Organization chart

 Assoc. Prof. Dr. Zafarina Zainuddin

Dr Zaf


Address: Analytical Biochemistry Research Centre (ABrC), Universiti Sains Malaysia, 11800 USM, Penang, Malaysia

Telephone:  04-653 2544


Scopus: and

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Areas of Expertise

  1. Molecular Biology
  2. DNA Profiling
  3. Population Genetics

Current Research


  1.  Phylogeny and phylogeography analysis of Orang Asli: Peopling of South East Asia.
  2. Remodeling of white adipose tissue (WAT) to brown adipose tissue (BAT) via modification of selected molecular mechanisms using natural product compounds for prevention of diet-induced obesity. 
  3. Combating age-related disorders: Identification of potential natural product compound with anti-ageing properties.
  4. Molecular characterisation of selected wild animal species of Malaysia using barcoding region of mtDNA COI for application in wild life crimes 

Past Research


International (Principle Investigator)

 1. British Army-UK - Title: DNA analysis and excavation of the remains from Dakota KN630 crash in Gua Musang, Kelantan, Malaysia; RM76,365.00, 2009 (joined project with ATM, PDRM and Center for Global Archaeological Research, USM)

 National (Principle Investigator)

1. Tracing the origin of the Malay race through morphological, historical, socio-cultural and genetic analyses (FRGS top-down, RM1.4 million, 2007-2010)

2. Bionexus-partner lab (Agensi luar-Biotechcorporation Sdn Bhd, RM320,787.00, 2008-2010)

3. The prehistoric settlement of Peninsular Malaysia: A study using complete mitochondrial DNA sequence of the Malay population (RU, RM249,880.92, 2010-2013)

4. Tracing the origin of the Malays: Molecular genotyping of blood group and killer cell immunoglobulin like receptor (KIR) polymorphisms among sub-ethnic groups (RU, RM227,853.92, 2011-2014).

5.  Phylogeny and phylogeography analysis of Orang Asli: Peopling of South East Asia. (LRGS, RM2.4 million, 2011-2016)

 National (Co-researcher)

1. Cellular and molecular characterisation of stem cells derived from human exfoliated deciduous teeth (SAGA, RM219,000, Project head: Dr Siti Noor Fazliah Mohd Noor, PPSG, 2006-2008).

2.  Multivariate biotechnology approaches with artificial  propagations, stock enhancement for sustainable exploitation and commercialization of Malaysians Stichopus spp.  (MOSTI ABI, 304/PPSK/6150088/T114; Project head: Prof Madya Dr Farid Che Ghazali).

3. The association between breast milk adiponectin protein and adipoQ gene with maternal and infant adiposity (RU, RM194,408.00, Project head: Dr Hamid Jan Jan Mohamed; 2009-2011).

4.  Sequence based typing of human leucocyte antigen-A, B & DR of random Malay population of Peninsular Malaysia (RU, RM240,857.00, Project head: Mr S Panneerchelvam, 1001/PPSK/813053, 1 Dec 2011-30th Nov 2014)


1. Vincent Macaulay, Catherine Hill, Alessandro Achilli, Chiara Rengo, Douglas Clarke, William Meehan, james Blackburn, Ornella Semino, Rosaria Scozzi, Fulvio Cruciani, Adi Taha, Norazila Kassim Shaari, Joseph Maripa Raja, Patimah Ismail, Zafarina Zainuddin, William Goodwin, David Bulbeck, Hans-Jurgen Bandelt, Stephen Oppenheimer, Antonio Torroni and Martin Richards (2005). Single, Rapid Coastal Settlement of Asia Revealed by Analysis of Complete Mitochondrial Genome. Science 308: 1034-36.

 2. Henry Harpending, Vinayak Eswaran;, Vincent Macaulay, Catherine Hill, Alessandro Achilli, Chiara Rengo, Douglas Clarke, William Meehan, James Blackburn, Ornella Semino, Rosaria Scozzari, Fulvio Cruciani, Adi Taha, Norazila Kassim Shaari, Joseph Maripa Raja, Patimah Ismail, Zafarina Zainuddin, William Goodwin, David Bulbeck, Hans-Jürgen Bandelt, Stephen Oppenheimer, Antonio Torroni, Martin Richards;, Kumarasamy Thangaraj, Gyaneshwer Chaubey, Toomas Kivisild, Alla G. Reddy, Vijay K. Singh, Avinash A. Rasalkar, and Lalji Singh. (2005) Tracing Modern Human OriginsScience 309: 1995-1997

