List of Cources Offered
1. Cancer Biology & Oncology
The main research areas are in the investigation of mechanisms of development, detection, monitoring, and treatment of animal cancers. The mechanisms of cancer development are investigated by determining molecules and pathways involved in cancer proliferation and inhibition. These pathways and molecules will serve as targets for cancer therapies. In the early detection and monitoring of cancer development, several serum biomarkers will be identified, which have potential to be developed into diagnostic kits. The efficacies of new anticancer synthetic and natural compounds are also investigated in dogs and cats with naturally developed cancers as well as mice and rats with specific induced cancers. Some of these compounds will be packaged in new and innovative drug delivery systems for more effective therapies. The research also involves preclinical (laboratory animals) and clinical trials in client owned pet animals with spontaneous cancer in the development of animal and human cancer therapeutics that would eventually culminate in commercialization.
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2. Aquatic Biotechnology
This field deals with utilization of biotechnology tools in cells, tissues, organs, organelles and extracts or molecules from marine plants and animals. The studies focus on the properties and functions of specific pathways, systems and conditions in these organisms, to elucidate their survival, growth, pathological and immunological symptoms, and responses. Establishment of new protocols and processes, and development of new products using marine resources will be emphasized.
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3. Molecular Biotechnology
Molecular biotechnology describes the molecular basis of technological approaches, applications and processes in biology and medicine. It results from the convergence of many areas of research, such as molecular biology, microbiology, biochemistry, immunology, genetics, and cell biology. The tools of molecular biotechnology can be applied to develop and improve drugs, vaccines, therapies, and diagnostic tests that will improve human and animal health. Molecular biotechnology has applications in agriculture, veterinary sciences, aquaculture, forestry and food processing. This interdisciplinary program enables students to specialize in their preferred field with the focus of development in knowledge and practical skills in research projects. List of Experts
4. Medical Biotechnology
Medical biotechnology is the field of study that applies the biological-related techniques in medical research, development and innovation. Dramatic advances in genetics, biochemistry, biophysics, cell biology and immunology for the past few decades have greatly contributed to the complex and fast-evolving field of medical biotechnology. Breakthroughs in medical biotechnology have revolutionized the practice of conventional medicine.
These revolutions are including the development of newer and simpler tests for the diagnosis of diseases with higher degree of accuracy; genetic and proteomic tests that allow for prevention of diseases; more efficient methods for designing and producing drugs that are more effective but less toxic by targeting at the molecular level as well as realization of gene therapy in clinical practice to cure diseases that are previously incurable. This field of study will emphasize on the understanding of related biological processes and application of edge-cutting technologies in the research, development and innovation of pharmaceutical products, vaccines, diagnostic kits and devices for the medical industry.
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Biotherapeutics is an integral and valuable tool for modern medicine to treat and prevent serious illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, heart diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. This field primarily focuses on the understanding of mechanism of actions of bioactives from bioresources through nutrigenomics tools and its delivery to the targeted tissue. Secondarily, this field emphasizes on the development of the potent bioactives for commercialization initiatives.
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6. Marine Ecology and Biodiversity
The field of Marine Ecology and Biodiversity encompasses topics in population biology and community structure of marine biota at gene, species and ecosystem levels to understand the processes responsible for the regulation and maintenance of diversity in marine ecosystems. Application of both conventional and molecular tools is emphasized to better understand the structure, processesand functions of marine biota. Cause-effects relationships between environmental parameters and biodiversity are analysedto design effective management approaches of the marine resources and their environment.
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Phytochemistry is the study of the chemistry of substances found in plants. Higher plants have evolved to produce a diverse range of low-molecular-weight compounds, described as secondary metabolites that can be used as food and feed additives, flavours, fragrances, cosmetics, agrochemicals and pharmaceuticals. Over the last century plants’immense chemodiversity have producedan extraordinarily diverse range of such compounds and are increasingly providing leads for drug development and other applications. Phytochemical techniques and other relevant enabling technologies have also evolved and have made tremendous inroads into the fundamental understanding of the complex secondary metabolisms and biological functions of the compounds as well as their potential uses.
