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Penang Medical College (PMC) had another successful Annual Research Day on 25 March 2016. The event was a full-day programme with activities that showcased and stimulated research activities among students and staff. Prof Amir Khir, President, Dean and CEO of Penang Medical College opened the meeting by welcoming all present and by emphasising the importance of research to PMC.
This year we were privileged to have as our distinguished guest speaker Dr Chua Kaw Bing from Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory (TLL), Singapore who delivered a very inspiring lecture entitled ‘The magic of saving lives: Experience of discovering new viruses’. Dr Chua recounted the events surrounding the discovery of the Nipah virus in the late 1990s. He stressed the importance of taking good histories and making good observations in every aspect of medicine. The venue was packed with over 100 students, staff and guests from PMC, Hospital Pulau Pinang, Hospital Seberang Jaya and other local health facilities.
The programme for the day included presentations of research papers by students and staff. There was a total of 9 student presentations and 8 staff presentations. The research presented ranged from genetic testing and clinical trials to medical education studies and evaluation of health systems. A range of posters was also presented.
This year, prizes were awarded for the top three student oral presentations and the best student poster presentation. The winners in these categories were:
Best Oral Presentation (1stprize): Liew Mei Rin (‘The Role of VDAC1 in Chemotherapy Resistance in Cancer’)
Best Oral Presentation (2nd prize): Foo Wee Nee (‘Androgen Receptor Expression Variance in Aromatase Inhibitor-Resistant Breast Cancers’)
Best Oral Presentation (3rd prize): Ong Zhi Miin (‘Osteoporosis-Osteopenia Syndrome in Children with Transfusion Dependent Thalassaemia’)
Best Poster Presentation: Ng Su Kyi and Hoe Hong Ming (‘The Expression, Purification, and Functional Analysis of STRA6 Domains’)
In addition to the presentations, there was a forum on the topic ‘So, you want to be a researcher’ during which three experts spoke about different their personal journeys in different areas of medical research i.e. clinical research, public health research and systematic reviews, and what is required for each. The speakers were A/Prof Yeow Toh Peng, Dr Surajudeen Abiola and Prof Jackie Ho.
There was also a booth dedicated to ‘ Cochrane Malaysia’ at which participants could test their knowledge of evidence-based medicine by participating in a quiz. Prizes were awarded to the top ten with the highest scores.
In closing the event, Prof Kevin Nolan, Vice President of Academic Affairs/Registrar congratulated the presenters on the very high standard of presentations and thanked the organisers responsible for what was a very successful event. He particularly complimented the Chairperson of the Organising Committee, Dr Tan May Loong for her energy, drive and wisdom in ensuring that the Annual Research Day is one of the highlights of the year.