The Electron Microscopy Unit (EM Unit) was set up as a central facility, under a vote controlled by the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine in 1969. Previously it was located within two standard modular units of 10’ x 25’ each at the Department of Pathology as it was considered a central location in the Medical Centre. The chairman of the EM committee was the Head of Department of Pathology at that time , Prof. K.Prathap
The EM Unit was then shifted to a more suitable location within six standard modular units at the post-graduate block in September 2002. It was then placed directly under the administration of the Deputy Dean of Research in October 2004 as it was accorded the status of a central research facility for the Faculty of Medicine.
The first Transmission Electron Microscope (TEM) which was the Hitachi HS-8 and other related equipment were bought under a financial grant of RM100,000 from China Medical Board , USA. The Hitachi TEM was boarded out in 1985 and is currently being housed in the Medical Faculty Museum as one of the faculty’s artefacts. The second TEM was the Philips CM-10 which was bought in 1986 and was in use until 2002. The latest TEM is the LEO-Libra 120 purchased in December 2003 at a cost of RM2 million.
Since 1969, the EM Unit has not only contributed towards diagnostic work in the University Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC) and other government and private Hospitals throughout Malaysia but also subserved research endeavours throughout the faculty and University Malaya and other institutions of higher learning throughout the country. Currently, the departments most actively engaged in EM-related research are the departments in the Faculty of Medicine involved in research related to electron microscopy are Departments of Anatomy, Orthosurgery, Pharmacology, Pathology, Parasitology , Microbiology and Oral Microbiology. The departments of Pathology and Microbiology are also actively involved in diagnostic-related electron microscopy.