7 Jun 2021 Educational Initiatives from the School of Pharmacy

Each year the IMU School of Pharmacy will organise several activities for its students to give them the opportunity to participate in a variety of learning activities.

World Pharmacists Day 

Every year on 25 September, pharmacists around the globe celebrate World Pharmacist Day. This day focuses on the role of pharmacists play in improving health on a global scale.

In IMU, World Pharmacist Day is the annual event celebrated by our School of Pharmacy students. To make it more memorable school celebrate this event in conjunction with “Pharmacy Week”. The whole week dedicated to showcase importance of pharmacists in improving health on a global scale.

Glimpse of our recent World Pharmacist Day Celebrations:

In 2019, the theme of “Safe and Effective Medicines For All” aims at promoting the significance of a pharmacists’ role in protecting the safety of a patient through improving medicines use and reducing medication errors. Our students showcased and discussed about the unseen roles of pharmacists such as counselling on lifestyle modifications, health screening and many more areas of interest. There was also an innovative exhibition, talks and health awareness poster competition. The event was organised by the IMU Pharmacy Students’ Association (IPSA) and the launch was graced by the Deputy  President of Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society, Andrew Tan.

In 2020, even though the year was very challenging due to Covid-19 Pandemic. Our students continued their enthusiasm to celebrate World Pharmacist Day 2020 with the theme “The Vital Role of Practising Pharmacists & Pharmaceutical Scientists in Covid-19 Pandemic”. The event featured student competitions and a webinar series and drew an attendance of total 500 participants from 6 countries.

IMU Pharmacy Week

Every year,  IMU’s School of Pharmacy organises a “Pharmacy Week”  in conjunction with “World Pharmacists Day”. This one-week event is designed to enrich and enhance the understanding of students and other members of the IMU community about medications, and to explore issues related to the development and use of vaccines and medicines. Students get opportunity to explore various webinars, poster competition, and health talks including various games.

A recent Pharmacy Week was dedicated to our Pharmacists who all over the world who are working tirelessly to stop the spread of the Coronavirus/Covid-19 and ensure that people continue to have access to medicines they need.

White Coat Ceremony

White Coat Ceremony is an event organised every year by the School of Pharmacy and the IMU Pharmacy Students Association (IPSA) for new students enrolling in the first semester of the programme at International Medical University. The inaugural White Coat Ceremony took place in 2004.

The tradition of the White Coat Ceremony has served as an opportunity for members of the pharmacy community to welcome students to the School and the pharmacy profession. The new students will be accompanied by the members from the Malaysian Pharmacists Society (MPS) and Pharmacy Board Malaysia, members of the School’s management, staff and senior students in the BPharm (Hons) programme. The new students will be robed with the white coat which symbolises the clinical service and care by the seniors. This will be followed by the recitation of the pledge of professionalism by the new students.

This event enables the new students to have a glimpse of the traditions and goals of the profession, and the significance of the pharmacy profession in providing for a healthy society.

Pharmaceutical Chemistry Week

 The Department of Chemistry organised the inaugural Pharmaceutical Chemistry Week in 2019. This annual event is aiming to create awareness on the importance of pharmaceutical sciences in contribution to healthcare and to educate the public and high school students on developing a positive attitude towards science, particularly in chemistry.

The 3-day Pharmaceutical Chemistry event (on 27-29 August 2019) was held with the theme of “The International Year of Periodic Table” to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements discovered by Dmitri Mendeleev. The Pharmaceutical Chemistry students and faculty members of the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Department successfully marked a new anecdote in the Malaysia Book of Records for building the largest 3D periodic table made from recycled materials. This amazing feat was completed as part of the launch of the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Week (PCW) on 27 August 2019.

More on this at https://imunews.imu.edu.my/people/the-elements-revealed-imu-built-largest-3d-periodic-table-from-recycled-materials/

The Pharmaceutical Chemistry Week 2020 was then organised in conjunction with the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day Celebration. The theme of the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Week this year was “Chemistry for a Sustainable Planet”. The on-campus event was originally scheduled on 2 and 3 April 2020, but it was postponed due to the 2020 Malaysia Movement Control Order, and hence conducted as a virtual event on 3 and 4 Sept 2020. The two-day virtual event was opened to public and all students in Malaysia. The virtual event has attracted 160 high school and pre-U students. The event collaborators for Pharmaceutical Chemistry Week 2020 are Institut Kimia Malaysia (IKM), Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC)-Malaysia Local Section, American Chemical Society (ACS)-Malaysia Chapter and the IMU Community Engagement office.

