Dr. Mohd Firdaus Raih is bioinformatician and computational biologist at the Faculty of Science and Technology, Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. He has a BSc (Biochemistry) from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia and a PhD (Computational Structural Biology) from the University of Sheffield. He currently leads a research group investigating the structure and function of complex RNA molecules and the structure based computational characterization of protein structures, particularly those with unknown functions (hypothetical proteins). The knowledge gained regarding these molecules are channeled towards trying to understand regulatory mechanisms and molecular switches that can contribute to environmental adaptation and pathogenesis in microbes. In addition to structural bioinformatics, Firdaus’ research interests include the use of gene expression and nucleic acid modification analysis to understand the intricate regulation of various biological systems.



Bioinformatics – transcending disciplinary boundaries: the context for Malaysia
Tuesday, November 26  | 11.30am – 12.00pm
Auditorium 2

Bioinformatics have long drawn its practitioners from diverse disciplines. Despite originating from different disciplines, the singular focus of solving problems associated with understanding the complex processes that constitute life had led to bioinformatics evolving into a transdisciplinary field. A field that its practitioners take a vested interest in the problems followed by direct participation in the development of solutions. This perhaps differentiates it from many multi-disciplinary fields where the contributors of tools and solutions may come from different backgrounds but stop short of crossing into the disciplinary boundary of the problem sets. The formats of data in the biological sciences are also diverse. In the post genomics age, the deluge of biological data requires custom solutions with intimate contextual insights to provide accurate and relevant interpretation of these large datasets. Data wrangling skills and the ability to provide complex computational solutions need to be coupled with deep knowledge of the molecular biology. In this context, we will revisit how bioinformatics in Malaysia took root and explore its current state and future directions.