An International Medical University (IMU) Postgraduate Alumnus, Dr Kamalan Jeevaratnam, is this year’s recipient of the Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment. The award presentation ceremony was held at the Malaysian Petroleum Club, Kuala Lumpur on the 4 September 2014. Dr Kamalan will using the funds from the grant to pursue a research titled ‘Mechanistic Insights for Cardiac Cellular Therapy using Stem Cells’. Commenting on the application process, Dr Kamalan said, “I submitted an online application to the Merdeka Award Trust and after a rigorous selection process, I was called for an interview. The interview is recorded and the recording is later send to the Board of Trusties who will then make a decision.”
“I was excited but at the same time humbled to be given this award. To me, awards such as this help promote the importance of not just my research but also work of other local researchers as it provides a platform for recognition. I am also hoping it will help create interest in my area of clinical and experimental cardiac electrophysiology research which is still new in Malaysia. This award really reminds me that I have a long way more to go”, added Dr Kamalan.
Dr Kamalan joined IMU to pursue his MSc in Medical Sciences and in that time took up a position as lecturer in Anatomy with the University. Subsequently, he went on to pursue his PhD at the University of Cambridge under the Maxis Scholarship for Excellence programme. Merdeka Award Grant for International Attachment makes it possible for qualified and deserving Malaysians, between the ages 22-35 to engage in short-term collaborative projects/programmes of up to three months, at an internationally-recognised host institution in selected disciplines (education, arts, sports, community/social work, environment, health, science and technology). The attachment aims to help the recipient build on his or her expertise by undergoing a learning experience in an institution or organisation of international repute, and improving the Grantee’s body of work and achievements. The end goal is to promote thought leadership and innovation, foster a culture of excellence and encourage a world-view.