27-28 April 2019 – Chang I Shuen, a Biomedical Science student at the International Medical University, was the second runner-up for the “Best Oral Presentation” category at the 10th Malaysian Symposium of Biomedical Science.
This symposium held at Universiti Sains Malaysia Health Campus, Kelantan saw Chang presenting his final year research project titled “Melatonin Induced Autophagy Through Activation of AMPK and ERK Pathways and Inhibition of mTOR Pathway in Jurkat Cells”. The presentation, co-authored by Dr Chye Soi Moi, Dr Koh Rhun Yian, Yeo Pei Ling, Ooi Jack Hau and Chok Kian Chung, relates to therapeutics and diagnostics. In this research project, melatonin was discovered as a new treatment for leukaemia patients, subject to further studies.
“I have certainly gained invaluable experience by taking part in the symposium. Firstly, I managed to hone my presentation and public speaking skills. Looking at the other participants, I noticed that there were certain aspects that I could improve on, such as maintaining eye contact and the efficient use of body language.” “Furthermore, I forged friendships with the other participants who were my housemates for the event and are also mainly final year biomedical science students from other universities. It was interesting to speak to them, not just about their experiences, but also on their research projects. I also took the opportunity to speak to them in detail about their projects to further my knowledge on experiments regarding genetics, as that is one of my current areas of interest.” “I feel thankful to my supervisor, Dr Chye Soi Moi, for giving me the opportunity to represent IMU at the 10th Malaysian Biomedical Science Symposium as an oral presenter. Her guidance and constant support throughout my final year research project is well appreciated.” “Prior to this, I had no prior experience in conducting research. However, during the final year project for the Biomedical Science programme, my teammates and I had the opportunity to work under the supervision of one of our lecturers, Dr Chye Soi Moi, in her project.” “Throughout this project, I worked on experiments to treat leukaemia patients using melatonin, a hormone primarily released by the pineal gland. I had the opportunity to learn how to carry out basic cell culture techniques and cell viability tests. The experiment also provided me with a chance to carry out fluorescence analysis, Western Blotting and statistical analysis under the guidance of Pei Ling, a Master degree student.” “Working on this experiment gave me a clearer perspective of working in the research and development area, in addition to enhancing my knowledge of experiment techniques. I have come to realise that time management and prior preparation are essential for the conduct of research. Besides that, I learnt the hard way that research requires patience and determination. To achieve satisfactory results, I had to repeat, troubleshoot, and amend the way I carry out experiments countless of times. Furthermore, I learnt to be more precise in conducting my experiment, and to minimise the usage of reagents and apparatus as a way of reducing the expenses in this project.” “Although I was mentally prepared for the workload that would come from the project, I ended up being overwhelmed by it. My teammates and I had to conduct our experiments for long hours, occasionally resulting in us spending our nights in the laboratory. The endless repeats and troubleshoots made things harder for us. It was a very trying time as I was stressed out by the project, but at the same time, had to focus on my studies. Thankfully, with proper time management and minimal procrastination, the project was carried out smoothly. It was a very stressful time, especially when the experiment results were not ideal, but I feel that I am more productive when I face a new challenge every day.” “I feel that I have come a long way from the time many years ago when I decided to purse a degree in biomedical science as a stepping stone towards a medical degree as my A-level results were not ideal to pursue a medical degree. However, this is a decision that I do not regret as IMU’s Biomedical Science Programme has provided me with the opportunity to enhance my knowledge and laboratory skills, thus providing me with a strong foundation prior to pursuing a medical degree. Besides, the heavy workload has contributed to honing my time management skills.”
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank my mentor, A/Prof Shar Mariam Binti Mohamed, and my lecturers for their constant encouragement and support throughout my degree. I would not have made it this far without their guidance. And to my friends, thank you for all the encouragement and I wish you all the best in your future endeavours.” “Looking back, I must say that it has been an exhilarating journey. I finally know where I stand now, and how close I am towards achieving my dreams.”
“I would like to encourage the readers of this article to work hard, and to never give up on your dreams. It is better to have tried wholeheartedly to accomplish your goals than to look back and regret. Also, never compare yourself with others, as everyone walks a different path. All the best to those who are fighting to achieve their dreams! When you feel like giving up, always remember that there are people who believe in you no matter what.”
Written by: Chang I Shuen from BM1/16.
Congratulations to I Shuen!
Related article: Another Biomedical Science student from IMU, Voon Shee Man from BM1/16 won the Second Prize for the Poster Presentation for Non-communicable Diseases Category at the same symposium: IMU Biomedical Science Student Wins Second Prize in Poster Presentation for Non-communicable Diseases Category