Career-Research Positions Vacancy

June 2, 2017 Career-Research Positions Vacancy


We are looking for new team members for the following positions. If you are interested, please send us all the relevant documents.  We look forward to working with you and seeing you achieve great things!

Pancreatic cancer is the fourth leading cause of cancer-related death. In pancreatic cancer diagnosis,
the least invasive diagnostic test is pancreatic fine needle aspiration (FNA) cytology. Pancreatic
cytopathology is increasingly being recognised as a safe, rapid, reliable and cost-effective modality in
confirming the clinical impression before instituting cytotoxic or radiation therapy [9]. As a first line
pathologic examination procedure, it has surpassed pancreatic wedge and core needle biopsies that
could have higher risk in complication (i.e. hemorrhage, fistulas and tumor seeding). There are two
methods of tissue sampling for FNA, which differ in the way the samples are handled: either as an
aspirate of cells being smeared on a slide for cytological interpretation (FNA-cytology), or as sections
of a cell block being fixed in formalin for histological interpretation (FNA-biopsy). The preference
depends on the quantity and quality of the collected material, but performing cytological
preparations with a cell block is beneficial, complementary, and improves the diagnostic value of

However, as cytopathology rarely involve quantification steps, this procedure can be prone to errors
and is relatively subjective. On the other hand, measurements of the examined cells are possible
with the use of digital cameras and image analysis software. High degree of objectivity through
measurement is technologically feasible. However, processing a magnitude of measurements can
also be a barrier [9,10]. Therefore, cytopathology is an ideal discipline to apply artificial neural
networks so as to help in supporting decision-making in cytopathology.

In our previous study, we developed an assisted diagnosis classification tool for the grading of
pancreatic FNA-cytology samples. The tool uses convolutional neural network (CNN) to classify
Haematoxylin and Eosin (H&E)-stained pancreatic cancer cytology images into four classes, namely
Normal, Grade 1, Grade 2 and Grade 3. The developed system was able to correctly classify a very
promising 94.4% overall accuracy, which is comparable to cytopathologists marking that currently
being done manually.

In this study, we aim to develop an artificial intelligence system to aid cell block analysis of FNA-
biopsy for pancreatic cancer diagnosis. This proposed system coupled with the previous system
developed for the classification of FNA-cytology can subsequently be a very valuable tool for
cytopathologists in improving the standard of prognostic reporting. These systems could decrease
the chances of false diagnosis and augment late or misdiagnosis of pancreatic cancer, as well as
cultivate a new automated pathological interpretation model. Pathology powered by artificial
intelligence will also augment what pathologists can see and do, thus elevating their role in an era
of increasingly personalised medicine to consistently deliver a higher quality of care.

Why this study?
This project will allow you to work closely with our industry partner, which is an establish Artificial
Intelligence international company in building the image recognition algorithms.


Applicants are required to have obtained

  1. A bachelor’s degree with minimum CGPA of 2.75 or equivalent, as accepted by the HEP Senate; or
  2. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent with minimum CGPA of 2.50 and not meeting CGPA of 2.75, can
    be accepted subject to rigorous internal assessment; or
  3. A bachelor’s degree or equivalent not meeting CGPA of 2.50, can be accepted subject to a minimum
    of 5 years working experience in relevant field.

Applicants with the experience in programming language (ie Python) will be given priority of


Location: International Medical University, Bukit Jalil, KL

Position Type: Full Time
Duration: 2 years
Sponsorship: Tuition fee waiver and stipend (subject to fulfilling the requirements)

The candidate will have the opportunity to conduct research on molecular mechanisms of toxicity induced by polyfluoroalkyl substances, to critically analyse and publish his/her experimental findings in peer-reviewed journal(s), and to pursue his/her postgraduate degree (Master of Science).

