We are happy to welcome our first PhD student from China, Zhang Shiming. The main focus of his research work is to study mechanisms in attenuating atherosclerosis by ginger bioactives. He is supervised by Prof Mallikarjuna Rao Pichika also known as Prof Arjun, presently Associate Dean (Research & Consultancy), School of Pharmacy, IMU. He is also the Head of the Centre of Bioactive Molecules and Drug Delivery (BMDD), Institute for Research, Development & Innovation (IRDI). Zhang Shiming graduated from Shandong University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (山东中医药大学) in July 2018 with an MSc in Pharmaceutical Chemistry. In his previous work, he evaluated the lipidomics outcome of different components of Uncaria in spontaneously hypertensive rats. This research had led to him publishing two scientific papers, one of which was accepted in the journal ‘Acta Pharmacologica Sinica’ (impact factor 4.01). The Medicinal Chemistry research team’s excellence and track record have attracted Zhang Shiming to IMU. The team conducts various stages of medicinal chemistry research projects covering a range of computational modelling, synthetic organic chemistry, natural products, analytical chemistry, molecular biology, metabolomics, proteomics, genomics, DMPK/PKPD studies and pre-clinical studies. They also recently ventured into ‘Artificial Intelligence in Drug Discovery’. Zhang commented “The team’s rigorous academic attitude, stable style of conduct, profound knowledge and strong perseverance are my models for learning. With the guidance and support from the supervisor, I am learning ways to solve research related problems. This quality is beneficial to me.” The research team consists of members from faculty, postgraduate studies and undergraduates possessing diversified backgrounds of expertise. Zhang stated that apart from benefitting through the knowledge exchange with the team members, he also truly enjoys the teamwork and bonding with them. “I felt welcomed by their warmth. We do not hold back from genuinely helping each other. The best part is developing mutual understanding during meal times.” Apart from the team, kindness was also showered to Zhang by fellow postgraduate students.
The University’s excellence in terms of academic staff and scientific research helped to ease the decision-making process for Zhang Shiming to choose IMU.
“Malaysia is a developing country with a stable economy, high-quality education and medical services. IMU has made remarkable achievements in teaching and scientific research alongside an exceptional team of teachers. These attracted me to Malaysia and IMU.”
The multicultural environment and the warmth of Malaysians are well enjoyed by Mr Zhang Shiming. Despite the language barrier, he stretches himself towards learning new things during his stay in this country. “I truly enjoy myself during my stay in Malaysia. I have adapted well to the cultures here in Malaysia. Nevertheless, my main challenge is the language barrier as my mother tongue is Mandarin. After arriving in Malaysia, I like the beautiful scenery, friendly people, convenient transportation and a comfortable life here, which makes me want to linger and indulge me in my pleasures continuously. I am certainly looking forward to more upcoming adventures.”
We wish Zhang Shiming all the best in his endeavours.