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.


  • CRISPR activation of fungal biosynthetic gene clusters now on ACS SynBio! Our exciting work on CRISPR activation of fungal biosynthetic gene clusters published in ACS Synthetic Biology! Check it out:https://pubs.acs.org/doi/10.1021/acssynbio.0c00197
    Posted Jun 25, 2020, 4:11 PM by Yit Heng Chooi
  • 2nd JACS from our lab at UWA Late posting. Been super busy in this challenging and constantly changing time.Congratulations to Hang Li, the highly productive student who works very hard on this project, and has also ...
    Posted Apr 8, 2020, 4:15 AM by Yit Heng Chooi
  • Yay breaks ten b4 EoY2019! Congrats to Hang Li and Haochen Wei (ANU) for uncovering new phytotoxic cytochalasans from the wheat pathogen Parastagonospora nodorum that facilitate disease development and for the work accepted in ...
    Posted Dec 11, 2019, 9:25 PM by Yit Heng Chooi
  • Accepted Manuscript: Bridge-forming aldolase involved in biosynthesis of fungal phytotoxins Manuscript titled "Biosynthesis of a Tricyclo[,7]dodecaneSystem by a Berberine Bridge Enzyme-like Aldolase" from our talented PhD student Hang Li accepted in Chemistry ...
    Posted Sep 26, 2019, 9:02 PM by Yit Heng Chooi
  • Welcome Marianne! Our lab welcome Marianne Costa this week. Dr Costa won a CSIRO FSP SynBio Fellowship and is joining the Chooi lab to start his research on engineering bacterial PKSs. Marianne ...
    Posted Sep 25, 2019, 6:36 AM by Yit Heng Chooi
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