There were more than 100 high schools and Pre-Universities students from different states of Malaysia participating in the Photo Contest: Chemistry for a Sustainable Planet, Video Contest: Responsible Consumption and Production for a Greener and Sustainable Future and Poster Contest: Safer Choice of Consumer Products for a Sustainable Future. The opening ceremony was graced by the School of Pharmacy Dean, A/Prof Mohd Zulkefeli, IKM President-Datuk Soon, and IMU Community Engagement Dean,Prof Khoo Suan Phaik.

Winners’ Videos:
First Place: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgA0Up-J4S0&feature=youtu.be

Second Place: https://youtu.be/aIMh-5xP8Mc

Third Place: https://youtu.be/odXOwTWtVIM

Model Industrial Concept

In an effort to better meet the training needs of a new generation of healthcare professionals, simulation-based education is growing and evolving rapidly. Often, Schools of Pharmacy’s access to authentic pharmaceutical industry training is limited. Simulation thus offers junior students’ preliminary insights into pharmaceutical production processes and challenges as well as helps prepare them to undertake workplace learning in their later semesters. The IMU BPharm Model Industry Concept (MIC) was introduced in 2008 for just this purpose. This MIC simulation also adds value to learning by enabling students to undertake collaborative learning with a high degree of autonomy, to develop and demonstrate leadership and team-working traits such as assertiveness, effective communications, responsibility, accountability, mutual trust, and respect. The MIC was also established with the aim to engage our students with experts from different pharmaceutical industries to relate classroom learning and workplace learning. Our Bachelor of Pharmacy and BSc Pharmaceutical Chemistry students have benefited from the talks given by our alumni from industries under the Model Industrial Concept (MIC) of Pharmaceutics IV module. We were delighted to have our alumni to share their experiences with our students. These experts from the industry also educated our students with tips and guidance towards excel in their careers.

BORIS TING (BP2/15)

During the Model Industry Concept (MIC) session in the pharmaceutics module at IMU, we were exposed to real-world industrial experience shared by key opinion leaders from the pharmaceutical industries. We were also trained on the business aspects of developing and launching a product during the MIC project presentation. Besides, the industrial attachment had been an eye-opener to me, as we were given the chance to experience how the pharmaceutical industry operates, which inspired me to explore my career in the pharma industry.

Outbound Student Mobility

IMU School of Pharmacy provides various opportunities for students to have international exposure and experience via the IMU Student Mobility Programme.   In addition to enhancement in learning or research experience, students also gained exposure by living abroad and learning about the culture of a different country.  IMU Pharmacy students have gained international exposure through their Elective placement at various institutions in Taiwan, namely Tzu Chi General Hospital, Taoyuan General Hospital, Taipei Veteran General Hospital, China Medical University Hospital and Kaohsiung Medical University Chung-Ho Memorial Hospital as well as in Japan, Singapore, Brunei and Australia.

In addition, a dedicated research semester in the BPharm curriculum provides opportunity for Pharmacy students to conduct their research project overseas.  Through established collaborative research projects between the IMU School of Pharmacy staff with researchers at various international institutions, Pharmacy students gained research training and experience at Queen’s University of Belfast, University of Strathclyde, University of Manchester, University of Copenhagen, University of Newcastle, Tokyo University of Science,  Prince of Songkla University and University of Chulalongkorn.

Outbound Student Mobility
Journey of an IMU Pharmacy Student: International Student Exchange Programme and Hospital Attachment
Memorable and Valuable Learning Experience in Australia
Gaining Research Experience at an Australian University
Wonderful Opportunity for IMU Pharmacy Student at Croatia via IPSF Student Exchange Programme

Giving back to the Community

Education and real-life experience in community engagement is a part of the formulation in learning. At the same time, students could try to offer what have they learnt to help some of the communities who need us. Our school has prepared the students in BPharm and Pharmaceutical Chemistry Programmes to grab these opportunities by organising the events at different community partners. We have total of 11 community partners and more than 50 types of activities which have been carried out since 2014 by students and staff. Students can also involve the community service activities via on-campus platform if the aim of this event is beneficial to communities such as IMU Chariofare. Our school is working closely with IMU Community Engagement team, and there are many opportunities being offered to students as well.

Students may work in numerous fields, including education to children, teenagers, and elderlies, arts, health services, and environmental volunteering. Recently, students also are encouraged to work together with communities via virtual engagement approach using various online technologies. All these will have the outcomes that in line with University Community Engagement focus areas: good health and well-being, reduce in equality and quality education, as well as responsible consumption and production. Here is some of the previous activities which have been done by the students and published in the media.

