Mohammad Asif Khan
Associate Professor, Perdana University,
Current Research Interests:
My broad research interests are in the area of biological data warehousing and applications of bioinformatics to the study of immune responses, vaccines, venom toxins, drug design, and disease biomarkers. Currently, I am interested in understanding the human-pathogen interactome, defined as the pathogen and human genetic sets (DNA, RNA, Protein) that are directly or indirectly involved in the complex, dynamic interactions between the two, relevant for the survival of each other.
2020 – Present, Consultant, Researcher, Bezmialem Vakif University, Turkey; 2018 – Present, President, Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNet); 2019 – Present, ExCo Board Member, Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning, Education and Training (GOBLET); 2018 – 2019, Chief Data Officer (CDO), Perdana University, Malaysia; 2017 – Present, Associate Professor. School of Data Sciences, Perdana University, Malaysia; 2017 – 2019, Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Alterquo Pte Ltd; 2016 – 2019, Founder & Dean, School of Data Sciences, Perdana University, Malaysia; 2018 – Present, Vice President, Association for Medical and Bio-Informatics, Singapore (AMBIS); 2017 – 2018, President, Association for Medical and Bio-Informatics, Singapore (AMBIS); 2017 – Present, Deputy Vice President, Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Network (Education), APBioNET; 2012 – Present, Honorary Director, APBioNET LTD; 2014 – Present, Founder & Director, Centre for Bioinformatics, Perdana University, Malaysia; 2014 – 2018, Visiting Scientist, Pharmacology & Molecular Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, USA; 2011 – 2014, Adjunct Assistant Professor, Pharmacology & Molecular Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, USA; 2011, Visiting Scientist, Immunology Frontier Research Centre (IFReC), Osaka University, Japan; 2010 – 2011 Research Associate (Faculty), Johns Hopkins University, USA; 2010, Post-Doctoral Research Fellow and Teaching Associate, National University of Singapore; 2006 – 2010, Teaching Assistant, National University of Singapore; 2005 – 2006, Research Fellow, Division of Biomedical Sciences, Johns Hopkins Singapore; 2003, Research Assistant, Institute for Infocomm Research (I2R), Singapore.
2019 – Present, Executive Committee, Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning, Education & Training (GOBLET); 2019 – Present, Chair, Public Relations Committee, Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning, Education & Training (GOBLET); 2018 – Present, Founding Member, CADD.Asia; 2018 – Present, President, Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNET); 2018 – Present, Co-Founder and Deputy Chair, MyBioInfoNet (Malaysia Bioinformatics Network); 2018 – Present, Secretary, Asia Pacific Research Platform (APRP) Working Group @ Asia Pacific Advanced Network; 2017 – Present, Member, Public Relations Committee, Global Organization of Bioinformatics Learning Education and Training (GOBLET); 2017 – 2018, President, Association for Medical and Bio-Informatics, Singapore (AMBIS); 2017 – 2018, ExCo Member, Association for Medical and Bio-Informatics, Singapore (AMBIS); 2017 – 2018, Member (APBioNet representative), Global Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning, Education and Training (GOBLET); 2017 – 2018; Acting ExCo Vice President (Education), Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNET); 2016 – Present, Honorary Member, Masyarakat Bioinformatika dan Biodiversitas Indonesia (MABBI); 2016 – 2018, ExCo Member, Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNET); 2016 – 2017, Member, Parasitological Society of Southern Africa (PARSA); 2014 – 2016; ExCo Vice President (Corporate), Asia-Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNET); 2012 – 2014, ExCo Treasurer, Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNET); 2010 – 2012, ExCo Secretary, Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNET); 2011 – 2012, Member, International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB); 2009 – 2010, Deputy Secretariat, Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNet); 2009 – 2010, Honorary Auditor, Association for Medical and Bio-Informatics, Singapore (AMBIS); 2009 – 2010, Member, Association for Medical and Bio-Informatics, Singapore (AMBIS); 2006 – Present, Member, Asia Pacific Bioinformatics Network (APBioNet); 2006 – 2008, Member, International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB); 2005, Facilitator, S* Life Science Bioinformatics Alliance; 2004 – 2005, Member, International Immunomics Society (IIMMS).
