Plenary Speakers

The Monash Science Symposium 2018 Organizing Committee are proud to announce the following invited plenary speakers that will be attending Monash Science Symposium 2018. Check out their biography and expertise below.

Chemistry & Drug Discovery

Professor Dr. Philip J Marriott

Monash University, School of Chemistry 

Professor Marriott obtained his PhD in Chemistry from LaTrobe University, Melbourne, and did postdoctoral research at the University of Bristol, UK, in Organic Geochemistry. His first academic appointment was at the National University of Singapore, School of Chemistry for 5 years. He then returned to Australia (RMIT University). In 2010, he moved to his present position at Monash University, Melbourne. He received an Australian Research Council Discovery Outstanding Researcher Award in 2013. He has had extended Australian Academy of Science visits to China and Portugal, and received a World Class University Distinguished Professorship (Korean National Research Foundation). In 2015, he was awarded a CNPq Special Researcher Award (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, and Embrapa, Brazil). His primary research is in gas chromatography and mass spectrometry, specifically comprehensive 2D GC and multidimensional GC, with MS, covering fundamental method development and a broad applications base. He has published 386 research papers and book chapters. 


Environmental & Agricultural Sciences

Dr. Sze Huei Zoe Yek

Monash University Malaysia, School of Science

Dr. Sze Huei Yek is currently a senior lecturer at School of Science. Previously, she worked as a Premier Assistant at the University of Lausanne, Switzerland. She is an evolutionary ecologist that use mainly ants to understand the working of the biological world. She did her undergraduate in Malaysia (BSc in Biochemistry), then went to James Cook University, Australia for her Graduate Diploma (Tropical Zoology), the University of Texas at Austin, US for her MSc (Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour), the University of Copenhagen, Denmark for her PhD (Social Evolution). Prior to returning to Malaysia, she had worked in South Africa and Switzerland, on questions in biological control, invasive species, mating strategies, and symbiosis of hymenopteran insects. Earlier last year (2017) she founded a science outreach website where she provides translation and writing service to busy scientists that want to showcase their work to the general public.


Genomics & Bioinformatics

Associate Professor Qasim Ayub

Monash University Malaysia, School of Science

Dr. Qasim Ayub joined Monash University Malaysia as Associate Professor and Director of the Genomics Facility in September 2017. He trained as a clinician in Pakistan and subsequently obtained his doctorate from the University of North Texas, Denton, USA. He has worked in USA, Pakistan and at the world renowned Wellcome Sanger Institute located in Hinxton, United Kingdom. In Pakistan he assisted in setting up a state of the art molecular biology research facility in Islamabad, which was a focal point for the Human Genome Diversity Project. Several of the novel male specific markers that were identified during his studies of the Pakistani populations are now routinely used in forensic DNA identification. For this work he was awarded the President of Pakistan’s Medal of Excellence for contributions to science in 2006. At the Sanger Institute he was part of the 1000 Genomes Project Consortiums and the gorilla sequencing efforts and published several high profile papers. He continues to maintain his interest in South Asian population genetics and exploring the functional basis for high-altitude adaptation in the Himalayas. He is currently leading the genomics research platform at Monash University Malaysia and developing projects in evolutionary and disease genomics.


Applied Microbiology

Professor Dr Yvonne Ai-Lian Lim

University of Malaya

Professor Dr Yvonne Ai-Lian Lim is currently the Deputy Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya. She loves teaching and enjoys research. She has been teaching Parasitology to the medical, pharmacy, biomedical, nursing and medical laboratory technology students for the past 15 years. Recently, she and her co-authors wrote a textbook on “Medical Parasitology: A textbook” which was published by Springer (2018). Her research focuses on neglected tropical diseases primarily among marginalised populations (e.g., Orang Asli communities, migrant workers) using tools such as GIS and next generation sequencing to map and understand these diseases among these populations. More recently, she began exploring the molecular mechanisms that underpin the interactions between parasitic infections, in particular gut worm infections, nutritional status, gut microbiota (bacteria) and the inflammatory responses. Her research has been funded by internal university grants and external grants from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), Ministry of Higher Education (MOHE) and Ministry of Health (MOH). This year, together with her collaborator at the New York University, they succeeded in securing a highly competitive US National Institutes of Health (NIH) grant for a period of 5 years to understand the interactions of gut worms and gut microbiota.


Cell & Molecular Biology

Professor Mary Beth Bacano-Maningas

University of Santo Tomas 

Dr. Mary Beth Bacano-Maningas, was one of the pioneer in perfecting the technique for RNA interference (RNAi) in shrimp as part of her Ph.D. dissertation from Tokyo University of Marine Science and Technology (TUMSAT). This technique is now being adapted by other students and researchers in several laboratories in the country and around the world. The aquaculture industry is highly vulnerable to infection by pathogens, which if left unchecked can lead to rapid staggering slump in production.  Her team developed a low cost diagnostic kit that is quick, affordable and easy to use so that big and small scale aquaculture farmers can detect infecting pathogens at an early stage, enabling them to take necessary measures against the proliferation of pathogens before they can start potential damage.  Dr. Mary Beth Bacano-Maningas is one of the most prolific scientists in the Philippines working on the detection of disease-causing microorganism in aqua-cultured shrimps through cutting edge and innovative molecular technologies.  Her work deals with an issue of pressing national concern, owing to the impact of the aquaculture industry which contribute up to P10 Billion annually to the Philippine economy. Her scientific innovation is crucial for the Philippines to catch up with its ASEAN neighbors.  She is fulfilling her dream as scientist to bring technology from “BENCH to FARM”. 


Food Science & Technology

Professor Tan Chin Ping

Universiti Putra Malaysia

Prof. Tan received his degrees Bachelor of Food Science and Technology in 1998 and PhD in Food Processing in 2001, from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). He began his career at the Department of Food Technology, Faculty of Food Science and Technology, Universiti Putra Malaysia in 2001. He then served as a JSPS Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Food Research Institute in Japan from 2002 to 2004. Currently, he is leading one of the major research programs at UPM, Fats and Oils Technology. To date, he has published one joint-edited book, ten book chapters and over 290 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, has filed more than 15 patents and has presented more than 270 papers at various national and international conferences. His areas of research specialisation are palm oil, food nanotechnology, food emulsions and the extraction of bioactive compounds from various agricultural by-products. His research in the area of edible oil focuses on new product development, the development of value-added processes and products and quality and safety issues related to fats and oils.