Workshop on Micro-/Nanoparticles Fabrication and Characterisation
On 30 September 2019, the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry together with the Centre for Lifelong Learning (ICL),IMU, hosted a full-day event entitled Workshop on Micro-/Nanoparticles Fabrication and Characterisation at IMU’s campus in Bukit Jalil. The workshop was led by A/Prof  Ooi Ing Hong (Chairman), Dr Thiagarajan Madheswaran (co-chair), Dr Chin Swee Yee and Dr Vasudeva Rao Avupati, and was organised in collaboration with DKSH Technology Sdn Bhd. It was one of the continuous professional development (CPD) programmes organised under the School of Pharmacy.

The purpose of the workshop was to provide a platform for internal as well as external participants to learn about the novel application of nanoparticles such as drug delivery systems and to experience hands-on preparation and characterisation of polymer nanoparticles, in addition to instilling awareness on the importance of nanoscience and nanotechnology. There were about 20 participants including university lecturers as well as postgraduate students.

The agenda began with a welcome speech by the Dean, A/Prof  Mohd Zulkefeli Mat Jusoh, followed by presentations on: i) Oral Insulin Nanoparticle Designs by Prof Dr Wong Tin Wui, UiTM, ii) Micro-/Nanoparticles Characterisation: Theory and Practices by Jonathan Wong, DKSH, iii) Polymeric Nanoparticles by Emulsion Solvent Evaporation Technique by A/Prof Ooi Ing Hong, and iv) Cubosomes and Hexosomes: from Production and Characterisation to Clinical Translation by Dr Thiagarajan.

In the afternoon, the participants had hands-on experience on nanoparticles preparation and characterisation and on-site discussion on various technical aspects in generating nanoparticles and characterisation in the IMU research laboratory.

CPD Course on “Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics and Population PK/PD Modelling”
The Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Technology Departments of IMU’s School of Pharmacy organised a 3-day Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course on “Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics and Population PK/PD Modelling” on 8-10 October 2019. This workshop was designed to link the theory and practice of Population Pharmacokinetics / Pharmacodynamics (PopPK/PD) modelling used in the drug development process in association with dose, concentration and response before NDA approval and the subsequent launch of the drugs. It covered topics that familiarised individuals from a pharmacy, biotechnology, bioengineering and medical fields in PK/PD research and its applications using R & NONMEM software programmes.Three notable speakers, Emeritus Prof Yuen Kah Hay, University Sains Malaysia, A/Prof Rajan, Manipal University, India and Dr Vijay Ivaturi, Assistant Professor, University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, United States were invited to provide training and facilitation in the workshop.

More on this at An Enlightening Workshop on Drug Metabolism & Pharmacokinetics and Population PK/PD Modelling

 “Nanomedicine is Key to New Generation of Drug Delivery: Myth or Reality”
1 August 2016 – Pharmaceutical Technology Department organised a Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course on “Nanomedicine is Key to New Generation of Drug Delivery: Myth or Reality” under School of Pharmacy. The objectives of the workshop were to update participants on advances in nanotechnology and its application in nanomedicine, to discuss current challenges and issues associated with nanomedicine formulations, to highlight clinical developments and progress in bringing nanomedicines from bench to market and to provide networking and collaboration opportunities for researchers working in nanomedicine. The CPD course comprised of lectures with updated examples and a panel discussion to encourage participation and exchange information.

Other Events Organised by the School

ACS Malaysia Chapter Annual General Meeting and Members Get-Together

IMU has a strong ongoing association with the American Chemical Society (ACS, the world’s largest scientific society and one of the world’s leading sources of authoritative scientific information) and the ACS Malaysia Chapter. ACS supported the Introduction to Global Chemists’ Code of Ethics (GCCE), Chemical Safety and Security workshop that was held in IMU in 2017 with participation from BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry and BPharm (Hons) undergraduates, postgraduate students and faculty members. The Dean of School of Pharmacy, A/Prof Mohd Zulkefeli Mat Jusoh is one of the members of the ACS Malaysia Chapter’s National Advisory Board while Dr Low May Lee from Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry is  the Chapter’s secretary since 2018. In March 2019, IMU hosted the ACS Malaysia Chapter Annual General Meeting and Members Get-Together as well as organised the ACS Malaysia Chapter – IMU special sharing sessions for its Foundation in Science and BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry students. Students were inspired by the research, industry, CAS SciFinder Future Leaders and student chapter sharing sessions. ACS Malaysia Chapter also strongly supported our events such as the 10th anniversary celebration of BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme as well as the Pharmaceutical Chemistry Week 2019 and 2020. There will be many more exciting events opportunities ahead for IMU and ACS Malaysia Chapter to continue working together in making a difference in chemistry and motivating the younger generations.

