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IMU Honours its Vice President (Research) and Director of IRDI at September Convocation Ceremony

25 Sep 2015

Vice President (Research) and Director of the Institute for Research, Development and Innovation (IRDI) of International Medical University (IMU), Prof Mak Joon Wah, donned his graduation gown today as he received the Honorary Doctor of Science as part of the University’s convocation ceremony on 12 September 2015. This honorary doctorate is given in recognition of his contributions to promoting research excellence in IMU. convo12sept2015-ftrx (101) Under the dedicated stewardship of Prof Mak, IMU has made significant progress in research, as evidenced by the significant increase in publications in peer reviewed journals, success in getting external grants for research, and increased number of postgraduate students. Prof Mak is instrumental in setting the directions of research in IMU, which focus on four thrust areas, namely Environmental and Population Health, Cancer and Stem Cell Research, Bioactive Molecules and Drug Delivery, and Health Professional Education Research. Under the ASPIRE strategic plans, Prof Mak set the stage with the establishment of the Institute for Research, Development and Innovation (IRDI) on 18 September 2012. Throughout his research career, Prof Mak’s main interests are in tropical medicine, bioactive molecules, and infectious diseases. A globally recognised expert in filariasis and malaria, he has been appointed as a WHO consultant in 17 countries. He has published over 345 scientific papers in refereed journals and was the Foundation Editor of the journal, “Tropical Biomedicine”, which is the first biomedical ISI journal in Malaysia. Recognising the urgent need for a good resource for medically important parasites, he produced an “Atlas of Medically Important Parasites” together with his wife, Dr Choong Mooi Fai. This book is now used as a text in universities for the training of medical and health science undergraduates and postgraduates, and is currently in the third edition, with more than 5000 copies being sold worldwide. In addition, Prof Mak has successfully supervised 13 PhD and 11 MSc students. convo12sept2015-ftrx (98) For his contributions to science, Prof Mak was the joint recipient of the first National Science Award (Anugerah Sains Negara) in 1985, and awarded the Sandosham Gold Medal in 1989. In 2011, Prof Mak was the winner of the prestigious Merdeka Award for “Outstanding Scholastic Achievement”, in recognition of his contributions to fundamental and applied research in parasitology and parasitic diseases, public health and pathology. Prof Mak was instrumental in influencing the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) to include the private universities in the country in the allocation of research funds. This is a milestone achievement for the progress of scientific research in Malaysia. Full citation for Prof Mak Joon Wah FIRST PRIVATE UNIVERSITY’S MOLECULAR MEDICINE GRADUATES  At the same ceremony, more than 200 graduands became the University’s latest group of students to receive their postgraduate or undergraduate degree, marking the completion of their studies and a start to their future careers. This convocation is significant to the University as it will be celebrating the graduation of its first cohort of Master of Science in Molecular Medicine students. 11986478_878588622195813_3915210873379553929_n Programme coordinator of the MSc in Molecular Medicine Dr Yam Wai Keat said, “Today is a special day for IMU as we witness the inaugural graduation of our Master of Science in Molecular Medicine (MMM) students. We are very proud of them as they have successfully completed the mixed mode study programme, comprising of 20 credits of course works and 20 credits of research project in 1.5 years. MMM was designed based on stringent Malaysian Qualifications Agency (MQA) requirements and international standards.” “The modular study programme allows students to grasp the fundamentals in molecular medicine while still be able to commit to work. Our interactive and engaging curriculum delivery style enables the students to be focused, creating a conducive environment for experiential and lifelong learning. The research project module further enhanced students’ critical thinking and problem solving skills, promoting their professional development to better prepare them for tomorrow’s challenging workplace. We congratulate our graduates and we are confident that they will excel in their future endeavors.” A celebratory atmosphere filled the auditorium at the half-day event which was held over two sessions to cater for the large number of graduates. Pro-Chancellor, YBhg Dato’ Dr Gan Ee Kiang, members of the Board of Governors, Senate, the IMU Faculty and staff as well as invited guests were present at the ceremony. convo12sept2015-ftrx (265)convo12sept2015-ftrx (397)convo12sept2015-ftrx (302) Live broadcast of the ceremony as it unfolds inside the auditorium was made available at other lecture theatres in the University. This provided family members and friends who were unable to be in the auditorium the opportunity to witness this very special event. The conferment of the degrees held on 12 September 2015 is part of the graduation ceremonies that were conducted over two days. convo12sept2015-ftrx (543)convo12sept2015-ftrx (294) A Prize Presentation Ceremony was held on 11 September 2015 to celebrate the academic excellence of the University’s best students. These students received numerous awards for their outstanding achievements in their respective fields at this ceremony. BookPrizeSept2015 (33) Pursuing his passion to interact with people and make a positive impact in their life, recipient of the Dr John Joseph Bosco Memorial Gold Medal, medical graduate Liew Jun Yong, said, “I was really happy and grateful when I was awarded the gold medal. This award serves as a recognition of my hard work, achievement and of course as an encouragement for me to work hard in the future. I would like to take this opportunity to express my million thanks to my family, my girlfriend, my lecturers and my fellow comrades for their endless support. Not forgetting, I want to thank all the patients that I learnt from throughout my medical school journey.” “I started my journey as medical student with the aim of graduating as a competent doctor. My love for medicine was cultivated during my clinical training at IMU Clinical School Seremban and Hospital Tuanku Ja’afar where all the patient-interactions took place. However, what drove me the most are the love for medicine and patient care. Nothing beats the feeling when I am able to provide proper care or counselling to my patients and most importantly to see the patients’ health improved, satisfied with the care. Love for the job is the main motivation for me to work hard in order to excel in the things I do.” BookPrizeSept2015 (40) An international student from Mauritius who graduated with a Pharmaceutical Chemistry degree and winner of the Tun Zahir Merit Award, Hovah Marie Emilie Leiticia, said, “I was definitely happy when I heard I was an award winner. It is a great achievement and a stepping stone for my future plans and dreams. I’m grateful for everything IMU has given me, be it in terms of knowledge or values. I’m happy that I didn’t disappoint my mother and my lecturers.” “The lecturers in the pharmaceutical chemistry programme are very approachable, always willing to give an extra helping hand. For me, the lab sessions were enjoyable as this was the time to gain hands-on experience and put the theoretical knowledge acquired in class into practice. There was also an extensive list of projects for the final year projects from which you could easily choose your field of interest. Choosing a final year project on organic synthesis research gave me an insight of what I might want to do in the future. Our lecturers also made it possible for me to do my internship in India, an opportunity that I sincerely appreciate.” Another prize winner, Joanna Emmanuel Vijayan, who graduated in the dean’s list with a Bachelor of Nursing Science said, “Studying this programme while working was indeed very tough for me. While working and studying, I had lots of sleepless nights as I have to keep up with the due dates of my assignments. This has caused me to be more lethargic and exhausted. What I have learnt here helps me in all aspects of nursing care, including ethics, leadership, teaching, management and assessment. In ethics, I learned how to behave, talk, act and solve any situation when needed. As for leadership and management, it has taught me to be a competent and independent leader at work. Being a senior in my department I have to educate my juniors, teaching and learning course has helped to create a suitable environment for this learning process to take place.” BookPrizeSept2015 (76)

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