Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia

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NUMed students gain international recognition

To open a symposium and present the findings of your research to a group of leading subject matter experts is the kind of recognition most professionals aspire to. To be able to do this while still being a student is difficult to imagine.

To open a symposium and present the findings of your research to a group of leading subject matter experts is the kind of recognition most professionals aspire to. To be able to do this while still being a student is difficult to imagine. However, Ivan Tan, fifth year medical student at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed), achieved this feat earlier this month.

Ivan attended an international symposium on oral cancer with experts from Indonesia, UK, Australia, Singapore and Malaysia, where he opened the symposium by presenting his research on oral cancer to the esteemed attendees.

Ivan started his oral cancer research project titled “The Epidemiology of Oral Cancer in Johor Bahru” under the supervision of Dr Michaela Goodson in 2015. Unlike the majority of his peers, Ivan opted to do this extra research during term time alongside his studies.

“I was honoured to open the symposium with my research, although I did become a bit nervous when I realised I was presenting to a group of experts and I haven’t even finished my education yet! But overall it was a fantastic and unique opportunity to be able to present my findings to leaders in the field, it was a truly special moment for me.” Ivan said.

Ivan’s research has gained further international recognition. A poster demonstrating his research will be on display at this year’s Asia Pacific Dental Conference. The conference in Hong Kong will also exhibit another poster from NUMed, one that is co-authored by Ivan and classmate Muzammil Nahaboo Solim.

“I am very grateful to Newcastle University for affording me this opportunity and particularly to Dr Michaela Goodson for her guidance throughout my project. My ultimate goal is to become a surgeon, so to already have an understanding of cancer and the research that accompanies it is very useful” Ivan added.

NUMed’s students are no stranger to getting international recognition for their research. Students currently doing voluntary research projects at NUMed during term time; Alireza Behzadnia, Muzammil Nahaboo Solim and Mohit Mohan and those who did summer research projects at the Newcastle University UK campus; Poon Jun Shang, Paul Khoo Li Zhi, Sharmaine Quake, Lim Pei Shan, Yap Zhi Jun, Sailesh Mohana Krishnan and Gerald Tan all had posters or presentations accepted for international conferences this year including in the UK, Singapore, Malaysia and Hong Kong.

“I’m very proud of the students who have undertaken the additional research project in order to expand their skill set. This will not only give them a wider understanding of medicine but also  has the added advantage of helping the students secure the job they want in the future through the extra skills acquired”, commented Dean of Research, Dr Michaela Goodson.

Since its establishment in 2009, NUMed has offered its students the opportunity to undertake a summer research project in the UK. The similarities of Newcastle UK and NUMed from the design of the campus to the style of teaching help the students adapt quickly to life in the UK.

Poon Jun Shang commenting on his time in the UK said: “I enjoyed my research project in the UK and to get recognition from those in the industry for my research is very exciting. The time I spent working with my counterparts in the UK made me realise the outcome of studying at Newcastle University is the same in Malaysia as it is in the UK. Just like the medical profession, the Newcastle University standards are universal.”

Ranked among the top in the world for research, Newcastle is developing its capabilities at NUMed further. A dedicated research laboratory is being opened on the campus which will allow students and faculty to undertake laboratory based research projects into molecular mechanisms and determinants of disease in Malaysia.

“We are very excited about this initiative because it will allow NUMed to further engage with local health care providers and find answers to common disease processes that affect the Malaysian population building, helping propel NUMed’s plan to become a leading Southeast Asia centre of academic medicine” Dr Goodson continued.

About NUMed

Newcastle University UK, has established an international branch campus in Johor, Malaysia to provide its undergraduate degrees in Medicine (MB BS) and the Biomedical Sciences (BSc).  Both programmes offer opportunities for periods of study in the UK.  The programmes of study are equivalent to those of Newcastle’s UK-based provision, and lead to the award of the same degrees. By choosing to study at NUMed Malaysia, students will obtain a reputable UK qualification, from an internationally recognized university, at a cost significantly less than that of studying in the UK. A Foundation Certificate in Biological and Biomedical Sciences was also launched in May 2016.  The successful completion of which will lead to progression to the MB BS or BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences programme.

Group photo

published on: 16 June 2016