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IMU School of Pharmacy Lecturer Secured International Travel Award to United Kingdom

28 Sep 2018

Every year the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) Foundation for Education and Research awards a number of congress travel scholarships to assist young pharmacists or pharmaceutical scientists to attend the FIP World Congress on Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences. The objective of these scholarships is to permit the recipient to develop his/her skills and knowledge, in line with the objectives of the Foundation, and to contribute towards improving pharmaceutical practice, pharmaceutical sciences and/or pharmaceutical education in his/her home country. This year is the 78th FIP Congress and it was held successfully at Glasgow, United Kingdom from 2-6 September 2018. Out of the 10 recipients selected globally, IMU School of Pharmacy Lecturer, Dr Mai Chun Wai was the only young pharmacist from the Western Pacific region. The 2018 FIP congress in Glasgow, Scotland, invites pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists from around the world to come together to consider ways of extending the role of pharmacists so that they play a full part in ensuring patients, and health systems, achieve full benefit from the medicines people take. The one-size-fits-all approach is clearly failing many patients around the globe for the pharmacological treatment of disease. Pharmacists and pharmaceutical scientists are uniquely trained and qualified healthcare professionals capable of personalising therapy for improving patient outcomes. When asked about his participation in the Congress, Dr Mai shared “I truly enjoy the plenary by Dr Jim Campbell, from World Health Organization, focusing on ‘Transforming Outcomes on Global Level: Meeting the Global Health Challenges”. This session is to address how we can all assist in driving better patients’ outcomes through combined healthcare workforce. It is critical to know pharmacists do have a key role to play to ensure a good patient outcome. It is certainly not possible if there is no strategical transformational change. Dr Campbell also highlighted the strategies to meet the global challenges of healthcare through pharmacists.”

In addition to that, Dr Mai stressed he truly enjoy the session “From Bench to Bedside: Advancing Pharmaceutical Care”, chaired by Dr Hiroshi Suzuki, Japan and Dr Michael Ward, Australia. It is indeed thought provoking to listen to various speakers to discuss on efficient tumor therapy, drug induced toxicity analysis, and disease management via latest pharmacotherapy intervention. Being the Head and one of the active researchers in the Centre for Cancer and Stem Cells Research, Institute for Research, Development & Innovation, IMU, these sessions were very useful to broaden his horizon as a cancer researcher. Dr Mai had also presented a paper in the Congress, entitled “Collaborative Drug Discovery Achieves Synergism in Identifying Potential Anticancer Compounds”. Future drug discovery relies on finding solutions for complex unmet medical needs. Scientists are usually working in silo and thus the progress in drug discovery is rather disappointing. The Collaborative Drug Discovery (CDD) programme started by Dr Mai and his team, partnering with phytochemists, synthetic chemists and medicinal chemists in identifying compounds that may become medicines. The CDD program offers a platform that breaks the boundaries among researchers at no cost. CDD comprised of a series of anticancer screening with diverse panel of cancer cells from breast, colorectal, lung, endometrial, pancreatic, prostate, bone, nasopharyngeal and brain cancers. Dr Mai was also selected by the FIP Young Pharmacists Group (FIP-YPG) to attend the inaugural FIP-YPG Leadership Development Workshop, which is organised by FIP-YPG together with FIP Academic Section and FIP Education. The workshop was a 2-day intensive training before the FIP Congress. There were 260 interested applicants, and Dr Mai was one of the 20 selected participants to join this inaugural event. The leadership workshop focused on values of servant, ethical and volunteer leadership. A leader cannot be classified as leader if he/she is not competent in project management. Dr Mai was also trained in project management skills, tools, time management, communication skills, public speaking, presentation skills, and strategy in constructive feedback at the workshop.

We congratulate Dr Mai Chun Wai for these outstanding achievements.

Photo credits: FIP Congress Official Photographer

About Dr Mai Chun Wai 
Dr Mai Chun Wai graduated with First Class Honours and Dean’s List from the IMU Bachelor of Pharmacy (BPharm) in 2009. He was the recipient of Sanofi-Aventis Award and Kotra Pharma Award for excellence in research and pharmaceutical technology, respectively, in the graduating class. He was also awarded the IMU Young Alumnus Award 2012. Chun Wai graduated with PhD in Medical and Health Sciences (By Research) from IMU in 2014. In view of his outstanding performance in research, Chun Wai is also the best posters or oral presenters in several national and international conferences. He is actively participating in several projects with national research grants. His research findings are also available in international scientific papers. He was the recipient of the Southeast Asia-European Union-NET II (SEA-EU-NET II) Fellowship 2016 (the only Malaysian, and one of the 6 Asians), United Kingdom Royal Society of Chemistry Research Mobility Award 2016 (the only Malaysian), United Kingdom Researcher Mobility in Drug Discovery 2015 (the only Malaysian), and Sultan Mizan Antarctic Research Foundation (YPASM) Research Fellowship 2015 (one of the two selected Malaysians).

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