Biotechnology University of Malaya

The University of Malaya Postharvest Biotechnology Laboratory (PHBL) Group visited QIUP on 21 and 22 April 2014. The purpose was to make a courtesy call on Prof. Helen Nair, Dean of FIST (Consultant to PHBL) and to also work towards possible collaborative initiatives between the two universities. The School of Biological Sciences (SBS) was pleased to host the visit.

Leading the group was Assoc. Prof. Dr. Chandran Somasundram, Head of PHBL, accompanied by Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Dr. Rebecca Ow and seven other researchers. The UM Postharvest Research Group was first established in the Eighties under the supervision of Prof. Helen Nair with work on the postharvest storage, physiology and biochemistry of orchids and a number of local fruits, especially bananas. Since then it has also expanded to incorporate studies on molecular biology, allergens, food technology as well as social concern projects involving the Orang Asli, but still maintaining the research material as fruits, fruit-based products and orchids. As an active research group it also regularly graduates Masters and PhD students, e.g. seven Masters and four PhDs over the last four years

The visitors were also introduced to Mr. Nicholas Goh, QIUP Chief Operating Officer, who expressed interest in working towards inter-university activities of mutual benefit to students and staff alike including help to develop public speaking skills. On the first day of the visit, Dr. Chandran and his group conducted an interesting workshop on Public Speaking and Debating Skills for the Faculty of Medicine (FOM) students, which was also attended by Prof. Pani, Deputy Dean of FOM and some Biotech Staff.

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