Jose Enrico H. Lazaro, Ph.D.

Associate Professor


Institute Director, National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (2019 – 2021)

PhD, Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, France

MAS Public Health, Pierre and Marie Curie University, Paris, France

MS Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, University of the Philippines, DIliman, Philippines

BS Biology, University of the Philippines, Diliman, Philippines




Molecular Toxicology Research Laboratory

The Molecular Toxicology Research Laboratory (TOX) was established in 2009. It develops tools to demonstrate cause-and-effect in drug studies, with the aim to improving safety and efficacy. The laboratory assesses genetic markers of effects following exposure to xenobiotics, evaluates genetic markers of risk and response, and develops methods for rapid, accurate, and economic assessment of risk and efficacy using genotyping, expression analysis, and bioassay.

Research Area

  1. Diagnostic Methods. The laboratory has developed a tetra-primer amplification refractory mutation system (ARMS) PCR, padlock probes, and hybridization induced aggregation for genotyping of SNP markers predictive of response to clopidogrel, a drug used in cardiovascular case management. TOX is also working on molecular methods to identify malaria infections and the effectiveness of antimalarial compounds.
  2. Drug Discovery. TOX uses cell assays and imaging flow cytometry to screen natural compounds for activity against Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria. It uses comparative genomics and transcriptomics to determine and validate the molecular targets of the compounds. Extremophilic bacteria from rare hyperalkaline springs are being studied as potential sources of antimalarial compounds. Genomic analysis is carried out to identify genes that may later be manipulated. TOX is also exploring local environments with the aim to isolate rare bacteria using novel methods of isolation . Such methods include encapsulation in nanoparticles and isolation chips followed by cultivation of bacteria in their native environments.

Selected Publications

Yuan Y, Li T, Wang T, Naman CB, Ye J, Wu X, Lazaro JEH, Yan X, He S. Targeted Isolation of a Cytotoxic Cyclic Hexadepsipeptide from the Mesophotic Zone Sponge-Associated FungusĀ CymostachysĀ sp. NBUF082. Mar Drugs. 2021 Oct 11;19(10):565. doi: 10.3390/md19100565. PMID: 34677465; PMCID: PMC8540034.

Zhou J, Zhang H, Ye J, Wu X, Wang W, Lin H, Yan X, Lazaro JEH, Wang T, Naman CB, He S. Cytotoxic Polyketide Metabolites from a Marine Mesophotic Zone Chalinidae Sponge-Associated FungusĀ PleosporalesĀ sp. NBUF144. Mar Drugs. 2021 Mar 26;19(4):186. doi: 10.3390/md19040186. PMID: 33810590; PMCID: PMC8065988.

Wang T, Zhou J, Zou J, Shi Y, Zhou W, Shao P, Yu T, Cui W, Li X, Wu X, Ye J, Yan X, Naman CB, Lazaro JEH, He S. Discovery of Cymopolyphenols A-F From a Marine Mesophotic ZoneĀ AaptosĀ Sponge-Associated FungusĀ CymostachysĀ sp. NBUF082. Front Microbiol. 2021 Feb 22;12:638610. doi: 10.3389/fmicb.2021.638610. PMID: 33692772; PMCID: PMC7937805.

Ding L, Xu P, Zhang W, Yuan Y, He X, Su D, Shi Y, Naman CB, Yan X, Wu B, Lazaro JEH, Li S, He S. Three New Diketopiperazines from the Previously Uncultivable Marine Bacterium Gallaecimonas mangrovi HK-28 Cultivated by iChip. Chem Biodivers. 2020 Jul;17(7):e2000221. doi: 10.1002/cbdv.202000221. Epub 2020 Jun 23. PMID: 32347603.