Associate Professor Dr Hwang Jung Shan

Associate Professor Dr Hwang Jung Shan

  • Programme Leader of PhD and MSc in Medical Sciences
Department of Medical Sciences


Associate Professor Dr Hwang Jung Shan obtained her PhD at the University of Melbourne, Australia in 1998. After graduation, she then received JSPS Postdoctoral Fellowship for two years and worked on the RNA polymerase of influenza virus at the Department of Molecular Genetics, National Institute of Genetics, Japan. She went on to do her research at the same institute but in the Center for Information Biology. She spent the next 10 years studying the regeneration of planaria and the gene function of cnidarians, and published in notable journals such as Nature, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA and Trends in Genetics. She returned to Malaysia in 2010 and joined the Faculty of Applied Sciences, UCSI University where she was appointed as Head of Postgraduate Studies (2011-2014) and Deputy Dean (2013-2016). Currently, her line of research focuses on Hydra pore-forming toxins and their mechanisms in inflammatory response, apoptosis and necrosis in human cells. She is also working on the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis, in particular, the role of exosomal miRNAs in disease activity and the association of pathogenic bacteria with the cellular hyperciltrullination in rheumatoid arthritis.

Academic & Professional Qualifications

  • PhD in Science, University of Melbourne, Australia (1998)
  • BSc (Hons), University of Melbourne, Australia (1994)
  • BSc, University of Melbourne, Australia (1993)

Research Interests

  • Cnidarian toxins
  • Host innate immune response to toxins
  • Clinical and experimental studies of rheumatoid arthritis

