Staff Profile

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Associate Professor Ts. Dr. Hwang Siaw San

Associate Professor
PhD (Molecular Biology, UNIMAS)

Faculty of Engineering, Computing and Science

Office No:+60 82 260 825
Fax No:+60 82 260 865
Room No: E302, Building E, FECS
Email: shwang@swinburne.edu.my
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Dr. Hwang Siaw San received her Bachelor of Science with honours in Resource Biotechnology in 1998, Master of Science in Plant Genetic Engineering with research emphasis on defence response mechanism in oil palm (Elaies guineensis Jacq) in 2002, and Doctor of Philosophy in Molecular Biology in 2009.  Her dissertation research investigated molecular mechanism of starch biosynthesis in sago palm (Metroxylon sagu).  Since graduation, she worked as a researcher at the Agrobiotech Branch of Agriculture Research Center (ARC), Department of Agriculture Sarawak.  Her research in ARC focused on molecular mechanism of disease resistance in crops and development of molecular marker for crop breeding program. She joined Swinburne University of Technology, Sarawak as a Lecturer in the Faculty of Engineering, Computing, and Science in March 2010, and was subsequently promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2016 and Associate Professor in 2020.

Dr. Hwang’s research interests include biomedical sciences on biomarkers, pre-clinical and clinical studies in cancer and cardiovascular disease, as well as development of disease diagnostic tools.  She also involves in the studies of nutraceuticals from natural products such as palm oil and Sarawak local rice extracts for cardioprotection, antioxidant and anti-cancer properties; as well as transcriptome analysis, molecular mechanisms in disease resistance and crop yields in Sarawak black pepper.

Research Interests

  • Biomedical: cancer and cardiovascular disease
  • Development of disease diagnostic tools
  • Nutraceutical and natural products
  • Agrobiotechnology and crop improvements

Professional Membership

Professional Technologist, Malaysia Board of Technologists

PhD/Master by Research Opportunity

Prospective higher-degree research candidates are highly welcome to enquire about research opportunities with Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hwang in the listed research areas. For any inquiries, please e-mail shwang@swinburne.edu.my for more information.

Research Grants

  • Development of Integrated Rapid Lateral Flow Immunoassay Detection System for GLP-1 and GIP; Hwang SS (PI); Catalyst Grant by Sarawak Research and Development Council (SRDC), Awarded amount, MYR 245,000 (3 years); 2020 – 2023.
  • The Study of AKT, LANCL2 and PLK1 Regulation in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma Cell Lines under the Single and Combination Drug Treatments; Hwang SS (PI); Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (MoHE); Awarded amount, MYR 162,000 (3 years); 2019-2022.
  • Collaboration on Clinical Trial Research Project on SOPB Palm Oil Products; Hwang SS (PI); Grant by Sarawak Oil Palm Berhad (SOPB), Awarded amount, MYR20,754.72 (3 years), 2019-2022.
  • Natural product extracts from Sarawak as potential sources of compounds with biological activity; Hwang SS (PI); Swinburne Sarawak Research Grant (SSRG), Awarded amount, MYR30,032.59 (3 years); 2018-2020.
  • Project 1: De Novo assembly of the black pepper transcriptome and molecular characterization of pepper defence genes; Project 2: Transcriptomic analyses and molecular characterization of flower and fruit development in black pepper; Hwang SS (PI); Grant by Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB); Awarded amount, MYR144,339.62 (3 years); 2016-2019.
  • Bioassay-guided Fractionation and Identification of Active Wound Healing Compounds from Piper nigrum ; Hwang SS (PI); Grant by Malaysian Pepper Board (MPB); Awarded amount, MYR25,000.00 (2 years); 2015-2017.
  • Physiological, Biochemical and Gene Expression studies of abiotic stress and tolerance in local rice varieties of Sarawak; Hwang SS (PI); Swinburne Strategic Research Grant; Awarded amount, MYR 288,015.00 (3 years); 2014-2017.
  • Establishment of a Core Facility for Cell Culture; Hwang SS (PI); Swinburne Strategic Research Grant; Awarded amount, MYR251,734.24 (3 years); 2014-2017.
  • Machine Learning-driven Discovery of EBNA1 Inhibitors against Epstein-Barr Virus in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma; Hwang SS (Co-PI); Grant by National Cancer Council, Malaysia; Awarded amount, MYR29, 825.00 (2 years); 2021-2023.
  • Synthesis, Characterization and In Silico docking analysis of Hybrid Thiourea Azo Chromophores for in- vitro cytotoxicity and antimicrobial activities; Hwang SS (Co-PI); Grant by Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (MoHE); Awarded amount, MYR185,500.00 (3 years); 2021-2024.
  • A Robust Deep Learning Model Derived using Real Condition Image Database for Local Rice Diseases Recognition; Hwang SS (Co-PI); Grant by Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS), Ministry of Higher Education Malaysia (MoHE); Awarded amount, MYR 129,890.00 (2 years); 2021-2023.
  • Anti-proliferative and anti-metastatic effects of piperine on human nasopharyngeal cancer cells; Hwang SS (Co-PI); Grant by Sarawak Research & Development Council (SRDC); Awarded amount, MYR170,000.00 (3 years); 2020-2023.
  • Mobile-based Community Pepper Farm Management System for Farmer Support, Disease and Nutrient Deficiency Diagnostic; Hwang SS (Co-PI); Grant by Ministry of Energy, Science, Technology, Environment and Climate Change (MESTECC), Awarded amount, MYR75,000.00 (2 years); 2019-2021.


