Professor Dr. Chua Kek Heng is an accomplished senior professor and Head of the Department of Biomedical Science at the University of Malaya. His research expertise spans a broad range of topics including disease polymorphism, mutation investigation, bacterial virulence factor characterization, and diagnostic kit development.
Professor Chua's commitment and hard work have led to over 200 original publications, making significant contributions to science and technology. His research has not only led to novel scientific innovations but has also improved our understanding of human disease and its associations with genetic factors and microorganisms. As a mentor and educator, Professor Chua is dedicated to training and preparing his younger staff, colleagues, and students to excel in biological research, building the next generation of scientific leaders.
One of Professor Chua's significant achievements is his contribution to the study of genotyping of diseases, which has resulted in the successful mapping of important disease-predisposing markers for systemic lupus erythematosus, Crohn’s disease, and retinopathy in the Malaysian population. These findings have helped predict disease development and allow for early preventive measures. His research has also led to the development of innovative approaches, tests, and kits that allow for more cost-effective, rapid, sensitive, and specific detection and confirmation of human diseases and microbial infections.
Professor Chua's efforts have been recognized at the national and international levels, with over 1500 intellectual properties, including national and international patents, trademarks, and copyrights. One of his most successful inventions is the PlasmoNex diagnostic kit for malaria, which was developed in 2011. This kit is the world's first PCR-based malaria detection system that can detect all five different species of Plasmodium (malaria parasites) in a single test.
In addition to his research accomplishments, Professor Chua is also an active member of several national committees and panels, evaluating numerous grants and projects, and organizing national and international workshops to train young Malaysian researchers in molecular "bench" skills. He has delivered over a hundred presentations at various seminars, expositions, and conferences and has acted as a reviewer for many ISI (WOS) publications and international grants in his field.
Professor Chua has represented the University of Malaya in numerous national and international exhibitions and competitions, receiving over 100 prestigious national and international awards, including the MTSF Science and Technology Award 2022, Biotechnology Asia Award 2005, Best Invention in Biotechnology Award 2006, USA INPEX Grand Prix Award 2008, National Intellectual Property Award 2013, World Halal Excellent Innovation Award 2013, and Top Research Scientist Malaysia 2017. He has also received recognition for his contributions to academic service and teaching, including the Excellent Lecturer Award in 2014 and Best Lecturer for Biomedical Science Teaching 2017.
Overall, Professor Chua's tireless dedication to scientific research, mentorship, and innovation has resulted in significant advancements in disease detection and prevention, making him an outstanding scientist and an inspiration to the scientific community.