October 22, 2020, by Lee Mei Kee

Spectacular Achievements in FOSE Online Postgraduate Showcase 2020

The Postgraduate Students Research (PGR) Showcase has been an annual event since several years back. Due to the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic this year, Faculty of Science and Engineering (FOSE) had conducted the PGR Showcase 2020 online, with presenters presenting their 1-minute pitches and posters on Microsoft Teams. Despite the unprecendeted times, our postgraduate research students demonstrated resilience by taking part in the competition. We are thrilled with the achievement of posgraduate students from School of Pharmacy and Division of Biomedical Sciences, not to mention they are also UNM and UNUK alumni, for sweeping the prizes in 1-minute Rapid Fire Competition and Poster Competition!

Scroll down for the profiles, presentation topics and the tips for successful presentation by the winners. 


Ho Jinn Shyuan pitched her PhD work collaborated with Malaysia Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) on elucidating the mechanism of banana wilt diseases, aiming to develop effective disease management to sustain banana production in Malaysia. Her presentation topic in PGR Showcase 2020 was “Say No to Bleeding Banana”.

Sharoen Lim utilizes Caenorhabditits elegans to study appetite and fat regulation, changes in genes involved in lipogenesis and lipolysis, relative to obesity research. She has published two journal articles as first author to date, and has also won in FOSE PGR Showcase 2019 in 1-min Rapid Fire Competition (1st runner up) and Poster Competition (2nd runner up). Her presentation topic in PGR Showcase 2020 was “Appetite and Fat Regulation: Through the lens of Roundworms?”.

Upon graduation with MPharm (Hons), Jessica Ooi completed pre-registration training in Wexham Park Hospital, UK, and registered as a pharmacist in the UK and Malaysia. She is currently studying on the colourimetric nanosensor for detection of ovarian cancer microRNA. Her presentation title in PGR Showcase 2020 was “Ovarian Cancer- The Silent Killer”.

Leanne Pang is a registered pharmacist in the UK. During the PGR showcase, she shared some important findings on her research where Ophiocordyceps sinensis, a well-known medicinal mushroom has shown significant relaxation effect in rat bladder, possibly via inhibition of membrane calcium channels of the smooth muscle cells. Currently, she is exploring further on its mechanism of action through mechanistic studies and fractionation of the mushroom extracts. Her poster title in PGR Showcase 2020 was “Ophiocordyceps sinensis – a medicinal mushroom for overactive bladder”.

Winners Interview: Tips for Effective Presentation

How to prepare and deliver an effective scientific research presentation in 1-minute pitch/poster ?


“It’s like a concept when we view the 10-seconds-video on social media such as Instagram. I’m always attracted to those stories that are clear and viewers grab the idea instantly although it’s just 10 seconds. I tried to apply this concept when I created my slide for this 1-minute-rapid-fire competition. SmartArt or simple graphic that can grab the audience’s attention will be a preferred choice so that audience won’t spend too much reading on the slide instead of paying attention to what you are talking. Pitching your scientific research in such a short duration needs a creative and laymen opening to retain audiences’ interest. Also, keeping the content sweet and concise by highlighting your research methodology and outcome at the end. An appropriate amount of practising or rehearsing at the competition venue or even in front of the camera will be a great help. Watch your pitching video and correct the tone or adding gestures when needed. This greatly improves your pitching and builds up your confidence in front of the audience or camera. Nevertheless, practice makes perfect. I believe that everyone can make it if we have practised enough.” by Ho Jinn Shyuan

“In my opinion, an effective scientific research presentation pitch in 1 minute requires a well-structured script, confidence and especially fluency in delivering the speech. The script should contain a summary of research problem, objectives, methods, results and the impact of your research. Creativity matters in terms of the topic selection and sentences in your speech to capture the audiences’ attention. As for the single static slide, it should contain a picture or diagram which could best support your speech. Then, practice your speech and make sure that it is within 1 min!” by Sharoen Lim

“I put myself in the audience’s shoes so I was careful to use language as simple as possible and create a slide with more images and minimal text. I practiced many times with a written script and timed myself. Thus I had to make multiple revisions to prevent myself from exceeding 1 minute. I also chose to start my presentation with a question to engage the audience. Kept it short and simple.” by Jessica Ooi

“For me, scientific research poster is a great tool to share my research and reach out to a wider audience. Therefore, my biggest winning tip is to keep it simple (so that even my brother who studies law understands the content of my poster without any additional explanation!). In a nutshell, I planned the content ahead of time, displayed them in a traditional way that is easy to follow and used contrasting colours to enhance the visual impact. I chose yellow as the primary colour because, to me, it brings a sense of optimism. Finally, as the saying goes, practice makes perfect. I did find it challenging with the showcase being held online this year as eye contact and body language were not possible. Thus, I paid extra attention to improve the tone and clarity of my speech to make sure I deliver the content effectively and efficiently.” by Leanne Pang


Last but not the least, here is a picture of the winners and their supportive supervisors!


Posted in AchievementAlumni