Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Project Tittle
PhotoCORMs: Light-activated release of carbon monoxide from manganese carbonyl complexes for antimicrobial applications
Description of the project:
Carbon monoxide (CO) is commonly known as a toxic gas to humans. However, controlled releases of CO show a positive therapeutic effect in controlling cardiovascular deterioration, in promoting wound healing, bactericidal, anti-hypertensive and anti-inflammatory properties. Carbon monoxide releasing molecules (CORMs) which release CO in response to a trigger is an ingenious design to deliver CO to the targeted sites. Most CORMs are metal carbonyls that respond to a range of stimuli. PhotoCORMs which use light to stimulate release upon irradiation with ultraviolet light, visible and near infra-red have recently been utilized as sustainable CO donors. PhotoCORMs allow an exceptional control to deliver CO and site-specificity compared to application of gaseous CO. Herein we are interested in synthesizing new manganese carbonyl complexes with a highly conjugated co-ligand and evaluating its antimicrobial potency.
1. R. Dale Rimmer, Agustin E. Pierri, Peter C. Ford, Photochemically activated carbon monoxide release for biological targets.Toward developing air-stable photoCORMs labilized by visible light, Coordination Chemistry Reviews, 2012, 256, 1509– 1519
2. Jorge Jimenez, Indranil Chakraborty, Annmarie Dominguez, Jorge Martinez-Gonzalez, W. M. Chamil Sameera, and Pradip K. Mascharak, A Luminescent Manganese PhotoCORM for CO Delivery to Cellular Targets under the Control of Visible Light, Inorg. Chem., 2018, 57, 1766−1773.

Applications are invited from students with an appropriate background in Medicinal or Organic Chemistry/ Pharmaceutical Science/ Chemistry or related disciplines. Applicants should have interest in synthetic and medicinal chemistry. The candidates must be highly motivated individuals with the ability to conduct high-quality independent research, possess strong organizational skills, good command of written and verbal communication skills (English), and is able to work well with others. Candidates should have received at least H1 or H2A in their first degree (4 years; equivalent to one year of Australian Honours) and/or MSc degree with significant research component. The position is available only to Malaysian graduate.
Admission Criteria
English Language Proficiency
Level Of Support:
A full studentship is available on a competitive basis. Full tuition fee waiver will be provided for successful applicant.
Closing Date:
Application is on a first come first serve basis. Once a suitable candidate is found, the application will be closed.
To Apply:
Only eligible candidate should write in application and resume directly to:
(Dr Cheow Yuen Lin)
Senior Lecturer,
School of Science,
Monash University Malaysia.
Tel no.: +603-5514 4401
Fax no.: +603-55146364


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Dr. Cheow Yuen Lin is currently a senior lecturer with the School of Science, Monash University Malaysia (MUM). He obtained his BSc (Hons) in Chemistry and MSc in Natural Product Chemistry from University Putra Malaysia. After graduating, he taught Cambridge A-level Chemistry at Taylor’s College for three years.

He then undertook his PhD in Organometallic Chemistry at Nanyang Technological University Singapore. He is a trained synthetic chemist with skills in molecular synthesis, characterization, Schlenk-line techniques manipulating moisture and air sensitive compounds. Following his doctorate, Dr Cheow spent a year lecturing at Singapore Polytechnic.

He is the author and co-author of 30 refereed articles. He is currently supervising and co-supervising eight PhD students. His students are working mainly on

1. Synthesis of metal carbene complexes and evaluation of their biological properties.
2. Isolation and characterisation of bioactive compounds from Malaysian tropical plants and bacteria obtained from tropical peat swamp forest soil.

Research interests

  • Synthesis of metal carbene complexes and evaluation of its biological properties.
  • Chemical isolation, structure elucidation and biological properties of natural products from Malaysian tropical plants

The research activities in my group revolve around drug discovery, design and development. My research is largely focused on natural product chemistry and bioorganometallic chemistry specifically discovering compounds as potential anticancer and antimicrobial agents. Our lab is isolating and characterising bioactive compounds from Malaysian tropical plants and bacteria obtained from tropical peat swamp forest soil. The ecosystem biodiversity in Malaysia is among the world richest and its potential as a vast pharmaceutical store bank has been cited by many scientists.  As a natural product chemist, I collaborate with my colleagues and discover a myriad of interesting chemistry and biology from our ecosystem. I also undertake scholarly activity to make organometallic complexes and evaluate their biological properties.

Monash teaching commitment

CHM1051 (Advanced Chemistry 1)

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy

Education/Academic qualification

Organometallic Chemistry, Doctor of Philosophy , Asymmetric Ligands Transformation Reactions Promoted by Cyclometallated Complexes, Nanyang Technological University (NTU)

Award Date: 28 Feb 2012

Natural Product Chemistry , Master of Science, Chemical constituents and biological activities from Garcinia maingayi and Garcinia parvifolia, Universiti Putra Malaysia (University Putra Malaysia)

Award Date: 29 Jul 2005

Chemistry, Bachelor of Science (Honours), Bioactive compounds from Polyalthia cauliflora and Goniothalamus ridleyi, Universiti Putra Malaysia (University Putra Malaysia)

Award Date: 31 May 2002

Research area keywords

  • N-heterocyclic carbene
  • Metal complexes
  • Cytotoxicity
  • Antimicrobial agent

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or