The Department of Biomedical Science (formerly known as the Biomedical Science Unit under the Department of Molecular Medicine) offers a full time Bachelor of Biomedical Science undergraduate programme and conducts Biomedical research in various disciplines, including Population Genetics, Rare Diseases, Neuroscience, Haematology, Microbiology, Developmental Biology, Cancer Therapeutics, and Natural Products.
The department consists of fourteen academic staff, with four Professors, seven senior lecturers, one lecturer, one Fellow, and one Postdoc, who are supported by trained Medical Laboratory Technologists. Facilities within the department are designed for teaching and research, with fully equipped lecture theatres, seminar rooms and teaching labs, and research labs for Biochemistry, Haematology, Immunology, Clinical Chemistry, Tissue Culture and Molecular Biology. The department is also home to the Zebrafish Lab, which is one of the satellite facilities for the Faculty’s AAALAC-accredited Animal Experimental Unit.
At present there are nearly 200 undergraduate and postgraduate students, both local and international, making up the student population of the department.
The Biomedical Science has been acknowledged as an important branch of Science and Technology, especially in providing support service in conjunction with various other medical services in health and patient care. Research in the area of Biomedical Science has also emerged as a growing, very important field of science. Thus, the realisation of the importance to fulfil this need drove the Faculty of Medicine to propose the Biomedical Science Degree Programme.
A Board of Studies was formed by the Senate to study the proposal for the implementation of this programme in the University of Malaya. After several meetings with the University Malaya Council and Board of Studies, the senate agreed to the proposal and was eventually approved by the Ministry of Education on 15 October 1992. The Department of Allied Health Sciences which comprised units of Biomedical Science, Nursing and Rehabilitation Medicine was formed in early 1993. The first enrolment (13 students) into the Biomedical Science programme was in 1993 and the first batch graduated in 1996. The student intake has increased over the years (not exceeding 40 per year) and there are a total of 100 undergraduates pursuing this programme at various levels. More than 500 students have graduated since the commencement of this programme.In 1997, the University of Malaya Biomedical Science degree programme was accredited by the Institute of Biomedical Sciences (IBMS), UK.
In 2003, the Biomedical Science Unit was merged with the Department of Biochemistry and the merged department was known as Department of Molecular Medicine. The Biomedical Science Programme was run under this department until 2012. The formation of Department of Biomedical Science was approved on 12 June 2012 and on 2nd January 2013, the Department of Biomedical Science was commenced.
The Biomedical Science Programme spans a minimum period of 4 years. Initially, students are provided with a broad based knowledge of basic medical sciences, allowing \students the chance to acquire basic medical laboratory skills. Subsequently students proceed to the specific study of medical laboratory disciplines of their own choice: Anatomic Pathology, Haematology, Clinical Chemistry, Medical Microbiology,Parasitology, Physiology and Pharmacology.
Students will learn the principles underlying the various analytical methods and investigatory procedures used in laboratory medicine, and obtain practical training to consolidate theoretical instruction. In addition, instruction is provided on research methodologies as students will be carrying out research projects of their own design during final year.
Successful graduates in biomedical science should be able to assume responsible positions in the following situations: (1) as part of a healthcare team that is concerned with the care of patients and/or with basic and applied clinical research; (2) as part of a research team in allied medical disciplines, in food and pharmaceutical industries, in public health, and in biotechnology. Career opportunities are wide ranging and include employment in clinical laboratory service departments, teaching institutions, and research centres in public as well as private sectors. Post-graduate training is strongly encouraged, either within the country or abroad, all towards attaining the goal of heightening the quality of science and medicine.
The department offers postgraduate programmes by research leading to Master of Medical Science and PhD degrees. The intake criteria includes a bachelors degree in the relevant field with a cGPA>3.0 for Master of Medical Science programme and a Masters degree or Bachelors degree with cGPA>3.7 in the relevant field for PhD programme. The areas of research in the Department of Biomedical Science include Medical Genetics, Microbiology, Virology, Pathology, Free Radical Biology and Biochemistry, Neuroscience, Immunology and Natural Products. The department is equipped with reasonably adequate amount of research instruments to support the research activities. The Department has excellent research links and collaborations within the Faculty, University, country as well as Asia- International.