Assistant Professor Dr Low May Lee

Assistant Professor

Academic Qualifications

PhD in Synthesis (Bioinorganic Chemistry)

Bachelor of Science (Hons) in Chemistry

Areas of Interest
Metal-based compounds for therapeutic, imaging, sensing and catalysis applications
Stimuli-responsive materials in particular for photodynamic therapy
Metal-organic frameworks
Nanomedicine and drug delivery
Chemical education
Professional Bodies Membership:

1. American Chemical Society (ACS) - Member (2014-present), Secretary of ACS Malaysia Chapter (2018-2022), Chair-Elect (2022-present)

2. Malaysian Institute of Chemistry - Member (2015-present), Committee Member of Analytical Chemistry Section (2017-present)

3. Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) - Member (2019-present)



Current research project (PI/Co-PI)




Ruthenium(II) polypyridyl complexes conjugated with amphiphilic cell penetrating peptides as novel anticancer photosensitisers


Malaysia Toray Science Foundation

International Medical University


Signal enhancement study for gold-coated tilted grating with streptavidin-biotin sandwich assay in the detection of SARS-CoV-2 virus


Fundamental Research Grant Scheme

Universiti Malaya


Elucidating the synergistic role of biomimetic hybrid metal-organic framework-polyionic complexed nanofibrous scaffolds as antibacterial and diabetic wound healing promoters


Fundamental Research Grant Scheme

International Medical University


Bacterial membrane targeting agent - ruthenium/rhenium based photosensitizer conjugates as novel effective therapeutics against multi-drug resistant bacteria: feasibility and synergistic mechanism studies

Fundamental Research Grant Scheme

International Medical University


Novel gemcitabine – Re(I) tricarbonyl complexes combinations, conjugates and formulations with liquid crystalline nanoparticles for pancreatic cancer photodynamic therapy and bioimaging (PI)                                                           Principal Investigator                                        2019-2021                                                           IMU Pancreatic Cancer Challenge Grant/


IMU Pancreatic Cancer Challenge Grant

International Medical University



Supervision: (Current student on top, followed by completed. Example shown below)


PhD students (Current)

Ng Xiao Ying (IMU, co-supervisor)

Fong Kar Wai (IMU, co-supervisor)

Waldo Udos  (UM, co-supervisor)


Master students (Current)

Tan Pei Yi (UCSI, co-supervisor)

Lee Ke Hui (IMU, co-supervisor)


1. Sharma, H., Gupta, A., Kumari, R., Low, M. L., Lim, W. M., and Milton, M. D. (2023). Substituted 1‐Azaphenothiazines and Their 10‐(2′‐Morpholinylethyl) Derivatives: Synthesis, Characterization and Anticancer Evaluation. ChemistrySelect, 8(26), e202300873.

2. Sharma, H., Chaudhary, S., Nirwan, S., Kakkar, R., Liew, H., Low, M.L., Mai, C.W., Hii, L.W., Leong, C.O. and Milton, M. D. (2022) N, N’‐Disubstituted Benzimidazolium Salts: Synthesis, Characterization, Micromolar Detection of Fe(III) ions in Aqueous system, Biological Evaluation and Molecular Docking Studies. ChemistrySelect, 7(48), e202203239. 

3. Liew, H.S., Mai, C.W., Zulkefeli, M., Madheswaran, T., Kiew, L.V., Pua, L.J.W., Hii, L.W., Lim, W.M. and Low, M.L. (2022) Novel Gemcitabine-Re(I) Bisquinolinyl Complex Combinations and Formulations with Liquid Crystalline Nanoparticles for Pancreatic Cancer Photodynamic Therapy. Frontiers in Pharmacology, 13(2022), 903210.

4. Ooi, C. W., Low, M. L., Udos, W., Lim, K. S., and Ahmad, H. (2022). Novel Schiff base functionalized 80-μm tilted fiber Bragg grating chemosensor for copper(II) ion detection. Optical Fiber Technology, 71 (2022), 102920.

