Department of Biomedical Science
Department of Biomedical Sciences is the major research department at AMDI in terms ofscientific membership and research rigour. The Department is supported by 3 core research units: Molecular Biology Unit, Cellular BiologyUnit and Microbiology Unit. Apart from Ph.D in Biomedical Sciences-related fields, the Department offers mixed mode MSc. in Medical Research and MSc. Transfusion Science,which are structured academic programmes that run two enrolment cycles per year.
The Molecular Biology Unit
The Molecular Biology Unit is active in precision medicine researches that are tailored tocancers. Cancer models undertaken within the Unit are Breast Cancer, Liver Cancer, Colon Cancer, Nasopharyngeal Cancer and Blood Cancer. The research themes include:
DNA methylation and expression, gene editing, gene therapy
mRNA, micro RNA & non-coding RNA
Inhibition and signalling network
Yeast two-hybrid technology for specific protein binding; large scale
Metabonomics of lipids
Cancer remains the top 5 leading causes of deaths in Malaysia. Although cancer can run in the family, ageing exposes one to genetic alterations from lifestyle choices and environmental actors. Malaysians and Asians, nonetheless, have different diets, cultures and practices that vary from the Western counterparts. Hence, the research effort from The Molecular Biology Unit suits glocalisation in cancer research – supporting global knowledge about cancers by solving cancer genetics and challenges locally.
The Cellular Biology Unit
The Cellular Biology Unit is researching on non-communicable diseases and organ regeneration. Therefore, the research within the Unit pivots around normal and diseased stem cell models together with biomaterials and biomimicry. The model system and technologies commonly developed in the Unit include:
heart attack/myocardial infarction- iPSC technology; fat plaque/atherosclerosis – natural products
Cancer stem cells – aerosolised honey treatment, organoid system
Keratitis – corneal stem cells, silk fibroin
Brittle bone/osteoporosis – micro- and nanopatterning technology; CaP nanoparticles
Deterioration in organ function and total organ failure due to lifestyle choices, physical trauma or ageing are inevitable in every individual. Unfortunately, organ donation in Malaysia is scarce and in dire straits, with less than 2% of Malaysians signed up for organ donations. The Cellular Biology Unit is impacting the community with new biomaterials and biomimicry technologies that can be used as tissue and organ replacements within the foreseeable future.
The Microbiology Unit
The Microbiology Unit focuses on research in the microbial infections – from the changes in the microbial genes, mRNAs and proteins up to the technological advances to detect and curb infections. Research forte under the Unit according to the microbial-pathogenesis combo and microbial-derived technologies include
Candida spp. – thrush, candidiasis
Norovirus – gastroenteritis; HIV – AIDS; gene editing using CRISPR-Cas9,
bioinformatics of RNAs
Aptamer, non-coding RNA, biosensor
As microbial evolve, emergence of new microbial strains and variants is unstoppable. The threat of microbial infection to human, pets and other animals will remain high and omnipresent. Hence, the research being conducted in The Microbiology Unit confers the impact by creating awareness about the susceptibility and contagiousness of the microbes to the community. Meanwhile, the advances in biotechnology and artificial intelligence from the Unit will benefit the community by systematically control the microbial threat at bay.