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  1. To plan, design, set up and conduct the research project, record and analyse the research findings as directed and supervised by the principal investigator and supervisory team
  2. To keep up to date with recent literature and advances in the field of mechanistic toxicity of polyfluoroalkyl substances
  3. To participate in discussion and data review with the supervisory team
  4. To maintain good research records and documentation
  5. To present research findings at local or international conference(s) or seminar(s)
  6. To publish research findings in indexed peer-reviewed journal(s)
  7. To prepare his/her dissertation for examination

Qualifications and Personal Attributes

  1. Degree in Medical Sciences, Health Sciences, Biological or Life Sciences such as cell biology, biochemistry, immunology or Science related areas
  2. Possess good analytical and problem-solving skills
  3. Self-motivated and able to work in team
  4. Possess good interpersonal skills
  5. Good verbal and written scientific communication skills (in English language)

Closing date: 30 November 2021

Interested candidate is expected to submit your curriculum vitae to A/P Dr Wong Shew Fung at


The IMU Institute for Research, Development and Innovation (IRDI) is offering Postgraduate Research Scholarship to outstanding MSc and PhD candidates with strong interest in external funded research project related to health and medical sciences.

As an IMU Postgraduate Research Scholar, you will

  • be actively involved in all stages of the project planning.
  • carry out experiment as well as performing data analysis, interpretation and dissemination.
  • gain the ability to present, write and discuss research in an international context.
  • develop comprehensive knowledge in the field of study.
  • develop comprehensive knowledge and work in close collaboration with scientists and clinician in the relevant field of study.
  • develop strong communication and collaborative skills.
  • assist in the Institute’s additional research activities such as tutoring, lab supervision, lab services, contract research, community service or administration.


The IMU IRDI is looking for a highly motivated, technically skilled, and creative person that have a strong attitude for cooperation and teamwork. Proven experiences in cell and molecular biology, epidemiology, public health, clinical research, and/or prior knowledge in bioinformatics and R or Python programming is an added advantage. Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are needed, in our international work environment.

All postgraduate students by research at the University are eligible to apply, provided that:

  • The applicant is of Malaysian citizenship.
  • The applicant is enrolled as a full-time postgraduate student.
  • The applicant must meet all necessary entry requirements of their chosen postgraduate programme (must have secured offer letter of admission for his/her desired programme).
  • The applicant is with a Bachelor degree of first (CGPA 3.75 and above) or second upper class (CGPA of 3.50 and above) of undergraduate academic achievement in a relevant subject.
  • The applicant must have satisfactory performance and successful progression over the duration of his/her postgraduate study. The University reserves the right to withdraw the award at any time should the student’s behaviour or performance be unsatisfactory, or the student withdrawal from the programme of study.
  • The applicant must successfully defense his/her proposal at IMU-JC, received ethics approval and has initiated data collection and experiment by the end of year 1 to continue the scholarship funding for year 2.
  • The applicant has provided all supporting documentation in the required format.
  • Fund is still available for the scholarship for that year.


The Postgraduate Research Scholarship covers the full MSc or PhD tuition fees at IMU plus a stipend for 2 years for MSc or 3 years for PhD during the candidate’s postgraduate studies.

Skills and personal qualities

We are looking for a highly motivated, technically skilled, and creative person that have a strong attitude for cooperation and teamwork. Proven experiences in cell and molecular biology, epidemiology, public health, clinical research, and prior knowledge in bioinformatics and R or Python programming is meriting. Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are needed, in our international work environment.

Terms and conditions

The MSc and PhD student will be employed on a studentship grant of maximum 2 and 3 years full- time, respectively.

Application process

The applicant must apply for the IRDI Postgraduate Research Scholarship Award by completing an online Application form (IRDI Postgraduate Scholarship). The completed application form shall be submitted online together with all necessary supporting documentation:

  • Letter of acceptance of postgraduate study from admission office
  • One (1) certified copy of qualification and transcript certificate for foundation, diploma, bachelor, master or PhD (whichever is applicable)
  • A personal letter and a curriculum vitae of the applicant
  • Degree projects and previous publications (if any)
  • Two (2) reference letters, one of it must be from the former direct supervisor; and
  • Any other documentation showing the desirable skills and personal qualities described above


The Research Management Centre (RMC) secretariat will schedule a meeting for the evaluation and decision for approval (Figure 1). A selection panel will evaluate all eligible applicants based on the candidate’s academic and non-academic capabilities as well as alignment to the IRDI strategic plans. Shortlisted applicants will be invited for an interview and be informed when the application is successful.