 3. Z. Zainuddin and W.Goodwin (2004) Mitochondrial DNA profiling of modern Malay and Orang Asli populations in Peninsular Malaysia.International Congress Series, Volume 1261: 428-430, published by Elsevier science

4. B. Bekaert, Z. Zainuddin, S. Hadi and W. Goodwin (2006) A comparison of mtDNA and Y chromosome diversity in Malay populations. International Congress Series, Volume 1288: 252-255, published by Elsevier science

5. Z Siti Aishah, M D Mohd Khairi, A R Normastura, Z.  Zafarinaand B A Zilfalil(2008)Screening for gap junction protein beta-2 gene mutations in Malays with autosomal recessive, non-syndromic hearing loss, using denaturing high performance liquid chromatography Journal of Laryngology & Otology 122:1284-1288

 6. Edinur, H.A., Zafarina, Z., Spínola,H., Nurhaslindawaty, A.R., Panneerchelvam, S., and Norazmi, M.N  (2009)  HLA polymorphism in six Malay sub-ethnic groups in Malaysia. Human Immunology. 70: 518-526.

7. Mahat, N.A., Zafarina, Z. and Jayaprakash, P.T. (2009) Influence of rain and malathion on the oviposition and development of blowflies (Diptera: Calliphoridae) infesting rabbit carcasses in Kelantan, Malaysia. Forensic Science International 192: 19-28

8. Zafarina, Z. and Panneerchelvam, S. (2009) Analysis of hair samples using microscopical and molecular techniques to ascertain claims of rare animal species. Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences 16(3): 37-42.

9. Nur Haslindawaty, A.R.,  Panneerchelvam, S., Edinur, H.A.,  Norazmi, M.N. and Zafarina, Z (2010) Sequence polymorphisms of mtDNA HV1, HV2 and HV3 regions in the Malay population of Peninsular Malaysia. International Journal of Legal Medicine 124:415-426.

10. S.N.Fazliah, S.Jaafar, S.Shamsuddin, Z.Zainuddin, A.B.Hilmi, A.R.Razila and S.F.Abdullah (2010) Ex-vivo differentiation of stem cells from human extracted deciduous teeth into bone forming cells. ASM Science Journal 4(1): 1-14.

11. Mohamad Noor, N.M., Mohamad Saman, M.Y., Ghazali, A.F. and Zafarina, Z. (2010) An integrated DNA decision support system using grid environment for crime investigation. Proceedings 2010 International Symposium on Information Technology-Engineering Technology, ITSim’10, 2, art. No 5561529, p. 636-641.

12. Noor, N.M.M, Ghazali, A.F., Saman, Md.Y.M. and Zainuddin, Z. (2010) Java-Grid Environment for Bioinformatics Applied Tools (JEBAT).  Advances in Biology, Bioengineering and Environment  p. 65-73.

13. Wan Salleh Wan Ibrahim and Zafarina Zainuddin (2011). Aboriginal Taiwan: Exploring Austonesian culture and genetic trail for mass tourism. Journal of Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts. 2:10-31

14. Nadiah, T.B., Hasnan,J and Zafarina, Z. (2012) Association of Mitochondrial DNA 10398 Polymorphism in Invasive Breast Cancer in Malay Population of Peninsular Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences. Jan-Mar 2012; 19(1): 36-42

15.  Mahat, N.A., Jayaprakash, P.T. and Zafarina, Z. (2012) Malathion extraction from larvae of Chrysomya megacephala (Fabricius) (Diptera: Calliphoridae) for determining death due to malathion. Tropical Biomedicine 29 (1): 9-17

16. Siti Aishah Zainal, Mohd Khairi Md Daud, Normastura Abd Rahman, Zafarina Zainuddin and Zilfalil Alwi (2012) Mutation detection in GJB2 gene among Malays with non-syndromic hearing loss. International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 76: 1175-1179.

17.  Noor Maizura Mohd Nor, Ahmad Faiz Ghazali, Md Yazid Mohamad Saman and Zafarina Zainuddin (2012) Reverse engineering approach in a development of a decision support system for forensic DNA analysis. Applied Mathematical Sciences vol 6 (108): 5369-5382.

