My name is Ong Teik Hwa. I am currently pursuing my PhD in IMU. My PhD research project is on developing natural product based nanoformulations to treat biofilms formed by bacteria. This research has led to an opportunity to participate as an exhibitor to showcase my research product (a topical gel formulation) in Biomalaysia and Asia Pacific Bioeconomy 2016 which was organised by the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI) and Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation (BiotechCorp) at KLCC Convention Centre. This event is one of the key meeting points for industry professionals in the region and served as networking opportunities platform for global and Malaysian bio-based industry participants. Prior to this, I started my degree studies in biomedical science at IMU in 2011 and graduated with First Class Honours in 2014. I am grateful that I chose biomedical science degree at IMU as it equipped me with fundamental laboratory skills, communication skills as well as problem solving skills which enabled me to cope with my research today. During my undergraduate studies, I also had the opportunity to do my final year internship in Cancer Science Institute, National University of Singapore. I was involved in a project which validates the biomarker for the detection of gastric cancer. It was a joyful learning experience for me and sparked my interest in research field. Upon completion of my undergraduate degree, I worked as a research assistant under the supervision of Dr Fabian Davamani and later began my journey for a Master degree in 2014.
My project is about the development of a novel nanoformulation against bacterial infection. It gave me a good exposure to nanotechnology, which received great attention in the medical field recently.
As a graduate research assistant, my duties included carrying out my own research experiments in the laboratory, processing samples from internal and external customers as well as providing equipment training to undergraduate students. I am fortunate to receive guidance from my supervisors whom specialised in different field: Dr Fabian Davamani, Dr Ebenezer Chitra, Dr Srinivasan and Dr Rajinikanth. They guided me through the ups and downs of my postgraduate journey, always encouraging and motivating me when I faced difficulties. Thanks to them, I have successfully converted my Master degree to PhD degree in 2015. My advice to my juniors or those who planned to study biomedical science is:
“Never give up on a dream just because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” — Earl Nightingale.
Currently, I have no plans after PhD but I am open to all opportunities available.