With a questioning mind and a desire to earn how to utilise theory or knowledge on solving problems, Kong Zhi Xian decided to enrol into the IMU Medical Biotechnology (MB) programme. He has since graduated as the top student of his graduating class and is currently pursuing postgraduate studies (PhD) at University of Malaya. His research is in medical microbiology at Faculty of Medicine, basically focusing on carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE). “I am looking at the genotypic and phenotypic trend of the CRE, its correlation between the metabolite and gene expression especially on the carbapenem resistant gene expression in CRE. I am also investigating the effect of different carbon on the carbapenem resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae in terms of metabolic and gene activities.”
Zhi Xian attributed his current achievement to his valuable exposure in IMU. “IMU MB course consist of many modules per semester that lay an essential wide foundation necessary for my field of study. Besides, the practical or experiment skills are well delivered by lecturers especially the comprehensive hands-on skill which will significantly affect the research outputs. Furthermore, communication and interpersonal skills developed throughout the course have helped to smoothen my daily performance at work”
“The best experience in MB programme is that I was given many chances to carry out hands-on activities and from there I developed my practical skills which are very important for my field. Besides, learning also happened when I was mingling with students from other programmes. From there, I got to know their learning style as different courses do have different learning styles. I try to mix their style and change it so that it is suitable for me, and this enable me to achieve a balance in studies and social life.” Zhi Xian feels that he is very fortunate to have great support from his family and IMU lecturers, who guided him for his current success. “My parents has greatly supported and encouraged me to pursue my postgraduate study. They are always by my side, encourage me to go forward and calm my mind when I was disappointed on my research output. IMU lecturers not only play a great role in delivering great knowledge to me. Through their advices, it helped me to foresee the expectation and importance of postgraduate study in research field. Last but not least, I am also grateful to my coursemates, who are always very helpful in both my studies and personal life”. Another student pursuing postgraduate studies after an IMU Medical Biotechnology degree is Gui Jiann Sheng. He is registered as a master’s degree student under UKM and also currently working as research assistant. The lab is based at Pusat Perubatan UKM (PPUKM) under the Department of Pharmacology. He is currently focussing on his Master’s degree project, in which he investigates the effects of Parkia speciosa on hydrogen peroxide-induced oxidative stress and TNF-alpha induced inflammation in cardiomyocytes. “I use cell line for my master’s degree project and I have done MTT and MTS assay to check for cell viability. Besides that, I also prepare lysates for western blot as well”.
Jiann Sheng is grateful that the 3 years MB programme had provided him with the knowledge and lab skills essential for his current work. At IMU, he had many good learning experiences, with some of the best being collecting environmental samples, community service and final-year research project.