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MSc in Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (IMU): A Pathway to a Career in Research

25 Jul 2019

A job as a research scientist whether in industry or academia can be a stimulating, rewarding and fulfilling career. Research scientist gathers information and generate knowledge using both theoretical and experimental means. Utilising their versatile and variable skill sets, research scientists develop new products and processes to solve world problems. The roles and career paths of a research scientist are varied and may involve areas such as product testing and development, technical support, and marketing. The pathway to become a research scientist usually requires to have a MSc with research component or a PhD. The MSc in Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry (MAPC) at IMU is one such programme that prepares graduates for a career in research or industry. The MAPC is a mixed-mode programme which combines research with taught courses. Students will embark on a guided research project during which they will be trained to become competent and confident researchers. The research project develops the student’s technical and practical competence, oral and written scientific communication skills.

Student Name Comments 
Yamen Al Khateeb (MAPC graduate from Syria who is currently pursuing his PhD) “The skills I acquired at IMU opened the door for me in PhD research. The classes in the first two semesters built up my knowledge and practical skills in pharmaceutical analysis, drug design and development. My third semester research was in the areas of pharmacokinetics and bioavailability in animals and I have gained essential quantitative research and problem solving skills during the research project. In fact, the project was the turning point of my academic career, which lead to my decision to pursue a PhD after graduation.” IMU MAPC Graduate “My PhD research is about the bioavailability and drug metabolism of a new compound isolated from a local plant. The new compound showed excellent anti-inflammatory properties with fewer side effects than the conventional nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. The study is expected to yield useful information on the bioavailability and pharmacokinetics as well as the metabolism of the compound which is crucial in the assessment and understanding of its efficacy and safety,” “My ambition is to share my research experience and work alongside other researchers to discover and develop new drugs and therapies to improve the quality of life for the society.”
Ahmad Junaid (MAPC graduate from Pakistan who is also pursuing his PhD) “The knowledge and expertise I learned during my MAPC degree provided me with the much-needed edge in my PhD as most of my PhD work is based on the instrumentations I learned at IMU. Moreover, the critical thinking and reasoning I developed during the programme, via the discussion among the students and teachers, has helped me and still assist me in the PhD.” “My PhD research focuses on the development of new synthetic routes for the preparation of 1,3,5-triazino-2,4-diamines and to evaluate their antiproliferative activity. I have developed a new synthetic strategy for the preparation of triazine-diamines using microwave assisted synthesis and multicomponent approach, which helped me to synthesise novel compounds which showed selective anticancer activity towards breast cancer cells.” “My philosophy in life is to try and make a better change in the world; no matter how small and enjoy doing it. My short-term goal is to build a strong presence in my current field of research with the skills I learned in IMU and polished in my PhD. My long-term goal is to take my research to the highest level and to find the cure for terminal diseases and improve the lives of people around the globe.”

Students in the programme develop research and industry relevant practical and technical skills upon reflection of learning the theoretical aspect. In the wet laboratory sessions, students are trained in experimental and instrumental techniques in separation science and in the analysis and identification of pharmaceuticals. Students will operate instruments including the high performance liquid chromatography (HLPC), Fourier Transform Infrared (FTIR) spectrometer and benchtop nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrometer. Apart from the wet laboratory sessions, students are trained to use the various computational tools in Schrodinger Discovery Suite, which is a leading drug discovery software used widely in pharmaceutical industries around the world. This method of integrated teaching prepares graduates for a future in both the industry and in academia. On-campus learning is scheduled for weekends so that working learners can fit their learning around their work, and learners have the option of part-time enrolment. There are two intakes in a year, in the months of March and September. The programme is accredited by the Malaysian Qualifications Agency and the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), UK.

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