UCSI holds milestone Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences Undergraduate Research Symposium

KUALA LUMPUR: UCSI University (UCSI) recently marked a new milestone with its inaugural Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences Undergraduate Research Symposium. Organised by the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the symposium was attended by over 100 pharmacy and health sciences students from private and government institutions of higher learning in Malaysia. 

The plenary speaker for the symposium was Prof Dr Syed Azhar Syed Sulaiman, the World Health Organisation consultant in clinical pharmacy and respected academician. His other accolades include being on the board of directors for international pharmacy associations like the American College of Clinical Pharmacy and the Asian Association of Schools of Pharmacy. Prof Dr Syed Azhar is currently a Professor in Clinical Pharmacy with the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Universiti Science Malaysia. 

UCSI’s Vice-Chancellor and President, Senior Prof Dato’ Dr Khalid also graced the event. A keen researcher and cardiologist by training, Senior Prof Dato’ Dr Khalid delivered the keynote address during the symposium. 

Among the key themes addressed during his speech included the need to inculcate the interest in research not just among postgraduate students, but undergraduate students as well. 

“Research should not be withheld till one pursues postgraduate studies. That awareness should be energising and empowering, and bring in excitement and relevance to all those concerned – the teachers and more so the students.” 

This emphasis on research comes on the back of various internationalisation efforts of UCSI with top universities like Harvard University and Imperial College London. To date, UCSI has sent medical students to Harvard for a one-year intercalated research programme at Harvard’s medical school and two chemical engineering students have recently returned from three-month research stints at Imperial College London. UCSI’s pharmacy undergraduates have also made their presence felt in international conferences. Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons) student, Goh Chuhn Hung recently returned from the 7th Asian Association for Schools of Pharmacy (AASP) Conference held in Taipei, Taiwan, where he presented his research findings. 

According to Assoc Prof Dr Yeong Siew Wei, the Dean of the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences, the idea to organise such a symposium stemmed from the realisation that, “good platforms are needed for undergraduate students to present their research findings, just as much as it is needed for postgraduate students.” 

“It is undeniable, that the many research findings from undergraduate student projects have often lead to further application in bigger research work,” she revealed in her welcoming speech. 

Awards were also presented to outstanding symposium participants. Leading the way was UCSI’s pharmacy student Choong Yin Leng who won the Best Oral Presentation Award for her research titled, ‘Evaluation of Acetylcholinesterase Inhibitory Effect of Hesperetin in vitro”. The Most Innovative Research Award was won by Nur Ain Shaheza Bt Mohd Sabri, a BSc Biomedical Sciences student from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia. Her research was titled, ‘HIPFarm – Health Intervention Program for Agricultural Farmers’. 

Syed Mohd Syahmi Syd Mohmad Faudzi, a BPharm (Hons) student from International Islamic University Malaysia, clinched the Best Abstract Award for his presentation titled, ‘The Effect of Dose on the Intensity of Dependence in Morphine Dependent Mice”. The last award, for Best Participant in Q&A Skills was received by Low Huey Thing, a BPharm student from AIMST University for her work titled, ‘Why Women Need Knowledge On Folic Acid Supplementation?- A Cross Sectional Study’. 

An event that took months of organising and collecting of research abstracts, the symposium was well received and saw undergraduates eagerly presenting their research findings. 

The symposium included a Career Preparatory Workshop conducted by JobStreet Malaysia and a workshop on ‘Conducting Quality Research in Health and Pharmaceutical Sciences’ conducted by the Faculty academicians.

Want to know more? Contact us today to find out more.