August 28, 2017 Chee Onn, Leong

Designation/Title : Associate Professor
Department: School of Pha
Tel: 03-2731 7528
Mobile : 012 208 5170
Fax : 03-8656 7229 
E-mail :

Education and Training

Associate Professor International Medical University (IMU) Present
Senior Lecturer International Medical University (IMU) 2001
Research Fellow Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA 2008
PhD University of Nottingham, UK 2003
BSc  University Putra Malaysia 2000


Research interests:

  • Cancer Biology
  • Drug Discovery and Development
  • Molecular Cancer Therapeutics
  • Signal Transduction, Epigenetics

Research projects/grants:

  • Systemic delivery of siRNA-based therapeutics using functionalized single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWNTs)
    MOSTI Nanotechnology Fund, Malaysia (Principal Investigator)
  • The Role of BCL2 Family Proteins in Mutant p53 “Gain of Function”
    MoHE FRGS,Malaysia (Principal Investigator)
  • Molecular target and mechanism of action of F8268, a novel and potent antitumor compound isolated from an endophytic Aspergillus.
    MoHE FRGS, Malaysia (Co-investigator)
  • Rapid identification of new molecular targets for treatment of refractory breast cancers
    MOSTI eScience Fund, Malaysia (Principal Investigator)
  • Targeting mutant p53 for treatment of basal-like breast cancers
    MAKNA Cancer Research Award, Malaysia (Principal Investigator)
  • Novel regulatory mechanisms for p53-independent apoptosis in tumor cells
    ECOR Fund for Medical Discovery, USA (Principal Investigator)

Supervision of Postgraduates (MSc/PhD)
(Last 5 years – 2012-2017)

  • Mr Tan Boon Shing – PhD. (2012 - Present) - Chief Supervisor
    Role of mutant p53 in cellular anoikis.
  • Ms Tiong Kai Hung – PhD. (2010 - Present) - Chief Supervisor
    Identification of new molecular targets for treatment of basal-like breast cancers.
  • Mr Choo Heng Lungh – PhD. (2010 - Present) - Chief Supervisor
    Targeting the human kinome in nasopharyngeal carcinomas.
  • Ms Ong Li Chu – MSc. (2011 - Present) - Chief Supervisor
    Nanotoxicity of Pristine and Functionalized Single-Wall Carbon Nanotubes (SWNTs)
  • Mr Tan Boon Shing – MSc. (2010 - 2012) - Chief Supervisor
    Mechanism of mutant p53 gain-of-function effects in human breast cancers
  • Ms Nor Nadia Ban – MSc. (UiTM, 2010 - present) – Co-Supervisor
    Molecular target and mechanism of action of F8268, a novel and potent antitumor compound isolated from an endophytic Aspergillus.


Professional affiliations:

  • British Association for Cancer Research (Member)
  • European Association for Cancer Research (Member)
  • American Association for Cancer Research (Associate Member)
  • Malaysian Society for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (Member)
  • Malaysian Society of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma (Member)

Academic Awards:

  • 10th International Conference of the Asian Clinical Oncology Society (ACOS) Travel Award, Korea
  • MAKNA Cancer Research Award (Malaysia)
  • Best presentation award (3rd Regional Conference on Molecular Medicine 2009, Malaysia)
  • ECOR Fund for Medical Discovery Fellowship Award (USA)
  • Best poster and oral presentation award (4th Annual Symposium of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center Program in Breast Cancer, Boston, USA).
  • Best poster presentation award (Annual Scientific Advisory Board Meeting for Cancer Research, USA)
  • Overseas Research Student Awards Scheme (ORS) - University of Nottingham, UK
  • International Biomedical Society Young Scientist Award - Institute of Biomedical Sciences, UK
  • Best Student of the Year - Roche Inc.
  • Best Academic Achievement (Pharmacology) – Pfizer
  • Best Academic Achievement (Human Physiology)
  • Best Academic Achievement (Human Nutrition)

Recent publications 
(Last 5 years – 2012-2017)


  • Low SY, Tan BS, Choo HL, Tiong KH, Khoo AS, Leong CO: Suppression of BCL-2 synergizes cisplatin sensitivity in nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells. Cancer Lett 2012, 314(2):166-175. (IF = 4.864)