Medical Biotechnology programme in IMU is a multidisciplinary programme that incorporates the application of scientific knowledge for the improvement of human health, that includes, drug innovation, disease onset and treatment mechanisms. As our society shifts into an innovation era, biotechnology graduates are in high demand as an intellectual manpower in the next few decades, especially when more and more healthcare is needed for personalised medicines. Hence, in IMU, we consistently bring our students for field visits throughout our curriculum so that our students are exposed to new technologies and meeting the current industry needs. On 2 May, 2018, Medical Biotechnology students from the cohort of MB116 accompanied by lecturers visited Malaysia Genome Institute (MGI), Kajang, which is a nonprofit organisation engaging in discovery research and embraces the balanced approach of technology and market-driven innovation adopted in the National Innovation Model. The aim of this visit is to provide opportunity for students to learn of current instrumentations and technologies that are commonly used in the field of biotechnology.
The visit started with an introductory talks from MGI representative, Dr Low Kheng Oon (Cell and Synthetic Biology scientist). Research collaboration projects were explained and further introduced to the team from IMU with the core facilities and services provided in MGI. The highlight and hype of the visit was of course, witnessing the operations and data analysis demonstrated by those experienced researchers from MGI. Students were exposed to state-of-the art instrumentations such as Protein Expression And Purification unit (FPLC), DNA and RNA analysis instruments, such as (IlluminaMiSeq® System) to high-throughput NGS sequencing (Illumina HiSeq 2000), X-ray diffraction technology and also Proteomic unit for structural protein analysis (LC MS/MS, GC MS/MS) and NMR facilities (Bruker Ascend 700 MHz NMR). All these technologies are very important in the protein structural analysis, for disease marker development or drug lead analysis, which will be translated into the discovery of new treatment regime for diseases or new drugs that are more potent with less side effects. Students who participated in this field trip truly enjoy the visit and commented that they learned a lot in this field trip, because this visit allows them to broaden their knowledge in an actual research institute as an outside the classroom setting. They also showed gratitude to all researchers from MGI as they truly learned a lot, open their eyes and make them realize how these new technologies can help medical biotechnologists in research innovation for the betterment of mankind.