– Biological data warehousing, nomenclature and classification – Molecular evolution – Gene/Protein structure-function modeling and prediction – Immunomics/Vaccine informatics – Computer aided vaccine design – Genome annotation – Venominformatics.
– Published 50 peer-reviewed, original science research international articles
– Published 3 peer-reviewed, international, education articles
– Published 3 peer-reviewed, international, service articles
– 3 patents granted
Contributions to APBioNET:
As a member of APBioNet since 2006, I have actively participated in the organization of its flagship International Conference on Bioinformatics (InCoB), initially serving only as Programme Committee (PC) member, tasked to review papers submitted to the various journal supplements of the conference. Later on, I assisted as part of the local organizing committee for InCoB2009, held in Singapore. Also in 2009, I took up a more active role with the organization and served as APBioNet Deputy Secretariat, helping out with the activities of the Secretariat based in Singapore, under the guidance of Prof. Tan Tin Wee.
This experience highlighted the greater role that I could play in assisting the leadership of APBioNet. Towards this, I took up the office bearer position of the Secretary upon successful election as an ExCo member for the period 2010 to 2012. During this period, besides actively managing the broad Secretary portfolio, I also took lead in various outreach activities, such as organizing bioinformatics educational workshops in Brunei and Singapore, continued as PC member for InCoB, chaired the APBioNet Travel Fellowship Selection Committee for InCoB, played a key role in establishing and implementing the APBioNet-Overseas Research Advancement Programme (ORAP; starting with India), assisted with the development of bioinformatics pedagogy methods (published in peer-reviewed, international journals; see publications section of CV), and contributed to the efforts BioDB100 initiative, aimed at gathering 100 bioinformatics databases that are Minimum Information About a Bioinformatics investigation (MIABi)-standards compliant under one interoperable framework (http://incob.apbionet.org/incob11).
With the desire to do more for the community, I accepted the nomination by the ExCo to be the Honorary Director for APBioNet Limited, incorporated in Singapore in 2012 as a public limited liability company to ensure quality, sustainability, and continuity of APBioNet’s mission to advance bioinformatics across the region and beyond. My ExCo membership was also renewed for another two years (2012-2014) due to strong support from the electorate, and I took up the proposed office bearer position of the Treasurer to dovetail with my responsibilities as the Honorary Director of APBioNet LTD in order to effectively facilitate the initial setup of this legal entity. As the treasurer and working with the only other Honorary Director, Prof. Tan Tin Wee, I helped streamline the role of the legal entity, in particular the financial aspects, such as managing of accounts, completion of audits, filing of taxes, and implementation of policies to ensure financial health and sustainability of the organization.
Re-elected for the period 2014-2016, I challenged myself with a completely new portfolio, not just for myself, but also the first for APBioNet, as Vice President (Corporate). This office bearer position was created to serve as the multi-purpose interface between the APBioNet, its legal entity, and external parties. This role was facilitated by my continuation as also the Honorary Director of APBioNet LTD. I consider the period 2014-2016 as my most productive years in giving back to APBioNet and the community:
• Helped establish APBioNet Malaysian Secretariat with full-time staff to support and grow the various activities of the organization. Relying on voluntary contributions was turning out to be non-sustainable, especially with the formation of the legal entity. Setup in Malaysia helped keep manpower cost low.
• Negotiated the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Perdana
University of Malaysia. As a result, Perdana University offered to host the
APBioNet Malaysian Secretariat at no cost.
• Managed the day-to-day operations of the Malaysian Secretariat Staff
• Established an arrangement between the Malaysian Secretariat and Perdana University Centre for Bioinformatics (PU-CBi) to organize joint outreach bioinformatics activities (4 workshops, 1 seminar, and 2 conferences) within the country and the region. In collaboration with PU-CBi, Malaysian Secretariat generated enough revenue during its first year of establishment (2014/15) to cover operation costs in the second year (2015/16).
