Conquering The Future Of Scientific Research And Modern Medicine
As a field of study that is concerned with saving lives, research, testing, and analysis, biomedical sciences play a fundamental role in scientific research and modern medicine. In Malaysia, the biomedical sciences field is rapidly advancing to meet the demands of the growing healthcare industry. It is worth noting that biomedical scientists seek to understand the processes that occur in the human body, as well as how medicines are discovered and how they work, showing that biomedical scientists are the research conquerors in our medical realm. With the pressing need to find an effective vaccine to fight the COVID-19 virus, it has challenged biomedical scientists all around the world to make necessary scientific research, and they have undoubtedly contributed in bringing forth vaccines as a way to resolve the spike in COVID-19 cases.
Biomedical Sciences & Research Opportunities at Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed)
NUMed, an international branch campus of Newcastle University UK, offers the BSc (Hons) in Biomedical Sciences (BMS) identical to its parent campus, with the goal of nurturing students to be future-ready biomedical researchers by providing students with ample research opportunities in a variety of areas throughout their studies.
According to Dr Roshan Mascarenhas, Associate Professor and Assistant Dean of Biomedical Sciences at NUMed, all BMS students have the opportunity to carry out a final year research project in Newcastle University, UK, as an essential component of their (2+1) degree programme. In the last two years, students have tackled projects related to human diseases such as cystic fibrosis, cancer, dementia, Alzheimer’s disease, lymphoblastic leukaemia, pulmonary fibrosis, mitochondrial disease and bacterial or parasitic infections. Some students have completed projects on understanding how human cells and tissues can be cultured “in vitro”, the development of the eye and functions of the human nervous system such as perception of noise or pain, and food security studies in the COVID-19 pandemic.
At NUMed, BMS students start exploring research opportunities in Year 2 by engaging in non- compulsory research internships both within and outside NUMed.
“We offer three summer research internships with the NUMed research team for stage 2 students. In the past, these interns have worked on projects related to screening antibiotic resistant bacteria in Johor rivers, identification of actinobacteria populations in mangrove sediments using Nanopore sequencing, extraction and evaluation of antimicrobial compounds from medicinal plants, characterisation of oxalate degrading bacteria from soil and root nodules, molecular analysis of haematological malignancies,” said Dr Roshan.
Remarkable Learning Experience
Undeniably, students who participate in research projects as an intern or NUMed research fellow will be empowered with different skills and advantages from the research-based learning. Dr Roshan also shared that some of the notable experiences obtained by NUMed students include gaining an authentic and holistic exposure in research, including proposal writing, grant application, field work, wet lab skills, lab management, data collection and analysis, and publication of their research.
Students are also able to work with experts from different institutions or countries. Most, if not all of the grants are international in nature. This means that research fellows can potentially collaborate with other experts in Malaysia and around the world, providing opportunities for in-depth learning with these experts during their project period.
Moreover, students can establish a wider academic and research network at a young age. These research exposures foster international and multidisciplinary collaborations, and thus a broader professional connection.
“Most of our graduates who worked on research projects were able to secure fellowships to pursue masters and PhD degrees in various universities, and some have secured their own project to work in NUMed,” Dr Roshan added.
NUMed offers a pre-undergraduate programme – Foundation in Biological and Biomedical Sciences – and two undergraduate programmes: Bachelor of Medicine, Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS) and BSc (Hons) Biomedical Sciences (BMS).