January 1, 2016 marked a new chapter for the Biomedical Science and Medical Biotechnology programmes as the two programmes officially formed a new division under the School of Health Sciences, IMU, Division of Applied Biomedical Science and Biotechnology. The new Division is headed by A/Prof Shar Mariam Mohamed, and the Programme Directors are Dr Ebenezer Chitra for Biomedical Science and Dr Kok Yih Yih for Medical Biotechnology programmes respectively. Both Dr Chitra and Dr Kok envisaged that the formation of the new division is in the right direction as both programmes share principle features of undergraduate laboratory skills training that promote research capabilities in students. This would meet the competencies to ensure graduates from both programmes are work-ready to join various industries. “The new division offers opportunity for collaborative research as well as educational innovations. It also potentiates the development of new programmes to be offered in future’, says Dr Chitra. In line with the IMU’s educational mission: both the Biomedical Science and Medical Biotechnology programmes aim to produce graduates who are competent, professional, possess critical thinking skills, good communication skills and have entrepreneurial skills. As such, Dr Kok believes that the new division would provide conducive environment for greater cooperation between the two programmes. The Division’s strategic plans for the next 5 years include designing postgraduate programmes; strengthening collaboration with industries such as the BioNexus companies through the Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation; and obtaining international accreditation for the curriculum. All these initiatives would further enhance the graduates’ work preparedness and employability.
Some of the niche research within the Division currently are in the areas of oxidative stress and toxicology; encompassing research in neuronal apoptosis, radiation injuries, infectious diseases, immune-modulatory effects of naturalendogenous products, cancer biology, metabolic disease, vaccine delivery, and phyto-/bio-remediation.
“We have built a very strong foundation in research and shall continue kicking the momentum we have generated. I believe we could persevere as a strong team with earnest friendship, cordiality, mutual respect, and shared interests who shall be significant for the success of IMU. The success should undoubtedly stem from the utter commitment to our work”. – Assoc Prof Dr Shar Mariam Mohamed
Background on the Biomedical Science & Medical Biotechnology programmes Biomedical Science is a health science programme allied to medicine involving the study of human body, organ systems, biochemistry, pathology, microbiology, histology, haematology, parasitology etc emphasising on intensive laboratory training. Graduates in biomedical science are eligible to work in medical diagnostic laboratories or research laboratories. They are qualified to work in healthcare industry involving therapeutics, diagnosis, quality control etc or involve in any biological research. IMU biomedical science programme is an intensive 3-year honours degree programme accredited by the Malaysian Qualifying Agency (MQA) and designed following MQA norms. Our programme also conforms to international standards followed in other universities abroad. Our students therefore have the option of credit transfer to our partner Universities in New Zealand, Australia and UK after completing a part of their studies in IMU. Since 2005, the government has envisioned that biotechnology will be a new economic engine for Malaysia, enhancing the nation’s prosperity and well-being. Acknowledging the potential as well as with the availability of content experts, IMU started the Medical Biotechnology programme in 2008. The programme is obliged to train, produce and contribute to the Government’s mission in making Malaysia a Biotechnology Hub at least within the Asian region. The IMU’s Medical Biotechnology programme has received its accreditation from the Malaysian Qualifications Agency in December 2010.