Professor Dr Lau Yee Ling is at present the Head of the Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine at University of Malaya (UM). She started her academic career as a lecturer at Monash University Sunway Campus while waiting for her PhD viva in 2008. During her time as a lecturer in Monash University, she was awarded two Monash University Research Grants in which enabled her to continue her research in the field of molecular parasitology. She then returned to her alma mater, University of Malaya, as a Senior Lecturer in 2009. She was granted tenure in 2010 and promoted to Associate Professor in 2013, and Professor in 2019.
Professor Lau’s scientific career has been dedicated to the study of protozoan parasites, including Plasmodium knowlesi and Toxoplasma gondii, the causative agents of malaria and toxoplasmosis, respectively. These parasitic diseases exact enormous social and economic burdens. Her research interest mainly focuses on using molecular methods for the detection and characterization of these parasites infecting humans and animals. She has collaborated with local and international researchers, leading to publication of more than 170 ISI journals, with total citations index of 1750 and H-index of 22. This research excellence has enabled her to acquire and be a part of many international and local research grants, i.e., Hubert Curien Partnership-Hibiscus (PHC-Hibiscus), ASEAN-India Collaborative R&D scheme, GCRF Global Impact Acceleration Account (GIAA) Impact Fund, High Impact Research Grant, University of Malaya Research Grant, FRGS, E-science, LRGS and others, with cumulative research funding amounting to at least RM5 million. These were followed by several intellectual property rights under her belt on rapid molecular diagnosis of dengue, malaria and COVID-19. Since 2009, 13 Masters and 17 PhDs have completed their studies with success under her guidance. Currently, they are 4 Masters and 8 PhDs under her supervision.
With her experience in grant management, she had held numerous administrative posts such as the Head of Grant Management Unit, of Health and Translational Medicine Cluster and Faculty of Medicine, besides being a committee member in evaluating applications for FRGS, LRGR and TRGS at the national and international levels. She established the Science Café in 2017, which continues to be the main channel of research communication between clinicians and scientists at the Faculty of Medicine. She was also a committee member of the University of Malaya Institutional Biosafety and Biosecurity Committee (IBBC), Animal Experimental Unit, Faculty of Medicine Risk and Quality Management and an internal auditor of Faculty of Medicine.
Currently, she is the editor-in-chief for the Journal of Health and Translational Medicine (JUMMEC) for University of Malaya, editor of Asia Pacific Journal of Molecular Biology & Biotechnology and associate editor of BMC Infectious Diseases. Through her contribution to the field of science, she is a regular reviewer for a few international journals such as Nature Scientific report, Lancet, PLOS One, Parasites & Vectors, Malaria Journal, International Journal of Tropical Disease & Health and others. With her extensive experience and reputation in the field of molecular parasitology, Professor Lau has been much sought after as speaker and consultant both locally and internationally.
Professor Lau has been an active member of the Malaysian Society of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine (MSPTM). She was a council member of the MSPTM in year 2018-2019. She is also active in the Malaysian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSBMB). She was the Honorary Secretary of the MSBMB in 2017-2019 and the current President.
Professor Lau’s passion for research can only be matched with her passion for teaching and education.When conducting classes, besides ensuring her lectures are easy to follow, she makes all attempts to infuse interest and solicit students’ participation by incorporating more recent articles and real life scenarios in order to illustrate the day-to-day relevance of the teaching subject matter. And because of her enthusiasm for education, she has volunteered to be the Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Phase II coordinator in 2011 then became the PBL main coordinator in 2018. Recently, she has been actively participating in organizing PBL training workshops for UMMP program.
Professor Lau has been awarded University of Malaya Excellent Service Award three times in 2011, 2013 and 2015. She was awarded MSPTM Nadchadtram Medal in 2014. She has also been awarded a few times for her innovation in research including the Grand Prize in National Exclusive Innovation Challenge Award 2018.