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IMU Advanced Microbiology Collaborative Research Laboratory to Deliver Research and Training of the Highest Standard in Infectious Diseases

18 Apr 2019

Kuala Lumpur, 16 April 2019 – International Medical University (IMU) officially opened its IMU Advanced Microbiology Collaborative Research Laboratory (AMCRL), a research facility to promote stronger research collaboration and technology transfer between Malaysia and international partners. The opening ceremony was officiated by Prof Abdul Aziz Baba, Vice-Chancellor of IMU in the presence of Prof Diana Eccles, Dean of Medicine, University of Southampton (UoS), UK, IMU academic council members comprising of Deans of School from various IMU partner universities, as well as IMU staff and students.

An IMU research facility to promote stronger research collaboration and technology transfer between Malaysia and international partners

Marking this inaugural cross institutional research collaboration is IMU’s partner university, the University of Southampton (UoS), United Kingdom. The joint research collaboration between IMU and UoS will look into the “Carriage rate of upper respiratory tract pathobionts and their association with host metabolomics profiles and gut microbial composition in diabetic patients” study. This aims to investigate and understand better the role of the gut bacteria specifically in the development of diabetes mellitus among Malaysians; which may offer possible solutions and opportunities for interventions in preventing and managing this disease.

IMU and UoS have been partners in medical education and research since 2002. The collaboration saw IMU’s inaugural cohort of Medical students graduating from the UoS in 2005. To date, a total of 156 students have obtained their Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) degree from UoS through the IMU Partner Medical School pathway. “The joint research collaboration is a testimonial to the continuous effort between the two Universities in improving research, education and healthcare in Malaysia,” says Prof Aziz Baba. Echoing the same sentiment, Prof Diana Eccles stresses that the laboratory marked a key milestone of close collaboration between the two Universities. Further, the joint research collaboration will also strengthen the research partnership between UK and Malaysia, in line with the UK Official Development Assistance (ODA) policy. Prof Aziz’s full speech

Main Objectives of IMU AMCRL
1) strengthen interdisciplinary training programmes and scientific exchanges within Malaysia and Southeast Asia in the area of infectious diseases and emerging infections;
2) enhance and increase international research capacity and training programmes in infectious diseases;
3) conduct and support research into the development of new diagnostic tools, treatments and prevention strategies for infectious diseases particularly those relevant to developing countries; and
4) encourage networking among international research and public health communities to contribute to global infectious diseases research efforts and advance knowledge in support of national and international policies.

According to Prof Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, IMU and Director, IRDI, “With the existing MoU with the Ministry of Health Malaysia, on Health Research and Medical Education, IMU will also act as a catalyst to foster stronger network between IMU partner Universities and Malaysian research institutions such as the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), Makmal Kesihatan Awam Kebangsaan (MKAK, National Public Health Lab) and Makmal Kesihatan Awam Veterinar (National Veterinary Lab) to research into the solutions for hard to diagnose pathogens and to improve the current outbreak response. Training workshops will also be organised to build the research and service capacity in Malaysia.” Prof Datuk Dr Lokman Hakim’s full speech

The IMU AMRCL also looks towards fostering research collaboration with other researchers in the region and internationally, joint application of international and national research funding, and enhance international authorship in publications. In addition, the collaborative laboratory will facilitate the transfer of new technologies and advanced research methods in the broad area of microbiology to Malaysia, with the aim to increase the research capacity of IMU and Malaysian researchers.

In the News
See Hua Daily News (Kuching), 26 April 2019 IMU`s AMCRL Strengthens International Technical Cooperation in Research

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