AAssociate Professor Dr Mariatulqabtiah Abdul Razak is an academician at the Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, and a research associate of the Institute of Bioscience, Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). She graduated with a first class honours degree for her Bachelor of Science (Biotechnology) at Universiti Putra Malaysia back in 2006. Then, she continued her PhD study at Imperial College London, which was fully-funded by the Ministry of Education, Malaysia. During her PhD years, she succeeded in carrying the work on the production of recombinant fowlpox viruses coexpressing avian influenza H5 and chicken IL-15 cytokine genes. This project has intrigued her scientific curiosity in the areas of molecular biology, immunology and vaccine development. Upon graduation in 2011, she was appointed as a senior lecturer at UPM until present. She has led several national competitive grants from the Government and currently leading two research projects which are aimed to develop and characterise avian vaccine vectors, i.e. recombinant fowlpox viruses and virus-like particles (e.g. avian papillomavirus, avian polyomavirus), for their structure elucidations, antigenicity, immunogenicity and pathogenicity. She was also involved in the study of nodavirus-like particles displaying the extracellular domain of matrix 2 protein of avian influenza A virus, which were able to protect BALB/C mice against H1N1 and H3N2 infections. Subsequently, she secured the Pump-Priming Research Grant from the International Veterinary Vaccinology Network (IVVN), UK, to develop the nodavirus-like particles displaying the matrix 2 proteins of the avian influenza virus as a potential universal avian influenza vaccine for chickens. The funding body also supported her 3 months attachment to her IVVN UK partner at the Pirbright Institute. Her interest in international networking is evidenced by journal article publications with the UK and Taiwanese collaborators, and catalogue-chapter publications with her UK and US colleagues. Being a member in several national and international societies of microbiology and veterinary, also an active presenter in at least one international conference every year, Dr Maria believes in the importance of knowledge and technology acquisition and dissemination across continents.
Molecular biology, immunology, vaccinology