Neuroscience a niche area of research in School of Medicine at UMS


24th July, 2012

KOTA KINABALU: Neuroscience is one of the niche areas of research in the School of Medicine at Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS).

It deals with medical specialities such as neurology, psychiatry, neurosurgery, psychosurgery, anaesthesiology, neuropathology, neuroradiology, clinical neurophysiology and addiction medicine that specifically address diseases of the nervous system.

These terms also refer to clinical disciplines involving diagnosis and treatment of these diseases.

UMS vice chancellor Prof Dr Mohd Harun Abdullah therefore commended the ‘International Neuroscience Symposium 2012’ that was held at the university here yesterday for selecting the theme – ‘Bench to Bedside’ which translates basic science to bedside clinical practice.

“The boundaries between these specialties have been blurred recently as they are all influenced by basic research in neuroscience.

“Brain imaging also enables objective, biological insights into mental illness, which can lead to faster diagnosis, more accurate prognosis, and help assess patient progress over time. Integrative neuroscience makes connections across these specialised areas of focus,” said Dr Harun.

He said brain function is vitally important for the survival of any organism, including human being. Healthy brain development in an optimal environment is as important as his or her genetic endowment for an individual’s successful survival.

“We need to appreciate this fact if we want to contribute to the economy and prosperity of the nation. This kind of symposium contributes immensely to infuse this principle into our system,” he said.

During the symposium prominent neuroscientists would speak on topics ranging from neuroendocrine function and molecular biology of neuron to spinal bifida, to name a few.

“Surely all these lectures will stimulate you to be inducted into Neuroscience Research, if you have not done so. I gladly welcome neuroscience research in Universiti Malaysia Sabah and we will give you all the necessary help,” assured Dr Harun.

He hoped that the participants would develop research collaborations and find avenues for research students to further their research activities.

Dr Harun encouraged interaction between UMS students and professors such as Prof. Dr Seong-Seng Tan, who arranged a special session of question and answers on medical research or prospective PhD students, to initiate collaborative research and technology transfer between Australia and Malaysia.

“I appreciate this initiative and shall do whatever necessary to foster growth of this cooperation for the benefit of research students,” he said.

Meanwhile, the School of Medicine dean, Prof Dr Kamarudin Mudin said the symposium also provided interesting discourse on neurological disorders such as Alzheimer, Parkinson, Schizophrenia and spina bifida, among others.

“From School of Medicine’s point of view, it is certainly an honour and very exciting to be part of an initiative like this and to have the opportunity of co-hosting this international symposium together with the Brain Research Institute Monash Sunway and Neuro Malaysia Society,” he said.

“The growth of neurosciences in Malaysia is unlike other Asian countries like Singapore, South Korea, China and Japan where a rate of 6 to 20 per cent is expected per annum,” said Dr Kamarudin.

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