IMU NEWS:
https://imunews.imu.edu.my/people/introduction-to-global-chemists-code-of-ethics-gcce-chemical-safety-and-security-workshop/

Stakeholder Meetings

The School has initiated this meeting with its inaugural one in 2017. Since then, it has become a biannual event. The first one, in 2017, was successfully executed with a theme ‘Competence through Effective Curriculum’. The idea of having this meeting with stakeholders is due to the fact that no institution of higher learning can afford to assume that its graduands are work-ready upon graduation. Therefore, this meeting seeks to gain insights from its key employer stakeholders, who will then inform the School of the improvements that can be made to the curriculum and development of the programmes. The School offers two Bachelor programmes in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Pharmacy, and three Master programmes in Analytical and Pharmaceutical Chemistry, Molecular Medicine and Pharmacy Practice.

The aim or desired outcome of the meeting is, stakeholders will become familiar with expected graduand traits of the Bachelor or Master programmes that is most relevant to their manpower needs. The School seeks to identify, understand and clarify what key employers seek in graduands in terms of knowledge, skills and attitudes. With the rapid changes in technology, the School believes the constructive comments of stakeholders would be very important. The stakeholders for the School were from the hospital (government and private), community pharmacy, pharmaceutical industry (manufacturing and trading), regulatory bodies and professional associations.

More on School of Pharmacy Meets Stakeholders to Gain Knowledge on Employers’ Expectations

The School of Pharmacy would also welcome international visitors to meet about future collaborations and updates of credit transfer programmes.

View the list of International Visitors.

Anniversary Celebrations

10 Years Celebration of BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme  (2008-2018)

The IMU Pharmaceutical Chemistry programme celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2018. The programme was first launched in response to the governmental initiative to promote pharmaceutical industry as strategic to national development. The programme has produced graduates who are working in a broad range of career fields in various industries including research and development as well as academia.  As part of the 10th  anniversary celebrations, the School of Pharmacy organised two chemistry competitions for secondary school and pre-university students on 14 July 2018, with the main aim of nurturing interest towards chemistry in the younger generation. A total of 100 over students from various schools participated in these competitions.

To commemorate the celebration, the team had also produced the programme’s first commemorative booklet entitled “10 Years of BSc (Hons) Pharmaceutical Chemistry – Advancing Knowledge, Improving Life”. It encompasses the history and way forward of the programme, pharmaceutical chemistry as a profession, partnerships with the industry, student and staff achievements as well as our alumni stories.

The 10th Anniversary Celebrations was culminated with a banquet dinner on 15 August 2018 at International Medical University. The event was graced by President of IMU Health, Vice Chancellor & CEO of IMU Education, Prof Abdul Aziz Baba; Deputy Vice Chancellor, Academic, Prof Peter Pook; Pro Vice Chancellor, Education, Prof Vishna Devi Nadarajah; Dean, School of Pharmacy, A/Prof Mohd Zulkefeli bin Mat Jusoh; Deans of other IMU Schools, Corporate Heads of Departments, invited speakers and participants of IPOPS 2018, industry partners, alumni, students and staff of School of Pharmacy. The highlights of the evening included cake cutting ceremony, launching of the commemorative booklet and various student performances.

6th International Postgraduate Conference on Pharmaceutical Sciences (IPOPS) 2018

Since its inception in 2013, IPOPS has differentiated itself into a major updating event for research in the pharmaceutical sciences; with a strong science programme catering to postgraduate students and faculty. Following the remarkable success of 5th IPOPS-Universiti Teknologi Mara (UiTM), Malaysia in 2017, the School of Pharmacy of the International Medical University (IMU) was delighted to host the 6th IPOPS, scheduled from 13 – 16 August 2018. The postgraduate conference was jointly organised by the School of Pharmacy (IMU), Malaysia; Faculty of Pharmacy, UiTM, Malaysia and the Faculty of Pharmacy, Tokyo University of Science, Japan.

The conference provided an international platform for sharing advances in pharmaceutical knowledge and research as well as opportunities to develop new networks across various disciplines and collaborative research. Besides that, it also provided an opportunity for young researchers to present their research work as either oral or poster presentations. Prior to the main conference (15 and 16 August 2018), three parallel pre-conference workshops were held during the first two days (13 and 14 August 2018) of the conference. The topics included ‘Computer Aided Drug Discovery’, ‘Granulation Technology’, ‘Biostatistics’ and ‘Evidence based Pharmacotherapy’. The last two days (15 and 16 August 2018) consist of the keynote address, plenaries by renowned researches and invited speakers in the field of pharmaceutical sciences.

7 Jun 2021|People, Staff, Students|0 Comments

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