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Pharmaceutical Chemistry Week 2021: Chemistry for Health and Well-Being

18 Oct 2021

“Health is wealth, chemistry for good health!” The spike of COVID-19 cases has raised everyone’s concern in their health. This year, the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Week 2021 with the theme of “Chemistry for Health and Well-Being,” was celebrated on 17 and 18 July 2021. The virtual event was organised by the IMU Pharmaceutical Chemistry students and faculty members.

The opening ceremony was graced by:
Datuk Dr Soon Ting Kueh President of Institut Kimia Malaysia (IKM) and Chair of Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), Malaysia Local Section
Dr Mohd Firdaus Abdul-Wahab Chair of the American Chemical Society (ACS) Malaysia Chapter
A/Prof Mohd Zulkefeli Bin Mat Jusoh Dean of School of Pharmacy, IMU

The opening ceremony kick-started with a welcoming speech by A/Prof Mohd Zulkefeli Bin Mat Jusoh followed by Datuk Dr Soon Ting Kueh and lastly by Dr Mohd Firdaus Abdul-Wahab.

The Pharmaceutical Chemistry students and faculty produced a launching video, to celebrate the opening of the event. Over the two-day virtual event, there are various online activities conducted including interactive sessions, video contest, and sharing sessions from experts. This event had shone a light towards the career pathway of future pharmaceutical chemists, leading the youngsters to create a better life through chemistry. Over 200 participants from various high schools and pre-university programmes attended the two-day virtual event.

Interactive Session

The Pharmaceutical Chemistry students had prepared many interesting activities for the interactive sessions, such as fun scientific facts, stretching activities, crossword puzzle and hands-on demonstration on moisturising cream preparation.

Video Contest

To many, chemistry is a foreign concept, belonging to the world of academia and textbooks with little relevance to our everyday life. In fact, it is hard-pressed to find an aspect of your daily routine that isn’t directly impacted by chemistry. Chemistry is the study of molecules: the building blocks of matter. It is central to our existence and leads our investigations into the human body, earth, food, materials, energy, and anywhere and everywhere in between. Hence, the objective of the video contest is set to highlight the importance of Chemistry in health and well-being in a creative way. The video contest attracted active participation of high school and pre-University students from East and Peninsular Malaysia. The videos were shortlisted based on the video content, creativity and number of “Likes” gathered on Youtube.

Winners of the Video Contest:
First Prize Breathing Life into Chemistry Aisha Sofea Amanda Batrisyia Aisyah Kamilia Nur Sarah Hanis Sekolah Seri Putra, Cyberjaya (Form 5)
Second Prize Pharmaceutical Shenanigans Ferdinand Fershan Ng Yiyuen International Medical University (Pre-U)
Third Prize Chemistry in Healthcare Andrew Soon Qian Victor Chia Bing Chen Nicholas Soo Jia Kai Lim Shen Jie Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School (Form 4)
Consolation Chemistry – The Centre of Life Teo Jia Sing St. Joseph Private Secondary School Kuching (Form 4)
Consolation Chemistry for One, Health for All Richard Cheah Kai Chun Wong Tze Ee Hovan Pang Chee Hong Sabah Tshung Tsin Secondary School (Form 4)
Consolation Chemistry for Better Health Canny Heng Jia Ni International Medical University (Pre-U)

(Click on the video title to view the video)

Alumni and expert sharing sessions:

The pharmaceutical chemistry alumni and experts of different pharmaceutical and chemistry disciplines from industry and academic were invited to do sharing and live talks on the virtual event.

Tiltle of Talk/Forum Speaker & Affiliation Summary
Alumni Sharing: A Career in Pharmaceutical Industry as a QA/QC Chemist ChM Annie Grace Pravena Pharmaceutical chemists do play an important role in quality control and quality assurance in the industry to maintain the quality of the final product
Small Active Molecules: A Chemical Journey Prof Emerita Karen Ann Crouse Universiti Putra Malaysia & Limited Term Assignment, St Francis Xavier University Small active molecules involved in many chemical reactions including organic and inorganic reactions which eventually help the development process.
Alumni Sharing: A Career in Contract Research Organisation as a Clinical Research Associate Michele Tan Ming Li The pharmaceutical chemistry degree opens the career opportunity in clinical research.
Alumni Sharing: A Career in Cosmetics and Personal Care Industry as an R&D Chemist Tai Chieh Hwa Pharmaceutical chemistry prepare work-ready graduates in the cosmetics and personal care industry
From Chemistry Student to Scientist: My Role as an Analytical Scientist in the Development of Medicine ChM Rayce Lim Rui Chi Senior Executive, Analytical, Oncogen Pharma Curriculum in Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme prepared graduates with technical competency and important transferable skills in pharmaceutical industry.
Career Opportunities in the Field of Chemistry Dr Irene See (Reckitt Benckiser, Thailand)

