu.my 03-7967 4950
10 Associate Prof. Dr. Dharmani Devi Murugan dharmani@ummc.edu.my 03-7967 5766
11 Dr. Elsa Haniffah Mejia Mohamed elsa@ummc.edu.my 03- 7967 6634
12 Dr. Ajantha Sinniah ajantha.sinniah@ummc.edu.my 03-7967 2067
13 Dr. Nur Lisa Zaharan lisa@ummc.edu.my 03-7967 6621
14 Dr. Tan Choo Hock tchook@ummc.edu.my 03-7967 6685
15 Dr. Shamsul Mohd Zain shamsul@ummc.edu.my 03-7967 2066
16 Dr. Zaridatul Aini Binti Ibrahim zaridatulaini@ummc.edu.my 03-7967 5727
Bil Salutation Name Email Phone
1 Mrs. Zalina Binti Razali zalinarazali@ummc.edu.my 03- 7967 5723
2 Mrs. Noor Shafila Binti Shafie shafila@ummc.edu.my 03- 7967 4706
3 Mrs. Raziyah Binti Abdul Razak raziyah@ummc.edu.my 03- 7967 4706
4 Mrs. Zulaikha Dahlia Binti Zainin zulaikha_dahlia@ummc.edu.my 03- 7967 4711
5 Mrs. Haslyna Binti Omar haslyna@ummc.edu.my 03- 7967 4706
6 Mr. Abdul Halim Bin Mohamad ahalim@ummc.edu.my 03- 7967 4711
7 Mrs. Norsyazwana Binti Hasim norsyazwana@ummc.edu.my 03- 7967 4703
8 Mr. Mohd Ridzuan Bin Sudin jang@ummc.edu.my 03- 7967 4711
9 Mrs. Umi Kalthum Binti Haron umikalthum@ummc.edu.my 03- 7967 4711
10 Mrs. Nasihah Sakinan Binti Ali nasiha89@ummc.edu.my 03- 7967 4711
Academic Programme

List of Programme Offered in Department

The Department of Pharmacology contributes to the undergraduate medical and science programmes of the Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry in the area of pharmacology teaching. The undergraduate programmes serviced by the department include :

  1. Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS)
  2. Bachelor of Dentistry (BDS)
  3. Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm)
  4. Bachelor of Biomedical Science (BBiomedSc)
  5. Bachelor of Nursing Science

Modules offered by the Pharmacology department in the undergraduate degrees including :

Farmakologi Untuk Perubatan

  • DIA 2006 Farmakologi
  • MIB 1006 Tindakan & Penemuan Ubat (Drug Action & Discovery)
  • MIB 2004 Farmakoterapi untuk Gangguan Respiratori dan Gastrousus (Pharmacotherapy for Gastrointestinal & Respiratory Disorders)
  • MIC 2004 / Prinsip-Prinsip Farmakologi dan Toksikologi Umum
  • MBEB2105
  • MIC 3010 Farmakologi Perubatan Lanjutan
  • MDEB4401
  • MID 1009 Sains Kejururawatan
  • MIX3003 Ubat : Dari Target Sehingga Pasaran

The Department runs the following postgraduate programmes :

  • Master of Medical Science
  • PhD


Contact Person: 
Assoc. Prof Dr. Zamri Chik (zamrichik@ummc.edu.my)
Prof. Datin Dr. Zahurin Mohamed (zahurin@ummc.edu.my)
Dr. Roma Chowdury Basu (romacb@um.edu.my)
Mr. Didi Erwandi Mohamed Haron (didi27@um.edu.my)
Ms Noreena Nordin (noreen_crypt@yahoo.com)

