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.


  • 2019 Update! Finally, get to update the Members page of the website (procrastinating from doing what I supposed to do).At the end of 2018, we farewell Nico who have been with ...
    Posted Jan 24, 2019, 8:51 AM by Yit Heng Chooi
  • How to forge the ultimate lightsaber molecule? Read our latest just accepted manuscript online at the RSC flagship journal Chemical Science!Formation of the light-activated phytotoxic molecule elsinochrome require the collaboration of three distinct class of ...
    Posted Nov 22, 2018, 7:06 AM by Yit Heng Chooi
  • Tribute to the magnificient Moreton Bay fig tree at UWA campus Sad that the far-reaching branches of the giant Moreton Bay fig tree (Ficus macrophylla) that made the banner of this website has partially collapsed.https://www.abc.net.au ...
    Posted Nov 22, 2018, 7:00 AM by Yit Heng Chooi
  • Chemical Ecogenomics-Guided Genome Mining Uncovered Novel Phytotoxic α-Pyrones Our work describing the discovery of novel phytotoxic α-Pyrones from a fungal wheat pathogen using ecological transcriptomics-guided genome mining now online at Organic Letters! Check it out - goo ...
    Posted Sep 19, 2018, 2:53 AM by Yit Heng Chooi
  • Our cover art featured in OBC! Cover art featured in Organic & Biomolecular Chemistry for our Perspective on "Panning for gold in mould: can we increase the odd for fungal genome mining?" co-authored with PhD students ...
    Posted Mar 18, 2018, 2:04 AM by Yit Heng Chooi
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