Human diseases such as cancer, diabetes, dementia, heart diseases, influenza, tuberculosis, malaria, dengue, and HIV have been widely prevalent even before the advent of molecular technologies. These diseases, along with other pathological conditions have caused significant reduction of human lifespan. Strategies used currently have been vastly ineffective and there is an urgent need to develop novel techniques and therapies that may be potent and effective against such disease conditions.
Molecular medicine is a relatively new field that may help addressing the issues faced by conventional remedies. Therefore, it is important for us to have an updated knowledge in molecular medicine and to continuously update newer developments in the scientific field.
The International Medical University has been delivering the molecular medicine programme at Master’s level since 2012. The flexibility offered by this programme enables candidates to register into it in a part-time or in a full-time mode.
“One of the advantages of the programme is that students can perform their research activities at the convenience of their workplace. As a working adult, I find this very convenient and thoughtful. It is very challenging for a working adult to travel, which can be very time-consuming and costly. Being able to conduct the research project modules at work is like killing two birds with one stone; we get to complete our day-to-day job while keeping track the progression of the project,” said Ashraf Hakim Dzulkarnain Bin Azman, an alumnus of the programme.
This programme is purposefully designed in a unique and interesting manner that will help students to develop their skills in molecular research (either lab-based or non-lab based such as computational analysis for the larger dataset). These skills may be required to gain knowledge and confidence if a student would prefer to pursue a doctoral programme. In addition, our Master of Science in Molecular Medicine (MMM) programme has always equipped the students with an in-depth knowledge in medical related diseases and their mechanisms at a molecular level.
Double Degree Option
A key feature of this programme is the possibility of students to credit-transfer and enrol for a double-degree option offered by the Queen Mary University of London (QMUL). Through this option, the students may obtain two MSc degrees, one from a UK University and another from a Malaysian University. Taken together, the MMM programme explicitly aims to make the student an individual with critical thinking abilities, problem solving skills, and to develop the individual with a scientific foresight in anticipating potential problems.
In March 2020, we had successfully enrolled a double-degree student who carried out a joint research project with the QMUL in studying the roles of genes responsible for cardiac arrythmia and cardiac excitability that were studied using exome analysis at a UK biobank. She succeeded to complete this preliminary research study in 2022.
Besides that, there are several research projects conducted within the MMM programme that were conducted in collaboration with universities in Australia, like the University of Technology Sydney as well as some local universities such as Monash University Malaysia, Universiti Malaya, University Putra Malaysia and so on. Such opportunities have provided the students to work with diverse experts and to promote broad levels of expertise through teamwork within those research teams. This has led the students towards having the advantage of interprofessional collaboration, which in turn has led to good quality research being published. For example, a study related to pancreatic cancer has been recently published in the prestigious journal, Nature Research which was made possible through collaborations with Universiti Sains Islam Malaysia, Universiti Putra Malaysia, and Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine. In May 2022, another MMM student has also published her comprehensive review on the therapeutic potential of agarwood in the management of chronic inflammatory diseases with the inputs from different expertise from University of Sydney, University of Technology Sydney, Sharda University, Shoolini University, Lovely Professional University, and Saveetha University. Such collaborations which are not just limited to only one organisation could play a major role in widening the student’s perspectives and outlook on the outside world of research.
Importantly, students in the MMM programme have expressed their joy in learning. The programme also has several forums and discussion activities enabling the students to meet and interact with their course mates who come from diverse academic backgrounds with working experience in medicine, pharmacy and diagnostic labs. Notably, some of them have been promoted to higher positions like manager, principal medical lab scientist, and more upon completion of the MMM programme.