The Analytical and Toxicology group conducts research and services in various fields such as clinical study of medicine, food monitoring, environmental monitoring, pharmaceutical analysis, herbal and traditional medicines, and various biomedical and industrial related analyses. The research and services can be divided into two main fields which are analytical division and clinical division. Analytical division which involves the application of chromatographic techniques such as HPLC, GC/MS, LC/MS or LC/MS/MS are conducted in SUCXeS (Shimadzu UMMC Centre for Xenobiotic Studies) laboratory and the clinical research and services are mainly conducted in UBAT (University of Malaya Bioequivalence and Testing Centre). Clinical studies including the rest of other clinical trial phases are carried out in a Clinical Study Ward, University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) by a Bioequivalence Study Group. The laboratory is accredited with MS ISO/IEC 17025 for chemical testing laboratory and clinical research centre (UBAT) is listed under the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) Malaysia GLP compliance to conduct bioequivalence study. With all the capacities and expertise in clinical and analytical area, this group is capable of conducting high quality research and services for:

  • Grant-funded research studies; Post graduate projects
  • Government bodies
  • Pharmaceutical companies
  • Contract Research Organisations (CRO)
  • Multicentre clinical trials
  • Research and Development Laboratories

Main Function

  • Provides an opportunity to do research for graduate students and researchers in areas requiring analysis of drugs, pharmacokinetic studies, clinical trials, drug delivery studies such as topical and transdermal drug delivery system as well as for systemic delivery using palm oil base and nanoformulations 
  • Provides consultation in analytical services and instrumentation for pharmaceutical industries and related government industry.
  • Provides training facilities for laboratory staffs, students and workers in the industry in the use of analytical equipments such as HPLC, GC/MS, LC/MS etc. To date, we have successfully trained many students either at the undergraduate, masters, doctoral, and post doctoral level and conducted several certificate courses to government officers from different ministries and people from the private sector. Some of the courses offered include the practical use of the HPLC and the GC/MS which are rarely provided in Malaysia.
  • Provide consultations/training for bioavailability/bioequivalence and pharmacokinetic studies in clinical phase as well as pre clinical phase 

List of Equipments

  1. Shimadzu High Performance Liquid Chromatography with UV Detector (HPLC-UV)
  2. Shimadzu Ultra Fast Liquid Chromatography with UV Detector (UFLC-UV)
  3. Shimadzu Liquid Chromatography with MS (LCMS 2020)
  4. Shimadzu Liquid Chromatography with MS/MS (LC-MS/MS 8030) (1)
  5. Shimadzu Liquid Chromatography with MS/MS (LC-MS/MS 8030) (2)
  6. Liquid chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometer AB Sciex Q Trap 5500 (LC-MS/MS)
  7. Liquid chromatography Tandem Mass Spectrometer AB Sciex API 3200 (LC-MS/MS)
  8. Shimadzu Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS 2010)
  9. Shimadzu Gas Chromatography Mass Spectrometry (GCMS 5050A)
  10. Shimadzu UFLC (IT-TOF)
Photo of Bioequivalence study team and study subject

Clinical study ward


Head of Group:
Prof Dr. Mohd Rais Mustafa (rais@um.edu.my)

Assoc. Prof Dr. Wong Pooi Fong  (wongpf@um.edu.my; pfwong@ummc.edu.my
Assoc. Prof Dr. Dharmani Devi Murugan (dharmani79@um.edu.my; dharmani@ummc.edu.my)
Dr. Ashok Kumar Pandurangan (panduashok@um.edu.my)

Our group is dedicated to the discovery and early development of novel and commercially viable therapeutic agents for inflammation and oxidative stress disorders such as hypertension, diabetes mellitus, obesity and cancers and premature senescence by integrating medicinal and analytical chemistry, cell and molecular biology and pharmacology expertise. Our research team is made up of researchers from various fields of life sciences and postgraduate students working towards their Master’s and Doctorate.

Here are some of the ongoing research work in our laboratory.

