July 19, 2020, by Lee Mei Kee
UNM BMS Alumni Testimonial: Vania Teoh Swee Imm (2018)
Before I share my experience in my career field, I think it is relevant to point out that I am at the peak of happiness in terms of my career and never imagined having to experience this level of excitement and contentment with a job. I can say this with absolute confidence that this would not have been made possible if not for my decision to study biomedical science at the University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM).
I currently work as a research assistant at Cancer Science Institute (CSI) of Singapore at the National University of Singapore. The lab group that I am attached to focuses on leukemia and my day-to-day involves running experiments and a whole lot of reading! The wide range of modules offered at UNM, covering both practical and theoretical knowledge has helped me extensively. The most notable (and my personal favourites) are Physiology & Pharmacology, Principles and Analysis of Gene Function and Cancer Biology. I have always known that I wanted to go into research, so these modules not only provided comprehensive and detailed information, but also ignited my passion for cancer biology and hence the clear decision to pursue this field. FYI, I still revisit my class notes to this very day!
Some of the molecular techniques and experiments that I do at CSI are those that we have picked up during our lab sessions and/or final year project at UNM such as western blotting, cell culture, protein purification and DNA cloning – all of which stood me in good stead with my current job.
As you already know, this course is not one without its challenges. You will be learning about the complexity of the human body at a molecular level, you should expect to put in quite the effort. But don’t let that discourage you though, there is honestly nothing more rewarding than being able to know what goes on in a cell, what makes someone more susceptible to a certain type of disease and how some of these treatments work!
It can be overwhelming but UNM offers a pastoral support structure where a personal tutor is assigned to each student and becomes their first port of call for advice or direction to further support on academic and pastoral matters. Dr. Mustafa was my personal tutor and he is truly the best! He would always make himself available for when I need advice on both academic and personal matters and I am truly grateful for him. I would also like to extend my appreciation to Dr. Then Sue-Mian, Dr. Pung Yuh-Fen, Prof. Ting Kang-Nee, Dr. Aini Hamid and the rest of the faculty members from the biomedical science division, all of whom helped me get to where I am today.
To sum up this post I will say this, studying biomedical sciences is no-brainer if you are keen on pursuing a career in research and I firmly believe that the lecture content, delivery and support system that UNM provides will support your academic pursuits like it did mine!
Article written by: Vania Teoh Swee Imm (BSc Biomedical Sciences Graduate of Year 2018)