Nurul Adhwa Binti Hj Abd Rahman

PhD Title: Development of an in vitro blood brain barrier (BBB) model for the study of Pneumococcal meningitis

Supervisor(s): Dr Siti Hanna Muharram and Dr Suwarni Diah

About the PhD:

I developed few in vitro models using brain endothelial cells and astrocytes for the study of the blood brain barrier (BBB). Following that, I applied Streptococcus pneumoniae (Brunei clinical strains) to the best model. In the end, I proposed a potential mechanism of how Streptococcus pneumoniae crosses the BBB to cause meningitis. In my study, I heavily performed microbiological techniques, cell culture, immunofluorescence microscopy and western blotting.

Nurul Adhwa Binti Hj Abd Rahman


Prizes & Awards

  1. 2017 - Best Oral Presentation, 10th Malaysia Indonesia Brunei (MIB) Medical Sciences Conference, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  2. 2016 - Best Poster Presentation, 13th Annual Scientific Meeting INFECTION 2016, New Territories, Hong Kong

Conferences & Meetings

  1. September 2017 - 14th Annual Scientific Meeting INFECTION 2017, Hong Kong [poster presentation]
  2. September 2017 - Japanese Food Industry Tour, Japan [sponsored by JAIF2.0 Scholarship for production of food value chain in ASEAN]
  3. July 2017 - 10th Malaysia Indonesia Brunei (MIB) Medical Sciences Conference, Malaysia [oral presentation]
  4. December 2016 - 3rd PAN-ASIAN Biomedical Science Conference, Malaysia [poster presentation]
  5. June 2016 - 13th Annual Scientific Meeting INFECTION 2016, Hong Kong [poster presentation]
  6. November 2015 - 3rd International Neuroscience Symposium, Brunei [poster presentation]


MSc Medical Microbiology, University of Manchester, United Kingdom

BHSc Biomedical Sciences, Universiti Brunei Darussalam, Brunei


When I was in primary school, I remember dreaming of becoming a scientist, like Professor Albert Einstein. Who would have thought I would actually grow up to be a biomedical scientist. What's more exciting is that I like to grow bacteria and I love science more when I can see it with colours.


  1. Rahman, N.A., Sharudin, A., Diah, S., Muharram, S.H. (July 2017) Serotyping of Brunei pneumococcal clinical strains and the investigation of their capability to adhere and invade a brain endothelium model. Microb. Pathog. 110, 352–358. doi:10.1016/j.micpath.2017.07.021
  2. Rahman, N.A., Rasil, A.N.H.M., Meyding-Lamade, U., Craemer, E.M., Diah, S., Tuah, A.A., Muharram, S.H. (April 2016) Immortalized endothelial cell lines for in vitro blood-brain barrier models: A systematic review. Brain Research 1642, 532–545. doi:10.1016/j.brainres.2016.04.024