The RMC will notify the applicant and, if applicable, liaise with the applicant and/or Financial Department for the disbursement of support once the final decision has been made.

About IMU and IRDI

A creative and inspiring environment full of expertise and curiosity. The International Medical University (IMU) is one of the leading private medical university in Malaysia. Our vision is to be an innovative global centre of excellence in learning and research, supporting a community of scholars and professionals committed to serving society, promoting the development of students to reach their true potential in becoming competent, ethical, caring and inquiring citizens and visionary leaders.

At the IMU Institute for Research, Development and Innovation (IRDI), we conduct high impact medical research. As a masters or doctoral student, you are offered an individual research project, a well-educated supervisor, a vast range of elective courses and the opportunity to work in a leading research group. IRDI collaborates with prominent universities from all around the world, which ensures opportunities for international exchanges.

Kindly refer to the enclosed MC approved for Guideline for the eligibility, application and approval
process, monitoring and progression, early termination and penalty.


Job Description MSc Studentship
Location International Medical University, Bukit Jalil, KL
Position Type Full Time
Duration 3 Years

Principal Investigator: Professor Renu Agarwal
Project Title: Dual mechanisms underlying the neuroprotective effect of trans-resveratrol against excitotoxic retinal ganglion cells: involvement of adenosine A1 receptors and glutamate transporters loss
Research Grant: FRGS Grant

Qualifications and Personal Attributes

  • MBBS, Pharmacy graduate, Bachelor degree in biological sciences

Executive Summary

Glaucoma, the leading cause of irreversible blindness, is characterized by retinal ganglion cell (RGC) loss that involves glutamate-mediated excitotoxicity, particularly through NMDA receptors. Current anti-glaucoma medications act by lowering intraocular pressure (IOP), the major risk factor for glaucoma, and are expected to protect RGCs secondary to IOP reduction. Hence, an agent with both the oculohypotensive and neuroprotective properties would be highly valuable. Excitotoxic RGC loss can be counteracted by dual approach. Firstly, by interrupting NMDA mediated neurotransmission which involves adenosine A1 receptors (A1AR); and secondly by enhancing synaptic glutamate clearance via glutamate transporters. In this regard, trans-resveratrol is known to cause A1AR mediated IOP lowering, however, it remains unknown if it interrupts NMDA-mediated neurotransmission via A1AR and protects RGCs. Secondly, it remains unknown if trans-resveratrol enhances retinal glutamate clearance, which has previously been observed in CNS. Hence, the aim of this study is to elucidate dual mechanisms of action of trans-resveratrol against excitotoxic RGC loss involving retinal (1) A1AR activation (2) increased glutamate clearance. Study will include 2 parts. In study 1, rats will intravitreally receive NMDA/trans-resveratrol with or without A1AR antagonist. Subsequently, retinal A1AR, calpain-1, caspase-3 expression will be determined using PCR and Elisa and glutamate contents using elisa. In study 2, rats will receive glutamate intravitreally with and without trans-resveratrol and retinal glutamate transporters, glutamine synthetase and glutathione expression will be determined using PCR and Elisa. For both studies, retinal and optic nerve morphology, RGC apoptosis and visual behaviour of animals will also be studied. The study will reveal dual mechanisms of action of trans-resveratrol, which are crucial in predicting the scope of its therapeutic use and possible adverse effect profile. Two indexed papers will be published and one PhD student will be trained. The study is in accordance with the global vision of eliminating avoidable blindness.


Interested candidates are required to submit your curriculum vitae to Professor Renu Agarwal at

Job Description MSc Studentship
Location International Medical University, Bukit Jalil, KL
Position Type Full Time
Duration 01-11-2020 to 01-10-2023

Principal Investigator: Dr Heethal Jaiprakash
Project Title: Mechanisms of corneal abrasion healing properties of tocotrienol rich fraction (TRF) in rats: Focus on suppression of proinflammatory and oxidative stress markers
Research Grant: FRGS Grant

