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Genetics and Regenerative Medicine Research Centre (GRMRC)

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Programme Leader: Dr. Syahrilnizam Abdullah

Name of Co-Researchers:

  • Prof. Rozita Rosli
  • Dr Michael KH Ling
  • Dr Norshariza Nordin
  • Dr Thilakavathy Karuppiah
  • Dr Abhimanyu Veerakumarasivam
  • Dr Cheah Pike See

 

SYNOPSIS

This paper proposes the Genetic Medicine as one of the niche areas in the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, UPM. Due to the high prevalence of genetic diseases in Malaysia, these disorders need to be addressed by the Malaysian scientists to investigate the mechanism of diseases development, towards the development of specialized treatment strategies. The Genetic Medicine group endeavours to study genetic mechanisms, including the genetic basis of human diseases, and seek to advance knowledge of the common genetic determinants of selected diseases in order to generate state-of-the art molecular or cellular therapeutic strategies.

 

INTRODUCTION

A genetic disorder is a disease that is caused by an anomaly in an individual’s gene. The abnormalities can range from a small mutation in a single gene (e.g. Thalassemia, Cystic Fibrosis) to the addition or subtraction of an entire chromosome or sets of chromosome (e.g. Down Syndrome). In addition, the mutations in multiple genes, which are often coupled with environmental causes, can lead to the development of multifactorial disorders (e.g. Cancers, Heart disease). This disorder may or may not be inherited. Some are passed down from parents’ genes, but others are commonly caused by new mutations in the patients’ genes.

It has been estimated that there are over 6,000 diseases that can be caused by a single gene mutation alone and it is approximated that one child in every 200 born will suffer from diseases such as muscular dystrophy, thalassemia, or haemophilia, to name a few. Together with the fact that the incidence of diagnosis of genetic disorders at birth is 1% per annum, it is clear indicator that genetic diseases are a major health problem. Due to their high prevalence, genetic disorders also place considerable economic burdens not only on affected individuals and their families but also on the community and country.

Therefore, the need to study the genetic mechanisms that can lead to the development of a genetic disease, and the exploration into the development of prospective therapeutic strategies at molecular and cellular level are essential to enable medical practitioners to deal with genetic disorders effectively - for most of which, till date, there is no cure.

This has led to the establishment of the Genetic Medicine group, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, UPM. The scope for Genetic Medicine encompasses selected types of genetic diseases, the use of state-of-the art techniques and emerging technologies, to study and to find new molecular or cellular targets for the genetic diseases.

Our leading research areas in Genetic Medicine include:

  • Cancer Genetics – with focus on Breast Cancer and Prostate Cancer (Prof Rozita Rosli and Dr Abhimanyu Veerakumarasivam)
  • Neurobiology (Dr Michael KH Ling & Dr Cheah Pike See)
  • Stem Cells Technology – focusing on embryonic, neuronal, prenatal and mesenchymal stem cells (Dr Norshariza Nordin & Dr Thilakavathy Karuppiah).
  • Gene Therapy – with special emphasis on -thalassemia and lung disorders (Dr Syahril Abdullah).

Perhaps one of the most innovative and forward-thinking aspects of the research area at the Genetic Medicine group is the cross-disciplinary integration. There are extensive interactions between all research areas, facilitated by the young, energetic and capable scientists, and the share of research space, facilities and equipments in the Medical Genetics Laboratory, at the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, UPM. Although the scientists work in cross-disciplinary research areas, they share the common knowledge and expertise in the application of current technologies such as molecular techniques, genomics, proteomics, metabolomics, epigenomics, arrays, genetic engineering and transgenic animal models.

