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IMU MSc in Molecular Medicine Student: Nothing will Deter Me from Gaining a Masters Degree

22 Oct 2021

I am Hadyah Muhammad, I am from Yemen. I completed my Bachelor’s degree at Dar Salaam International University for Science and Technology, specialising in medical laboratories. After graduating with my degree, I worked as a medical laboratory specialist at Marib General Hospital. At the same time, I worked as a teaching assistant at Saba University, Faculty of Education, Department of Life Sciences as a demonstrator of practical virology module. As I have always admired academic work, I decided to complete my postgraduate studies abroad and after its completion, return to teach at my university, as it lacks many specialists in medical sciences such as haematology and other sciences at this point in time. I sought to get a scholarship from our government and having successfully obtained it, I travelled to Malaysia. Unfortunately, when I arrived here, I was informed that the scholarship would be stopped due to the political crisis in my home country. I was disappointed at that time; however, I am still determined and insisted that I complete my studies in Malaysia. Hence, I had a discussion with my husband and my family on what can be done in order for me to complete my studies in Malaysia. My husband and my family encouraged me to continue, whatever it costs. After that, I searched for any master programme that included general haematology science, but I did not find it in most universities. During the on-going research, I looked at the Molecular Medicine programme at the International Medical University (IMU). I read through the programme introduction, and I was impressed by it. So, I decided to join the programme at IMU. Indeed, I was excited learning from all modules in this programme, especially the modules relating to stem cells and computational drug discovery. The computational drug discovery module was something entirely new for me, so I decided to know more and gain the deepest understanding in this module. Hence, I talked to Dr Vasudeva about doing my research project in this area. He agreed, and we worked together to develop a research proposal and got ethical approval for the research project on time. My project was focussed on the synthesis of new benzothiazole compounds and the evaluation of their antibacterial activities. I did this research project under the supervision of Dr Vasudeva and Dr Carolina Santiago. Although I faced some difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic, they guided me in overcoming these problems throughout my research journey.

Studying During the Pandemic
I still remember when the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to the COVID-19 crisis was enforced in March 2020 in Malaysia. At that time, I was my second semester. Due to these pandemic restrictions, it was necessary for students to attend all teaching and learning sessions online. To me, the quality of the online delivery was no different from any face-to-face session that I have attended — however, there were some challenges and difficulties that I faced during my research journey due to restrictions by the MCO. At the same time, IMU facilitated all the steps by providing me with all needed requirements.

I recently passed my Viva exam and will be having my convocation in November 2021. After that, I am planning to work at Saba University in Marib city as a teacher assistant for immunology and infection subjects under the Medical Sciences Faculty and I have already prepared myself to do this task as required. In addition, I will be working in research labs to conduct some research on the discovery of new drugs to prepare myself for a PhD. I have a very good experience in my master journey at IMU, and I would like to share this experience with the lecturers, staff and students in my university (Saba University). At this University, I will do my best to improve teaching methods in Saba University to the same level as that of the Malaysian universities as I have a strong ambition to do that.

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