Natural Product-Based Therapeutics 

Prof. Dr Mohd Rais, Dr. Ashok Kumar and Assoc. Prof Dr. Wong Pooi_Fong

It is estimated that there are at least 8000 species of flowering plants found in Malaysia vast tropical forest but many of these plant species remain under studied and their therapeutic potentials remain untapped. The Center for Natural Products and Drug Research (CENAR), University of Malaya has an expanding collection of 300 plants library unique to our country.  This plant library is made available to our group to screen and harness for their anti-inflammatory, anti-cancer, anti-diabetic and anti-microbial activities.  We employed a panel of cell lines including organ-specific human cancer cells, normal cells, inflammatory and pancreatic cells for various cytotoxicity assays using our high throughput screening facilities. Compounds of interest will be isolated and their mechanisms of actions or signaling targets will be mapped.

Selected publications of interest: 

Pandurangan AK, Mohebali N, Hasanpourghadi M, Looi CY, Mustafa MR, Mohd Esa N. 2016. Boldine suppresses dextran sulfate sodium-induced mouse experimental colitis: NF- B and IL-6/STAT3 as potential targets. Biofactors. 2016 May;42(3):247-58.

Hasanpourghadi M, Karthikeyan C, Pandurangan AK, Looi CY, Trivedi P, Kobayashi K, Tanaka K, Wong WF, Mustafa MR. 2016. Targeting of tubulin polymerization and induction of mitotic blockage by Methyl 2-(5-fluoro-2-hydroxyphenyl)-1H-benzo[d]imidazole-5-carboxylate (MBIC) in human cervical cancer HeLa cell. J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2016 Mar 31;35:58.

Shanmugam MK, Lee JH, Chai EZ, Kanchi MM, Kar S, Arfuso F, Dharmarajan A, Kumar AP, Ramar PS, Looi CY, Mustafa MR, Tergaonkar V, Bishayee A, Ahn KS, Sethi G. 2016.Cancer prevention and therapy through the modulation of transcription factors by bioactive natural compounds. Semin Cancer Biol. 2016 Mar 30. pii: S1044-579X(16)30009-8.

Voon YL, Ahmad M, Wong PF, Husaini R, Ng WTW, Leong CO, Lane DL, Khoo ASB. Nutlin-3 Sensitizes Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Cells to Cisplatin-induced Cytotoxicity. Oncology Reports 2015;34(4):1692-700.

Lai SL, Wong PF, Lim TK, Lin QS and Mustafa MR. Mechanisms of Panduratin A on A375 Melanoma Cells: A Quantitative and Temporal Proteomics Analysis. Proteomics. 2015 May;15(9):1608-21.

Tong KL, Chan KL, S AbuBakar, BS Low, Ma HQ, Wong PF. The In vitro and In vivo Anti-cancer Activities of A Standardized Quassinoids Composition from Eurycoma longifolia on LNCaP Human Prostate Cancer Cells. PLoS One. 2015 Mar 31;10(3):e0121752.

Lee ST, Wong PF, He H, Hooper JD, Mustafa MR. 2013. Alpha-tomatine Attenuation of In Vivo Growth of Subcutaneous and Orthotopic Xenograft Tumors of Human Prostate Carcinoma PC-3 cells is Accompanied by Inactivation of Nuclear Factor-kappa B Signaling. PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e57708.

Wong PF, Cheong WF, Shu MH, Teh CH, Chan KL, AbuBakar S. Eurycomanone Suppresses Expression of Lung Cancer Cell Tumor Markers, Prohibitin, Annexin 1 and Endoplasmic Reticulum Protein 28. Phytomedicine 19 (2012) 138 144

Oxidative Stress and Endothelial dysfunction

Prof. Dr Mohd Rais and Assoc. Prof Dr. Dharmani Devi Murugan

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are a family of molecules that includes molecular oxygen and its derivatives, i.e. superoxide, peroxyl, hydroxyl, peroxynitrite. Excessive production of ROS, exceeding endogenous antioxidant defense mechanisms, has been implicated in processes in which they oxidize biological macromolecules, such as DNA, protein, carbohydrates, and lipids. This condition is referred as oxidative stress. An increasing body of evidence suggests that oxidative stress is involved in the pathogenesis of many cardiovascular diseases, including hypercholesterolemia, atherosclerosis, hypertension, obesity and diabetes. We used various assays including DPPH, ORAC and cell-based antioxidant assays as well to screen and identify novel compounds from our local plants with potential antioxidant activities. As oxidative stress also contributes to endothelial dysfunction in various pathological condition, our lab measures endothelial dysfunction in large and small vessels using myograph and isolated organ bath preparation to order to identify potential compound in protecting the endothelium.

