Designation/Title : Professor, Assoc. Dean, Postgraduate Studies cum Head, Centre for Environmental and Population Health
Department: Postgraduate Studies and Research, School of Postgraduate Studies, IRDI
Tel: 03-27317291
Fax: 03-86567229   
E-mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Education and Training

  • Environmental Science – Chevening Scholar, British High Commissioner’s Fellowship University of West of England, United Kingdom. 1994-1995
  • Ph.D. (Biomedical Sciences) University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur. 1976 –1980
  • M.Sc. (Applied Parasitology) University College of North Wales, Bangor, Wales, United Kingdom. 1974 1975
  • B.Sc. (Zoology Major) University of Madras, India. 19701973


Research interests:

  • Parasitology
  • Environmental Health
  • Small mammal ecology and Poisonous animals (snakes)


Research projects/grants:

  • A Longitudinal Comparative Study On The Quality Of Ground Water Versus Treated Water Supply. Project Leader Stephen Ambu, Collaborators IMU/UM/Monash/MoH; 2008-2011; Funding EScience RM168,550.
  • Indoor Air and Related Health impact in Two factories and an Office Environment. Project Leader Stephen Ambu; Collaborators Kavitha Mohandas; May 2009 – July 2012; Funding IMU RM 40,000.
  • A survey airborne bacteria in the indoor environment of the International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur (IMU). Project Leader Stephen Ambu; Collaborators IMU/IMR Researchers; March 2009 – December 2009; Funding IMU RM 20,000.
  • The prevalence of Acanthamoeba in the ventilating system and its association with other environmental organisms as an indicator for indoor air quality. Project Leader Prof. Mak Joon Wah; Collaborators IMU Researchers (Donald Chen / Stephen Ambu); Completed 2009 – 2012; Funding IMU RM 40,000.
  • Development of therapeutic model of toxoplasmosis in mice. Project Leader Dr. Ignatio Seggara ; Collaborators IMU Researchers (Stephen Ambu); 2009 – 2011; Funding IMU RM 40,000
  • Identification of potential wound healing inhibitory components from snake venom. Project Leader Dr. Fabian Davamani; Collaborators Dr. Stephen Ambu, Dr. Chitra Ebernezer; BMedSc Project; Duration 2011; Funding IMU RM 20,000
  • Determining the Pattern of Gastrointestinal Parasitic Infections among Orang Asli at Kg. Asli Serendah using Molecular and Classical Methods of Identification. Project Leader Stephen Ambu; Collaborators Mak Joon Wah, Verasingam Kumarasamy, Fabian Davamani/ Nisha Mehru (Student); 2011; Funding IMU RM 60,000
  • Development of growth and transport medium and evaluation of growth conditions of Acanthamoeba spp. from environmental samples. Collaborators Stephen Ambu, Fabian Davamani, Chitra Ebenezer and Chan Li Li; Biomedical Science Project; 2013; Funding IMU RM 3,000
  • Analysis of Env oncogene-induced gene expression in transformed 3T3 cells. Collaborators Chitra Ebenezer, Fabian Davamani, Stephen Ambu, Dhyayalini Yoginthran; Maheshie Pavithra; Imerpal Singh ; Biomedical Science Project 2013; Funding IMU RM 3,000
  • Is cyst more potent than trophozoite in causing systemic Acanthamoeba infections? Collaborators Chan Li Li, Mak Joon Wah, Stephen Ambu, Kenneth Chew Yee Choy 2013-2014 Funding IMU RM 20,000.
  • Isolation and characterization of mouse Mesenchymal Stem Cells (mMSCs) from different strain of mice. Collaborators Yap Fei Ling, Tan Seok Shin, Stephen Ambu 2013-2014; Funding IMU RM 20,000
  • The effect of propolis on the expression of biofilm producing genes in Enterococcus faecalis. Collaborators Stephen Ambu, Fabian Davamani, Yamunna Rajoo, Aveenesh Kaur, Subintra Vallasamy; 2014; Funding IMU RM 3,000.
  • Studies on the different staining methods for comparative evaluation of Toxoplasma gondii with Wright (Giemsa) Stain, Trypan blue, Hematoxylin and eosin stain, Calcoflour white and trichrome staining. Stephen Ambu, Amalraj Fabian Davamani, Tan Joon Ling, Chew Ling Li. 2015; Funding IMU RM 2,000.
  • Generation of telomerised human mesenchymal stem cells for improved cell life-span and proliferative capacity. Yap Fei Ling, Stephen Ambu, Seow Heng Fong, Wong Ee Choong. 2014; Funding IMU RM 20,000.
  • Functional Roles of DNA-Methyltransferase and Histone-Deacetylases on the Regulation of Genes Encoding Virulence-Associated Proteins in Acanthamoeba Species. Stephen Ambu, Chan Li Li, Leong Chee Onn, Priyadarshi Soumyaranjan Sahu ,Mak Joon Wah, Arine Fadzlun binti Ahmad, Wong Yi Hao 2014 – 2016; Funding IMU RM 40,000.
  • Association between intestinal parasitic infections, nutritional status, socioeconomic and environmental sanitary behaviour among long houses community in Sarikei Division, Sarawak. Stephen Ambu, Yvonne Lim Ai Lian, Romano Ngui, Komalaveni Rajoo, Yamuna Rajoo. 2015 – 2016. Funding UM RM 50000/ IMU RM 3000.
  • Different microorganism food sources modulate the pathogenic characteristic of environmental Acanthamoeba spp. Chan Li Li, Mak Joon Wah, Stephen Ambu. FRGS RM 114,920.
  • Evaluation of the mechanism of action of lactoferricin B peptide in the inhibition of breast cancer. Ebenezer Chitra Fabian, Alan Khoo, Fabian Davamani Amalraj, Ramkumar Rajendran, Stephen Ambu. FRGS RM 165,440.
  • Post translational regulation of glutamine metabolism by acetylases and deacetylases in cancer cells under hypoxic conditions. Ramkumar Rajendran, Constantinos Demonacos, Leong Chee Onn, Fabain Davamani Amalraj, Ebenezer Chitra Fabain, Stephen Ambu. FRGS RM 151,650.


