Laboratory of Fungal Chemistry & Biology
School of Chemistry & Biochemistry, University of Western Australia
Bridging genes, molecules and functions...

Welcome to the Chooi lab homepage!

The work in our lab focuses on understanding the biosynthesis of secondary metabolites (natural products) in fungi and uncovering the bio-ecological roles of these molecules. 

Fungal secondary metabolites have been the source of medicines, including important clinical drugs, such as the antibiotic penicillin, the cholesterol-lowering statins and the immunosuppressive cyclosporine. On the other hand, some fungal secondary metabolites are mycotoxins that are harmful to humans, while some have been implicated as the virulence factors that enable fungi to cause disease in plants and animal, including human. 

We employ a combination of tools in functional genomics, synthetic biology, biochemistry and chemical ecology to bridge the gaps between genes, molecules and functions. 


  Our research aims to expand the enzymatic tool-box for synthesizing diverse small molecules, contribute to the understanding of the roles of secondary metabolites in ecological interactions, and advance the discovery of bioactive molecules for medicinal and agricultural applications.


  • Welcome Simon! The lab welcomes Simon Keßler who hails from Germany. Simon did holds a BSc and a Master degree in Molecular Biotechnology from Technology University of Munich, Germany. He is starting ...
    Posted Aug 29, 2017, 6:13 PM by Yit Heng Chooi
  • Prof Yi Tang from UCLA visiting Chooi lab and UWA It was a pleasure to host Prof Yi Tang's visit to our lab at UWA last week. Prof Tang gave a wonderful talk at the Bayliss Seminar Series at ...
    Posted Jun 27, 2017, 2:53 PM by Yit Heng Chooi
  • Cytotoxic sesquiterpenes uncovered by expression of genes from medicinal mushroom Work by Dr. Yeannie Yap while she was in our lab has been published online today in Microbial Cell Factories. The work describes cytotoxic sesquiterpenes obtained by heterologous expression ...
    Posted Jun 12, 2017, 9:52 PM by Yit Heng Chooi
  • BBQ by the Matilda Bay (belated post) We were lucky to get some good weather early May before winter hits. It was a beautiful day for BBQ and some fun with the LYK (little yellow kayak) by ...
    Posted May 21, 2017, 9:40 PM by Yit Heng Chooi
  • Research on the light-activated phytotoxin from fungal pathogen featured on the cover of Environmental Microbiology Our research on the light-activated phytotoxin elsinochrome from the wheat pathogen P. nodorum has been featured on the cover of the special issue of the journal Environmental Microbiology with ...
    Posted May 15, 2017, 8:21 PM by Yit Heng Chooi
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