Dr Mai Chun Wai
PhD in Medical and Health Sciences (By Research), BPharm (Hons) (IMU)
School / Centre
Education & Training
|Complementary Medicine Education (CMEd) Certification||Blackmores Institutes, Australia||2018|
|SEA-EU-NET II Fellowship||European Union 7th Framework Programme||2016|
|Visiting Researcher||National Research Council, Italy||2016|
|YPASM Research Fellow||British Antarctic Survey, Cambridge, United Kingdom||2015-2016|
|Doctor of Philosophy in Medical and Health Sciences||International Medical University||2014|
|Research Fellow/Visiting Researcher||University of Strathclyde, Glasgow, United Kingdom||2013|
|Good Clinical Practice Certificate||Ministry of Health, Malaysia||2012|
|Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons)||International Medical University||2009|
Skills & Expertise
Our research work concerns the fundamental mechanisms of cancer progress and to identify potential treatment strategy. Our team primary focuses on understanding the cancer carcinogenesis and the pathophysiology of cancer, with the ultimate aim to improve early detection and diagnosis of cancer. We focus in understanding cancer immunology, an interdisciplinary branch of cancer that focuses on the role of immune system in the progression and development of cancer. Cancer microenvironment is a complex cancer defense mechanism which keeps the cancer cells evade from the attack of host immune cells. Several biomarkers and checkpoint synapse markers have been postulated to shield the cancer cells from immune cells and thus confers the immune evasion in cancers. However, the exact cancer biomarkers that responsible on the cancer immune evasion has yet been identified. It is evidence that current clinical trial agents, including the immunotherapies, have yet to achieve complete cancer regression. We are currently using both in silico data mining and in vitro molecular biology studies to understand the cancer immune evasion mechanism. Building on my PhD study on Toll-like Receptor-4 in cancers, our research team postulates the innate and adaptive immune system are responsible of the cancer immune evasion. Through collaborations with national and international academic as well as industry partners we seek to understand the fundamental mechanism of immune evasion in cancer. Ultimately, our team is aiming to improve the diagnosis and treatment of gastrointestinal cancer, especially pancreatic cancer.
(2) Collaborative Drug Discovery Programme
Future cancer drug discovery relies on finding solutions for complex unmet medical needs. Through a better understanding of the cancer pathophysiology, we are at the right position to propose a treatment strategy. Our research team put together the Collaborative Drug Discovery (CDD) Program to establish a network with academic and biotechnology industries to provide access to disease-relevant phenotypic and target- based assays. Investigators can take advantage of this resource which will open new venues to test novel therapeutic hypotheses and deepen our understanding of complex biological systems. Through this initiative and others, our steadfast goal remains focused on the discovery of novel therapeutics that improve patients’ lives, our ultimate measure of success. We have identified several potential compounds with selective anticancer properties, yet minimum cytotoxicity to isogenic cells. Further studies are on-going to delineate its anticancer properties.