Dr Norman Chieng, a lecturer from the Department of Pharmaceutical Technology under the School of Pharmacy, International Medical University (IMU), successfully secured a grant under the ScienceFund worth RM 233,000. The grant from the Ministry of Science, Technology & Innovation (MOSTI) is to support his research project titled “Dry State Preservation of Mesenchymal Stem Cells”.
The ScienceFund is a grant provided by MOSTI for the purpose of promoting research and development (R&D) projects which can generate new knowledge in strategic basic and applied sciences, and develop new products or processes necessary for further development and commercialisation in specific research areas. It also aims to generate more research capabilities and expertise within the country. The gold standard preservation of human cells is cryopreservation. This technique is not only costly but also tedious. Moreover, it involves storing cells at extremely low temperatures and using materials which are toxic to cells at high concentrations. With this, Dr Norman Chieng is looking into the alternative technique of lyopreservation. Lyopreservation is a naturally-occurring method based on anhydrobiosis whereby the cells are kept in a dehydrated state. This technique has the advantages of keeping the cells at room temperatures, without the need for refrigeration and thus prevention of cell injury.
Congratulations to Dr Norman Chieng and team for the award of this research grant.