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Fostering Research Culture and Communication among Undergraduate Students

10 Dec 2021

Prof Ian Martin Symonds,  Dean, School of Medicine, (in the photo above), is one speakers of the keynote talks at this conference. 

International Undergraduate Medical Research Conference 2021 (IUMRC21) aims to foster research culture and communication among undergraduate students. It provides an opportunity for undergraduates to present their research experiences to a larger audience. The 2-day Conference also provides a forum for students, faculty, and the community to discuss cutting edge research topics as part of their experiential learning.

Undergraduate research enables tremendous opportunity for critical thinking skills, both oral and written communication skills, and training as responsible, competent and trustworthy healthcare professionals. These may include but not limited to an understanding of the basic concepts of research and critical review of literature in the health-related specialty that is being studied, scientific communication terminology or technical language, research methodology, hypothesis-driven scientific process, analytical skills and evidence-based medicine. Research process impacts valuable exposure and long-lasting influence on undergraduate’s professional service and career development. The Conference includes presentations by students from all academic disciplines and invited eminent keynote speakers and experts.

The Conference theme is “Discovering Science Driving Clinical Breakthroughs”. Together, students and faculty from all disciplines, exploring on “How Undergraduate Research Drives Science Forward”.

Speakers are uniquely placed to debate the key themes, trends and current practices for the audience. Especially interesting for this Conference was witnessing the scientific discoveries and scholarship from several local, regional and international institutions from Malaysia, Australia, United Kingdom, China, India and Kenya.

The conference attracted 163 participants and 73 registered guests. The organising committee was fortunate and grateful to have the support of a great cadre of sponsors: Medigene Sdn Bhd, Biomarketing Services, Betatech Scientific Sdn Bhd, Laboratory and Scientific Enterprise and Prima Nexus for their continuous supports despite the challenging pandemic crisis.

The conference was held on 2 and 3 November 2021 with the Welcome and Opening Remarks by Prof Abdul Aziz Baba (President & Vice Chancellor, IMU), followed by keynote address on “Undergraduate Research: Past, Current and Ways Forward” by Tan Sri Dato Dr Abu Bakar (Emeritus President, IMU Health).

This was followed by other notable keynote talks:
Teaching Research Skills in Undergraduate Health Professional Education Prof Ian Martin Symonds Dean, School of Medicine
From Genomics and Genetics to Better Ways to Prevent and Treat Breast Cancer in Asians Prof Datin Paduka Dr Teo Soo Hwang CEO, Cancer Research Malaysia
What do we know about Diet after Diagnosis of Type 2 Diabetes? Learnings from the 3DS study Prof Dr Lauren Williams School of Health Sciences and Social Work, Griffith University

The conference also had eminent scientists who shared their research experiences, journey, and research innovation with all the participants via “Ask Me Anything Sessions”.

Ask Me Anything Session
Breaking Into Research Dr Foo Chee Yoong Associate Principal, Health Economics and Outcomes Research (HEOR) at IQVIA Asia Pacific
The Art of Science Communication Prof Dr Abhimanyu Veerakumarasivam Dean, School of Medical and Life Sciences, Sunway University
Research & Real-world Impact Prof Datin Paduka Dr Teo Soo Hwang CEO, Cancer Research Malaysia
Research & Into the Future Prof Dr Leong Chee Onn Deputy Director, Research, IRDI, IMU

IUMRC21 shortlisted 107 abstracts under various categories (as listed in Table below) from all around the regions. The presentations were evaluated by the scientific committee and judges. All the presentations were of good quality and significant scientific novelty and merits.

Type of Presentation Number of Presenters
Oral presentation 26
Lightning talk 22
e-Poster 59
Total presentation 107

Due to high quality and significant scientific merits among the presenters, the judges had a tough time deciding on the winner for the Outstanding Research Award. At the end, the judges and scientific committee decided to award three recipients under this category.