 

STRENGTH

i. The members of the group have been working together for more than 10 years and have developed close working relationship.

ii. This group is consisted of mostly young researchers (below 40 years old). This will guarantee the sustainability of the research for years to come.

iii. Although most of the researchers are young, we have frequently published in top ranking and high impact factor (IF) journals. Since the establishment of this group, we have accumulated approximately more than 140 IF. Three of our researchers have published in a journal with IF of more than 10.

iv. All of our researchers have either studied or did an attachment at world-renowned universities. These are Cambridge University, Oxford University, Indiana University, Edinburgh University, University of Adelaide and Imperial College London. The researchers still have strong affiliation and have developed special working collaboration with those institutions.

v. Our common laboratory (Medical Genetics Laboratory) has already been recognized as an established laboratory. Thus we are able to fulfil the niche area requirements immediately. Even at the time of writing, we have already achieved the yearly requirements set for the niche area.

vi. The group is very structured and organized. This is evident by the development of our laboratory website: http://medic1.upm.edu.my

vii. Three members of this group have had experience working and maintaining transgenic mice.

viii. Four scientists are stationed in the laboratory to ensure close monitoring of the research progress.

ix. The previous Deputy Dean for Research of the Faculty will be the advisor for the group.

 

ACHIEVEMENTS

As of August 2011

a. Total Published peer-reviewed articles: 89

b. Total published books/chapters in book: 4

c. Total published non-peer-reviewed articles: 31

d. Total patents obtained (or applied): 2 (2)

 

i. Articles/manuscripts published for the last 3 years.

1) Molouki A, Hsu YT, Jahanshiri F, Abdullah S, Rosli R, Yusoff K (2011). The matrix (M) protein of newcastle disease virus binds to human bax through its BH3 domain. Virol J. 2011 Aug 3;8:385. (IF: 2.55)

2) Ling KH, Brautigan PJ, Hahn CN, Daish T, Rayner JR, Cheah PS, Raison JM, Piltz S, Mann JR, Mattiske DM, Thomas PQ, Adelson DL and Scott HS. (2011). Deep sequencing analysis of the developing mouse brain reveals a novel microRNA. BMC Genomics, 12(1): 176. (IF: 4.21)

3) Lai MI, Ramasamy R, Wendy WY, Nordin N, Rosli R, Veerakumarasivam A and Abdullah S. (2011) Advancements in Reprogramming Strategies for the Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells. Journal of Assisted Reproduction and Genetics. 2011 Mar 9. (IF: 1.253)

4) Ling KH, Hewitt CA, Beissbarth T, Hyde L, Cheah PS, Smyth GK, Tan SS, Hahn CN, Thomas T, Thomas PQ, Scott HS. (2011). Spatio-temporal regulation of multiple overlapping sense and novel natural antisense transcripts at the Nrgn and Camk2n1 gene loci during mouse cerebral corticogenesis. Cerebral Cortex, 21(3):683-697. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhq141. (IF: 6.979)

5) Tee LK, Ling CS, Chua MJ, Abdullah S, Rosli R, Chowdhury EH. (2011). Purification of transcriptionally active multimeric plasmid DNA using zwitterionic detergent and carbonate apatite nano-particles. Plasmid. 2011 Mar 16. (IF:1.82)

6) Ravoof TBSA, Crouse, KA, Tahir MIM, Rosli R, Watkin DJ and How FNF. (2011)Synthesis, characterization and biological activities of 2-Methylbenzyl 2-(dipyridin-2-yl methylene) hydrazinecarbodithioate. Journal of Chemical Crystallography, 41(4):491-495. (IF: 0.666)

7) Mahmoodian H, Marhaban MH, Abdul Rahim R, Rosli R and Saripan I. (2011). Using fuzzy association rule mining in cancer classification. Australasian Physical and Engineering Science in Medicine, doi: 10.1007/s13246-011-0054-8. (IF: 0.709)

8) Molouki, A., Hsu, Y.T., Jahanshiri, F., Rosli, R. & Yusoff, K. (2010) Newcastle disease virus infection promotes Bax redistribution to mitochondria and cell death in HeLa cells. Intervirology 53, 87-94. (IF: 1.756)

9) Ravoof TBSA, Crouse KA, Tahir MIM, How FNF, Rosli R and Watkin DJ. 2010. Synthesis, characterization and biological activities of 3-methylbenzyl 2-(6-methyl pyridine-2-ylmethylene) hydrazine carbodithioate and its transition metal complexes. Transition Metal Chemistry, 35(7):871-876. (IF: 1.166).