18. H.Z.A. NurWaliyuddin, H.A. Edinur, M.N. Norazmi, P. Sundararajulu, G.K. Chambers and Z. Zafarina (2014) Killer immunoglobulin-like receptor diversity in Malay sub-ethnic groups of Peninsular Malaysia. International Journal of Immunogenetics. 41:472-479

19. Siti M. Manaf, Hanis Z.A. NurWaliyuddin, Sundararajulu Panneerchelvam, Zainuddin Zafarina, Mohd N. Norazmi, Geoffrey K.Chambers, Hisham A. Edinur (2015) Human Neutrophil Antigen Profiles in Banjar, Bugis, Champa, Jawa and Kelantan Malays in Peninsular Malaysia. Blood Transfusion DOI: 10.2450/2015.0278-14

20.  Rahayu  Abd Gani, Siti M Manaf, Zainuddin  Zafarina, Sundararajulu  Panneerchelvam, Geoffrey   K Chambers, Mohd N. Norazmi, Hisham A. Edinur (2015) Molecular Blood Group Typing in Banjar, Jawa, Mandailing and Kelantan Malays in Peninsular Malaysia. Transfusion and Apheresis Science DOI: 10.1016/j.transci.2015.03.009

21. H.K.NorKhalifah, Z.Zafarina, P.Sundararajulu, M.N.Norazmi and H.A.Edinur (2015) Distribution of cytokine gene polymorphism in five Malay subethnic groups in Peninsular Malaysia. International Journal of Immunogenetics 42, 200–203

22. A. R.  Tasnim, S. Allia, H. A. Edinur, S. Panneerchelvam, Z. Zafarina and M. N. Norazmi (2015) Distribution of HLA-A, -B and -DRB1 alleles and haplotypes in the Semang and Senoi Orang Asli populations in Peninsular Malaysia. Human Immunology (under review)

23. H.Z.A. NurWaliyuddin, H.A. Edinur, M.N. Norazmi, P. Sundararajulu, G.K. Chambers and Z. Zafarina (2015) Ancient Genetic Signatures of Orang Asli Revealed by Killer Immunoglobulin-Like Receptor Gene Polymorphisms PLOS One DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0141536

24. Hazwani Ahmad Yusof, Rabindarjeet Singh, Kieron Rooney, Zafarina Zainuddin and Ahmad Munir Che Muhamed (2015) The Angiotensin Converting Enzyme I/D Gene Polymorphism in Well-trained Malaysian Athletes. Sport Sci Health
 DOI 10.1007/s11332-015-0222-4.

25. Siti Farah Quraishia, Sundararajulu Panneerchelvam, Zafarina Zainuddin and Nur Haslindawaty Abd Rashid (2015) Molecular Characterization of Malaysian Marine Fish Species using Partial Sequence of Mitochondrial DNA 12S and 16S rRNA Markers. Sains Malaysiana 44(8): 1119–1123.

26. A. Amila, A. Acosta , M.E. Sarmiento, Siti Suraiya, Z. Zafarina, S. Panneerchelvam and M.N. Norazmi (2015). Sequence comparison of six human microRNAs genes between tuberculosis patients and healthy individuals Int. J. Mycobacteriology 4: 341-346.

27.  Kah Tee Lim, Zuriati Zahari, Azimah Amanah, Zafarina Zainuddin and Mohd Ilham Adenan (2016). Development of resazurin-based assay in 384-well format for high throughput whole cell screening of Trypanosoma brucei rhodesiense strain STIB 900 for the identification of potential anti-trypanosomal agents. Experimental Parasitology 162: 49-56.

28.  Andreia Brandão, Ken Khong Eng, Teresa Rito, Bruno Cavadas, David Bulbeck, Francesca Gandini, Maria Pala, Maru Mormina, Bob Hudson, Joyce White, Tsang-Ming Ko, Mokhtar Saidin, Zainuddin Zafarina, Stephen Oppenheimer, Martin B Richards, Luísa Pereira, Pedro Soares (2016). Quantifying the legacy of the Chinese Neolithic on the maternal genetic heritage of Taiwan and Island Southeast Asia. Human Genetics 135 (4): 363-376.

29. SM Manaf, S Panneerchelvam, MN Norazmi, Z Zafarina, HA Edinur (2016)HNA diversity in six subgroups of Orang Asli in Peninsular Malaysia. Transfusion Medicine doi: 10.1111/tme.12315