Selected publications of interest:

Choy KW, Mustafa MR, Lau YS, Liu J, Murugan D, Lau CW, Wang L, Zhao L, Huang Y. 2016.Paeonol protects against endoplasmic reticulum stress-induced endothelial dysfunction via AMPK/PPAR signaling pathway. Biochem Pharmacol. 2016 Sep 15;116:51-62.

Murugan D, Lau YS, Lau CW, Mustafa MR, Huang Y (2015). Angiotensin 1-7 Protects against Angiotensin II-Induced Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress and Endothelial Dysfunction via Mas Receptor.PLoS One. PLoS One. 2016 Jan 22;11(1):e0147892. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0147892.

Lau Y.S., Ling, W.C, Murugan D, Kwan C.Y. and M.R. Mustafa, 2015. Endothelium-Dependent Relaxation Effect of Apocynum venetum Leaf Extract via Src/PI3K/Akt Signalling Pathway. Nutrients 2015, 7, 5239-5253

Ling WC, Lau YS, Murugan DD, Vanhoutte PM, Mustafa MR.2015.Sodium nitrite causes relaxation of the isolated rat aorta: By stimulating both endothelial NO synthase and activating soluble guanylyl cyclase in vascular smooth muscle.Vascul Pharmacol. 2015 Jun 2. pii: S1537-1891(15)00128-7

Yeh-Siang, L.; Subramaniam, G.; Hadi, A.H.A.; Murugan, D.; Mustafa, M.R. Reactive Oxygen Species-Induced Impairment of Endothelium-Dependent Relaxations in Rat Aortic Rings: Protection by Methanolic Extracts of Phoebe grandis. Molecules 2011, 16, 2990-3000

Cardiovascular and Metabolic Diseases

Prof. Dr Mohd Rais and Assoc. Prof Dr. Dharmani Devi Murugan

Our group also utilizes various animal models to explore the role of oxidative stress, renin-angiotensin system and obesity in modulating cardiovascular and metabolic diseases like hypertension, diabetes mellitus and atherosclerosis. Our research group focuses on identifying potential role of natural products, peptides and nitrites in protecting the endothelium in various cardiovascular diseases using animal models. The work includes investigating the pharmacological action of these compounds and elucidating their cellular and molecular mechanism of actions, in order to identify potential therapeutic targets.

Selected publications of interest:

Ling WC, Murugan DD, Lau YS, Vanhoutte PM, Mustafa MR. (2016). Sodium nitrite exerts an antihypertensive effect and improves endothelial function through activation of eNOS in the SHR. Sci Rep. 2016 Sep 12;6:33048

Kunasegaran T, Mustafa MR, Murugan DD, Achike FI. (2016). The bioflavonoid quercetin synergises with PPAR-agonist pioglitazone in reducing angiotensin-II contractile effect in fructose-streptozotocin induced diabetic rats. Biochimie. Mar 22. pii: S0300-9084(16)30035-9

Loh WM, Ling WC, Murugan DD, Lau YS, Achike FI, Vanhoutte PM, Mustafa MR.(2015).Des-aspartate angiotensin I (DAA-I) reduces endothelial dysfunction in the aorta of the spontaneously hypertensive rat through inhibition of angiotensin II-induced oxidative stress. Vascul Pharmacol. pii: S1537-1891(15)00053-1.

