Khatijah graduated with a First Class Honours as well as PhD in Microbiology and DSc (honoris causa) from La Trobe University, Melbourne. She has been teaching microbiology for over 30 years at Universiti Putra Malaysia. She has been at the forefront of science working on the development of a cancer vaccine. She was accorded UNESCO’s Carlos Finlay Prize for microbiology in 2005 and was identified as one of the top 20 most influential women in science in the Islamic World for 2014 by Muslim-Science.Com. She won the prestigious Merdeka Award for 2015. She is Fellow and Council member of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia, the Islamic World Academy of Sciences and Vice President of The World Academy of Sciences for East and South East Asia and the Pacific region. As an exponent of Science, her 5 year stint as the Deputy Secretary General of MOSTI gave an opportunity to promote science through policies and development of a strong framework in managing Science in the country. She believes strongly on the need for translating science into tangible benefits to people around the world and sat on the Board of Trustees of the international Livestock Research Institute (ILRI), SEAMEO-BIOTROP Governing Board and the Advisory Board for La Trobe Asia. She is currently a member of the National Bioethics Council and sits on boards of several companies in Malaysia.