About

I currently work as a researcher in Dr. Wangchuk's research group at the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine (AITHM) under the College of Public Health, Medical, and Veterinary Sciences (CPHMVS) at James Cook University. My research is focused on finding novel treatments for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) from natural products of Australian Wet Tropics in Far North Queensland. 

After completing my master's degree in India, I pursued a PhD at James Cook University (Cairns campus), Australia. During my doctoral studies, I collaborated with the Australian Indigenous Community (Mbabaram community) in Atherton Tableland to discover novel anti-inflammatory drug leads from their medicinal plants. Moreover, I have also explored endemic plants from the Wet Tropics region in Far North Queensland and parasitic worms for their biodiscovery potential using different natural product isolation techniques, including the 'omics' platform. From my PhD project, I have identified three potential drug leads for IBD, which are currently under preparation for the full patent.  

Interests
Research
  • Phytochemicals and pharmacology of medicinal plants and plants affected by climate change
  • Fungi and their bioactive secondary metabolites
  • Pre-clinical studies of bioactive compounds
  • Metabolomics and biomarkers of natural compounds and diseases
Experience
  • 2023 - Researcher, AITHM, James Cook University (Australia)
  • 2019 - Lecturer, Sherubtse College, Royal University of Bhutan (Bhutan)
  • 2013 to 2018 - Lecturer, Ministry of Education (Bhutan)
Socio-Economic Objectives
Honours
Awards
  • 2019 - James Cook University Postgraduate Research Scholarship (JCUPRS) to pursue PhD
  • 2018 - Winner of Young Researchers Regional Writing Competition, ICIMOD, Kathmandu, Nepal
  • 2017 - "University Academic Honour" for standing first in order of merit in MSc
  • 2017 - "University Gold Medal" for standing first in order of merit in MSc
  • 2016 - University Honor Roll for Excellent Academic Performance
Fellowships
  • 2018 - Foundational Leadership Program (FLP) at Royal Institute for Governance and Strategic Studies (RIGSS), Phuntsholing, Bhutan
  • 2014 to 2016 - Nehru-Wangchuck Scholarship to pursue MSc
Other
  • 2020 - Invited as a speaker during 'International Webinar on Medicinal Plants and Folk Healing' organised by Jawaharlal Nehru College, Arunachal Pradesh, India
Publications

These are the most recent publications associated with this author. To see a detailed profile of all publications stored at JCU, visit ResearchOnline@JCU. Hover over Altmetrics badges to see social impact.

Journal Articles
Book Chapters
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ResearchOnline@JCU stores 24+ research outputs authored by Dr Karma Yeshi from 2017 onwards.

Current Funding

Current and recent Research Funding to JCU is shown by funding source and project.

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Biodiscovery from Wet Tropics' native plants

Indicative Funding
$5,000 over 2 years
Summary
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects 1 in 250 Australians including the people living in the FNQ region. It cost Australians a total of $3.18 billion per annum. Given that it has no cure and the disease prevalence and its associated cost are expected to increase sharply, there is an urgent need for new drugs. Inspired by the Wet Tropics' biodiversity of Far North Queensland (FNQ), the proposed project envisions discovering novel anti-inflammatory drug leads for IBD from selected climate-affected native plants using cutting-edge drug discovery techniques and technologies. The aims are : ? Determine the metabolomes of the anti-inflammatory extracts of five native mountaintop plants using mass spectrometry techniques. ? Isolate anti-inflammatory molecules from Uromyrtus metrosideros extract using chromatographic techniques.
Investigators
Phurpa Wangchuk and Karma Yeshi (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Keywords
Wet Tropics; Biodiscovery; Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Anti-inflammatory drug lead; Natural Products; Climate change

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Preclinical evaluation of novel drug lead compounds discovered from Wet Tropics plant

Indicative Funding
$50,000 over 1 year
Summary
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects 1 in 250 Australians including the people living in Far North Queensland (FNQ). There is no cure for this debilitating disease. Inspired by the Wet Tropics, we have isolated two compounds that demonstrated strong in vitro anti-inflammatory activity. A provisional patent has been approved for these two compounds. To further develop them into the marketable drug lead candidates, this proposed project will endeavor to achieve preclinical evaluation of these two novel compounds using the two commonly used animal models of IBD- Trinitrobenzenesulfonic acid (TNBS) and T cell transfer models of colitis.
Investigators
Phurpa Wangchuk, Karma Yeshi and Paul Giacomin (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Keywords
Wet Tropics; Biodiscovery; Inflammatory Bowel Disease; Anti-inflammatory drug lead; Natural products; Drug leads

Far North Queensland Hospital Foundation - Research Grant

Exploring the mosquito repellent and larvicidal activities of essential oils against Aedes aegypti

Indicative Funding
$5,000 over 1 year
Summary
To explore the mosquito repellent and larvicidal activities of essential oils (EOs) derived from native plants of wet tropics. Mosquito repellent and larvicidal activities of essential oil (EO) or a combination of EOs will be assessed against Aedes aegypti (primary dengue vector) in the laboratory following World Health Organisation protocols. The repellent and larvicidal activities will be compared with a commercially available mosquito repellent N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide (20% in ethanol), and permethrin, respectively. The study outcome will ultimately lead to the development of better and more effective mosquito-repellent to prevent bittings and, thus, reduce the dengue burden in Far North Queensland.
Investigators
Karma Yeshi, Boni Sebayang and Phurpa Wangchuk (Australian Institute of Tropical Health & Medicine)
Collaboration

The map shows research collaborations by institution from the past 7 years.
Note: Map points are indicative of the countries or states that institutions are associated with.

  • 5+ collaborations
  • 4 collaborations
  • 3 collaborations
  • 2 collaborations
  • 1 collaboration
  • Indicates the Tropics (Torrid Zone)

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