Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

For more information and application, please visit the link in the supervision interest.

Non-coding RNAs in human gliomas (2D and 3D models) drug resistance and cell motility.
Mechanisms or standard drugs chemosensitization in cancer cells.
Natural products and adjuvant potential in cancer and gliomas.


Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Muhamad Noor Alfarizal Kamarudin is a lecturer at Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia. His research particular interest is to identify and develop a diagnostic and therapeutic approach to human gliomas.

He completed his Bachelor's Degree (Biochemistry, Hons) from the University of Malaya (UM). He pursued his Master's studies, which he successfully converted into a doctorate program (UM, 2012). Upon completing his Ph.D. (2016), he obtained a postdoctoral researcher position under a three-way collaboration between UM, Taibah University of Medina, and Lincoln College University on Glioblastoma before joining BRIMS, JCSMHS in October 2017.

He specializes in cancer biology, molecular biology, neuroimmunology, neuroprotection, and natural products. His Ph.D. thesis focuses on modulating molecular signaling in neuroinflammation with particular attention to cytokines and chemokines. He identified a potentially novel role of CCL21/exodus in neuronal differentiation key regulator of microglia activation. Through this, he developed an immense interest and in-depth knowledge of the modulation of neuroinflammation, particularly innate immunity in neurons and glia in neuroprotection, neuritogenesis, and anti-inflammatory.

Dr. Alfa is also the Guest Associate Editor for Frontiers in Pharmacology (Section - Ethnopharmacology) and Topic Editor for 'Natural Products for Neuroprotection and Neuroregeneration'.


He also has won several awards during his such as the Best Thesis Award University Malaya & Amersham Biosciences Prize by the Malaysia Society of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSBMB), 1st Prize Oral Presenter at InPRAS Conference UM 2014, 1st Prize Poster Presenter at World Congress on Healthy Ageing, Best Poster Presentation, 39th Annual Malaysian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Conference, and Silver Medal Winner for Poster Presentation (Biochemistry & Physiology), at Biological Sciences Graduate Congress, the National University of Singapore, 2014 (International).


Professional Membership

  1. Malaysia Society of Neuroscience
  2. Malaysian Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology (MSBMB)
  3. Malaysian Society for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (MSMBB)
  4. European Association for Cancer Research

Research interests

Dr. Alfa primary research focus is mainly on:

  1. The mechanism of mesenchymal transition in the glioma cell motility
  2. Mechanisms of synergizing chemotherapeutic drug 
  3. Early diagnosis of glioma

Based on this, he aspire to ultimately develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic targets in human gliomas management to improve the prognosis and early diagnosis among patients with different tumor status backgrounds. His cardinal focus is on targeting multimodal mechanistic pathways using molecules such as natural products, neuropeptides, noncoding RNAs. Additionally, his research team focuses on the alternative neuroendocrine system since gender disparity is seen in human gliomas. He envisions human gliomas management's bright future through neo-adjuvants' potentiality in improving current established therapy that enhances patients' prognoses while being cost-effective with marginal side effects would lead to more affordable treatment gliomas.

He has been involved in obtaining various research grants such as the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) 2019 and 2023, Yayasan Penyelidikan Otak, Minda dan Neurosains (YPOMNM), BRIMS-JCSMHS collaboration grants (2020), High Impact Research (HIR) UM, Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (MoHE – Best FRGS Project Award 2014),  and University Malaya Research Grant (UMRG). He is also an active reviewer for several journals such as the Journal of Experimental & Clinical Cancer Research, Scientific Reports, Scientific Reports, Biomedicine & Pharmacotherapy, Frontiers in Pharmacology, Oncotarget and Therapy, Molecular and Cellular Biochemistry, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Cancer Management and Research and Journal of Functional Food.

Areas of Interests:

  • Neuro-oncology & Cancer biology
  • Molecular Biology & Diseases Mechanism
  • Nutraceuticals
  • Molecular signal transduction – Protein Signaling
  • Neuroimmunology

Current research projects:

1. Glioma Cell Motility:

  • Elucidating the mechanisms of Mesenchymal-like transition-mediated Glioblastoma cell migration and invasion by neuropeptide and Novel Long Noncoding RNAs. 