Qualifications and Personal Attributes

  • Bachelor degree in biological sciences, MBBS, Pharmacy graduates

Executive Summary

Corneal abrasions comprise 8% of all eye presentations in primary care and are the most common eye conditions seen in emergency departments. Corneal abrasion leads to blindness if not treated adequately. Corneal abrasions and resultant inflammation/scarring have been reported as the leading cause of corneal blindness. Currently, corneal abrasions are managed by antibiotics and/or anti-inflammatory drugs, which have high potential to cause adverse effects particularly the antibiotic resistance. Hence, investigations into safer alternatives are warranted. Tocotrienol has been shown to enhance skin wound healing. Additionally, it is effective in several diseases associated with oxidative stress and inflammation, both of which are pathogenetic factors in corneal abrasion related complications leading to blindness. Since, Palm oil derived tocotrienol rich fraction (TRF) is rich in tocotrienol (80%), its biological effects are largely attributed to tocotrienol. Despite the knowledge about potential healing properties of tocotrienol, it remains unknown if it facilitates healing of corneal abrasions. Hence, this study aims to investigate mechanisms underlying the healing effect of topical TRF in rats with a corneal abrasion. Rats with experimentally-induced corneal abrasion will be treated with vehicle/TRF and the extent of corneal abrasion healing will be determined clinically and histopathologically. Further, the expression of inflammatory cytokines including TNF-?, Interleukin (IL)1, IL4 and IL8 and pro-inflammatory transcription factor NF-kB (nuclear factor-kappa B) will be determined using multiplex ELISA and RT-PCR. NF-kB activation will be determined by measuring phosphor NF-kB using immunohistochemistry and ELISA. The corneal oxidative stress markers including GSH, catalase, SOD and MDA will also be estimated. The extent of healing will be correlated with the expression of inflammatory and oxidative stress markers. Two indexed papers will be published and one PhD student will be trained. This study is in accordance with one of the 17 sustainable development goals which are good health and well-being.


Interested candidates are required to submit your curriculum vitae to Dr Heethal Jaiprakash at

Job Description PhD Studentship
Location International Medical University, Bukit Jalil, KL
Position Type Full Time
Duration 2 Years

Principal Investigator: Dr Huma Shahzad
Project Title: Mechanisms of underlying increased blood pressure in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis in a postmenopausal rat model
Research Grant: FRGS Grant

Qualifications and Personal Attributes

  • A Master’s Degree accepted by the HEP Senate
  • Other qualifications equivalent to a Master’s degree
  • Candidates with Bachelor’s degree who are registered for Master’s degree programmes may apply to convert their candidacy to the doctoral degree programmes within ONE (1) year after Master’s degree registration

Executive Summary

At menopause, less estrogen may affect the cardiovascular (CV) and musculoskeletal systems. Besides, the incidence of osteoarthritis (OA), caused by mechanical wear and tear of the joints and rheumatoid arthritis (RA), an autoimmune diseases are increased after menopause due to low estrogen. Postmenopausal women are known to have cardiovascular diseases (CVD) such as hypertension (HT) with the incidence much higher than the age-matched men and premenopausal women. The reduced estrogen levels and its vasodilatory actions increased the tendency for elevated BP secondary to increase in the systemic vascular resistance. Approximately there was 52-73% increase in the prevalence of HT in RA patients, whereas 40-75% increased HT prevalence in OA patients, but the mechanisms were not clear. The increased HT in RA and OA patients may be due to the higher oxidative stress and C-reactive protein (CRP) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) levels. Besides, hyperlipidemia, inflammatory markers with apoptosis were increased in RA and OA patients which might contribute towards increased in CV risk. Abnormal growth factors also contribute to increase HT in RA and OA patients. The aim of the study is to investigate the mechanisms underlying high prevalence of HT in sex-steroid deficient animal model suffering from RA and OA.


Interested candidates are required to submit your curriculum vitae to Dr Dr Huma Shahzad at

Location : International Medical University, Bukit Jalil, Kuala Lumpur
Post : Research Assistant – Microbiology
Position Type : Full Time
Department : Institute for Research, Development and Innovation (IRDI)
Duration : 2 years

Summary of Role

To work as part of a team investigating pneumococcal carriage and serotype epidemiology in young children in Malaysia with otitis media (OM). The successful candidate will provide assistance and support to the IMU Advanced Microbiology Collaborative Research Laboratory (IMU-AMCRL), working closely with investigators to perform a variety of microbiological tests and analyses including troubleshooting and presentation of scientific data.

