Research Fellow

Contact Details

Phone: +61 (0)419 301 740
Fax: +61 (0)7 3274 9003
National Centre for Environmental Toxicology (Entox)
39 Kessels Road
Coopers Plains
QLD 4108
Email: a.abubakar@uq.edu.au


Dr A’edah Abu-Bakar’s main research focuses on understanding the molecular and biochemical effects of xenobiotics on cellular systems and their mechanisms of action. In particular, she is interested in understanding the role of cytochrome P450 enzymes in cytoprotection against oxidative stress exerted by environmental pollutants. Her research philosophy embraces a multidisciplinary approach to facilitate fundamental, strategic and applied research, which integrates analytical chemistry, biochemistry and molecular cell biology techniques.

Dr Abu-Bakar received her PhD in Population Health from the University of Queensland in 2006. Thereafter, she continued on a postdoctoral research at Entox on a spinoff project of her PhD. The project focused on developing new approach for the assessment of biological effects induced by oxidative stress was funded by the CRC-CARE (Cooperative Research Centre for Contamination Assessment and Remediation of the Environment). Her current research which builds on the findings of her PhD project focuses on understanding mitochondrial stress mechanisms in the liver. A’edah is also interested in exploring the mammalian metabolic pathway of natural toxins.

Current Research Topics

Cellular defence against oxidative stress

  • Characterising bilirubin metabolic pathway in hepatic mitochondria
  • Investigating the role of human cytochrome P450 2A6 in hepatotoxicity

Development of improved tools/bioassays for measurement of stress-induced biological response

  • Improving recombinant gene vectors for better prediction and understanding toxicity mode of environmental chemicals
  • Investigating the relevance of bilirubin oxidative metabolites as biomarkers for acute metal toxicity

Selected Research Grants   

2012 – 2015 CRC-CARE: “Developing mechanism-based bioassays for predicting toxicity of environmental contaminants” (Lang, M & Abu-Bakar, A)
2010 – 2012 Queensland Health: “Identification of mammalian metabolic pathways for the cyanobacterial toxin, cylindrospermopsin” (Abu-Bakar, A; Wickramasinghe, W; Lang, M; Stewart I; Sendall, B)
2010 – 2011 Major Equipment and Infrastructure Grant (UQ): “Refurbishment of Entox’s makeshift molecular biology laboratory” (Lang, M; Abu-Bakar, A; Ng, J; Sly, P; Minchin, R)
2007 – 2008   Major Equipment and Infrastructure Grant (UQ): “A high performance centrifuge to facilitate molecular and biochemical research at Entox” (Abu-Bakar, A; Muller, J; Tang, J; Ng, J; Leusch, F; Bengtson-Nash, S; Gaus, C)
2007 – 2008 University of Queensland Start-up Grant: “Establishment of primary cells in culture model to investigate impact of bile pigments on gene expression” (Abu-Bakar, A)
2006 – 2010 CRC-CARE: “A new approach for the assessment of biological effects induced by oxidative stress” (Abu-Bakar, A; Moore, MR; Ng, J; Lang M)

Key Publications:

  • Abu-Bakar A, Arthur DM, Wikman AS, Rahnasto M, Juvonen RO, Vepsäläinen J, Raunio H, Ng JC, and Lang MA. (2012). Metabolism of bilirubin by human cytochrome P450 2A6. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 261(1):50-8.
  • Arthur DM, Ng JC, Lang MA, and Abu-Bakar A. (2012). Urinary excretion of bilirubin oxidative metabolites in arsenite-induced mice. J. Toxicol. Sci. 37(3):655-61.
  • Abu-Bakar A, Hakkola J, Juvonen R, Rahnasto-Rilla M, Raunio H, Lang MA. (2012) Function and regulation of the Cyp2a5/CYP2A6 genes in response to toxic insults in the liver. Curr. Drug Metab. In press
  • Abu-Bakar A, Arthur DM, Aganovic S, Ng JC, and Lang MA. (2011). Inducible bilirubin oxidase: A novel function for the mouse cytochrome P450 2A5. Toxicol. Appl. Pharmacol. 257:14-22.
  • (Abu-Bakar, A., Lamsa, A., Arpiainen, A., Moore, M.R., Lang, M., and Hakkola, J. (2007). Regulation of CYP2A5 gene by the transcription factor nuclear factor (erythroid-derived 2)-like 2. Drug Metab. Dispos. 35(5):787-94.

Current Students:

Siti NurFadzilah Muhsain (PhD candidate) 

Hooman Mirzaee (PhD candidate)

Alumni Student and Staff

Dr. Dionne Arthur (2007 – 2011). PhD: Bilirubin metabolism during arsenic toxicity of the liver: involvement of murine cytochrome P450 2a5 and its human orthologue CYP2A6.

Anna Wikman (2011). MSc (Examensarbete): Dose bilirubin induce the human cytochrome P450 2A6?

Olivia Sosnowska (2010). MSc (Examensarbete): Induction of hepatic Cyp2a5 mRNA expression by the cyanobacterial toxin cynlidrospermopsin.

Leila Niknam (2010). MSc (Examensarbete): Cytochrome P450 2a5 induction by bilirubin in C57BL/6 mice.

Yao Jianhua (2008 – 2009). Visiting Scholar: Development of retrograde double-perfusion method to isolate primary hepatocytes.

Simona Lo Cascio Aganovic (2009). MSc (Examensarbete): Cyp2a5 induction by bilirubin – a post-translational mechanism?

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