Associate Professor Dr Yow Yoon Yen

Dr. Yow Yoon Yen

Associate Professor Dr Yow Yoon Yen

  • Programme Leader of MSc in Life Sciences
Department of Biological Sciences


Assoc. Prof. Dr. Yow is an algae biotechnologist and her research focuses on the discovery and development of new compounds from algae as nutraceutical candidates in the prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. Additionally, she is working on the beneficial effects of algae in cosmeceuticals and its anti-microbial and anti-cancer properties. She is also interested in the study of molecular phylogenetics and genetic diversity of algae, and invasive Pomacea apple snails.

The high value of algae and their products has made them an economically important natural resource in Malaysia. To date, a total of 386 specific and intraspecific taxa have been recorded in Malaysia. A number of these algae have been proven to contain natural compounds of anti-ulcerogenic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-neurodegenerative and gastroprotective properties, and serve as a promising antioxidant, chemotherapeutic, and anti-diabetic agents.

In line with Sunway University’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UNSDGs), she looks forward to discovering how algae play a role in the SDGs with the aim to promote well-being for all.


Academic & Professional Qualifications

  • PhD in Algae Biotechnology, University of Malaya, Malaysia (2014)
  • BSc (Hons with Distinction) in Biotechnology, University of Malaya, Malaysia (2007)

Research Interests

  • Research Gate
  • Google Scholar

Notable Publications

  1. Ng, C. L., Tan, G. C., Yow, Y. Y., Gupta, M. K., & Kwong, P. J. (2021). Gracilaria changii (Rhodophyta) alleviates bisphenol A-induced adverse reproductive abnormalities in mice. Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical Medicine, 14(1), 34.
  2. Walvekar, S. G., Anwar, A., Anwar, A., Sridewi, N., Khalid, M., Yow, Y. Y., & Khan, N. A. (2020). Anti-amoebic potential of azole scaffolds and nanoparticles against pathogenic Acanthamoeba. Acta tropica, 105618.
  3. Thiyagarasaiyar, K.; Goh, B.H.; Jeon, Y.J.; Yow, Y.Y. (2020). Algae Metabolites in Cosmeceutical: An Overview of Current Applications and Challenges. Mar. Drugs, 18, 323. DOI: 10.3390/md18060323
  4. Subermaniam, K., Yow, Y. Y., Lim, S. H., Koh, O. H., & Wong, K. H. (2020). Malaysian macroalga Padina australis Hauck attenuates high dose corticosterone-mediated oxidative damage in PC12 cells mimicking the effects of depression. Saudi Journal of Biological Sciences, 27(6), 1435. DOI: 10.1016/j.sjbs.2020.04.042
  5. Kannan, A., Rao, S. R., Ratnayeke, S., & Yow, Y. Y. (2020). The efficiency of universal mitochondrial DNA barcodes for species discrimination of Pomacea canaliculata and Pomacea maculata. PeerJ, 8, e8755. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.8755
  6. Yap, W.F., Tay, V., Tan, S.H., Yow, Y.Y., & Chew, J. (2019). Decoding antioxidant and antibacterial potentials of Malaysian green seaweeds: Caulerpa racemosa and Caulerpa lentillifera. Antibiotics, 8(3), 152. DOI: 10.3390/antibiotics8030152
  7. Lew, S.Y., Cheng, P.G., Yow, Y.Y., Lim, L.W., & Wong, K.H. (2019). Antioxidant-mediated protective role of Hericium erinaceus (Bull.:Fr.) Pers against oxidative damage in fibroblasts from Friedreich's ataxia patient. Food Technology & Biotechnology. DOI: 10.1590/fst.09919
  8. Tan, L. T. H., Mahendra, C. K., Yow, Y. Y., Chan, K. G., Khan, T. M., Lee, L. H., & Goh, B. H. (2019). Streptomyces sp. MUM273b: A mangrove‐derived potential source for antioxidant and UVB radiation protectants. MicrobiologyOpen, e859. DOI: 10.1002/mbo3.859
  9. Pang, J.R., Goh, M.J., Tan, C.Y., Phang, S.M., Wong, K.H., & Yow, Y.Y. (2018) Neuritogenic activity and in vitro antioxidant potential of Malaysian Gracilaria manilaensis Yamamoto & Trono. Journal of Applied Phycology, 30(6), 3253-3260. DOI: 10.1007/s10811-018-1438-x
  10. Rama Rao, S., Liew, T.S., Yow, Y.Y., Ratnayeke, S. (2018) Cryptic diversity: Two morphologically similar species of invasive apple snail in Peninsular Malaysia. PLoS ONE, 13(5): e0196582. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0196582
  11. Phoong, J.C.M., Hah, H.E., Rao, S.R., Yow, Y.Y., & Ratnayeke, S. (2018). Invasive Apple Snails in Wetlands of Selangor: Species, Distribution, and Ecological Associations. Journal of Tropical Biodiversity and Conservation, (JTBC), 43â-60.
  12. Ng, P.K., Lin, S.M., Lim, P.E., Hurtado, A.Q., Phang, S.M., Yow Y.Y., et al. (2017) Genetic and morphological analyses of Gracilaria firma and G. changii (Gracilariaceae, Rhodophyta), the commercially important agarophytes in western Pacific. PLoS ONE 12(7): e0182176. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182176
  13. Wong, K.H., Ng, C.C., Kanagasabapathy, G., Yow, Y.Y. & Sabaratnam, V. (2017). An Overview of Culinary and Medicinal Mushrooms in Neurodegeneration and Neurotrauma. International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, 19 (3), 191-202 DOI: 10.1615/IntJMedMushrooms.v19.i3.10
  14. Yow, Y.Y., Lim, P.E. & Phang, S.M. (2013). Assessing the use of mitochondrial cox1 gene and cox2-3 spacer for genetic diversity study of Malaysian Gracilaria changii (Gracilariaceae, Rhodophyta) from Peninsular Malaysia. Journal of Applied Phycology, 25(3), 831-838. DOI: 10.1007/s10811-012-9942-x
  15. Yow Y.Y., Lim P.E., & Phang S.M. (2011). Genetic Diversity of Gracilaria changii (Gracilariaceae, Rhodophyta) from West Coast, Peninsular Malaysia based on Mitochondrial cox1 Gene Analysis. Journal of Applied Phycology, 23(2), 219-226. DOI: 10.1007/s10811-010-9535-5