Lau YS, Ling WC, Murugan D, Mustafa MR. (2015) Boldine Ameliorates Vascular Oxidative Stress and Endothelial Dysfunction: Therapeutic Implication for Hypertension and Diabetes. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol. 2015 Jun;65(6):522-31.

Lau YS, Tian XY, Huang Y, Murugan D, Achike FI, Mustafa MR. (2013). Boldine protects endothelial function in hyperglycemia-induced oxidative stress through an antioxidant mechanism. Biochem Pharmacol. 85(3):367-75.

Yeh Siang Lau, Xiao Yu Tian, Mohd Rais Mustafa, Dharmani Murugan, Jian Lui, Chi Wai Lau, Yu Huang. (2013). Boldine improves endothelial function in diabetic db/db mice through inhibiting angiotensin II-mediated BMP4- oxidative stress cascade. Br. J. Pharmacol., 170(6):1190-8.

MicroRNAs and Endothelial Senescence Assoc.

Prof Dr. Wong Pooi-Fong and Prof. Dr Mohd Rais

Senescence is a physiological condition whereby cells enter irreversible growth arrest phase and do not divide but remain viable and metabolically active. Endothelial senescence leads to endothelium dysfunction that could eventually cause various age-related vascular diseases. There are increasing evidences that show mature microRNAs are involved in the regulation of physiological pathways such as development, differentiation, growth and metabolism. We are interested in the elucidation of the mechanisms of cellular senescence and organismal aging using various molecular and genomics techniques and zebrafish model, particularly to identify senescence-associated microRNAs to enable further understanding to their roles in regulating molecules of signaling pathways involved in endothelial senescence. Identification of these microRNAs and pathways would provide novel targets for protection against premature senescence and vascular diseases.

Selected publications of interest:

Khor ES, Noor SM, Wong PF. Expression of zTOR- associated microRNAs in zebrafish embryo treated with rapamycin. Life Sciences 2016, Apr 1;150:67-75. doi: 10.1016/j.lfs.2016.02.076

Jamal J, Mustafa MR and Wong PF. Paeonol Protects Against Premature Senescence In Endothelial Cells By Modulating Sirtuin 1 Pathway. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. J Ethnopharmacol. 2014 Jun 11;154(2):428-36

Wong PF and Jong HL. The Relevance of microRNAs in Vascular Senescence. Journal of Health and Translational Medicine (JUMMEC). 2014; 17(2): 18-23.

Jong HL, Mustafa MR, Vanhoutte PM, AbuBakar S, Wong PF. 2013. MicroRNA 299-3p modulates replicative senescence in endothelial cells. Physiol Genomics. 2013 Apr 1;45(7):256-67. doi:10.1152/physiolgenomics.00071.2012

Cell Biology and Drug Discovery Group

Contact person: 
Dr. Tan Choo Hock (tanch@um.edu.my)
Prof. Sim Si Mui (debrasim@ummc.edu.my)


Venom is a simple to complex mixture of secretion produced in a specialized gland of some animals and is typically delivered through specific body structures such as fangs, spines or stings. Venomous organisms spread widely across the Animalia Kingdom, distributed among all major phyla. They range from the very primitive cnidarians to the advanced Chordata, and snakes are perhaps by far the most extensively studied group of venomous animals due to the medical importance of snakebite envenomation as well as the potential of venom in drug discovery. Snake venom reflects a critical evolutionary adaption of snakes to a variety of ecological niche sand preys. The composition of snake venom is generally complex, diversely made up of various molecules with rich biochemical and pharmacological properties. 