Supervision of Postgraduates (MSc/PhD)
(Last 5 years – 2011-2015)

  • One PhD student – Main supervisor, IMU (Completed awaiting graduation 2016)
  • One MSc student – Main supervisor IMU 2015 (Ongoing)
  • Two PhD students – Main supervisor, IMU (Ongoing)
  • One PhD student – Main supervisor, IMU graduated May 2015
  • One PhD Completed - Main supervisor IMU - graduated May 2014
  • One PhD Student – Co-supervisor, IMU – graduated Sept 2014
  • One PhD student:– Main Supervisor IMU - graduated June 2013
  • One MSc Student – Co-supervisor, IMU – graduated 2012


Professional affiliations:

  • Malaysian Society of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine – Life Member
  • Malaysian Scientific Association – Fellow
  • Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene United Kingdom – Fellow
  • International Society for Infectious Diseases, USA - Member
  • British Society of Parasitology - Member


Academic Awards:

  • Malaysian Society of Parasitology & Tropical Medicine Sandosham Medal - 2005
  • Excellent Service Certificate (MOH) - 2003
  • Excellent Service Certificate (MOH) - 1997
  • Malaysian Society of Parasitology & Tropical Medicine Silver Medal for Parasitology - 1993
  • Silver Medal for Parasitology - 1993
  • Excellent service Certificate (MOH) - 1993
  • Excellent Service Certificate (MOH) - 1991


Recent publications


  • Sia FY, Vejayan J, Jamuna A , Ambu S (2011). Efficacy of tannins from Mimosa pudica and tannic acid in neutralizing cobra (Naja kaouthia) venom. The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases. volume 17 (1) 42-48. (IF 0.302)
  • Quah, J.X., Ambu, S., Lim Y.A. L., M.A.K. Mahdy and Mak.J.W. (2011). Molecular Identification of Cryptosporidium parvum from avian hosts. Parasitology: 138 (5) 573-577 (Open Access). (IF 2.522)
  • Jamunaa Ambikabothya , Halijah Ibrahima , Stephen Ambu, Srikumar Chakravarthib, Khalijah Awangc, Jaya Vejayan. Efficacy evaluations of Mimosa pudica tannin isolate (MPT) for its anti-ophidian properties. Journal of Ethnopharmacology 137 (2011) 257– 262 (IF 2.466)
  • Evelyn Hui-Ping Ng, Wan-Loy Chu & Stephen Ambu (2011). Occurrence of airborne algae within the township of Bukit Jalil in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia Grana, 2011; iFirst: 1–11 (IF 0.842).
  • Stephen Ambu, Evelyn Yin Synn Yeoh, Joon Wah Mak, Srikumar Chakravarthi. Prevalence of Sarcocystis spp. in rodents in Peninsular Malaysia. IeJSME 2011: 5 (2): 29-38
  • Leela Anthony, Nagarajah Lee, Stephen Ambu, Lokman Hakim. Validation Of ICD 10 On Congenital Anomalies In The State Of Penang. IeJSME 2011: 5(2): 12-17



