Malaysian student, Jeyashanthini Nalaiya was working in a quality control division of a pharmaceutical industry when she decided to pursue a postgraduate degree and upgrade her skills and knowledge for better employment prospects. She decided to pursue an MSc in Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (MAPC) at the International Medical University.
Jeyashanthini has published two research articles from her MSc research. She has since moved to the Formulation Research and Development Division at CCM Pharmaceuticals. Her current employer is happy with Jeyashanthini’s progress in both technical competencies and soft skills. She has not only shown significant improvement in terms of analytical, technical and scientific thinking but is also more positive and more confident in her presentations.
At IMU, the IMU’s Master of Science in Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (MAPC) is geared to those who want to advance their careers in chemical or pharmaceutical industries and those entering the field from related areas. The course puts students through a host of compulsory core modules including separation techniques, spectroscopy, research methodology and scientific writing, principles and practices of green chemistry, natural products. While the optional modules include drug discovery, design and development; quality management and regulatory systems; recent trends in pharmaceutical sciences, pharmaceutical microbiology and Bench to Market. According to Dr Mallikarjuna Rao, Associate Dean and Professor at the School of Pharmacy, “The programme was designed for the student to enhance the skills and competencies required to handle a broad range of techniques and instrumentation by leveraging the research and teaching capabilities of highly experienced faculty and developing in-depth knowledge that are essential for R&D, manufacturing and analysis of pharmaceuticals.”
The innovative curriculum of MAPC is backed by hands-on laboratory sessions and a research component which contributes to 50% of the curriculum and involves in-depth investigation which introduces students to the processes of critical thinking and life-long learning. The student’s progress is evaluated based on continuous assessment. One of their written assessments on drug targets has recently been published in an international peer reviewed journal.
Another student of MAPC and an IMU Biomedical Science alumnus, Rajakumari says, “I wanted to major in pharmaceutical chemistry to enhance my skills which would improve my job scope in the pharmaceutical industry sector. IMU is the only university offering a combination of analytical and pharmaceutical chemistry.” Faridah, another international student of MAPC, who has recently defended her research dissertation had wanted to pursue PhD in medicinal chemistry and involve in the discovery of new therapeutics. According to Khaishin, a BSc Chemistry graduate from University of Queensland, “As I am very much interested in drug discovery and development research, I joined MAPC programme at IMU, a well-established medical university which has secured about RM 3 million worth of research projects in drug discovery & development and in the related areas.” IMU’s modular programme is designed to fit in with full-time employment to help balance work commitments with learning. Integral research project gives an opportunity to explore a research area, which can open the door to many careers. The research project provides with a substantial experience of working independently and communicating research effectively and efficiently in the form of dissertation and publication.