Outstanding Research Award

Award Recipients Title of the Presentation Affiliation
Aidan Cousins A neural network approach to optimising treatments for depression using data from specialist and community psychiatric services in Australia, New Zealand and Japan University of New South Wales
Mingzhen Tian Rapid detection of pathogenic bacteria based on whole genome sequence Shanghai Jiao Tong University
William MacDonald Monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 as a biomarker of vascular function in patients with type 2 diabetes University of Dundee

Best Oral Presentation Award

Award Recipients Title of the Presentation Affiliation
Elijah Chisala Decoding motor control identifying neuromuscular activity patterns in functional upper limb movement for restoration of motor function after injury University of Leeds
Chan Weng Kit The pursuit of neuronal hyper-excitability in high-density surface electromyography recordings of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis patients RCSI-UCD Malaysia Campus
Goh You Effect of tocotrienol-rich fraction on visual behaviour and retinal cell apoptosis in rats with streptozotocin-induced diabetic retinopathy More on this at IMU Bachelor of Medical Sciences Student Awarded Commendation Certificate for Best Oral Presentation International Medical University
Jovy Wong Zheng Dao A systematic review of the management of multisystem inflammatory syndrome (MIS-C) in children Monash University Malaysia
Ng Yi Wern Sleep and subjective cognitive complaints among older adults in semi-rural Malaysia Monash University Malaysia
Joanne Igoli Reducing the unnecessary carbon footprint of asthma inhaler prescribing in primary care: a strategy in reducing healthcare’s harmful contribution to climate change University of Dundee

Best Lightning Talk Presentation Award

Award Recipients Title of the Presentation Affiliation
Aiman bin Mat Najib Physiotherapists’ perspectives on the desired features, benefits and barriers of exoskeleton technology use in stroke survivors Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia
Fong Yi Hang Cancer genomic databases analysis of IKK alpha as potential target for lung adenocarcinoma International Medical University
Gan Hong May The role of parthenolide in cytotoxic T-cell (CTL) resistant nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cells International Medical University
Rajatish Bandyopadhyay Prevalence of dental caries in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and its relation with socio-demographic variabilities of parent: a cross sectional Guru Nanak Institute of Dental Sciences & Research, Kolkata
Gem Chew Age-based exclusion is common and multifactorial in spinal randomised controlled trials University of New South Wales
Nur Dini Binti Ahmad Zawawi Disinfection protocols of irreversible hydrocolloid: effect on Candida count and dimensional accuracy International Islamic University Malaysia

Best ePoster Presentation Award

Award Recipients Title of the Presentation Affiliation
Mingzhen Tian Rapid detection of pathogenic bacteria based on whole genome sequence Shanghai Jiao Tong University
Ngan Wan Yi Cancer genomic databases analysis of IKKα (inhibitory-κb kinases α) as potential target for liver hepatocellular carcinoma International Medical University
Chang Li Han The role of teniposide in killing cytotoxic T-cell resistant nasopharyngeal carcinoma cells International Medical University
Chang Chi Yin Development and sensory evaluation of egg custard pudding made with isomaltulose International Medical University
Cosette Hoe The use of videos for diabetes patient education: a systematic review Monash University Malaysia
Rachel E Sung Ting Khandsari sugar: a promising alternative fixative to formalin in histochemical staining International Medical University

Research Mentor Award

Award Recipients Title of the Presentation Affiliation
Dr Hanan Hamimi Binti Wahid Clinical and Translational Research Kulliyyah of Medicine, International Islamic University Malaysia
Dr Noor Akmal Shareel Ismail Discovery Science Faculty of Medicine, National University of Malaysia (UKM)
Dr Lim Wei Meng Drug Discovery and Development School of Pharmacy, International Medical University
Dr Wan Fatein Nabeila Wan Omar, Dr Nour El Huda Abd Rahim, Dr Shahida Saharudin, Dr Hazulin Mohd Radzuan Environmental, Nutrition and Population Health Kulliyyah of Medicine, International Islamic University Malaysia

Congratulation to all the presenters and faculty mentors for their resilience in pursuing their research during this incredible challenging COVID-19 pandemic. Without all the support from the participants, the conference would not have existed. All participants had the opportunity to interact and engage with each other and the speakers via Q & A and virtual networking sessions. Through this event, they benefited from all the sessions and make new friends.

