PhD in Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge; BA in Natural Sciences (Biological), University of Cambridge

Dr. Chen Jit Ern is a Research Fellow at the Jeffrey Sachs Center on Sustainable Development and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences at Sunway University. His primary research interest is in the development and utilization of genetic engineering techniques and molecular tools on various microalgae, to study the underlying mechanisms for physiological traits such as lipid accumulation and heat tolerance. His previous Post-Doctoral position was in KAUST, Saudi Arabia, studying the potential for increased heat-tolerance in Zooxanthellae (Symbiodinium microadriaticum), the photosynthetic coral endosymbiont, native to the Red Sea. In the Master in Sustainability Development Management program (MSDM), Dr Chen teaches courses on Earth’s Climate System and on Biodiversity.

His current project in Sunway University is a continuation of this work, with a particular emphasis on the study of heat-activated Zooxanthellae retrotransposons retrotransposons and on experimental evolution of heat-tolerance in microalgae. His other projects include genetic engineering of the model green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii for protein production, the effects of algae auxins on the growth profile of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana, and monitoring the biodiversity of plants and algae in Bandar Sunway.


Current Projects

  1. Experimental evolution and retrotransposon-mediated genetic engineering of the coral endosymbiont alga Symbiodinium to develop increased tolerance to higher water temperatures.
  2. Chloroplast transformation of the model green algae, Chlamydomonas reinhardtii.
  3. ASEAN Green Future

Selected Publications

JCI Events

ASEAN Sustainable Development Summit 2019

November 18, 2019 • 9:00 am - 6:00 pm

The one-day event provides a platform and practical framework for ministers, policymakers, industry practitioners, civil society activists and experts to address shared challenges to sustainable development in the region and to discuss feasible and effective implementation strategies and solutions.

External Talks and Presentations

  1. 27 January 2021: ‘Turning Up the Heat on Reefs and Retrotransposons’, IMMB Journal Club Talk.
  2. 19-22 Aug 2019: Heat-activated retrotransposons in the algal symbiont of corals, Symbiodinium microadriaticum, 27th FAOBMB & 44th MSBMB Conference, IUBMB Special Symposia, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, MSBMB
  3. 18 Nov 2019: The Environment and Responsible Corporate Action, ASEAN Sustainable Development Summit, ASLI & JSC