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APEC-Australia Women in Research
Fellowship 2022
Dr. Puah Suat-Moi

Economy: Malaysia

Host Institution: University of Technology Sydney

Project Title: Comparative genomics of floating- and non-floating-biofilm producing Elizabethkingia strains

Project Outline:

In this study, we aim (i) to compare the genomes of floating biofilm and non-floating biofilm E. anophelis strains (ii) to investigate transcriptional regulation during planktonic and floating biofilm stages. All 24 E. anophelis strains will be subjected to whole-genome sequencing (WGS) using a nanopore platform and analyzed to find accessory genes and core genome SNPs associated with enhanced floating biofilm production. After that, we compare the transcriptional

profiles of selected floating biofilm strains to planktonic counterparts using RNA sequencing in order to identify the unique response (gene expression difference) behind each stage. The findings from this study will enable a better understanding of the molecular basis and the highly orchestrated regulation driving floating biofilm development that may inform future strategies to remove or block floating biofilm.

Reasons for applying for fellowship:

This APEC-Australia Women in Research Fellowship will provide me with the opportunity to work alongside eminent Australian scientists and acquire exposure to innovative up-to-date research platforms as well as develop international collaboration and professional networks.

Past Achievements:

Dr. Puah completed her PhD training at the University of Malaya. In October 2015, she joined the Department of Biomedical Science, Faculty of Medicine, University Malaya as a senior lecturer. Her passionate and tireless commitment to teaching has made her receive the best lecturer award (2017), and UM excellent service recognition in 2018 and 2020. She has successfully secured research grants, completed the projects and published 30 articles in reputable ISI journals. She is currently the principal investigator in one international and two national grants. Her dedication to her research has resulted in numerous recognitions and awards such as Biotechnology Asia Awards (2014), Institut Mérieux - MSIDC Young Investigator Award (2020) and Asian Pacific Digestive Week -JGHF Educational Grant (2021) and MSGH Research Award (2021). Throughout the years, she has also grown into her new role as supervisor and improved her abilities and skills in transmitting knowledge to her postgraduate students. Currently, she is supervising 3 PhD students while two Master's students were graduated.

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