Based in the University of Malaya, the Venom and Toxin Research Laboratory (VTRL) is dedicated to the studies of venoms, toxins and antivenoms. A variety of research tools and methods are utilized, including classical in vitro/in vivo models and state-of-art technologies of genomics, transcriptomics and proteomics. The research aims to offer clinical applicability for the improvement of medical care on snakebite envenomation in the region. Some of the core functions of the laboratory are:

  • To elucidate the compositional details and biological functions of snake venoms
  • To investigate the immunological properties of snake toxins and the implication on antivenom production
  • To access the quality of purity and neutralizing efficacy of antivenoms 
  • To study and develop the therapeutic potential of novel molecules from snake venoms
  • To provide postgraduate and postdoctoral training in the field of venom toxinology

Currently, VTRL is collaborating with researchers from local and oversea institutions, including those in Southeast and South Asia where snakebite envenomation is a serious yet often neglected health problem. The research findings have been presented in numerous conferences and published in academic journals. A few selected publications are shown as follows:

Tan, C. H.; Liew, J. L.; Tan, K. Y.; Tan, N. H. (2016) Assessing SABU (Serum Anti Bisa Ular), the sole Indonesian antivenom: A proteomic analysis and neutralization efficacy study. Sci Rep. 6: 37299.

Tan, C. H.; Liew, J. L.; Tan, K. Y.; Tan, N. H. (2016) Genus Calliophis of Asiatic coral snakes: A deficiency of venom cross-reactivity and neutralization against seven regional elapid antivenoms. Toxicon 121:130-133.

Tan, C.H.: Tan, K.Y.: Tan, N.H. (2016) Revisiting Notechis scutatus venom: on shotgun proteomics and neutralization by the bivalent Sea Snake Antivenom. J. Proteomics 144, 33-38.

Tan, K.Y.; Tan, C.H.; Sim, S.M.; Fung, S.Y.; Tan, N.H. (2016) Geographical venom variations of the Southeast Asian monocled cobra (Naja kaouthia): venom-induced neuromuscular depression and antivenom neutralization. Comp Biochem Physiol C Toxicol Pharmacol. 185-186:77-86.

Wong, K.Y.; Tan, C.H.; Tan, N.H. (2016) Venom and purified toxins of the spectacled cobra (Naja naja) from Pakistan: Insights into toxicity and antivenom neutralization. Am. J. Trop. Med. Hyg. 94, 1392-1399.

Ratanabanangkoon, K.; Tan, K. Y.; Eursakun, S.; Tan, C. H.; Simsiriwong, P.; Pamornsakda, T.; Wiriyarat, W.; Klinpayom, C.; Tan, N. H. (2016) A simple and novel strategy for the production of a pan-specific antiserum against elapid snakes of Asia. PLoS Negl Trop Dis. 10(4): e0004565. 

Tan, C. H.; Fung, S. Y.; Yap, M. K. K.; Leong, P. K.; Liew, J. L.; Tan, N. H. (2016) Unveiling the elusive and exotic: Venomics of the Malayan blue coral snake (Calliophis bivirgata flaviceps). J Proteomics 132, 1-12.

Tan, C. H.; Tan, N. H.; Tan; K. Y.,Kwong, K. O. (2015) Antivenom cross-neutralization of the venoms of Hydrophis schistosus and Hydrophis curtus, two common sea snakes in Malaysian waters. Toxins 7(2), 572-581.

Tan, C. H.; Tan, K. Y.; Lim, S. E.; Tan, N. H. (2015) Venomics of the beaked sea snake, Hydrophis schistosus: A minimalist toxin arsenal and its cross-neutralization by heterologous antivenoms. J Proteomics 126:121-130.

Tan, C. H.; Tan, K. Y.; Fung, S. F.; Tan, N. H. (2015) Venom-gland transcriptome and venom proteome of the Malaysian king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah). BMC Genomics 16(1): 687.

Tan, C. H.; Sim, S. M.; Gnanathasan, C. A.; Fung, S. Y.; Tan, N. H. (2014) Pharmacokinetics of the Sri Lankan hump-nosed pit viper (Hypnale hypnale) venom following intravenous and intramuscular injections of the venom into rabbits. Toxicon.79, 37-44. 

