CRISPR activation of fungal biosynthetic gene clusters now on ACS SynBio!

posted Jun 25, 2020, 4:01 PM by Yit Heng Chooi   [ updated Sep 17, 2020, 8:13 PM ]

Our exciting work on CRISPR activation of fungal biosynthetic gene clusters published in ACS Synthetic Biology! Check it out:

2nd JACS from our lab at UWA

posted Apr 8, 2020, 4:15 AM by Yit Heng Chooi   [ updated Apr 8, 2020, 4:15 AM ]

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 submitted his thesis and becoming a dad earlier this year.  
Check out the paper describing a highly unusual molecule made by a highly unusual NRPS "Biosynthesis of a New Benzazepine Alkaloid Nanangelenin A from Aspergillus nanangensis Involves an Unusual l-Kynurenine-Incorporating NRPS Catalyzing Regioselective Lactamization" 
Abstract Image

Yay breaks ten b4 EoY2019!

posted Dec 11, 2019, 9:24 PM by Yit Heng Chooi   [ updated Dec 11, 2019, 9:25 PM ]

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 ACS Chemical Biology. Another great collaboration with Peter Solomon (ANU), Keith Stubbs (UWA) and Ern Lacey (MST).

Accepted Manuscript: Bridge-forming aldolase involved in biosynthesis of fungal phytotoxins

posted Sep 26, 2019, 9:02 PM by Yit Heng Chooi

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 - A European Journal! Congratulations Hang!

Welcome Marianne!

posted Sep 25, 2019, 6:36 AM by Yit Heng Chooi

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 hails from the UK and did her PhD under the guidance of Prof Greg Challis at the University of Warwick.

She will be collaborating with her CSIRO mentors Dr Maciej Holowko and Dr Louise Thatcher in her research project.

Our lab 1st independent JACS publication!

posted May 8, 2019, 9:41 PM by Yit Heng Chooi

Congratulations to Jinyu, the 1st PhD student of Chooi lab, for his paper published in the prestigious Journal of American Chemical Society. Hang Li, another PhD student, is also a co-author on this paper.

Please check out the work titled "Fungal Dirigent Protein Controls the Stereoselectivity of Multicopper Oxidase-Catalyzed Phenol Coupling in Viriditoxin Biosynthesis" at

Welcome Thom Booth!

posted May 8, 2019, 9:35 PM by Yit Heng Chooi   [ updated May 8, 2019, 9:43 PM ]

Dr Thom Booth has joined the Chooi lab and started his research on a project funded by CRC-P in collaboration with Microbial Screening Technologies (, Dr Andrew Piggott at Macquarie University and Advanced Veterinary Therapeutics. 

Thom hails from the UK and did his PhD under the guidance of Prof Barrie Wilkinson at the John Innes Centre, Norwich.

His research will focus on genome mining of Australian actinobacteria to uncover new antibiotics.

2019 Update!

posted Jan 24, 2019, 8:47 AM by Yit Heng Chooi   [ updated Jan 24, 2019, 8:51 AM ]

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 us for eight months under his CEPAS Exchange Program Fellowship from the Brazilian Government. It has been fun and productive. Hope he could come visit us again, we missed you Nico!
We also congratulate our graduated Masters and Honours students (Fiona and Sarah) who got a job last year, and most recently being Ronan who just joined Proteomics International early this year! 
Also big congratulations to Coco Xie who did her Master project in Chooi lab and obtained an RTP Scholarship.
At the beginning of 2019, we also welcome Susan Lean, who is an RTP scholar as well.

Look forward to another fun, fulfilling and productive year ahead! 

Below picture of our 2018 end of year joint lab retreat with Waters lab :-)

How to forge the ultimate lightsaber molecule?

posted Nov 22, 2018, 7:06 AM by Yit Heng Chooi

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 oxidases.

Tribute to the magnificient Moreton Bay fig tree at UWA campus

posted Nov 22, 2018, 7:00 AM by Yit Heng Chooi

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.

Hope we could save the remaining of the tree. Time to think about how to support other branches on this tree.

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