Dr Suyinn Chong


Senior Research Fellow


The role of microRNAs in fetal alcohol syndrome

MicroRNAs are small non-coding RNAs that act as potent regulators of gene expression. Abnormal microRNA expression has been linked to a number of human diseases, including cancer. We are interested in the role of microRNAs in fetal alcohol syndrome. Fetal alcohol syndrome is associated with excessive maternal alcohol consumption during pregnancy and is characterised by growth restriction, craniofacial dysmorphology and structural/functional abnormalities of the central nervous system. Diagnosis is difficult and underreporting is suspected. This project will explore the effects of alcohol exposure on microRNA expression as well the downstream molecular and phenotypic consequences. It involves a range of cell and molecular biology techniques. Increased knowledge of the molecular basis of alcohol-induced damage in utero is expected to improve diagnosis and treatment, and to impact public health policy.

Investigating the role of epigenetics in the developmental origins of health and disease

About me

Following an undergraduate Science degree with a major in Biochemistry, Suyinn carried out a PhD in the field of epigenetics at the University of Technology, Sydney. This sparked an interest which she pursued through postdoctoral studies both in the USA (Beckman Research Institute) and in Australia (University of Sydney and Queensland Institute of Medical Research). In 2012 Suyinn and her team moved to Mater Research - The University of Queenlsand, where they investigate the role of epigenetics in complex disease.

Research fields

developmental programming, epigenetics, microRNA