10) Abdullah S, Wendy WY Yeo, Hosseinkhani H, Hosseinkhani M, Masrawa E, Ramasamy R, Rosli R, Rahman SA and Domb A. Gene transfer into the lung by nanoparticle dextran-spermine/plasmid DNA complexes. Journal of Biomedicine and Biotechnology, 2010; 2010: 284840. (IF: 2.69)

11) Brown CY, Sadlon T, Gargett T, Melville E, Zhang R, Drabsch Y, Ling M, Strathdee CA, Gonda TJ, Barry SC. Robust, Reversible Gene Knockdown Using a Single Lentiviral Short Hairpin RNA Vector. Hum Gene Ther. 2010; 21(8):1-13. (IF: 4.829)

12) Hayami S, Yoshimatsu M, Veerakumarasivam A, Unoki M, Iwai Y, Tsunoda T, Field HI, Kelly JD, Neal DE, Yamaue H, Ponder BA, Nakamura Y, Hamamoto R. Overexpression of the JmjC histone demethylase KDM5B in human carcinogenesis: involvement in the proliferation of cancer cells through the E2F/RB pathway. Mol Cancer. 2010 Mar 13; 9(1): 59. (IF: 3.78)

13) Szarek E, Cheah PS, Schwartz J, Thomas P. 2010. Molecular genetics of the developing neuroendocrine hypothalamus. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology, 323: 115-123. (IF = 3.503)

14) Ling KH, Hewitt CA, Beissbarth T, Hyde L, Banerjee K, Cheah PS, Cannon PZ, Hahn CN, Thomas PQ, Smyth GK, Tan SS, Thomas T and Scott HS. Molecular networks involved in mouse cerebral corticogenesis and spatio-temporal regulation of Sox4 and Sox11 sense and antisense transcripts revealed by transcriptome profiling. Genome Biology, 2009, 10(10): R104. (IF: 6.89)

15) Gagliardi L, Hotu C, Casey G, Braund WJ, Ling KH, Dodd T, Manavis J, Devitt PG, Cutfield R, Rudzki Z, Scott HS and Torpy DJ. Familial vasopressin-sensitive ACTH-independent macronodular adrenal hyperplasia (VPs-AIMAH): Clinical studies of three kindreds. Clinical Endrocrinology, 2009; 70(6): 883-891. (IF: 3.323)

16) Hyde SC*, Pringle IA*, Abdullah S*, et. al. CpG-free plasmids confer reduced inflammation and sustained pulmonary gene expression. Nat Biotechnol, 2009; 26(5): 549-551. (IF: 31.1) Book Abdullah S, Gill DR, Hyde SC. "Transgene expression in the murine airways-Strategies to extend the duration of transgene expression using insulator elements, anti-inflammatory drug & zero-CpG plasmid DNA" Publisher: VDM Verlag Dr. Muller (Saarbrucken, Germany) ISBN 978-3-639-17757-2

 

ii. Title of Paper Presentations (International/local) – last 3 years

As Invited/Plenary Speaker

1) October 2010. Ling KH. The novel role of noncoding RNAs during brain development. 2010 Neuroscience Seminar organised by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.

2) May 2010 Ling KH. Sox4 sense and novel natural antisense transcripts form dsRNA to produce a novel small interfering RNA during brain development. RNA Interest Group Seminar Series, South Australia RNA Interest Group, Level 5 Lecture Room, Molecular and Life Sciences Building, University of Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia.

3) March 2011. Cheah PS. Introduction to Rodent Necropsy and Specimen Fixation. Rodent Necropsy and Specimen Fixation Workshop. Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Universiti Putra Malaysia.

4) October 2010. Cheah PS. Role of 14-3-3ζ in hippocampal neuronal migration, spatial learning, memory and behavioural functions. Neuroscience Seminar 2010. Faculty of Medicine & Health Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.

