July 29, 2019, by Mei Kee Lee

UNM-Biomed/AAPS-NUS PharmSci@Asia Symposium in UNM

The UNM-Biomed/AAPS-NYS PharmSci@Asia Symposium is the first co-organised event by the School of Pharmacy, University of Nottingham Malaysia (UNM) and the American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS) – National University Singapore (NUS) Student Chapter. The theme for this year is ‘Pharmaceutical & Biomedical Science in an Evolving Healthcare Landscape’ which aims to share and present interesting findings from research projects among all participating universities.

This meaningful event was proudly hosted in UNM campus on the 25th July 2019. Apart from NUS, we also welcomed other local universities to participate such as UM, UKM, UPM, IIUM, USM, UTM, CUCMS, Taylor’s University, Monash University, and Perdana University to our beautiful campus on the day of event.

The group of students and academics from NUS arrived one day earlier before the symposium on the 24th July 2019. We have arranged a visit to a local pharmaceutical company for our distinguished guests after their arrival. The industrial visit to Duopharma Marketing Sdn. Bhd. in Bangi, Selangor involved postgraduate students and academics from UNM and NUS. We arrived the factory around 2.00 pm and were kindly greeted by Mr. Calvin Tan Kuan Hong who works as a Production Pharmacist. He gave us a brief introduction on the company’s establishment and achievements. Before touring the factory, we had an interactive session with Dr. Leong who works as a consultant pharmacist in DuoPharma Innovation Sdn. Bhd. She was very engaging with everyone in the room and shared valuable experience about her work as well as giving great advices. Afterwards, we had a tea break and headed to visit the production factory and warehouse. The production factory houses different kinds of machines to manufacture a wide range of Ethical and OTC products, mainly in Oral Solid Dose (OSD), liquids and cream forms. It has a state-of-the-art Intermediate Bulk Container (IBC) manufacturing format which is capable of manufacturing 1-ton batches to produce tablets, capsules and mini-tablets in capsules. We also toured the technical laboratory to take a glimpse on their working stations before heading to the warehouse which stores finished products in large cartons ready to be distributed to local and overseas consumers. Familiar household brands such as Champs, Flavettes, Proviton, and Uphamol are among the products that are manufactured here. The top notch facilities and good working values instilled in this company no doubt makes them the No. 1 pharmaceutical company in Malaysia.

Dr. New presenting the gifts of appreciation to Duopharma’s representative Mr. Kelvin Tan.

Group photo of the postgraduate students and academics from UNM and NUS with Mr. Calvin Tan.

Moving on to the main event, the symposium welcomed participants at 8.00 am and provided Malaysian style breakfast for them before starting the event with welcome note from the chairpersons of the organising committee Raymond Leong (UNM) and Ng Jian Yao (NUS). Professor Deborah Hall, Vice Provost of Research and Knowledge Exchange from UNM gave the welcoming speech whereas Professor Christina Chai Li Lin, Head of Department from NUS School of Pharmacy delivered the opening address to officially kick-start the event.

A welcoming speech given by Prof Deborah Hall.

We had the privilege to have Associate Professor Frankie Rawson (UNUK), Associate Professor Ho Han Kiat (NUS), Associate Professor Rachel Ee (NUS), and Associate Professor Pung Yuh Fen (UNM) as the four keynote speakers of this symposium. They shared very interesting research discoveries from their specialised area that really captured the audience’s attention.

The honourable panel judges were Dr. Shamsul Mohd Zain (UM), Dr. Elsa Haniffah (UM), Professor Nashiru Billa (UNM), Associate Professor Frankie Rawson (UNUK), Associate Professor Ho Han Kiat (NUS), and Professor Rachel Ee Pui Lai (NUS).

The keynote speakers, heads of schools and panels sitting on the front row.

There is a total of 10 oral presenters and 23 poster presenters in this symposium. Among the oral presenters that represented UNM are Lahari Murali, Shaiful Adzni bin Sharifudin, and Lee Fong Kai. Meanwhile, the poster presenter representatives from UNM are Raymond Leong, Mak Yin Ying, Pang Li Yin, and Wong Zheng Wei. Presenters who are currently students were eligible to join as a competing participants. All the presenters delivered their research contents with great enthusiasm and were very engaging in the discussion with everyone including the panel judges who wisely assessed each presentation. All participants had an enjoyable lunch break at 12.00 pm and mingled around to build on networking with each other. The academics also had a meeting during lunch hour to have a discussion on future possibilities of research collaboration between universities.

After a refreshing lunch break, the afternoon session of the symposium continues with presentation from eager participants who have yet to present their research findings. Everyone gave their utmost attention to the respective speakers who presented. The event ended with closing address from Professor Nashiru Billa, the Deputy Head from UNM School of Pharmacy. His speech conveyed gratitude to all presenters, panel judges, non-presenting participants, last but not least the advisors and organising committees of the symposium. Professor Ting Kang Nee, Head of School of Pharmacy from UNM also represented our university to exchange a tiger plushie as a gift of friendship between UNM and NUS.

Gift exchange session by Prof Ting Kang Nee (right) and Prof Christina Chai (left).

The winners from the oral presentation category in no particular order are Lahari Murali (UNM), Tran Thi Ngoc Quy (NUS), and Ng Jian Yao (NUS). Meanwhile, presenters from the poster presentation category who emerged winners are Ke Yu (NUS), Neupane Yub Raj (NUS), and Tan Chia Jie (NUS). Heartiest congratulations to the winners from both categories! Professor Nashiru Billa presented the price money, award certificate and other gifts to the respectful winners from both categories. He also gifted a token of appreciation to the keynote speakers and panel judges. In addition, Carl Zeiss Sdn. Bhd, Apical Scientific, Biomed Blobal, Straits Scientific Sdn. Bhd., The One Pharmacy, Industronics, Synergy, Canvio, and Caring Pharmacy who made this event possible with their generous sponsorship were also presented with a certificate of appreciation. The symposium ended smoothly around 5.30 pm with a loud round of applause from the audience.

Oral and poster presentation winners from left to right: Lahari Murali, Tran Thi Ngoc Quy, Ng Jian Yao (Oral); Ke Yu, Neupane Yub Raj, Tan Chia Jie (Poster).

Professor Nashiru presenting token of appreciation to the keynote speakers. From top left to right: A/P Frankie Rawson, A/P Ho Han Kiat, A/P Rachel Ee, A/P Pung Yuh Fen.

Last but not least, we were proud to organise this symposium that was able to form new bridges and rekindled old friendships aside from providing a platform for participants to showcase their brilliant research findings in the scientific research community. The organising committees who invested their time and effort in making this event a great success are: Raymond Leong (chairperson), Shaiful (vice-chairperson), Crystal Liew (secretary), Mak Yin Ying, Sharoen Lim, Pang Li Yin (treasurers), Ho Jinn Shyuan, Chong Zhi Xiong (marketing), Nguyen Duong Ngoc Diem, and Wong Zheng Wei (scientific heads). We would also like to extend our gratitude to our advisors, Dr. New Siu Yee and Dr. Fang Chee Mun for their kind assistance and liasing with the academics from other universities.

Group photo of the BMS symsposium organising student committee with our advisors Dr. New (UNM), Dr. Fang (UNM), and Dr. Ong (NUS) with NUS student.


Article by Crystal Liew (Secretary of UNM-Biomed/AAPS-NUS PharmSci@Asia Symposium, BMS Postgraduate Year 1 Student)

Posted in Staff