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.


  • 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
  • Our New Perspective at OBC - Panning for Gold in Mould? Well done Cameron and Hang in putting this excellent review together! Cover art featuring this perspective coming up!
    Posted Feb 9, 2018, 3:48 PM by Yit Heng Chooi
  • Sarah Negus is the ASM WA Vacation Scholarship winner! More award to our lab members!Sarah has won the Australian Society of Microbiology (ASM) WA Vacation Scholarship Award to continue her research she pursued during her Honours project on ...
    Posted Dec 14, 2017, 5:24 PM by Yit Heng Chooi
  • The 2017 Rowe Scientific Foundation Vacation Award winner is.... Sam Aslop Congratulations to the BPhil student Sam Aslop who won a Rowe Scientific Foundation Vacation Award to continue the BIOC3003/3005 research project he started in our lab during this summer ...
    Posted Dec 14, 2017, 5:15 PM by Yit Heng Chooi
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