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NUMed Malaysia's research focuses on some of the most pressing health challenges facing our world today.

NUMed Malaysia's research work concentrates on three themes:  medical education researchapplied health research and cancer research. 

Medical education research

As an international branch of Newcastle University, we have a unique opportunity to study a UK-based curriculum in a foreign setting. This allows us to make cross-border comparisons.

We believe educational research is critical in shaping future educational practices. Our research aims to improve teaching and training quality. This will help produce graduates who will enhance medical practice in Malaysia. Our objectives are:

  • to promote faculty development to improve personal and professional development
  • to develop medical education research skills among academic staff
  • to spread research outputs via publication, conference and medical education research networks

NUMed Malaysia's educational research focuses on programme evaluation. It looks at:

  • the educational environment of our three faculties
  • faculty development programmes
  • medical students' resilience
  • stress among medical students
  • learning styles
  • feedback strategies.

Our transnational research focuses on technology enhanced learning and the student exchange programme. This is collaborative research carried out with Newcastle University, UK.

This cross-border research enables evidence-based teaching at NUMed Malaysia. It improves knowledge among our educators and promotes the quality of our programme while still being part of Newcastle University, UK.

We offer a Postgraduate Certificate in Medical Education to encourage staff to engage in educational research.

Applied health research

The applied health research at NUMed Malaysia covers:

  • public health problems in Malaysia
  • global health problems affecting low- and middle-income countries

It addresses the challenges of the following United Nations Sustainable Development Goals:

  • Good health and well being (SDG 3)
  • Gender equality (SDG 5)
  • Clean water and sanitation (SDG 6)
  • Affordable and clean energy (SDG 7)
  • Reduced inequalities (SDG 10)
  • Climate action (SDG 13)
  • Partnerships for the goals (SDG 17)
  • Life below water (SDG 14)
  • Life on land (SDG 15)

All projects are in collaboration with Newcastle University in the UK, but also include partners in:

  • Malaysia
  • Indonesia
  • Cambodia
  • Vietnam
  • India
  • Myanmar
  • Thailand
  • Tanzania
  • Columbia
  • Ethiopia

Future projects will involve partners in the Philippines, Brazil, South Africa and Kenya. Ongoing projects include:

Cancer research

Cancer is one of the most serious health problems worldwide. New cancer cases were expected to pass the 18 million mark worldwide in 2018. More than 9 million deaths were anticipated in the same year (

In the next two decades, it is predicted that 70% of global cancer deaths will be in low- and middle-income nations. In addition, the nature of the cancer challenge is changing. There is a reduction in infection-related cancers. However, lifestyle change-mediated cancers such as breast, prostate and colorectal are increasing.

The three major interlinked factors in cutting cancer mortality rates are:

  • cancer prevention
  • early detection
  • screening and treatment

Cancer research at NUMed Malaysia addresses the disparity in global cancer treatment outcomes. It does this by functioning as a South-East Asian cancer research hub. This allows researchers to focus on screening, diagnostics and treatment suitable for resource-limited settings. Current cancer research areas include:

  • haematological malignancies
  • DNA mismatch repair-associated familial cancers, including colorectal cancer

The research approaches include:

  • population-based studies that synthesise evidence for policy and clinical treatment improvements
  • the development of diagnostic methods through population studies, molecular biology and genomics technologies