B.Sc.(Hons), M.Sc., Ph.D., Universiti Sains Malaysia
Tel: 604-6534014; 604-6535501,
Fish Physiology and Biochemistry, Aquaculture


Research Profile

I am broadly interested in a wide scope of fish physiology and biochemistry.  A major portion of my research is in the area of aquaculture nutrition, with emphasis on linking dietary lipids/proteins and physiological/biochemical processes.  My students were among the first in the world to characterize and demonstrate the extensiveness of polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis in freshwater carnivorous teleost species.  More recently, research in my lab has led to the proposal of a new family of elongases in teleosts.  I also work extensively on the role of unsaturated fatty acids during embryonic development, using zebrafish as a model.    My work has contributed to the establishment of a novel feeder-free zebrafish embryonic stem cell line.

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Current Research


My current research interest is in
1. Polyunsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis in aquatic organisms, with specific interest on the role and regulation of the fatty acyl desaturase and elongase enzymes.
a. Fundamentally, I am keen to understand how these enzymes substrate-specificity in aquatic organisms, which allows them to thrive in their respective niche.
b. I also investigate the function of these genes during zebrafish development.
c. From an applied perspective, I would be keen to link the activities of these enzymes/genes in fatty acid nutrition of different aquaculture species.
2. The application of next generation sequencing to unravel crucial pathways and overall biology of selected aquatic species (comparative genome, transcriptome, metagenome).
3. The role of microbiota in lipid nutrition of aquatic organisms



  • Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore (Chan Woon Khiong, Hong Yunhan)
  • Western Australian Fisheries Department, Australia (Sagiv Kolkovski)
  • Tasmania Aquaculture and Fisheries Institute (Stephen Battaglene, Jenny Cobcroft)
  • Developmental and Cell Biology Department, University of Michigan (Kate Barald)
  • Malaysian Institute of Pharmaceuticals and Nutraceuticals


Selected Publications

 Top Ten Papers  Altmetrics
 Chong ASC, Hashim R, Ali AB, Lee CY. 2004. Characterisation of digestive enzymes in a carnivorous ornamental fish, the Asian bonytongue Scleropages formosus (Osteoglossidae). Aquaculture 233: 305-320.  
 Indarti E, Majid IMA, Hashim R & Chong A. 2005. Direct FAME synthesis for rapid total lipid analysis from fish oil and cod liver oil. Journal of Food Composition and Analysis. 18:161-170.  
 Chong, KK, Foo TJ, Lam TJ, Chong ASC. 2006. Proteomics of mucus from a cichlid demonstrating fry-nurturing behavior. Proteomics 6:2251-2258.  
Teoh PH, Shu-Chien AC, Chan WK (2010) pbx1 is essential for growth of zebrafish swim bladder. Developmental Dynamics 239: 865-874  
Tan SH, Chung HH, Shu-Chien AC (2010) Distinct developmental expression of two elongase family members in zebrafish. Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications 393: 397-403.   
Iq KC, Shu-Chien AC. (2011) Proteomics of buccal cavity mucus in female tilapia fish (Oreochromis spp): A comparison between parental and non-parental fish. PLoS ONE 6(4): e18555. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0018555.   
Khor BS, Jamil MFA, Adenan MI, Shu-Chien AC. (2011). Mitragynine attenuates withdrawal syndrome in morphine-withdrawn zebrafish. PLOS ONE 6, e28340
Shen YC, Thompson DL, Kuah MK, Wong KL, Wu KL, Linn SA, Jewett EA, Shu-Chien AC, Barald KF (2012). The cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) acts as a neurotrophin in the developing inner ear of the zebrafish, Danio rerio. Developmental Biology 363:84-94. 
Ho KSY, Lee YS, Goh, CWP, Gan JY, Hong YH, Chan WK, Shu-Chien AC. 2014. Derivation and long-term culture of an embryonic stem cell- like line from zebrafish blastomeres under feeder-free condition.  Zebrafish 11:407-420
Kuah MK, Jaya-Ram A, Shu-Chien AC. 2015. The capacity for long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acid synthesis in a carnivorous vertebrate:  Functional characterisation and nutritional regulation of a Fads2 fatty acyl desaturase with Δ4 activity and an Elovl5 elongase in striped snakehead (Channa striata).  BBA Molecular and Cell Biology of Lipids 1851:248-260