5) June 2010. Abdullah S. Gene Therapy 101: The Gene Odyssey. Tissue Engineering Society of Malaysia Mid-Year Seminar. Faculty of Medicine & Health Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.

6) October 2010. Abdullah S. Transgene Silencing in HSCs Following Lentiviral Gene Delivery. 3rd Malaysian Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine Scientific Meeting. Faculty of Medicine & Health Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Serdang, Selangor, Malaysia.

 

Oral Presentation

1) May 2011. Ling KH. The secret role of novel long noncoding RNAs at Sox4 gene locus during brain development. International Symposium and Workshop on Functional Genomics and Structural Biology 2011, Palm Garden Hotel, IOI Resort Selangor, Malaysia.

2) October 2010 Ling KH. Deciphering the secret role of long non-coding RNAs during brain development. 2010 Neuroscience Symposium, Sunway Resort Hotel & Spa, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

3) December 2009. Abdullah S. Optimization of lentiviral production carrying green fluorescent protein with different promoters for in vitro cell transfection”. 17th Electron Microscopy Society Malaysia (EMSM) Scientific Conference. Shah Alam, Selangor.

 

Posters

1) January 2010. KH Ling, CN Hahn, J Mann, D Adelson, PQ Thomas and HS Scott. M1181: A novel miRNA involved in development of the mouse embryo. Keystone Symposia Conference: RNA Silencing: Mechanism, Biology and Application at Colorado, United States of America.

2) November 2009. KH Ling, CA Hewitt, CN Hahn, PS Cheah, K Banerjee, T Thomas, PQ Thomas and HS Scott. Functional analysis of novel antisense transcripts at Sox4 gene locus during mouse cerebral corticogenesis. The Australian Society for Medical Research (ASMR) National Scientific Conference, Neurogenetics on the Apple Isle, Hotel Grand Chancellor, Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

3) September 2009. KH Ling, CN Hahn, J Raison, J Rayner, T Daish, J Mann, P Thomas, D Adelson and HS Scott. Discovery of a novel microRNA that may involve in early development of the mouse brain, neuronal differentiation and embryonic stem cell. Faculty of Health Sciences 2009 Postgraduate Research Expo, National Wine Centre, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

4) June 2009. KH Ling, CN Hahn, J Raison, J Rayner, T Daish, J Mann, P Thomas, D Adelson and HS Scott. Discovery of novel miRNAs in the developing mouse brain by in depth sequencing of small RNAs. The Australian Society for Medical Research, SA 2009 Scientific Meeting, Adelaide Convention Centre, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.

5) November 2009. Cheah PS & Paul Thomas. Role of SOX3 in the cerebellar development. 48th ASMR National Scientific Conference 2009: Neurogenetics on the Apple Isle, Tasmania, Australia.

6) May 2009. M. Zamanpoor, T. Karuppiah, R. Rosli, M. Yazid, Z. Husain. Quantitative analysis of foetal DNA in maternal circulation in gestational diabetes mellitus (GDM) pregnancies, European Journal of Human Genetics, Vol. 17:Supp. pp. 164. European Society of Human Genetics Conference in Austria.

7) June 2009. K. Thilakavathy. R. Rosli. Prenatal DNA Detection of Down Syndrome, European Journal of Human Genetics, Vol. 16:Supp. 2, pp. 175. European Society of Human Genetics Conference in Barcelona.

8) May 2009. SC Ngai, R Ramasamy, R Rosli, S Abdullah. Optimization of the production of third-generation self-inactivating lentivirus carrying green fluorescent protein for in vitro gene transfer. 3rd Regional Conference on Molecular Medicine, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia

9) May 2009. S Abdullah, Wendy WY Yeo, H Hosseinkhani, IY Farber, R Rosli, SA Rahman and AJDomb. Dextran-spermine nanoparticle as a potential gene transfer vector confers mild inflammatory responses in murine airway. 3rd Regional Conference on Molecular Medicine, Kota Bharu, Kelantan, Malaysia.

