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IMU Molecular Medicine Student: My Experience as Graduate Student in a Foreign Country

02 Mar 2022

I am Dina Athariah Bahrani (in the photo above), and I am from Indonesia. I completed my Bachelor’s degree at Universitas Indonesia, Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences, Department of Biology. My Bachelor’s degree provides me with a wide range of knowledge on Biological Sciences divided into three Science Groups (Zoological, Botanical, and Microbiological) and ten Research Groups. One of the Research Groups is Animal Science for Health that I chose for my Bachelor’s research topic, so I decided to pursue the Master of Science in Molecular Medicine at IMU, which really helped me in my job on diseases diagnoses, management, and treatment. I chose a molecular medicine programme in order to gain insights into technological advances in molecular biology.

In the first place, I did not really think about studying in Malaysia. I’ve just looked at which country offers Molecular Medicine or Molecular Biology programme for graduate students. After I researched and went to an International Education Exhibition to see some foreign universities, I found out that IMU offers a Molecular Medicine programme. When I was there, I did not know why I was so interested with Malaysia. I think Malaysia as the right country to be the stepping stone for my experience as a graduate student.

The entry process was not difficult although it took much more time, also I was assisted by an Education Consultant (ICAN Education Consultant). Entering a Malaysian private university requires the prospective master’s students to have an IELTS score of 5.5-7.

I chose to study in Malaysia because
Firstly, the distance is not far from my home country; it is only 2 hours from Jakarta to Malaysia via airplane.
Secondly, because English is almost like the first language here.

I was so excited to learn at IMU. All modules in this programme took approximately 2 years duration for a full-time student like me, because I am an International Student.

Modules I took for the MSc in Molecular Medicine Programme at IMU

First Semester
Molecular Basis of Diseases II Stem Cell Technology and Therapeutics Research Methodology and Scientific Writing
Second Semester
Molecular Medicine Immunology and Infection Molecular Basis of Diseases I Computational Drug Discovery Techniques
Final Semester
Research Project

In the last semester, I conducted my Research Project for six months. However, my project extended to approximately one year project because of lockdown.

My Research Project
Focus of Research Influence of conditioned media (from primary pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma and /or pancreatic stellate cells) on myeloid-derived suppressor cells viability and proliferation.
Supervisors Dr Ho Ket Li, Dr Ng Sook Han and Dr Chan Kim Wei
Why I did this Project? I took this project because it was related to my previous project on cancer.
Conducting the Research Project I faced many problems because of COVID-19, but my supervisors patiently guided me until the end of my research.

Now that I have just finished my viva voce, I am planning to go back to Indonesia, to my job as a Research Assistant. I have gained many experiences from IMU. Not only during my studies, but also on the cultures in Malaysia as well as it is a multiracial nation. I am really amazed to see that in Malaysia,  people from various ethnicities can live together in peace and harmony.


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