  • Role of estrogen in regulating GPCRs (GPR54 and Galanin) in human GBM cell motility.

  • The oncogenic role of LINC00221 on influencing cell motility, apoptosis, and proliferation in human Glioblastoma.

  • Kisspeptin Induces Mesenchymal-like (MES)Transition and Cell Invasion in Glioblastoma Through RHO Family GTPases


2. Glioblastoma drug resistance:

  • The synergistic mechanisms of ferroptosis and autophagy by natural products in Mediating Temozolomide-cell death. 

- Lentinan as chemosensitizer agent of temozolomide in human glioblastoma.

- Chrysin chemosensitizes temozolomide in human glioblastoma.

- Lentinan and chrysin combination as apoptosis and ferroptosis inducer in human glioblastoma.

-  Chemosensitisation effects and mechanisms of action of curcumin against temozolomide in High Grade Gliomas.

-  Synergistic effect and mechanism of action of Curcumin and Chrysin in Glioblastoma

  • Synergistic Mechanisms of Neuropeptide in Mediating Temozolomide-Induced Autophagic Cell Death in Human Glioblastoma

- Kisspeptin/GPR54 as an adjuvant therapeutic target in human glioblastoma.

  • Leveraging Spheroid-Based Pre-Clinical Models of Human Glioblastoma to elucidate the synergistic mechanisms of natural products towards Temozolomide.

-  Developing a 3D spheroid-based preclinical model of human glioblastoma to evaluate the anti-cancer effects of Temozolomide.  

- Discovery of biomarkers of following supplementation of Tocotrienols in two human glioblastoma cells using quantitative proteomics profiling strategies.

  • Identification of mechanisms of clinically relevant long noncoding RNAs against Temozolomide-induced chemoresistance in glioblastoma 

- Long noncoding RNAs in human glioblastoma migration, invasion and Temozolomide resistance.

- Identification of clinically relevant long noncoding RNAs and the mechanisms of action against sequential treatment of Temozolomide-induced resistance in human glioblastoma.  

  • Identification of clinically relevant protein-based biomarkers for high-grade adult-type diffuse gliomas


3. Diagnostic targets in human Glioblastoma

  • Exploring differentially expressed proteins as potential early diagnostic markers in bidirectional interaction models of Glioblastoma and Cholinergic Cells

- Bidirectional of Human GBM and cholinergic neurons communication - identification of secreted factors as diagnostic and therapeutic approach in human gliomas.

- The Evidence of Cognitive and Behavioral Analysis as Clinical Opportunities for Brain Tumor Diagnosis.

- Unveiling Diagnostic Opportunities: Analyzing Cognitive and Behavioral Changes in High-grade adult-type diffuse gliomas Patients Based on Malaysian Experience

  • Investigation of FBXL16 Expression Profile and its Oncogenic Roles in Human Glioblastoma Using A Proteomic Approach


4. Internal Research Grant

  • JCSMHS Strategic Grant 2023: Combinatorial analysis of selected bioactive compounds against human triple negative breast cancer 
  • JCSMHS Seed Grant 2023:

- Proteomics-based analysis of co-cultured glioblastoma-differentiated cholinergic cells with clinical samples correlation: Identification of signature proteins for future biomarkers

- Elucidating the mechanism of DNA damage response-mediated inhibition of cytoprotective autophagy by kisspeptin and Temozolomide combination in KISSIR-Glioblastoma cell line

  • High Impact Research Support Fund:

- Regulation of Glioblastoma invasion through long non-coding RNA 

- Elucidating the Mechanisms of Kisspeptin in Regulating Glioblastoma Cell Motility

- The role of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in promoting Temozolomide resistance in glioblastoma

- Co-culture of Glioblastoma and Cholinergic SH-SY5Y Cells Induced Proteomics Changes that Promote Neurotoxicity