  • 2021 Outstanding Innovation Award and Gold Medal Award. “Mobile Based Community Platform for Pepper Diseases and Nutrient Deficiency Diagnosis,” Malaysia Technology Expo 2021: Sustainable Development Goals International Innovation Awards, 25-29 October 202
  • 2020 and 2019 Swinburne Sarawak Research Success Award.
  • 2019 Gold Award – Innovation, Melaka International Intellectual Exposition 2019.
  • 2019 Silver Award, Innovation Technology Expo 2019.
  • 2014 Silver Medal Award – Tan, W., Hwang, S.S., & Fong, A.Y.Y. “The studies of antioxidant activities in Sarawak local rice varieties,” The 2nd International Conference on Advances in Plant Science. Four Points by Sheraton, Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. 18-24 November 2014.
  • 2014 Gold Medal Award – Tan, W., Hwang, S.S., Fong, A.Y.Y, Ng, S.M., & Ginjom, I.R. “Preliminary screening of γ-oryzanol content in local rice varieties of Sarawak,” The 18th Biological Sciences Graduate Congress (BSGC). University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. 6-8 January 2014.


  • Vong, D.Y, Hwang, S.S., Chee, X.W.Z., & Sim, E.U.H. 2021. Computational ligand- receptor docking simulation of piperine with apoptosis-associated factors. Journal of Applied Biology and Biotechnology (accepted for publication).
  • Chee, W.Z., Sim, C.J.W., Siaw, E.Y.P., Ho, Y.K., Kong, H.Q., Ha, C., & Hwang, S.S. 2021. Predicting AAK1/GAK Dual-Target Inhibitor against SARS-CoV-2 Viral Entry into Host Cells: An in silico Approach. Journal of Smart Science and Technology (accepted for publication).
  • Tan, W., Kobayashi, K., Shen, L.H., Inagaki, J., Ide, M., Hwang, S.S., & Matsuura, E. 2020. Antioxidative attributes of rice bran extracts in ameliorative effects of atherosclerosis associated risk factors. Heliyon 6 (2020) e05743.
  • Lau, T., Tani, A., Khew, C.Y., Chua, Y.S., & Hwang, S.S. 2020. Plant growth-promoting bacteria as potential bio-inoculants and biocontrol agents to promote black pepper plant cultivation. Microbiological Research, Vol.240, 126549.
  • Lau, E.T., Khew, C.Y. & Hwang, S.S. Transcriptomic analysis of pepper plants provides insights into host responses to Fusarium solani infestation. Journal of Biotechnology. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jbiotec.2020.03.014
  • Khew, C.Y., Harikrishna J.A., Wee, W.Y., Lau, E.T., & Hwang, S.S. 2020. Transcriptional Sequencing and Gene Expression Analysis of Various Genes in Fruit Development of Three Different Black Pepper (Piper nigrum ) Varieties. International Journal of Genomics. Vol. 2020, 1540915.
  • Khew, C.Y., Mori, I.C., Matsuura, K., Hirayama, T., Harikrishna J.A., Lau, E.T. Mercer, Z.J.A., Hwang, S.S. 2020. Hormonal and transcriptional analyses of fruit development and ripening in different varieties of black pepper (Piper nigrum). Journal of Plant Researc  133: 73-94.
  • Nordin, N.S., Lawai, V., Ngaini, Z., Halim, A.N.A, Hwang, S.S., Linton, R.E., Lee, B.K., & Neilsen, P.M. 2020. In vitro cytotoxicity evaluation of thiourea derivatives bearing Salix s constituent against HK-1 cell lines. Natural Products Research, Volume 34, No.11, 1505- 1514.