5. Gan, W. K., Liew, H. S., Pua, L. J. W., Ng, X. Y., Fong, K. W., Cheong, S. L., Liew, Y. K. and Low, M. L. (2022). Novel Cu(II) Schiff Base Complex Combination with Polymyxin B/Phenylalanine-Arginine β-Naphthylamide Against Various Bacterial Strains. International Journal of Peptide Research and Therapeutics, 28(2), 60.

6. Lee, Z. Y., Leong, C. H., Lim, K. U. L., Wong, C. C. S., Pongtheerawan, P., Arikrishnan, S. A., Tan, K. L., Loh, J. S., Low, M. L., How, C. W. and Ong, Y. S. (2022). Induction of Apoptosis and Autophagy by Ternary Copper Complex Towards Breast Cancer Cells. Anti-cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry. 22(6), 1159-1170.

7. Arikrishnan, S., Loh, J. S., Teo, X. W., Norizan, F. B., Low, M. L., Lee, S. H., Foo, J. B. and Tor, Y. S. (2022). Ternary Copper(II) Complex Induced Apoptosis and Cell Cycle Arrest in Colorectal Cancer Cells. Anti-cancer Agents in Medicinal Chemistry. 22(5), 999-1011.

8. Chung, P. Y., Khoo, R. E. Y., Liew, H. S. and Low, M. L. (2021). Antimicrobial and antibiofilm activities of Cu(II) Schiff base complexes against methicillin-susceptible and resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Annals of Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobials, 20(1), 1-11.

9. Ng, C. H., Tan, T. H., Tioh, N. H., Seng, H. L., Ahmad, M., Ng, S. W., Gan, W. K., Low, M. L., Lai, J. W. and Zulkefeli, M. (2021). Synthesis, Characterization and Multiple Targeting with Selectivity: Anticancer Property of Ternary Metal Phenanthroline-Maltol Complexes. Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry, 220(2021), 111453.

10. Liew, H. S., Mai, C. W., Zulkefeli, M., Madheswaran, T., Kiew, L. V., Delsuc, N., and Low, M. L. (2020). Recent Emergence of Rhenium(I) Tricarbonyl Complexes as Photosensitisers for Cancer Therapy. Molecules, 25(18), 4176. 

Journal Reviewers:

1. Malaysian Journal of Chemistry

2. Metallomics

3. International Journal of Peptide Research and Therapeutics

4. Malaysian Journal of Pharmacy

5. Inorganic Chemistry

6. ChemistrySelect

7. Tropical Biomedicine

Editorial Board Member:

1. Advances of Metal-based Compounds for Therapeutic Applications for Frontiers in Chemical Biology

Awards and Recognitions

1. Invited speaker/trainer for ACS Chemical Security and Safety Training for Academia and Industrial Practitioners (2023); Chemistry Professional Day forum on Gen-Z chemists: Our Future! (2022); Symposium on Best Practices & Innovations in Laboratory Management (2022); ACS Malaysia Chapter Chemical Security Training Workshop (2019); Chemical Security Capacity Building Program (2018); 20th Industrial Chemistry Seminar (2017)

2. Invited participant for ASEAN BCG Researcher Development Programme, Thailand (2023), 71st Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting in Chemistry, Germany (2022); Global Young Scientists Summit, Singapore (2019); American Chemical Society Global Chemists' Code of Ethics Science and Technology Leadership Institutes Program, Australia (2017)

3. International Medical University Achievement Award for Leadership in Community Service 2022 (Individual Category)


Other achievements (examples shown below)

External examiner (dissertation)

2023. Master of Science Thesis. Jei Vincent. “Improved Antibacterial Activity and Oxidation Stability of Cuprous Oxide Nanoparticles: Clinical Bacterial Strains”. University Kebangsaan Malaysia .


External evaluation activities

2023. Lindau Alumni peer reviewer to the selection process of Young Scientists for the Next Gen Science presentations during the 72nd Lindau Nobel Laureate Meeting.

2023. Scientific Technical Committee for ASIANALYSIS 2023 (Cosmetic and pharmaceutical analysis session)