Dr Ahmad Junaid (Purdue University, USA) (MSc in Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry alumnus)

Eddie Yii Chung Ann (Oncogen Pharma, Malaysia) (Pharmaceutical Chemistry alumnus)

Career advancement and opportunities with a postgraduate degree in Chemistry.
Artificial Intelligence in Drug Discovery & Development ChM Mak Kit Kay Lecturer, Pharmaceutical Chemistry, IMU The involvement of artificial intelligence in drug discovery and development in handling mass amounts of data and prediction, easing the process of designing molecules, and optimising synthetic routes.

Feedback from participants:

“The programme was great!! I have learned more than I thought I would.” “All the information that shared gave me a new perspective to the chemistry world.” “The sharing sessions were highly motivating, and it is also applicable to our future career”. The feedback received from participants was highly positive and encouraging as 97.2% of them were satisfied with the event. Furthermore, with our interesting talks and fun yet educational interactive activities, our event piqued 97.1% of participants’ interest in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, and majority of them would certainly recommend our event to their friends and colleagues.

Experiences from our student organising team:

“It was an excellent opportunity to be able to join PC Week for three consecutive years. Even though things could get difficult at times, self-doubting my ability, I would get back up through my team’s endless support. Yet, to be chosen as the student chair, I was beyond delighted and grateful to take up this challenge as I further learn to enhance my leadership, communication, and teamwork skills. The success of PC Week 2021, I owe it all to my teammates for the constant efforts and guidance and support from the Organising Chair, Dr Lee Choy Sin and the lecturer organising team. Looking back at this event, it is one of my highlights in IMU.” – Lee Zin Chee, Student Chair

“Pharmaceutical Chemistry Week has provided a great platform for students like us to express our talent. This year, I have grabbed this valuable opportunity to explore myself. However, as COVID-19 hit us so hard, the PC week 2021 was held virtually again. We definitely faced a lot of obstacles when organising this virtual event. Despite this, I was grateful to have my teammates around with me, to present the best to the public. The PC week 2021 was a big success. The sense of achievement, joy and excitement are indescribable. It was indeed an event that I will never forget.” – Yew Siu Hui, Vice Student Chair

“Overall, I am satisfied with the PC Week organised this year. It was indeed a wonderful session.” – Lee Ke Hui, Secretary

“I am truly thankful for this opportunity that I have been given. This is the 2nd PC week I have joined, but what made this year special was working with such wonderful and awesome organising committees. All the ups and downs we faced along the way, and how we actually managed to tackle them were precious moments. A simple conclusion of this event, it was meaningful and informative. Shout out to all the organising committees, and also the participants. Thank you all!” – Thin Ker Ying, Head of Programme

“I’m delighted to participate in organising PC Week events. Personally, my troubleshooting & leadership skills were enhanced further when working with my team in event planning and execution. Notably, I’m appreciative of my team’s effort and the inputs given by lecturers to pull off such events. I will look back on having PC Week committee experiences with great joy!” – Ang Kin Loon, Head of Programme – Contest

“I am grateful for the opportunity to participate in PC Week 2021. I learned leadership and teamwork skills as the head of the interactive session. Despite the fact that some of my ideas have been turned down along the way, I did not give up. Instead, it consolidated my determination to continue to come up with new ones. We were all nervous public speakers, but we are grateful for the opportunity to overcome our concerns and speak in front of others. While technical difficulties arose during the event, teammates were on hand to assist. In a nutshell, the event went off without a hitch, and I’m glad I attended rather than wishing I hadn’t.” – Chia Xiao Jun, Head of Programme – Interactive Session

“It was really a good learning experience for me as the leader of the event promotion team. I always have no confidence in designing but I am thankful to have such helpful teammates who had contributed their ideas and helped to complete the tasks given. Kudos to all the student organising committees and School of Pharmacy Organising Team who had made the PC Week 2021 a big success!” – Kok Jia Yi Erica, Head of Publicity and Event Promotion

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