  • Chin, S.K., Romainor, A.N.B., Pang, S.C., Lee, B.K., Hwang, S.S. pH‐Responsive Starch‐Citrate Nanoparticles for Controlled Release of Paracetamol. Starch, https://doi.org/10.1002/star.201800336.
  • Yeo, B.P.H., Bhave, M. & Hwang, S.S. 2019. Protective effects of rice seedling extracts of a Malaysian rice variety, Biris, against doxorubicin-induced cytotoxic Tropical Life Science Research. 30(2), 71–90.
  • Juboi, H., Hwang, S.S., Yeo, T.C., Nissom, P.M. Antimicrobial activities of Plantactinospora sp. KBS50, a rare marine-derived actinomycete from the coastal area of Sarawak. Malaysian Journal of Microbiology, Vol.15.
  • Khew, C.Y., Harikrishna, J.A., Voon, S.C., Lau, E.T., Hwang, S.S. Morphological Characterization of Fruit Development in Black Pepper (Piper nigrum L.). Focus on Pepper, Vol. IX (1), 1-7.
  • Lau, E.T., Khew, C.Y., Hwang, S.S. Elucidation of biological pathways in black pepper defense mechanisms through RNA-Sequencing. Journal of the Pepper Industry 9(1): 26-40.
  • Wong, C.M., Ling, J., Neilsen, P.M., Hwang, S.S. 2018. Bioassay-guided fractionation of wound healing active compounds from Piper nigrum L. berries extract in Malaysia. UK Journal of Pharmaceutical and Biosciences, Vol. 6(4), 19-27.
  • Yeo, B.P.H., Foong, L.C., Tam, S., Lee, V., & Hwang, S.S. 2018. Gene Isolation Using Degenerate Primers Targeting Protein Motifs: A Laboratory Exercise. Biochem Mol Biol Educ. Vol. 46(1):47-53. doi: 10.1002/bmb.21089
  • Yeo, B.P.H., Bhave, M. & Hwang, S.S. Effects of acute salt stress on modulation of gene expression in a Malaysian salt-tolerant indigenous rice variety, Bajong. J Plant Res, pg. 1-12. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10265-017-0977-6
  • Ho, B.K., Ngaini, Z., Neilsen, P.M., Hwang, S.S., Linton, R.E., Kong, E.L. & Lee, B.K. Synthesis and Anticancer Activities of 4-[(Halophenyl)diazenyl]phenol and 4- [(Halophenyl)diazenyl]phenyl Aspirinate Derivatives against Nasopharyngeal Cancer Cell Lines. Journal of Chemistry. Volume 2017. https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/6760413
  • Tan, X.W., Bhave, M., Fong, A.Y.Y., Matsuura, , Kobayashi, K., Shen, L.H. & Hwang, S.S. 2016. Cytoprotective and Cytotoxic Effects of Rice Bran Extracts in Rat H9c2(2-1) Cardiomyocytes. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, Vol. 2016, 1-12.
  • Lim, M.S.H., Anchah, L., Tiong, W.N., Hwang, S.S., Ong, T.K., Sim, K.H. & Fong, A.Y. 2014. Thrombin and FXa plasma concentration levels in patients with atrial fibrillation on long term warfarin therapy.  Asean Heart Journal, Vol. 22, No. 1, 20– 29.
  • Lim, M.S.H., Anchah, L., Tiong, W.N., Chin, Y.Y., Mejin, M., Tiong, L.L., Kong, K.L., Hwang, S.S., Ong, T.K. & Fong, A.Y.Y. 2014. The Relationship of Thrombin and Factor Xa with the Time in Therapeutic Range in Patients on Long Term Warfarin Therapy. Global Heart, Vol.9, Issue 1, Suppl: e238-e239.
  • Mejin, M., Tiong, W.N., Lai, L.Y.H., Bujang, M.A., Hwang, S.S., Ong, T.K. & Fong, A.Y.Y. 2013. CYP2C19 genotypes and their impact on clopidogrel responsiveness in percutaneous coronary intervent International Journal of Clinical Pharmacy, DOI 10.1007/s11096-013- 9783-y, ISSN 2210-7703.
