Professor Dr Teo obtained a First Class Honours Degree at the University of Cambridge in 1992, where she was supported by Yayasan Sime Darby – Cambridge Commonwealth Trust Scholarship. In the next 3 years, she completed her PhD with Professor Dame Jean Thomas at the Department of Biochemistry where she studied proteins that were involved in regulating the chromatic structure and transcription, supported by the Wellcome Trust Prize Studentship.
Following her PhD, Professor Teo was a Cancer Research Campaign Post-Doctoral Fellow in the laboratory of Professor Stephen P Jackson, where she worked on how cells respond to DNA damage (and how this process can play a key role in developing new therapies for cancer).
In 1998, Professor Teo won the prestigious Royal Society Dorothy Hodgkin Research Fellowship to continue her work at the University of Cambridge. Together with Tan Sri Tunku Ahmad Yahaya, she started working on plans to establish Cancer Research Malaysia in 1997 and returned to Malaysia in January 2001 to lead this first non-profit cancer research laboratory.
Cancer Research Malaysia has published more than 100 scientific publications, filed 4 patents, established new clinical services, and trained Malaysian cancer researches. Specifically, Prof. Teo's team conducts research on genetic predisposition to breast cancer, builds models for risk assessment in the Asian population integrating lifestyle, genetic and mammographic images, and conducts community programmes to downstage breast cancer. Professor Teo was appointed as Adjunct Professor of University Malaya in 2008 and a Fellow of the Academy Sciences in 2014.