• Worked with the APBioNet Malaysian Secretariat to:
o revive the APBioNet Newsletter, with the release of 2016 issue and served as the Editor-in-Chief.
o setup the APBioNet Membership Registration page, with assistance from the ExCo Treasurer
o create an APBioNet Brochure for promotional purposes.
o establish APBioNet’s presence on all major social network platforms (Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram).
o keep the APBioNet website and social network platforms up-to-date and alive with new content.
o manage the APBioNet mailing list.
o take advantage of the luminaries invited for InCoB by doing short interview videos to be posted on the YouTube channel. This was first done for GIW/InCoB2015, and will be done for future InCoBs.
• Conducted feasibility study on the idea of a “Super Conference” proposed by VP (Conference)/President whereby InCoB would partner with several other major bioinformatics conferences in the region every alternate year. Towards this, I surveyed a number of sites in Japan as the venue for the first Super Conference; the visit was kindly sponsored by the Japanese National Tourism Organization (JNTO).
• Served as a Programme Committee Member of GIW/InCoB2015, and now for InCoB2016.
• Trained and assisted the ExCo Treasurer with the preparation of APBioNet LTD budget, management of accounts, completion of audits and filing of tax.
• Instrumental in the establishment of Indonesia’s first national society for bioinformatics—The Indonesian Society for Bioinformatics and Biodiversity.
• Wrote an article on APBioNet with the other office bearers, which was published in the peer-reviewed, international journal of PLoS Computational Biology
• Worked with GIW/InCoB2015 and InCoB2016 organizing comm. to assist with the travel fellowship selection and disbursement of funds.
• Launched a joint internship programme between Perdana University School of Data Sciences and APBioNet.
I was successfully elected again for the period 2016-2018, however, this time I did not take up any office bearer position, paving the way for others to contribute at that level. Nonetheless, as an ExCo member, I continued supporting APBioNet’s mission. This was in the following key notable areas:
• Led the creation of a Data Science eXchange initiative (DSXi;http://dsxi.perdanauniversity.edu.my) in partnership with Perdana University. The aim was to promote data science through three key activities: public lecture series, roadshows, and an annual data science carnival. The initiative proved successful with the various activities conducted. Details are available on the website (link provided).
• Further built the APBioNet-Perdana University Internship programme. To date we have had more than 50 interns who benefited from this programme.
• Served as a Programme Comm. member for InCoB2017 and 2018.
• Assisted the InCoB2017 and InCoB2018 organizing comm. with the travel fellowship selection, disbursement of funds, and providing secretariat support.
• Represented APBioNet at the Organisation for Bioinformatics Learning,
Education and Training (GOBLET)
• Along the way, I was appointed as “Acting Deputy VP (Education)”
In the year 2018-2020, I was trusted with the opportunity not to just contribute to the exco, but also lead it as the President of APBioNet. I used the opportunity to improve the interaction between the exco by having at least one meeting per month, which we have succeeded in executing, barring one or two months. This allowed us to address various issues and better plan the running of the organisation. Key developments include:
• regular meetings among exco
• setup of APBioNet conference planning comm.
• student ambassador programme
• setup a bioinformatics grand challenge consortium (BGCC) and concluded defining the grand challenge in bioinformatics education and training as the first outcome from the consortium
• oversaw the running of InCoB 2019, for the first time in Jakarta; InCoB 2020, held virtually for the first time; InCoB2021, as a hybrid event, hosted by China; and now InCoB2022 as a virtual event for the first time in Saudi Arabia.
• oversaw InSyB2019, InSyB2020, InSyB2021, and now InSyB2022. I hosted InSyB2021 and it broke many past InSyB records.
• Improvements to APBioNet website and social media channels by working closely with the Secretariat
• started a new initiative, APBioNetTalks
• got APBioNET Student Council approved
• lead various new policies and updates to existing policies
• MoU signed with new partners
• Successfully completed the running of back-to-back 14 workshops as part of the Bioinformatics Workshop Fiesta 2020/22
• Initiated a research consortium
Proposed future contributions to APBioNET:
If I get elected as part of the ExCo again, I aim to push further the bioinformatics agenda:
• Education grand challenge
• Staff enrichment program
• APBioNet Outreach/Research Awards
• Creating a research network (local or Asia-Pacific wide)
• Grant applications involving APBioNet as a consortium
• APBioNet Research Awards
• Career development path
• APBioNet publications
• Drive membership