  • Tiong, W.N., Mejin, M., Fong, A.Y.Y., Wee, C.C., Lai, L.Y.H., Hwang, S.S., Bujang, M.A, Tiong, L.L. & Ong, T.K. Trends of Platelet Inhibition in Different Clopidogrel Pretreatment Patterns in Malaysian Patients Undergoing Elective Percutaneous Coronary Intervention. Med Journal of Malaysia, Vol. 68 (4): 326-331.
  • Lau, E.T., Hwang, S.S., Lily, & Paulus, A.D. 2013. Discovery of genes related to disease resistance in Piper species.  IPC Journal of Focus on Pepper 5(1): 29-40.
  • Tiong, W.N., Hwang, S.S., Fong, A.Y.Y., Wee, C., Lai, L.Y.H., Tiong, L.L., Chang, B.C. & Ong, T.K. 2012. The Influence of CYP2C19*2 and *3 Polymorphisms on the Platelet Aggregation in Malaysian Chinese and non-Chinese Population. European Heart Journal, Vol. 14(Suppl A): A3.
  • Tiong, W.N., Fong, A.Y.Y., Hwang, S.S., Wee, C.C., Mejin, M. & Ong, T.K. 2 Cytochrome P450 2C19 Polymorphism and Platelet Aggregation in Clopidogrel-treated Patients among Malaysian Multiethnic Population. Heart, 98: Suppl 2.
  • Lau, E.T., Hwang, S.S., Eng, L. & Paulus, A.D. 2012. Cloning and characterization of Resistance Gene Analogues (RGAs) from Piper nigrum L. c Semongok Aman and Piper colubrinum Link. International Journal of Bioscience, Biochemistry and Bioinformatics, Vol. 2(5): 342-348.
  • Tnah, L.H., Lee, C.T., Lee, S.L., Ng, K.S.K., Ng, C.H. & Hwang, S.S. 2011. Microsatellite Markers of an Important Medicinal Plant, Eurycoma Longifolia (Simaroubaceae), for DNA Profiling. American Journal of Botany, e1-e
  • Khew, C.Y., Harikrishna, J.A., Lau, E. & Hwang, S.S. 2018. Role of plant growth factors in fruit development and ripening of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.). International Conference on Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Biotechnology 2018 (ICBMBB 2018). Kuala Lumpur. 25-16 August 2018.
  • Lee, V., Cham, Y.L., Hwang, S.S., Matsuura, E., Bhave., Said, A., Khaw, C.S., Khiew, N.Z., Koh, K.T., Amin, N.H.M., Ong, T.K, Onn, Y.Y., Vonn, C.Y., Alan, F.Y. 2018. The relationship between oxidized LDL/β2GP1 complexes and traditional risk factors in relation to coronary artery calcium. National Heart Association of Malaysia Annual Scientific Meeting 2018.  Kuala Lumpur. 13-15 April 2018.
  • Adasuriya, I.A., Hwang, S.S. & Ginjom, I.R.H. Antioxidant and Cardio-protective Potentials of Selected Local Edible Plants. International Conference on Food Science and Nutrition 2017 (ICFSN 2017). The Pacific Sutera Hotel, Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia. 25-26 October 2017.
  • Khew, C.Y., Lai, P.S. & Hwang, S.S. 2017. De Novo Assembly of Fruit Transcriptome in Black Pepper (Piper nigrum ). 12th Malaysia International Genetics Congress. Bangi- Putrajaya Hotel, Selangor, Malaysia. 25-27 September 2017.
  • Lau, E.T., Khew, C.Y. & Hwang, S.S. De novo transcriptome sequencing of black pepper (Piper nigrum L.). 12th Malaysia International Genetics Congress. Bangi-Putrajaya Hotel, Selangor, Malaysia. 25- 27 September 2017.