Faculty of Pharmacy, Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) hosted a visit from the University of Sydney on the 5th of September 2022, aimed to explore opportunities for bioinformatics research collaboration and post-graduate student mobility between UiTM & University of Sydney.
Professor Dato’ Dr. Abu Bakar Abdul Majeed, Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy welcomed Jake Chen, representative from University of Sydney, and member of Australian Molecular Modellers Association. The session was also attended by Dr. Norkasihan Ibrahim, Deputy Dean (Industry, Community, Alumni & Network), Professor Kalavathy Ramasamy, Head of Collaborative Discovery Research Group, Dr. Gurmeet Kaur Surindar Singh, Head of Brain Degeneration and Therapeutics Research Group, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Sadia Sultan, Head of Biotransformation Research Group, Dr. Mohd Nadzri Mohd Najib, Head of Department (UiTM Bertam Campus) and fellow academicians from the faculty.
Representatives from the UiTM Faculty of Computer and Mathematical Sciences and the Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM) Advanced Medical and Dental Institute took part in the session via virtual platform.
The visit started with sharing session by Jake Chen on laboratory simulation software for teaching and learning as well as research activity. During the hybrid session, he highlighted the benefits of Peppy software which has advanced programming capability and the ability to provide personalised student experience during the conduct of chemical experiments. This software has benefited students during the COVID-19 pandemic online learning period and according to Professor Gareth Denyer, creator of the virtual laboratory data generator, it is available for free with the possibility to customise practical needs for a small fee.
Following that, Dr. Ruzianisra Mohamed, served as the representative of Bioinformatics Unit, UiTM presented the expertise of the unit members and ongoing bioinformatics research works at the faculty. The meeting then discussed on research grants for Southeast Asia, postgraduate student mobility grants, and areas of research collaboration. It is anticipated that the exchange of knowledge and expertise at this meeting will foster closer and more strategic ties between both institutions, as well as open new and expanded opportunities for future collaboration.