Mem­o­rable time for IMU Phar­macy stu­dents in Ja­pan

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Education Guide -

THE elec­tive mod­ule is com­pul­sory and of­fered in Se­mes­ter 6 in the Bach­e­lor of Phar­macy (BPharm) pro­gramme at In­ter­na­tional Med­i­cal Univer­sity (IMU).

This mod­ule gives stu­dents the op­por­tu­nity to ac­quire knowl­edge and en­hance com­pe­ten­cies in a phar­macy-re­lated area or non-phar­macy-re­lated area in a min­i­mum four-week du­ra­tion.

Two stu­dents from the BP114 co­hort of IMU BPharm pro­gramme, Branda Tan Wan Yi and Bran­don Teo Yu Shen, chose to com­plete their elec­tive pro­gramme at Hiroshima Univer­sity, Ja­pan.

They spent their first two weeks on the ac­tiv­i­ties planned by head of phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal ser­vice depart­ment at Hiroshima Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal Prof Hiroaki Mat­suo.

They started by vis­it­ing phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal com­pany Waku­naga Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Co, Ltd and a phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal dis­tri­bu­tion cen­tre Everlth Co, Ltd in Hir­so­hima. They also vis­ited a pri­vate hos­pi­tal, public hos­pi­tal and chain phar­macy within Hiroshima city.

The dis­pen­sary in Ja­pan was an eye­opener for them as phar­ma­cists filled the pre­scrip­tion with the help of a bar­code sys­tem – some­thing rarely seen in Malaysia.

They were also in­tro­duced to dif­fer­ent de­part­ments in the Hiroshima Univer­sity Hos­pi­tal, such as the in­ten­sive care unit (ICU), sur­gi­cal in­ten­sive care unit (SICU), emer­gency depart­ment (ER), clin­i­cal tri­als, in­pa­tient and out­pa­tient dis­pen­sary de­part­ments.

For the fol­low­ing two weeks, both were as­signed to a depart­ment of their choice in the Phar­ma­ceu­ti­cal Sciences Depart­ment of Hiroshima Univer­sity. Tan was put in the Mi­cro­bi­ol­ogy Lab­o­ra­tory, while Teo was in Phar­ma­cog­nosy Lab­o­ra­tory.

“Un­der the su­per­vi­sion of Prof Teruo Kuroda and Prof Takonori Ku­ma­gai, I did some in­ter­est­ing ex­per­i­ments which in­creased my knowl­edge on an­tibi­otics and re­sis­tant bac­te­ria,” said Tan.

“First, I in­oc­u­lated the spore of Strep­to­myces laven­du­lae in a cul­ture medium, then I test the ac­tiv­ity of this bac­te­ria on Bacil­lus sub­tilis.

“In an­other ex­per­i­ment, I tested the min­i­mum in­hibitory con­cen­tra­tion on an­tibi­otics for a few strains of Pseu­domonas aerug­i­nosa and Sta­phy­lo­coc­cus au­reus.

“From this ex­per­i­ment, I need to de­ter­mine which bac­te­ria strain is re­sis­tant to the an­tibi­otics.

“I en­joyed these ex­per­i­ments and I learned ex­tra knowl­edge through­out the ex­per­i­ment,” said Tan.

Teo was un­der the wing of Prof Mat­sunami Kat­suyoshi: “I have per­formed varies bi­o­log­i­cal as­says such as anti-A549 (an­ti­cancer) as­say, anti-Leish­ma­nia as­say, DPPH as­say, an­timi­cro­bial (an­tibac­te­rial and an­ti­fun­gal) as­say, glu­cosi­dase as­say, and acetyl­cholinesterase in­hibitory as­say which helped me to de­velop skills on han­dling of cell lines for my Se­mes­ter 7 re­search project.

“To­gether with Prof Mat­sunami as well as three in­ter­na­tional stu­dents from Thai­land, In­done­sia and Viet­nam re­spec­tively, we went to the Hiroshima Pre­fec­ture Tree Plant­ing Cen­ter to col­lect 30 dif­fer­ent species of plant sam­ples and screen for the bioac­tiv­i­ties of the plant sam­ples us­ing the as­says men­tioned.

“The mo­ments I had in phar­ma­cog­nosy lab­o­ra­tory was truly un­for­get­table and en­joy­able as I gained not only ex­pe­ri­ences and knowl­edge but also friend­ship with my lab­o­ra­tory mates.”

IMU’s Bach­e­lor of Phar­macy (Hons) stu­dents have the op­tion of trans­fer­ing cred­its in their first two years’ cur­ricu­lum to the phar­macy pro­gramme in the Univer­sity of Otago, New Zealand or Univer­sity of Tas­ma­nia, Aus­tralia.

These in­ter­na­tional part­ner­ships are a tes­ta­ment to IMU’s ed­u­ca­tional align­ment to global stan­dards.

Stu­dents also could com­plete the en­tire four-year phar­macy de­gree in IMU.

The next com­mence­ment for the Bach­e­lor of Phar­macy (Hons) pro­gramme is in July and Septem­ber.

If you are in­spired on a di­verse ca­reer in­volv­ing the safe and ef­fec­tive use of medicines, make an on­line ap­pli­ca­tion to­day to study at IMU’s phar­macy pro­gramme.

If you have just com­pleted your SPM and do not have pre-univer­sity qual­i­fi­ca­tion, con­sider en­rolling in the one-year IMU Foun­da­tion in Sci­ence, the pre­ferred foun­da­tion and di­rect route for en­try into any of the univer­sity’s de­gree pro­grammes.

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

Tan (ninth from left) and Teo (11th from left) vis­it­ing a Ja­panese sword forg­ing fac­tory.

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