Notable Publications

  1. Jiemy, W. F., Hiew, L. F., Sha, H. X., In, L. L. A., & Hwang, J. S. (2020) Evaluation of Hydra HALT-1 as a toxin moiety for recombinant immunotoxin. BMC Biotechnology 20, 1-13.
  2. Yap, W. Y., Tan, K. J. S. X., & Hwang, J. S. (2019) Expansion of Hydra actinoporin-like toxin (HALT) gene family: expression divergence and functional convergence evolved through gene duplication. Toxicon 170, 10-20.
  3. Ng, T. J., Teo, M. Y. M., Hwang, J. S., Lim, C. S. Y., & In, L. L. A. (2019) Cytotoxic and apoptosis-inducing effects of wildtype and mutated Hydra actinoporin-like toxin 1 (HALT-1) on various cancer cell lines. PeerJ 7:e6639
  4. Tsekleves, E., Yong, M. H., Lee, C. A. L., Giga, S., Hwang, J. S., & Lau, S. L. (2019) Rethink how healthcare is conceptualized and delivered through speculative design in the UK and Malaysia: A comparative study. The Design Journal 22, 429-444.
  5. Yap, W. Y. & Hwang, J. S. (2018) Response of cellular innate immunity to cnidarian pore-forming toxins. Molecules 23, E2537.
  6. Yap, P. Y., Hwang, J. S., & Bong, J. J. (2018). A modified technique of pancreaticogastrostomy with short internal stent: A single surgeon’s experience. Asian Journal of Surgery, 41, 250-256.
  7. Ameirika, Sha, H. X., & Hwang, J. S. (2017). Identification of target proteins of Hydra actinoporin-like toxin-1 (HALT-1) using GST affinity purification and SILAC-based quantitative proteomics. Toxicon, 133, 153-161.
  8. Hayakawa, S., Takaku, Y., Hwang, J. S., Horiguchi, T., Suga, H., Gehring, W., Ikeo, K., & Gojobori, T. (2015). Function and evolutionary origin of unicellular camera-type eye structure. PLoS ONE, 10, e0118415.
  9. Liew, Y. J. M., Soh, W. T., Jiemy, W. F., & Hwang, J. S. (2015). Mutagenesis and functional analysis of the pore-forming toxin HALT-1 from Hydra magnipapillata. Toxins, 7, 407-422.
  10. Takaku, Y., Hwang, J. S., Wolf, A., Böttger, A., Shimizu, H., David, C. N., & Gojobori, T. (2014). Innexin gap junctions in nerve cells coordinate spontaneous cantractile behavior in Hydra polyps. Sci. Rep., 4, 3573.
  11. Adamczyk, P., Zenkert, C., Balasubramanian, P. G., Yamada, S., Murakoshi, S., Sugahara, K., Hwang, J. S., Gojobori, T., Holstein, T. W., & Özbek, S. (2010). A non-sulfated chondrotin stabilizes membrane tubulation in cnidarian organelles. J. Biol. Chem., 285, 25613-25623.
  12. Chapman, J. A., Kirkness, E. F., Simakov, O., Hampson, S. E., Mitros, T., Weinmaier, T., Rattei, T., Balasubramanian, P. G., Borman, J., Busam, D., Disbennett, K., Pfannkoch, C., Sumin, N., Sutton, G. G., Viswanathan, L. D., Walenz, B., Goodstein, D. M., Hellsten, U., Kawashima, T., Prochnik, S. E., Putnam, N. H., Shu, S., Blumberg, B., Dana, C. E., Gee, L., Kibler, D. F., Law, L., Lindgens, D., Martinez, D. E., Peng, J., Wigge, P. A., Bertulat, B., Guder, C., Nakamura, Y., Ozbek, S., Watanabe, H., Khalturin, K., Hemmrich, G., Franke, A., Augustin, R., Fraune, S., Hayakawa, E., Hayakawa, S., Hirose, M., Hwang, J. S., Ikeo, K., Nishimiya-Fujisawa, C., Ogura, A., Takahashi, T., Steinmetz, P. R. H., Zhang, X., Aufschnaiter, R., Eder, M. K., Gorny, A. K., Salvenmoser, W., Heimberg, A. M., Wheeler, B. M., Peterson, K. J., Böttger, A., Tischler, P., Wolf, A., Gojobori, T., Remington, K. A., Strausberg, R. L., Venter, J. C., Technau, U., Hobmayer, B., Bosch, T. C. G., Holstein, T. W., Fujisawa, T., Bode, H. R., David, C. N., Rokhsar, D. S., & Steele, R. E. (2010). The dynamic genome of Hydra. Nature, 464, 592-596.
  13. Hwang, J. S., Takaku, Y., Momose, T., Adamczyk, P., Özbek, S., Ikeo, K., Khalturin, K., Hemmrich, G., Bosch, T. C. G., Holstein, T. W., David, C. N., & Gojobori, T. (2010). Nematogalectin, a nematocyst protein with GlyXY and galectin domains, demonstrates nematocyte-specific alternative splicing in Hydra. Proc. Natl Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 107, 18539-18544.
  14. Oviedo, N. J., Morokuma, J., Walentek, P., Kema, I. P., Gu, M. B., Ahn, J. M., Hwang, J. S., Gojobori, T. & Levin, M. (2010). Long-range neural and gap junction protein-mediated cues control polarity during planarian regeneration. Dev. Biol., 339, 188-199.
  15. David, C. N., Özbek, S., Adamczyk, P., Meier, S., Pauly, B., Chapman, J., Hwang, J. S., Gojobori, T., & Holstein, T. W. (2008). Evolution of complex structures: minicollagens shape the cnidarian nematocyst. Trends Genet., 24, 431-438.
  16. Hwang, J. S., Nagai, S., Hayakawa, S., Takaku, Y., & Gojobori, T. (2008) The search for the origin of cnidarian nematocysts in dinoflagellates. In P. Pontarotti (Ed.), Evolutionary Biology from Concept to Application (pp. 135-152).
  17. Berlin/Heidelberg: Springer. Hwang, J. S., Takaku, Y., Chapman, J., Ikeo, K., David, C. N., & Gojobori, T. (2008). Cilium evolution: Identification of a novel protein, nematocilin, in the mechanosensory cilium of Hydra nematocytes. Mol. Biol. Evol., 25, 2009-2017.
  18. Hwang, J. S., Ohyanagi, H., Hayakawa, S., Osato, N., Nishimiya-Fujisawa, C., Ikeo, K., David, C. N., Fujisawa, T., & Gojobori, T. (2007). The evolutionary emergence of cell type-specific genes inferred from the gene expression analysis of Hydra. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA., 104, 14735-14740.
  19. Yoshida, K., Fujisawa, T., Hwang, J. S., Ikeo, K., & Gojobori, T. (2006). Degeneration after sexual differentiation in Hydra and its relevance to the evolution of aging. Gene, 385, 64-70.
  20. Hwang, J. S., Kobayashi, C., Agata, K., Ikeo, K., & Gojobori, T. (2004). Detection of apoptosis during planarian regeneration by the expression of apoptosis-related genes and TUNEL assay. Gene, 333, 15-25.
  21. Yang, J., Hwang, J. S., Camakaris, H., Irawaty, W., Ishihama, A., & Pittard, A. J. (2004). Mode of action of the TyrR protein: repression and activation of the tyrP promoter of Escherichia coli. Mol Microbiol., 52, 243-256.
  22. Hwang, J. S., Yamada, K., Nakade, K., Honda, A., & Ishihama, A. (2000). Expression of functional influenza viral RNA polymerase in the methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris. J. Virol., 74, 4074-4084.
  23. Hwang, J. S., Yang, J., & Pittard, A. J. (1999). Specific contacts between residues in the DNA-binding domain of the TyrR protein and bases in the operator of the tyrP gene of Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriol., 181, 2338-2345.
  24. Hwang, J. S., Yang, J., & Pittard, A. J. (1997). Critical base-pairs and amino acid residues for protein-DNA interaction between the TyrR protein and tyrP operator of Escherichia coli. J. Bacteriol., 179, 1051-1058.