Main Duties and Responsibilities

  1. Contribute to the development and delivery of laboratory based research activities of the project, including the following:
    • Processing and storage of human samples (Nasopharyngeal (NP) swabs and middle ear fluid (MEF) samples) following good laboratory practice (GLP)
      and good clinical practice (GCP)
    • Analysis of samples using molecular techniques (DNA extraction, PCR, DNA sequencing, etc)
    • Preparation to the highest possible standard of microbiological cultures for detection of S. pneumonia and other bacterial pathogens in NP swab and MEF sample
    • Maintenance of bacterial culture
    • Communicate well with the clinical and laboratory teams to ensure logistics of sample collection and processing
    • Liaise with commercial and academic partners to ensure appropriate records of sample processing, storage and shipment of sample
    • Maintenance and preparation of equipment and supplies
  2. To maintain GLP compliance, laboratory record keeping (methods, sample processing details, results) and necessary documentation for the project
  3. Assist with and participate in the production and dissemination of research outputs:
    • To prepare and effectively communicate methodologies, data and laboratory results to other members of the group at project meetings
    • To contribute research ideas and to actively participate in the planning of the research activity
    • Take part in the preparation and writing of scientific reports and peer-reviewed
      publications for the scientific community
  4. To keep up-to-date with recent literature and advances in the field

Qualifications and Personal Attributes


  • BSc in a Biological Science such as Microbiology, Biochemistry or Pharmacology
  • Identifying and monitoring micro-organisms by culture
  • Skill in basic cell biology (aseptic techniques), biochemistry, analytical, bioanalysis and/or tissue culture
  • Relevant experience of working within a research laboratory
  • Excellent verbal, written, communication and presentation skills, with the ability to communicate at all levels
  • Excellent organisational skills
  • Willingness to work as an integral and cooperative member of a multi-disciplinary, multinational research team
  • Ability to meet deadlines and prioritise own work
  • Show initiative and work independently where appropriate
  • Possess good analytical and problem solving skills
  • Possess good interpersonal skills


  • MSc in a Biological Science such as Microbiology, Biochemistry or Pharmacology
  • Experience of drafting/writing scientific reports
  • Research experience in the use of quantitative research methods, including data collection and statistical analysis

Closing date: 20 June 2022

Interested candidates are required to submit your curriculum vitae to Dr Nur Alia Johari at

Project synopsis

The purpose of this research is to assess pneumococcal carriage in young children with otitis media (OM) in Malaysia during the early phase of pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV) programme implementation in Malaysia. Otitis media (OM) is a condition defined as an inflammation of the middle ear and is one of the most commonly diagnosed infections in children, especially amongst those aged below 5 years. By 3 years of age, approximately 80%
of children have experienced at least one episode of acute otitis media (AOM) in developed countries. A third of children will also suffer from a type of OM known as OM with effusion (OME), with a persistent accumulation of ear fluid. Another more serious type of OM is chronic suppurative otitis media (CSOM), which often develops following an AOM episode, and is described as recurrent ear discharges for 6 weeks or more. CSOM affects up to 350 million
people worldwide and is a major cause of hearing loss in approximately 60% of individuals.

All forms of OM may develop due to upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) caused by viruses or bacteria. The most common bacterial cause of OM is Streptococcus pneumoniae (Spn), also known as pneumococcus. Hence, immunisation with a pneumococcal vaccine will help to reduce the incidence of OM infections. In Malaysia, pneumococcal vaccination under the National Immunisation Programme (NIP) for children began in December 2020, comprising of 3 doses at four, six and 15 months.

This study will be a multi-centre prospective surveillance study and aims to determine the prevalence of pneumococcal carriage as well as the infecting Spn serotypes in young children with OM in Malaysia. With the establishment of sentinel surveillance in Malaysia, the data obtained will provide crucial baseline data on the epidemiology of OM in the country and support policy decisions on pneumococcal vaccination.


  1. Clinical sampling (NP swabs and MEF samples)
  2. Aseptic culture technique
  3. Molecular techniques such as DNA extraction, PCR, DNA sequencing, etc
  4. Processing, storage and shipment of samples
  5. Statistical analysis