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From Genetic Technologist to Master of Science in Molecular Medicine: A Journey of Passion and Growth

12 May 2023

My name is Michelle Lee Yee Shuen, and I have always been driven by a deep passion for learning and expanding my knowledge. I hold a BSc in Biomedical Sciences and have worked as a Molecular Genetic Technologist in a cutting-edge genomics company, where I was exposed to the latest state-of-the-art Next Generation Sequencing (NGS) technologies. However, my undying thirst for knowledge and my drive to advance my career led me to consider pursuing a Master’s degree.


As I scoured through numerous postgraduate programmes, the MSc in Molecular Medicine (MMM) at IMU caught my attention. Its impeccable reputation, combined with study and research-based learning, made it an enticing choice. The cherry on top was the flexibility of online distance learning (ODL), which gave me the freedom to learn on my own terms. I knew from the beginning that this would be an intellectually stimulating challenge.


Being a full-time ODL postgraduate student was no walk in the park, and I had to juggle my academic pursuits with personal commitments. However, the interactive and engaging learning activities, such as group discussions and debates, made the learning process enjoyable and meaningful. These sessions challenged me to think critically and helped me to develop my problem-solving skills. Furthermore, I discovered the power of effective time management, which proved to be game-changing not just for my academic pursuits, but for my personal and professional life as well.

My Research Project
Undoubtedly, the research project was the most exhilarating and challenging aspect of my MMM studies. My research project delved into exploring the possible genetic connection between Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and obesity, utilising bioinformatics approaches to scrutinise genomic variants linked with both disorders. Throughout my research journey, I had the incredible opportunity to learn and work with bioinformatics tools, which was a new and challenging experience for me.


As the project’s complexity unfolded, I found myself struggling with the sheer volume of data I had to analyse and comprehend. Reading and comprehending vast volumes of scientific literature, and familiarising myself with the new techniques and underlying principles of the project took considerable effort. Despite these challenges, my main supervisor, Dr Nurul Hanis Ramzi, and co-supervisor, Dr Nikman Adli Nor Hashim (from the University of Malaya), were incredibly supportive and provided me with the guidance and resources I needed to succeed. Their mentorship played a critical role in helping me navigate the complexities of the research project, and eventually, I was able to produce meaningful and insightful results.

Memorable Moments
One of the most memorable moments of my studies was the incredible opportunity to visit AGTC Genomics, a top-notch Malaysia-based center of excellence for genomics technology, accompanied by my supervisors. The visit left an indelible impression on me, as I was struck by the laboratory’s immaculate condition and state-of-the-art equipment. The working atmosphere was cozy and efficient, providing a perfect environment for the friendly and knowledgeable staff to undertake groundbreaking research. What’s more, their scientists are distinguished authorities in the field of NGS, which renders this advanced laboratory a must-visit for any researcher keen on exploring the mysteries of this captivating discipline. Overall, the opportunity to visit AGTC Genomics was truly a highlight of my MMM studies.

The MMM programme at IMU has been a transformative experience that has shaped me both personally and academically. The challenges I encountered throughout the programme ignited a fire within me, driving me towards growth and inspiring me to strive for excellence.


Achieving a Distinction in this course stands as a testament to the exceptional education I received and a pinnacle of my academic journey. I am immensely grateful to the MMM Programme Director, Dr Louis Liew Yun Khoon, my supervisors, and all the lecturers for their invaluable guidance and unwavering support throughout my journey. This degree has opened up a world of opportunities, and I am thrilled to embark on the next phase of this incredible journey with optimism and excitement!

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