Contact person: 
Prof Dr. Nor Azizan Abdullah (azizan@ummc.edu.my)
Assoc. Prof Dr. Kiew Lik Voon (lvkiew@ummc.edu.my)

  1. Discovery and development of drugs for the amelioration of diabetic nephropathy
    Diabetic nephropathy is a major cause of kidney failure worldwide; a problem that is a huge burden to the healthcare system and costly to those living with it. Understanding its pathogenesis and finding the appropriate bioactive compounds to stop the progression of this disease is vital.
  2. The pharmacogenomics of diabetes mellitus and diabetic nephropathy.
    Diabetes mellitus and its associate complications are on the rise worldwide. Many studies indicated that energy-rich diet with lack of physical exertion to be the main culprit. However, there are studies that have shown the propensity for diabetes mellitus and diabetic nephropathy development in family clusters, indicating an inheritance component. We are examining a segment of the Malaysian population to investigate the relationship between selected single nucleotide polymorphisms and the incidence of diabetes mellitus as well as diabetic nephropathy.

Contact person: 
Prof Dr. Zahurin Mohamed (zahurin@ummc.edu.my)
Dr. Shamsul Mohd Zain (shamsul@um.edu.my)
Dr Elsa Haniffah Mejia Mohamed (elsa@ummc.edu.my)
Dr Nur Lisa Zaharan (lisa@ummc.edu.my)

There is a growing body of evidence that variable drug responsiveness is caused by polymorphisms within multiple genes, protein products of which are involved in critical metabolic and/or physiologic pathways relevant for drug action.

Pharmacogenomics is a study of variations in various genes in individuals to determine the basis for variations in drug response.

Pharmacogenomic studies can lead the way towards the vision of personalized medicine, which is the use of information and data from a patient’s genotype, or level of gene expression, to select a medication, provide a therapy, or initiate a preventative measure that is particularly suited to that patient at the time of administration. It is a fast expanding area of research and all over the world, scientists and clinicians are moving into personalised medicine where bench-based research is being translated into clinical practice.

In Malaysia, this area of research is still in its early stages. The Faculty of Medicine, University Malaya, has caught the vision to move into translational medicine research and thus the Pharmacogenomics Laboratory, located at the Department of Pharmacology, was born in May 2008.


  • To carry out state-of-the-art research in the area of pharmacogenomics.
  • To transform scientific discoveries arising from the pharmacogenomics laboratory into clinical applications.
  • To train staff and students in the fast-expanding area of pharmacogenomics.
  • To act as a collaborative centre for both basic and clinical research in Pharmacogenomics.
  • To be a centre of excellence in pharmacogenomics research.

Contact person: 
Assoc. Prof Dr. Mohammed A. Alshawsh (alshaweshmam@ummc.edu.my

Ethnopharmacological approach in novel drug discovery for the treatment of metabolic syndrome and cancer.  The pharmacological activities of flavonoids, other polyphenol phytoconstituents and natural products are currently studied in the lab include; anti-colorectal cancer, anti-obesity, anti-diabetic, antioxidant and hepatoprotective activities using in vivo (animal models) and in vitro (cell culture) models with identifying the gene and protein expression profiling to unravel the underlying molecular mechanisms. In addition, the safety profile of the natural products are examined as per ICH and OECD guidelines using acute, subacute, and chronic toxicity and also genotoxicity, teratogenicity and prenatal developmental toxicity studies.

Selected publications of interest: 

