A cacophony of chatter, laughter, and (sometimes) screams echoing from the Atrium on an ungodly Saturday morning to the very late hours of a Tuesday night, IMU students of the Biomedical Science undergraduate programme work tirelessly to prepare for a very auspicious day on 19 April 2017. The International Biomedical Laboratory Science (IBLS) Day! What a mouthful! Right? A 5-hour long exhibition of the Biomedical Science field took place with a theme: “Working Together to Combat Antimicrobial Resistance”. The activity covered areas of Haematology, Biochemistry, Histology, Microbiology and Forensic Science. These topics form the main backbone of this profession. The basis of this exhibition was to make the activities interactive and with great benefit for the public and the students. We wanted to tease and give them an insider look into what the biomedical science profession has in store for them. The event itself was a huge success as it managed to attract approximately 190 students to take part in the activities. We were fortunate enough to have students ranging from the Foundation in Science programme to students from different undergraduate programmes in IMU attending the event. The first eye-catching attraction of the event was obviously an outlined corpse spread on the Atrium floor. Equipped with many visual aids (blood, urine, bacteria and a severed arm) that lead to the respective booths, this display aided in getting looks and glimpses from hastening students/staff as well as curious onlookers from different floors. The field responsible for such a display belonged to the Forensic Science booth, filled with activities like iodine crystal fingerprinting and well loading for electrophoresis. Other activities like venipuncture and blood group testing obviously revolves around Haematology. Venipuncture is the art of withdrawing a blood sample. Participants were demonstrated this process and furthermore, allowed to have a hands-on experience of withdrawing blood from a simulated arm model (PS no arms were injured in this process! ). And since blood is on the topic of matter, blood glucose testing was also conducted in retrospect to the Biochemistry booth. Following that, Histology and Microbiology booths not only allowed students to view stained specimens but also to stain them and view them under the microscope. Different gram-stained bacteria as well as sealed sample of an organ fixative were up for viewing. Last but certainly not the least, the main theme of the event, Antimicrobial Resistance. An antibiotic quiz and demonstration about disk diffusion assays and Elek test was part of this informative booth. A separate booth was put up in an attempt to raise awareness on antimicrobial resistance followed by poster based quizzes.
As the hours closed in on this eventful exhibition, students and staff frantically (and in orderly fashion) made their way to the front row seats of the Auditorium, and sat in assembly to await esteemed guests, Prof Victor Lim, Prof Winnie Chee as well as other lecturers and staff of IMU. Commencement speeches and warm welcomes by our emcees of the afternoon, Ian Chang and Danielle Leong were in place. They welcomed Prof Winnie Chee, Dean of the School of Health Sciences, to give her speech and her utmost congratulations to the students and staff who made this event an incredible success. Following that, a talk about Antimicrobial Resistance was given by Prof Victor Lim on this topic which is close to his heart and of importance in today’s medical profession. Well prepared with well known facts and statistical data, he spoke with passion about the modern era of antimicrobial resistance and possible future shortcomings. Soon later, the President and Vice President of the ISBS society, Hossein Jahedi and Alyssa Fonseka respectively, gave their closing speeches and expressed their absolute gratitude to the team and staff who made this event a triumphant milestone for Biomedical Science committee. Henceforth, the IMU Society of Biomedical Science (ISBS) was established on 19 April 2017 as the first profession related society in IMU. This will also be the 24th student affiliate society and first biomedical science society in South-East Asia to be affiliated with Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS). Related article: IBMS welcomes Malaysian student affiliate society