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Virtual Medical Biotechnology Day 2022: “Molecular Forensics: More than Meets the Eye”

20 Jun 2022

Once again, IMU’s virtual Medical Biotechnology Day (MB Day) was successfully conducted on 3 – 4 June 2022. The event was held in conjunction with IMU’s 30th anniversary, celebrating IMU’s continued excellence and longevity in research achievements and academic delivery. This year, the organising committee, led by students from the MB120 and MB121 cohorts, decided on the theme “Molecular Forensics: More than Meets the Eye” in order to highlight another intriguing facet of the Medical Biotechnology field. This year’s event hosted nearly 200 participants, with contestants hailing from IMU, MAZ International School and SMJK Seg Hwa. It was undoubtedly a meaningful event that benefited both the participants and the organisers. For the participants, particularly the e-poster contestants, they were given a chance to practice and enhance their skills in information literacy, teamwork, public speaking, and creativity. The student organisers, on the other hand, were provided a valuable opportunity to participate in all steps of the event’s planning and creation with the guidance of advisors, Dr Wong Ying Pei and Dr Wong Chiew Yen. Through this event, everyone involved broadened their understanding and knowledge of the role of Biotechnology in Forensic Science, which included aspects like technical procedures, industrial practices, as well as their various applications and the field’s importance. Throughout the event, various engaging and enlightening activities were held. This included interactive Quizziz game sessions with fun and humorous hosts, informative talks delivered by Biotechnology and Forensics industry professionals and, the highlight of the event – the E-poster competition. The competition was held on both days, each hosting a different age category and topic. Day 1 boasted the secondary school level competition with the topic “All about Forensic Science”, whereas Day 2 proceeded with the pre-university level competition that revolved around the topic of “Methods of Evidence Collection and Analysis”. There was fierce competition among all the finalists to come out on top, ultimately resulting in the following well deserved rankings.

School Category

Prize Student Name School  Title of Poster
First Ayesha, Holly, Michelle MAZ International School Molecular Forensics on Genetic Privacy
Second Sumaya Binte Monir, Felice Koay Yu, Tanya Prince MAZ International School Molecular Forensics: More than Meets the Eye
Third Hannah Jose, Rishepreya Suntharalingam, Maryam Aini Shaheel MAZ International School Forensic Science

Pre-University Category

Prize Student Name School and Programme Title of Poster
First Ong Jia Xian, Chan Hui Yin, Seoq Pui Ee, Moh Yen Syuen, Saveen Raj A/L Shanmuga Suntharam IMU Foundation in Science Forensic Science Reveals the Truth
Second Aditya Singh, Chua Hsuan Kai, Chin Yun Zhi, Ng Rei Min, Chuah Yi Hong IMU Foundation in Science DNA Fingerprinting
Third Lau Qian Qian, Lai Thung Thung, Chuah Yi Wen, Chiah Ming Zhe, Geoffrey Chong Khai Gin IMU Foundation in Science Wildlife Forensics

The event was graced with the presence of two distinguished guest speakers: Prof Leong Chee-Onn, the CEO of AGTC Genomics, and Puan Nor Aidora binti Saedon, Director of Forensic DNA Division in the Department of Chemistry, Malaysia. Prof Leong gave a talk on “Biotechnology – The Next 25 Years” which focused on the future advancements and prospects of Biotechnology in the industry, proposing a few insights on potentially impactful technology. On the other hand, Pn Nor Aidora spoke about “Molecular Techniques that Apply in the Forensic Field”, which highlights the basic workflow and techniques of modern forensic laboratories, shedding light on the cases and processes that a forensic scientist could encounter and carry out in their jobs.

“Through this event, I managed to gain a lot of exposure to the industrial side of biotechnology. Many of the topics brought up by the speakers were connected to and expanded on the content I had learned during the MB programme. The advancement of biotechnology is vital to humanity’s continued evolution and having the opportunity to listen to professionals talking about their field of interest was like a glimpse into how the future could develop. “ – Soo Yen Ee (MB120) “It’s comforting and reassuring to know that our current MB curriculum, which has recently been revised, introduced modules that essentially equipped us with the fundamental knowledge on the future directions in biotechnology advancements that industry professionals could foresee. “- Goh Wen Xi (MB120)

Overall, the event was a resounding success with many participants feeling positive about the experience and knowledge that they have gained throughout its course. Winners or not, all participants and contestants walked away with prizes, be it the joy of triumph, a sense of accomplishment or the gift of knowledge. Despite the overwhelming success, committee president, Gan Yee Chian, remains humble and looks towards the future, reflecting on the shortcomings of the event. “To be honest, I was initially a bit discouraged at the turnout. But, at the end of the day, you really have to think from the audience’s and participants’ point of view, so that the event you’ll create is worthwhile and interesting enough for them to join. It’s a good experience for all of us, in terms of enhancing our communication, teamwork, and leadership skills. Without doubt, IMU guides its students today so that they can be leaders of tomorrow. Next time, we’ll be able to do even better than before.” – Gan Yee Chian, President (MB120). With those words in mind, we finally cap off with a note of appreciation for all parties involved in the event from the committee vice president, Emily Wong Yan Yi. “I would like to thank and show my appreciation to the contestants, my fellow teammates and our audience for their valued time, effort and participation that allowed this event to happen. To conclude my thoughts on this event that’s long been labored over, I’d like to quote a remark from Nelson Mandela: “It always appears impossible until it is done.”” – Emily Wong Yan Yi, Vice President (MB121)

Written by: Goh Wen Xi, Soo Yen Ee Proofread by: Dr Wong Chiew Yen, Dr Wong Ying Pei Photos by: Tan Yu Shan, Lim Yuan Jo, Nik Raimy Daniel bin Nik Hishamuddin, Nicole Ong Ee-Qi

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