  1. Sanaz Koosha, Zahurin Mohamed, Ajantha Sinniah, and Mohammed A. Alshawsh*. Investigation into the Molecular Mechanisms underlying the Anti-proliferative and Anti-tumorigenesis activities of Diosmetin against HCT-116 Human Colorectal Cancer. Scientific Reports. 2019; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-41685-1 (ISI & Scopus Cited Journal).
  2. Atefehalsadat Seyedan, Zahurin Mohamed, Mustafa Ahmed Alshagga, Sanaz Koosha and Mohammed A. Alshawsh*. Cynometra cauliflora Linn. attenuates metabolic abnormalities in high-fat diet-induced obese mice. Ethnopharmacology, 2019; 236: 173-182. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2019.03.001 (ISI & Scopus Cited Journal)
  3. Abdulmannan H. Fateh, Zahurin Mohamed, Zamri Chik, Abdulsamad Alsalahi, Siti Rosmani Md Zain, Mohammed A. Alshawsh*. (2019). Prenatal developmental toxicity evaluation of Verbena officinalis during gestation period in female Sprague-Dawley rats. Chemico-Biological Interactions, 2019; 304, 28-42, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cbi.2019.02.016 (ISI & Scopus Cited Journal)
  4. Alsalahi, A., Alshawsh, M. A.*, Chik, Z., & Mohamed, Z. (2018). Effect of Catha edulis (khat) on pancreatic functions in streptozotocin-induced diabetes in male Sprague-Dawley rats. Experimental Animals, 2018; 67 (4) 517-526. doi:10.1538/expanim.18-0057 (ISI & Scopus Cited Journal)
  5. Siti Rosmani Md Zin, Zahurin Mohamed, Mohammed A. Alshawsh*, Won Fen Wong, Normadiah M. Kassim. Mutagenicity evaluation of Anastatica hierochuntica L. aqueous extract in vitro and in vivo. Experimental Biology and Medicine, 2018; 243(4), 375-385. DOI: 10.1177/1535370217748574 (ISI & Scopus Cited Journal)
  6. Wai Mun Kong, Zamri Chik, Zahurin Mohamed, Mohammed A. Alshawsh*. Physicochemical Characterization of Mitragyna speciosa Alkaloid Extract and Mitragynine Using In Vitro High Throughput Assays. Combinatorial Chemistry & High Throughput Screening, 2017; 20, 1-9 (ISI & Scopus Cited Journal)
  7. Atefehalsadat Seyedan, Mohammed A. Alshawsh*, Mustafa Ahmed Alshagga, and Zahurin Mohamed*. Anti-obesity and lipid lowering effects of Orthosiphon stamineus in high-fat-diet induced obese mice. Planta Medica, 2017; 83: 684-692 (ISI & Scopus Cited Journal)
  8. Koosha S, Alshawsh MA*, Yeng LC, Seyedan A, Mohamed Z*. An Association Map on the Effect of Flavonoids on the Signaling Pathways in Colorectal Cancer. International Journal of Medical Sciences. 2016; 13(5):374-385. doi:10.7150/ijms.14485. (ISI & Scopus Cited Journal).
  9. Alsalahi A, Alshawsh MA*, Mohamed R, Alyousefi NA, Alshagga MA, Shwter AN, et al. Conflicting Reports on the Role of the Glycemic Effect of Catha edulis (Khat): A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Journal of Ethnopharmacology. 2016; 186: 30-43 (ISI & Scopus Cited Journal).
  10. Atefehalsadat Seyedan, Mohammed A. Alshawsh*, Mustafa Ahmed Alshagga, Sanaz Koosha and Zahurin Mohamed*. Medicinal Plants and Their Inhibitory Activities against Pancreatic Lipase: A Review. Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2015. (ISI & Scopus Cited Journal)

Contact person:

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Kiew Lik Voon (lvkiew@ummc.edu.my / lvkiew@um.edu.my)


The Nanotherapeutics Laboratory (NTL) focuses on the development and evaluation of anticancer nanotherapeutics, as well as nano-drug-carriers for ligand-based active tumour targeting and enhanced-permeability-retention (EPR) effect-based passive tumour delivery of anticancer chemotherapeutics, radionuclides and imaging materials. Apart from this, NTL is also interested in the development of renal-targeting nano-drug-carriers for the delivery of renal protective drugs, intestinal-targeting-drug-carriers, as well as in exploring the use of nano-drug-carriers for selective delivery of drugs to other organs/tissues. Wherever possible, in silico optimization of formulation is implemented to ensure ideal dosage forms are produced during the development of therapeutics.

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Last Updated: 13/02/2020