Do you know that virus has been put to good use in medicine and genetic engineering despite the fact that it is a harmful infectious agent that can attack your body and make you sick? After the great success from last year’s Medical Biotechnology Day themed “Helix: The Code of Life”, the staff and student Medical Biotechnology programme at International Medical University has once again organised a Medical Biotechnology Day this year on 24 April 2019, with the theme “The Amazing World of Virus”. The dedicated Medical Biotechnology faculty and the two cohorts of students from MB117 and MB118 worked together as a team for nearly six months to ensure the success of this year’s event. The aims of this event are to create awareness about viruses and their impacts on human society as well as to instil knowledge and promote science communication. This event attracted more than 200 visitors comprising members of the public as well as teachers and students from schools, colleges and universities within Klang Valley.
On the event day, an experiential learning platform was created for visitors to simulate the transmission, screening, and detection of viruses through fun games and virtual lab. The visitors were also given the opportunity to engage in hands-on activities in some of the biotechnology disciplines such as immunology, microbiology, bioinformatics, genomics and cell culture, of which they were introduced to the structures and unique features of virus as well as the uses of virus in gene cloning and gene therapy.
On top of that, all participants were fascinated by the content of well-designed yet informative e-poster prepared by MB117 students that highlighted the various applications of virus in science. The enlightening public talks delivered by Prof Chin Beek Yoke and Dr Kenny Voon Gah Leong, two renowned researchers in the field of Medical Biotechnology and Virology respectively, provided a glimpse into the importance of Medical Biotechnology in the 21st century for its applications in health and medicine through the development of potential therapeutic tools using virus.
One of the highlights of this event was the ‘Virus Model Building Competition’ which was categorised into two groups: Secondary School and Pre-university. The creativity of the participants was shown through their beautifully crafted virus models and impressive oral presentations. At the end of the day, the following participants emerged as the winners of the competition:
Secondary School Category
“I was happy and touched to see everyone in this programme working hand in hand to make this event a success. It has brought everyone in the team together while striving through the obstacles from the planning till execution stage. Our hard works paid off upon receiving overwhelming response and positive feedbacks from visitors.” – Dr Tan Boon Hooi (Chairperson of the Organising Committee)
“I congratulate the Medical Biotechnology faculty and students for their great enthusiasm and cooperation to make this event a grand success.” – Dr Wong Chiew Yen, the co-chair of the event as well as the Programme Director of Medical Biotechnology programme. Grateful thanks were also extended to the Biomedical Science students and faculty who took the initiative in offering their help in the event.
Carmen Chia from MB117 cohort was glad to participate in organising this event. From this, she improved her communication skills and applied her knowledge while providing explanation and demonstration of the activities to the visitors. “MB Day has exceeded my expectations, both from what has been achieved by working together and how engaged the participants were in our activities” – Chan Chin Chun (MB117) “I was really glad that I could be part of the MB family and be involved in the organising of this Medical Biotechnology Day. It was my first time for being a committee for such an event and it has been a very meaningful experience for me. By having such little manpower, I am surprised and glad that we were managed to pull off the event successfully. I hope that we had inspired many people through the event and encouraged more juniors to take the medical biotechnology programme in the future in order to keep on having such a meaningful event and make it even better.” – Chiang Jun Wei (MB118) Written by Tan Boon Hooi, Wong Chiew Yen, Carmen Chia and Chan Chin Chun Photos by Farah Binti Ahmad Kutubbudin and Tsen Min Tze Related article: Helix – The Code of Life: Medical Biotechnology Programme’s 10 Years Anniversary Celebration