10) August 2009. Ngai Siew Ching, Rajesh Ramasamy, Rozita Rosli, Syahril Abdullah. Lentiviral with CMV promoter mediates longer duration of transgene expression in vitro than lentiviral with UbC promoter. 8th Malaysia Genetics Congress, Awana Genting, Pahang, Malaysia.

11) August 2009. Wendy Yeo Wai Yeng, Rajesh Ramasamy, Hossein Hosseinkhani, Abraham J.Domb, Sabariah Abdul Rahman, Rozita Rosli and Syahril Abdullah. Dextran-spermine polycation mediates efficient gene delivery In Vitro. 8th Malaysia Genetics Congress, Awana Genting, Pahang, Malaysia.

12) December 2009. Ngai Siew Ching, Rajesh Ramasamy, Rozita Rosli, Syahril Abdullah. Transgene silencing in hematopoietic stem cells is associated with DNA methylation and histone deacytelation. 7th Asean Microscopy Conference, Bali, Indonesia.

13) December 2009. Wendy Yeo Wai Yeng, Hossein Hosseinkhani, Abraham J.Domb, Sabariah Abdul Rahman, Rozita Rosli and Syahril Abdullah. Nanoparticle dextran-spermine based gene delivery system mediates efficient gene delivery into the mouse airways. International Conference on Nanotechnology, Langkawi, Malaysia.

14) October 2010. Syahril Abdullah, Wendy Yeo Wai Yeng, Rozita Rosli, Sabariah A. Rahman, Abraham J. Domb. Transfection Efficiency and Safety Profiles of Nanoparticle Dextran-Spermine/Plasmid DNA Complexes in the Mouse Lungs. 18th Annual Congress of European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, Milan, Italy.

15) October 2010. Ngai Siew Ching, Rajesh Ramasamy, Rozita Rosli and Syahril Abdullah. Prevention and reversion of transgene silencing in hematopoietic stem cells transduced with lentiviral vector. 18th Annual Congress of European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy, Milan, Italy.

16) December 2010. Ngai Siew Ching, Rajesh Ramasamy, Rozita Rosli and Syahril Abdullah. Comparison of transgene expression and gene transfer efficiency driven by UbC and CMV promoter in non-viral and viral gene delivery context in vitro. 19th Scientific conference on electron microscopy society of Malaysia. Langkawi, Malaysia.

17) December 2010. Low Poh Tee, Lai Mei I, Rozita Rosli and Syahril Abdullah. Comparison of transduction efficiency using green fluorescent protein (GFP) and CpG-free GFP in lentiviral gene delivery context in vitro. 19th Scientific conference on electron microscopy society of Malaysia. Langkawi, Malaysia.

 

iii. Human Capital Development

1) Graduated students: MSc (12); PhD (8)

2) Current: Post-doctorate (2), PhD (14), MSc (14); Incoming students (4).

 

AWARDS

Researcher

Awards

Prof. Dr Rozita Rosli

  1. Gold Medal PRPI (2011) - UPM

Dr. Shariza Nordin

  1. 2nd best poster (2007) – Genetic Congress Malaysia
  2. Silver & Bronze medals PRPI (2010) – UPM
  3. Best poster life science (2010) – MTERMS Conference
  4. Best monograph light microscopy (2010) – EMSM Conference

Dr. Michael KH Ling

  1. Meeting of Nobel Laureates Lindau (2011) – ASM
  2. FHS Postgraduate Travel (2009) – University of Adelaide
  3. Discipline of Medicine Travel (2009) – University of Adelaide
  4. Best poster presentation (2009) – South Australia Scientific Meeting
  5. MIFR Scholarship (2006-2009) – University of Melbourne
  6. Gold prize (2003) – MSBMB Conference

Dr. Cheah Pike See

  1. Silver Medal Research & Innovation Expo (2006) – UKM
  2. Academic excellence (2003) – UPM
  3. Bronze Medal R&D exhibition (2002) - UPM

