Gain­ing valu­able in­dus­trial ex­pe­ri­ence

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Higher Education -

PHAR­MA­CEU­TI­CAL Chem­istry stu­dents at In­ter­na­tional Med­i­cal Uni­ver­sity (IMU) have the op­por­tu­nity to put their knowl­edge to prac­tice through an eight-week in­dus­trial at­tach­ment, which al­lows them to gain valu­able in­dus­trial ex­pe­ri­ence and build their pro­fes­sional net­work for their ca­reers.

Wong Zheng Wei was given the op­por­tu­nity to un­der­take his at­tach­ment at Can­cer Re­search Malaysia (CRM) – the lead­ing can­cer re­search or­gan­i­sa­tion in Malaysia.

Wong re­lates his ex­pe­ri­ence, “Within the train­ing pe­riod, I was ex­pected to com­plete a pro­ject to test the anti-pro­lif­er­a­tive ef­fect of a pre­vi­ously ap­proved breast can­cer drug on oral can­cer cell lines. At the be­gin­ning, I felt im­mensely out of place as I had no ex­pe­ri­ence or knowl­edge in the field, but I per­se­vered and brushed up on the ar­eas I was lack­ing in. I was taught the ba­sics of cell cul­tur­ing, pro­ce­dures to pre­pare cell pro­lif­er­a­tion as­say, as well as im­munoblot­ting for the pro­ject, plas­mid ex­trac­tion and ba­sic an­i­mal work.

“Apart from lab­o­ra­tory work, it was manda­tory to at­tend weekly meet­ings, gath­er­ings, prod­uct pre­sen­ta­tions and talks by pro­fes­sion­als from other in­sti­tutes. I would say these ex­po­sures have kept me up-to-date with the ad­vance­ment of science and tech­nol­ogy and at the same time, piqued my in­ter­est in re­search.

“The ex­pe­ri­ence would not be com­plete with­out the awe­some col­leagues and peo­ple I in­ter­acted with. They were ami­able and down-to-earth. They were easy to get along with and I could rely on them when I had doubts. The mod­ules I have learned in the Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Chem­istry pro­gramme as­sisted me in cop­ing with the pro­ject work dur­ing at­tach­ment. The prac­ti­cal ses­sions have in­tro­duced me to the ap­pro­pri­ate skills and use of lab­o­ra­tory in­stru­ments while the lec­tures gave me an in­sight into the field of can­cer. In ad­di­tion, soft skills such as com­mu­ni­ca­tion skills, team­work and prob­lem solv­ing aided me when I was ad­just­ing to the work­ing en­vi­ron­ment and I owe it to the So­cial Re­spon­si­bil­ity mod­ule I went through in IMU.

“De­spite it be­ing only for three months, I was blessed to briefly ex­pe­ri­ence life in re­search, which turned out to be both chal­leng­ing and en­joy­able. At the end of it, I learnt that it pays to try new things and never to let go of an op­por­tu­nity.”

The phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal chem­istry de­gree from IMU is ac­cred­ited by the Royal So­ci­ety of Chem­istry (RSC), UK. The course is un­der­taken en­tirely at IMU and com­pleted in three years (six semesters). Af­ter ob­tain­ing the IMU BSc (Hons) Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Chem­istry de­gree, those who meet the aca­demic cri­te­ria can also con­tinue to pur­sue the Master of Pharmacy pro­gramme at the Uni­ver­sity of Syd­ney or Curtin Uni­ver­sity in Aus­tralia. They are given credit ex­emp­tions in the Master of Pharmacy pro­grammes.

Grad­u­ates of the Master of Pharmacy de­grees from these uni­ver­si­ties can reg­is­ter as prac­tis­ing phar­ma­cists in Aus­tralia and Sin­ga­pore, but not in Malaysia cur­rently. Upon com­ple­tion of the de­gree, grad­u­ates can en­ter the work­force and be­gin their ca­reer as chemists in phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal and other chem­i­cal in­dus­tries.

If you have pre-uni­ver­sity re­sults, a pas­sion for chem­istry and an in­ter­est work­ing in the phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal in­dus­try, make an on­line ap­pli­ca­tion to­day and pur­sue this in­ter­est­ing and re­ward­ing ca­reer in Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Chem­istry. If you have just com­pleted your SPM and do not have pre-uni­ver­sity qual­i­fi­ca­tion, con­sider en­rolling in the one-year IMU Foun­da­tion in Science (FiS) pro­gramme, the di­rect route for en­try into any of IMU’s lo­cal de­gree pro­grammes.

■ For de­tails, visit my, e-mail or call IMU at 03-2731 7272.

Wong Zheng Wei (right) dur­ing at­tach­ment at Can­cer Re­search Malaysia.

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