  • Phua CS, Vejayan J, Ambu S, Ponnudurai G, Gorajana A (2012). Purification and antibacterial activities of an L-amino acid oxidase from king cobra (Ophiophagus hannah) venom. The Journal of Venomous Animals and Toxins including Tropical Diseases. Vol.18 (2); 198-207
  • Chew W. K, Mak J. W., Ambu S. and Segarra, I. (2012) Significant reduction of brain cysts caused by Toxoplasma gondii after treatment with spiramycin coadministered with metronidazole in a Mouse Model of Chronic Toxoplasmosis. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy; 56(4): 1762-1768
  • Chew W. K., Mak J. W., Ambu, S., Segarra, I. (2012) Toxoplasma gondii: Determination of The Onset of Chronic Infection in Mice and the in vitro Reactivation of Brain Cysts. Experimental Parasitology 130(1): 22–25
  • Stephen Ambu. Climate change and its impact on public health - A review of the global environment. Stephen Ambu International Electronic Journal of Science, Medicine and Education IeJSME 2012:6 (Suppl 1): S2-S11.
  • A.S. Sikarwar, S. Ambu, T .H. Wong S. Evaluation of Newly Developed Dot-ELISA Test for Identification of Naja-naja sumantrana and Calloselasma rhodostoma Venom Antigens. Proceeding of the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology 68 2012 1802.



  • Stephen Ambu. The importance of data in developing environmental health guidelines – an IMU Perspective. IeJSME 2013 7 (Suppl 1): S47-50
  • Leela Anthony, Nagarajah Lee , Stephen Ambu, & Lokman Hakim S. A trend analysis of major congenital anomalies in Penang, Malaysia. IeJSME 2013 7(2): 33-40
  • Wan-Loy Chu, Shao-Yang Tneh, Stephen Ambu. Survey of airborne algae and cyanobacteria within the indoor air environment of an office building in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Grana 52(3), 207-220



  • The chemical, heavy metal and microbial quality of well water in an urbanized village in Klang Valley. Stephen Ambu, Stacey FY. Yong, Yvonne AL. Lim, Mak Joon Wah, Donald KF. Chen, Ooi Soo Shen, Lee Sau Peng, Tan Ti Myen, Goh Mei Yen, Danapridha Nyanachendram. IeJSME 2014(3), 28-44.
  • Phylogenetic analysis and identification of Sarcocystis spp. found in rodents in Peninsular Malaysia. Jenn Haw Fong, Kenny Voon, Stephen Ambu, Joon Wah Mak. IeJSME 2014, 8(2), 12-17.
  • Rodents and disease – the never ending problem. Editorial. Stephen Ambu. IeJSME 2014, 8(1), 1-2.
  • The life-cycle of Spirometra species from Peninsular Malaysia. Kavana NJ, Susan LLH, Ambu S. Tropical Biomedicine 2014, 31(3), 487-495.
  • Bacterial constituents of indoor air in a high throughput building in the tropics. Tee Chin Li, Stephen Ambu, Kavitha Mohandas, Mak Joon Wah, Lokman Hakim Sulaiman, Malathi Murgaiyah. Tropical Biomedicine 2014, 31(3), 540-556.



  • P.K.C. Lim*, H. Yamasaki, J.W. Mak, S.F. Wong, C.W. Chong, I.K.S. Yap, S. Ambu, V. Kumarasamy. Field evaluation of a rapid diagnostic test to detect antibodies in human toxocariasis. Acta Tropika 2015 148: 32-37.
  • Stephen Ambu. Floods –the consequence of human intrusion into nature. IeJSME 2015; 9 (1): 1 – 2.
  • Kavana NJ, Lim LHS, Ambu S. The morphological characteristics of the sparganum stage of the Malaysian Spirometra species IeJSME 2015; 9(2):


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