University of Cyberjaya research funded by the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) awarded by the Ministry of Higher Education
Cyberjaya, 13th April 2022 – According to Cancer Research Malaysia, 1 in 4 people are affected by cancer. To address this situation, health research plays a big role in producing innovative ways to combat the malignant disease. As experts in healthcare education, University of Cyberjaya is determined to make a difference in healthcare with its research and academia.
Late last year, the university’s Head of Pharmaceutical Technology and Industry Department, Assistant Professor Dr. Liew Kai Bin secured a Fundamental Research Grant Scheme (FRGS) award of RM144,300 from the Ministry of Higher Education for his research titled, “Development of Luteolin Loaded Folate Decorated Vitamin E TPGS-Poloxamer Long Circulating Micelle for Multi Drug Resistant Breast Cancer Smart Targetting”.
His research focuses on discovering the anticancer property of Luteolin, originally a natural compound found in plants such as of the species Reseda luteola. The research investigates the effects of different concentrations of Vitamin E TPGS (a synthetic water-soluble version of vitamin E) and other polymers in enhancing the solubility and absorption of Luteolin to better target highly resistant forms of breast cancer cells.
“By incorporating my knowledge in formulation sciences and pharmaceutical technology, I hope new anti-cancer products with high efficacy, low toxicity and better cancer targeting activities can be developed,” said Dr. Liew.
University of Cyberjaya also received a total of RM96,234 to fund research by the Head of Research Management Unit of the university’s Centre for Research and Graduate Studies, Dr. Intan Zarina Zainol Abidin titled, “Determination of Cellular Mechanism in Bone Regeneration using Natural Stem Cells Inducer from Piper sarmentosum (Kaduk) Leave Extracts.” The study is aimed at using an alternative non-toxic product as cell’s inducer for bone healing therapy to reduce adverse side effects unto patients.
With a population of more than 700 medical students, the University is equipped with the latest facilities needed to educate and train the doctors of tomorrow, which includes 25 laboratories and mock wards. The students also receive formal training at nearby public hospitals such as Hospital Putrajaya, Hospital Shah Alam, Hospital Melaka and Hospital Banting as part of their clinical training.
Aside from the academic knowledge and skills imparted to students, the University is also known for its focus on producing holistic Medicine graduates that goes beyond just textbook learning. This is attested by Nur Adrina Kamaruddin, 4th year student: “Lecturers here are very friendly and loves it when we ask questions. They also correlate what we learn to actual clinical conditions so that we can prepare ourselves when we enter clinicals.”
Apart from its Medicine programme, the University of Cyberjaya also known to be the first private institution in Malaysia to offer the Masters in Clinical Pharmacy programme (MClinPharm) and the only higher education provider in Malaysia that offers the postgraduate Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) programme.
While thriving in academics are at the forefront of the curriculum, students are encouraged and empowered to become all-rounders. This is evident in the many extracurricular activities students participate throughout their studies here.
At the university’s recent convocation ceremony, 2 students were presented with the Pharmaniaga Pharmacy Excellence Award, an award given to a student who is academically consistent while possessing leadership skills with active participation in co-curricular activities.
Pharmaniaga Pharmacy Excellence Awardee from the Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) Class of 2021 graduate, Nur Atiqah binti Ramzan said, “University of Cyberjaya allowed me to explore my passion and talents as I was actively involved in sports activities especially in futsal and athletics and I also held multiple leading roles in various societies and projects. This honed my communication skills, teambuilding, and critical thinking capabilities that I’m now able to use in my current profession as a provisionally registered pharmacist at Hospital Kuala Lumpur”.
Besides producing 137 holistic pharmacy graduates at its recent convocation, the ceremony also saw a total of 197 medical graduates. Seeing that both healthcare fields cross paths significantly, the university fosters a strong working relationship between pharmacy and medical students through their exposure in the Disaster and Relief Medicine (DRM) programme.
The DRM programme provides training for students to develop skills in unprecedented circumstances. The programme involves students working together in a simulated disaster situation where medicine students take charge to set up and manage a makeshift hospital to treat victims.
They are guided by their lecturers from the Faculty of Medicine who are experienced academicians from both the public and private sector, including former leaders from the Ministry of Health and from public hospitals and universities.
In addition, just last year, University of Cyberjaya’s Centre for Disaster and Relief Medicine (CDRM) set up a team of staff and students to contribute to help the victims of flooding in December 2021 which included those from the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Pharmacy.
The university’s medical graduates are also exposed to humanitarian programmes that benefitted rural areas in Pahang, Langkawi and more. These humanitarian programmes are not just limited to local vicinities and have in the past brought them to earthquake and flash flood zones in Nepal, Vietnam, Laos, Bangladesh and Indonesia.
Vice Chancellor, Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr. Mohamad Abd Razak said: “Established as a healthcare university, the institution aims to contribute to healthcare research, academics and community outreach programmes while staying relevant in the field. We want to produce holistic graduates who are the best in both the academic and non-academic aspects.”
University of Cyberjaya encourages its academic staff and students to upskill and be on par with the members of industry experts to contribute to the society whether in research or humanitarian efforts.
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