Sincere appreciation to all the speakers, sponsors, chairpersons, and committee members for their support in making this event a success. Special thanks to Institute for Research, Development and Innovation (IRDI) and School of Medicine for their continuous support for research and this conference.  The conference committee was extremely impressed with the extensive contribution of student volunteers in organising, chairing the sessions, and ensuring a great virtual conference experience for all the participants. The success of the conference was also attributed to the team effort and dedication from IMU Centre for Lifelong Learning (ICL), IMU Research Lab, e-Learning Department, Alumni office, and IT Department.

Comments by the participants:
Kok Ka-Yann Interesting and Informative
Wan Fatein Nabeila Wan Omar Good workshop for early exposure to undergraduate students
Nour El Huda Abd Rahim Very good!
Dr Shahida Saharudin Excellent!
Fong Yi Hang Great session!
Ng Yi Wern Good variety of topics and participants
Nellie Lee Chew Gek Poh Very informative and gained a lot of knowledge
Ali Haider Mohammed It was a great and successful event
Yim Jing Yee Good
Tan Xin Yoong Overall satisfactory
Cosette Hoe Impressive
Hasnain bin Tahir It was great
Rajatish Bandyopadhyay Excellent initiative.
Goh Yu Shaine It was very informational.
William MacDonald Very well run and interesting content.
Murad Othman Elmaryami It was a great learning curve
Brianna Good
Nurulain Nadiah Binti Abdul Hadi The workshop went well!
Ngan Wan Yi Excellent
Kerry Lee Pui Yi Good
Krishan Sarna It was an amazing experience and it was extremely enlightening.
Yeap Li Hui Great, I have grained useful insights from all of the speakers during the conference
Cao Bo Very good
Hii Ling Wei Informative with good speakers
Ang Zheng Jiet Very useful even for research beginner
Lee Yi Xuan Good
Nurul Hafizah Binti Mahat Excellent
Zoena Ang Jia Xuan Great experience
Naili Hanani Binti Mohd Ridzuan Great. I enjoyed it very much.
Tan Jia Hui Everything was well organised.  Keep up the great work.
Gargi Very good and timely
Mingzhen Tian The conference was well held and I gained a lot.
Joanne Igoli It was really good, thank you for organising this
Shereen Ting Informative
Veronica Chu Rui Sim The workshop was great and I enjoyed it a lot.
Divyashini a/p Vickneswaran It was good and very fruitful for undergraduate students.
Renee Chin Insightful
Koh Yan Shan Good
Goh You Covered a broad range of themes, allowed for undergraduate students to have a safe platform
Amalia Izzati binti Razman Excellent
Chan Chee Mun Good
Mir Omer Ali The workshop was very smooth and enjoyable.
Gan Hong May Excellent
Yong Fai Kong Overall good. Interesting talks and good speakers.
Phyu Synn Oo Very good. I found many interesting research presentations.
Lee Jun Xin Thumbs up to the organising committee in organizing such constructive conference to instill research interest among medical students.
Rachel E Sung Ting I think it was organised very well, everything is on time. I like how the presenters record their presentation instead of delivering it live as it really eliminated the chance of the connection issue problems interefering.
Mathangi Devindran Really good. I learned a lot from the researchers from all over the world.
Nur Khairunnisa Bt Nor Azlan I gained experience and learnt a lot on how to conduct a survey, to write an research abstract and read research papers.
Nur Dini binti Ahmad Zawawi It’s really great and beneficial. Good
Goh Jia Yee It is a great experience learning from speakers from different universities and the topics are interesting.
Charissa Cheah Xiao Ying Good flow throughout the whole event.
Celestine Ang Good
Muhammad Haikal Bin Abdullah Alhamdulilah. Everything is very good. Highly Recommended program for students.
Lincoln McNab I thought that this workshop was excellent quality and utilised the online medium well.

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