By definition, phytochemistry research encompasses all aspects of pure and applied plant chemistry, plant biochemistry, plant molecular biology and related interdisciplinary aspects. Currently, projects within the program at LHS focus mainly on the discovery of novel bioactive molecules from plants and other natural resources towards various therapeutic targets such as inflammation, cancer, diabetes mellitus and Alzheimers disease. Selected cell- and enzyme-based bioassays as well as zebrafish model assays are employed for biological activity screening while animal studies are pursued collaboratively with strategic partners. State-of-the-art chromatographic and spectroscopic technologies are the main enabling tools in the bioactivity-guided isolation and chemical characterisation of the secondary metabolites.
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8. Medicinal Chemistry
This field is directed towards developing new methodologies and approaches in promoting the status of traditional including herbal medicines and products derived from them into scientifically validated therapeutic agents/biomarkers. Medicinal chemistry is the study that contributes to an understanding of the relationship between molecular structure and biological activity or mode of action. It also includes organic synthesis, biological behaviour, drug design, QSAR, molecular modelling, molecular aspects of drug metabolism, prodrug synthesis and drug targeting.
Currently, projects within the program at LHS focus mainly on design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of novel biologically active compounds, molecular modifications of reported series that lead to a significantly improved understanding of their structure-activity relationships (SAR). Computational studies that provide fresh insight into the SAR of compound series that are of current general interest in this field. In addition to that, substantially novel computational chemistry methods with demonstrated value for the identification, optimization, or target interaction analysis of bioactive molecules are also explored.
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Metabolomics is the study of low molecular weight molecules or metabolites found within cells and biological systems. It centers around ecipheringthe “metabolome” which is the complete set of metabolites expressed within an organism. The composition of the metabolome is a reflection of the networks of enzymatic pathways encoded within the genome. It also reflects the interplay of developmental processes and changing environment over the lifetime of the organism. The holistic nature of the metabolomics approach makes it invaluable for characterizing metabolic responses of an organism to perturbations.
Due to this, metabolomics has exciting applications in various fields of research such as environmental interactions, bioenergy, functional genomics, secondary metabolism, systems biology and metabolic modeling in plant, algal, and microbial systems. Metabolites are conserved across various animal species, facilitating the extrapolation of research findings in laboratory animals to humans and thus clinical and translational research.
Common platform technologies for measuring the metabolome include mass spectrometry (MS) and nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy (NMR), which can measure hundreds to thousands of unique chemical entities (UCE). Projects within the programfocus on both agricultural (eg. agronomy, post-harvest, plant-pathogen interactions) and biomedical studies requiring metabolomics approach. Biomedical studies utilizing metabolomics at LHS focus on the interventions of selected plant extracts in establishing anti-diabetic, anti-obesity, antidiuretic/nephrotic and anti-cancer properties.
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Nanomedicine is the medical application of nanotechnology and is generally defined by the creation and use of materials at the level of molecules and atoms. Nanomedicine ranges from the medical applications of nanomaterials,to nanoelectronic biosensors, and even possible future applications of molecular nanotechnology. Nanomedicine seeks to deliver a valuable set of research tools and clinically useful devices in the future.
The biological and medical researchers have exploited the unique properties of nanomaterials for various applications such as contrast agents for cell imaging and therapeutics for treating cancer. There are five main disciplines of nanomedicine: analytical tools; nanoimaging; nanomaterialsand nanodevices; novel therapeutics and drug delivery systems; and clinical, regulatory, and toxicological issues. Nanomedicine continues to grow in new commercial applications in the pharmaceutical industry that may include advanced drug delivery systems, new therapies, and in vivo imaging. List of Experts
11. Vaccine & Therapeutics
This field of studies focuses on research and innovation to develop vaccines and immunotherapeutic products. A special focus is given to the ones abilityto develop and apply various techniques to develop a new product, new methods of application or a system. This field of studies requires the use of various established methods involving the related disciplines virology, microbiology, immunology, serology, cell biology, molecular biology, cancer biology, fermentation technology, nanobiotechnology, pre-clinicals, clinical trials, bio-availbility, and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). The main focus areas of the development of vaccines and immunotherapeutics are the infectious diseases caused by viruses, bacteria, and other microbes or parasites; and non-infectious diseases including cancer, metabolic disorder and immune-modulation in various animal species of vertebrate, avian and aquatic. List of Experts
Associate Professor Dr. Syahrilnizam Abdullah
Updated:: 19/10/2017 [azah]