March 14, 2018, by Alice Kong
Insight placement – exploring the real world!
On 22 November 2017, Biomedical Sciences Year 3 students visited Oncode Scientific Sdn. Bhd. as one of the insight placements under the Year 3 module – Concepts of Pharmacogenetics. Pharmacogenetics is the study of the varied drug responses deriving from the differences in human genetic. This module aims to provide students with a basic knowledge of pharmacogenetics and its importance in providing optimized drug therapy and patient care.
Oncode Scientific is a company aiming to provide one-stop molecular genetic solution and powerful clinical supports. It is a niche player specializing in Precision Medicine employing all kinds of advanced molecular techniques to identify the critical genetic make-up of patients, which helps the clinical doctors to prescribe the most suitable medications to optimize the treatments. Precision Medicine is the core-learning objective of the module, Concepts of Pharmacogenetics. Hence, in addition to the conventional form of lectures, case studies, lab practical and course work, the insight placement to Oncode Scientific Sdn Bhd was organized, which allowed the students to explore the real world of ‘Precision Medicine’.
Upon arrival, students attended a talk given by the lab manager of the company, Dr Marianne, about the genetic testing used in Precision Medicine. Meanwhile, students took turns to visit the various laboratories suited in Oncode Scientific. These labs were designed to suit the commercial and applied purposes; hence, the flow, structure, and equipment are very different from the teaching and research labs on campus.
After the talk, while waiting for their turns to visit the labs, students had a ‘Q & A’ session with the staff of Oncode Scientific including its Founder, Dr Lim Su Wen, who is also an alumnus of The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus. It was a very informative communication, which allowed students to aware of the additional career pathway after graduation from Biomedical Sciences program and the challenges of real working environment.
After this insight placement, we have performed a survey on the experiences of insight visit to Oncode Scientific. In general, students appreciated such opportunity to go out of campus, which not only enhanced the understanding of pharmacogenetics, but also helped them to experience the real working environment as well as challenges. It is highly recommended to continue such activity and to have more in the future if possible.
Article by: Dr Pan Yan (BMS academic)