Personal profile


Cheah Hong Leong has ten years of experience in microbiology, molecular biology, and bioinformatics, as well as seven years of experience as a translator of research writings. He also has a short history of working as a quality control microbiologist in the pharmaceutical industry. He earned his bachelor's degree from Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman in 2011 and continued his postgraduate studies in molecular biology and bacteriology at Universiti Sains Malaysia, where he received his master's degree in 2014 and his Ph.D. degree in 2022.

His doctoral research focused on RNA-seq analysis to establish the transcription start site landscape and small RNA profile of Mycobacterium tuberculosis. He also conducted a similar study on Leptospira biflexa as a side project. His studies have revealed the complexities of regulatory networks and sRNAome that contribute to the survival of these bacteria in hostile environments.

In January 2023, he joined Monash University Malaysia as a research fellow under the Malaysian BioGenome Project and has since shifted his research focus to conservation genomics. He is currently working on the establishment of reference genomes and population genomics of native marine animals in Malaysia, specifically sea cucumbers, under the guidance of Prof. Qasim Ayub. Additionally, Cheah's other research interests include eDNA-based monitoring of marine biodiversity and the study of mangrove ecosystems. He is also interested in population genomics of other marine species, such as elasmobranchs, mantis shrimps, and mud crabs.

Research interests

Research Interests (Past):

  • Antimicrobial and antifungal drugs screening
  • Designing molecular diagnostics kits for the detection of bacterial pathogens
  • Establishing transcriptomes of Mycobacterium tuberculosis

Research Interests (Present and prospective):

  • Conservation genomics of marine species in Malaysia
  • Population genomics of sea cucumbers, elasmobranchs, mantis shrimps, mud crabs, etc.
  • Gut microbiota of sea cucumbers and their ecological roles
  • Aquaculture genomics
  • Environmental DNA and RNA

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 14 - Life Below Water

Education/Academic qualification

Bacteriology, Doctor of Philosophy, Transcription Start Site Mapping and Small Regulatory RNA Profiling of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Universiti Sains Malaysia (University of Science Malaysia)

23 Feb 201719 Oct 2022

Award Date: 19 Oct 2022

Molecular Biology, Master of Science, Screening and Characterisation of Inhibitors for Glyoxylate Cycle ICL Enzyme Activity in Candida albicans, Universiti Sains Malaysia (University of Science Malaysia)

28 Mar 201217 Jul 2014

Award Date: 6 Nov 2014

Biotechnology, Bachelor of Science, Universiti Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) (Tunku Abdul Rahman University)

1 May 200826 May 2011

Award Date: 9 Sept 2011

Research area keywords

  • Genomics & Transcriptomics
  • Conservation genetics
  • Metagenomics
  • Next-gen sequencing
  • Whole genome sequencing
  • Bioinformatics
  • Microbiology
  • Bacteriology
  • eDNA
  • eRNA
  • Aquaculture genomics

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