  • JCSMHS Early Career Researcher (ECR) Grants 2022 - Investigation of proteomic changes as a strategy to characterize kisspeptin-mediated glioblastoma cell motility mechanisms /RM10, 0000 (Principal Investigator). Status: Ongoing
  • JCSMHS Strategic Grant 2022 - Synergism and Anticancer Mechanism of Diarylpentanoid MS17 and Chrysin Combination in Human Chemoresistant Glioblastoma Cells./RM54, 000 (Co-investigator). Status: Ongoing
  • JCSMHS Seed Grants 2021 - Investigation of chrysin and lentinan as a potential nutraceutical-based regulator of ferroptosis in correlation with their proteomic changes in p53 wildtype and mutant glioblastoma/RM20, 0000 (Co-investigator). Status: Ongoing
  • JCSMHS Strategic Grant 2021 - Modulation of host immune system by supplementation of palm vitamin E and carotenoids:  elucidating the mechanisms of action using a mouse model of COVID-19 vaccination/RM60, 000 (Co-investigator). Status: Ongoing
  • JCSMHS Strategic Grant 2021 - Development of a whole genome yeast two hybrid screening based drug discovery platform for potential novel host protein based therapeutics as an antiviral strategy using Enterovirus D68 as a model/RM100, 000 (Co-investigator). Status: Ongoing
  • BRIMS/JCSMHS Collaboration Grant (2021) – Developing a 3D spheroid-based preclinical model of human glioblastoma to evaluate the anti-cancer effects of Temozolomide/RM20, 000 (Co-investigator).
  • BRIMS/JCSMHS Collaboration Grant (2020) – Chemosensitisation effects and mechanisms of action of curcumin against temozolomide in High Grade Gliomas/RM20, 000 (Co-investigator).
  • BRIMS/JCSMHS Collaboration Grant (2020) – Discovery of biomarkers of following supplementation of Tocotrienols in two human glioblastoma cells using quantitative proteomics profiling strategies /RM20, 000 (Co-investigator).

5. External Seed Grant

Yayasan Penyelidikan Otak, Minda dan Neurosains Malaysia (YPOMN) 2021 - Identification of spexin receptors & their functionality in human glioblastoma with different Temozolomide sensitivity/RM5, 0000 (Co-Investigator). Status: Ongoing

Monash teaching commitment

MED 1100/1200 - PBL Year 1 

MED 1100/1200 - Health, Knowledge & Society

MED 1100/1200 - Biochemistry

MED 1100/1200 - Physiology

MED 2100 & MED 2200 - Student project cases 

MED5101 - Applied Studies in Medical Research and Professional Practice/Scholarly Intensive Placement (SIP)

NUT1023 - Nutritional Biochemistry & Nutrigenomics 

Supervision interests

My supervision interests in the field of:

  • Neuro-oncology (Gliomas, Glioblastoma)
  • Cancer biology (Gliomas, CRC, Breast Cancer)
  • Molecular Biology & Diseases Mechanism
  • Nutraceuticals (Natural Products)
  • Molecular signal transduction – Protein Signaling
  • Neuroimmunology, Neuroprotection, Neuroinflammation


For more information and application, please visit:

1) long noncoding RNA regulation of temozolomide resistance p53-mutant glioblastoma

2) ms17 and chrysin combination in human chemoresistant Glioblastoma

3) synergistic proteogenomic anticancer mechanisms of lentinan towards Temozolomide

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

Education/Academic qualification

Biochemistry: Molecular Biology & Neuroimmunology, Ph.D, (R)-(+)-α-lipoic acid and mesuagenin c-induced regulation of NF-κB, cytokines and chemokines via PI3K-AKT/GSK-3β and ERK1/2 in vitro neuronal models., Universiti Malaya (University of Malaya)

Award Date: 8 Oct 2016

Music (Teaching), Associate Diploma, International Music Examinations Board

Award Date: 31 Jan 2014

Biochemistry, Bsc, Universiti Malaya (University of Malaya)

Award Date: 15 Oct 2010

Research area keywords

  • Gliomas
  • Glioblastoma
  • Cancer Biology
  • Cancer Cell Biology
  • Cancer immunology
  • Cancer Research
  • Cancer Therapeutics
  • Neuroimmunolgy
  • Neuroprotection
  • Natural Product
  • Molecular Biology
  • Molecular Immunology
  • Colorectal Cancer
  • Signal Transduction

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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