Dr. Abhi Veerakumarasivam

  1. Meeting of Nobel Laureates Lindau (2010) – ASM
  2. Best Poster (2010) – Malaysian Oncological Conference
  3. Silver Medal PRPI (2010) – UPM
  4. Gold, Silver & Bronze Medal PRPI (2009) – UPM
  5. 2x Bronze Medal PRPI (2008) – UPM
  6. Best poster (2007) – Medical Genetics Conference

Dr. Syahril Abdullah

  1. Promising scientist (2010) – IBS,UPM
  2. Silver Medal PRPI (2010) – UPM
  3. Highest Impact Factor Publication (2009) – UPM
  4. Lez Fairban (2006) – British Society for Gene Therapy

Dr. Thilakavathy Karuppiah

  1. Post-doctoral scholarship (2009) – MOE
  2. Silver Medal PRPI (2008) – UPM
  3. Excellence Science Awards (2005) – UPM
  4. Gold Medal, Invention & Research exhibition (2002) - UPM

 

Research Grant Available (Current/Active)

Researcher

From

Amount

Prof. Dr Rozita Rosli

iPHARM

RM1.5 Mil

Dr. Norshariza Nordin

FRGS

RM136,800
RM100,000

Dr. Michael KH Ling

FRGS

RM 97,000

Dr. Cheah Pike See

RUGS
ERGS

RM160,000
RM119,000

Dr. Abhimanyu Veerakumarasivam

FRGS
MAKNA

RM87,000
RM30,000

Dr. Syahril Abdullah

RUGS
FRGS

RM169,000
RM 94,000

Total RM 2,492,800

 

RESEARCH COLLABORATOR (s)

International Medical University, Monash University Malaysia, Universiti Malaya, Malaysian Genome Institute University of Pittsburgh, Medical University of South Carolina, Harvard Medical School, Centre for Integrative Physiology & Neuroscience University of Edinburgh, MRC Clinical Science Centre of Imperial College, Universite de Montreal Canada, University of Adelaide, University of Melbourne, Peter Mac Cancer Centre Australia, University of California, University of Cambridge, John-Hopkins University, Harvard University, University College London, MedSaic Australia, University of Kyoto, Universiti Malaya, Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Gene Medicine Research University of Oxford, SIngHealth Singapore Experimental Medical Centre, University of Montpellier, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Nottingham University Malaysia & Imperial College London


UPM Research Cluster: Medical Biotechnology
Keywords: Genetics, Cancer, Neurobiology, Stem Cell, Gene Therapy

 

FACILITIES

i. An existing & equipped Medical Genetics Laboratory with

  • Administrative office, meeting room, lecture room.
  • Postgraduate student area (40 candidates)
  • General Laboratory Area
  • DNA Amplification Room (with thermocyclers and real-tima PCR machine)
  • Electrophoresis/Gel Imaging Room
  • DNA/RNA Manipulation Room
  • Bacteriology & Virology Room
  • Tissue Culture Laboratory
  • Microscopy Room
  • Chemical Preparation Room
  • Sterilisation and Cleaning Room
  • Common Pantry

Other than the standard laboratory equipments, we have acquired DotScan, a cell surface marker analysis machine, through our collaboration with BioTechCorp Malaysia and MEDSAIC Australia.

 

ii. A satellite Stem Cell Research Laboratory for common use, with

  • Administrative office and meeting room
  • General Tissue Culture Room
  • Stem Cell Manipulation Room
  • Human Stem Cell Culture Room
  • Animal Stem Cell Culture Room
  • Cell Sorter Room with FACS Aria III

 

CONTACT US

Faculty: Medicine & Health Sciences 
Email: syahril@medic.upm.edu.my 
Phone: 03-8947 2423

Updated:: 13/10/2017 [sazlina]

MEDIA SHARING

FACULTY OF MEDICINE AND HEALTH SCIENCES
Universiti Putra Malaysia
43400 UPM Serdang
Selangor Darul Ehsan
0389472606
0389472585
C1513094678