The faculty of Health & Medical Sciences consists of 3 multi-disciplinary schools: School of Biosciences, School of Medicine, and School of Pharmacy.
In order to cover a multi-disciplinary research field, each faculty has created Key Research Areas, which is narrowed down into specific Research Group and targeted Research Grants. This is to ensure ample coverage for research opportunities.
Each key research areas are segmented into a broader and focused research group to achieve significant attainment.
In Malaysia the percentage of the population above 60 years of age is currently around 9% and this is expected to rise to 15% by the year 2030.
The elderly have unique needs and problems and often these not well studied, identified or are left unattended. This research group will use quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methodology to look at the demographics of the ageing population, the issues and problems faced by the elderly and the consequences on the elderly, their families and society in general. Three subgroups that have been identified and some of the focus areas are:
1. Psychosocial Aspects of Ageing - Social , emotional well-being of the elderly; Issues faced by caregivers
2. Healthy Ageing - Preventing cognitive decline – biological, neurological, psychological approaches; Access to medical care, elderly care facilities; Effective financial planning
3. Systematic reviews of studies involving the elderly
Drug design, development and delivery research group is a multidisciplinary group working at the interface of synthetic medicinal chemistry, computer modeling, cellular and molecular pharmacological approaches and drug delivery through novel formulations. Current research interests of the group include developing molecular design strategies for targeting infectious & non-infectious diseases, cardio-metabolic & neurological disorders and cancer therapeutics.
Moreover, the group is also involved in the development and delivery of nanoformulations ranging from self nanoemulsions, polymeric nanoparticles and solid lipid nanoparticles for brain targeting. In this effort, we utilize a variety of expertise, including molecular docking simulations, QSAR, pharmacophore, virtual screening, organic synthesis, preformulations of new chemical entities (NCEs), natural products extraction and development of innovative drug delivery strategies.
Molecular pharmacology is a multidisciplinary team with expertise that spans many areas including molecular biology, genetics, biochemistry, phytochemistry, microbiology, immunology and medicinal chemistry. The strength of the team revolves around the diverse background of its members, henceforth bridging the gaps of existing in vivo and in vitro research via an integrative approach facilitated by molecular level insights of diseases. As such, the team seeks to:
1. Expedite the process of novel drug discovery, with the aim of combating communicable diseases, respiratory diseases, cancers and cardiovascular diseases.
2. Expand the pharmaceutical and medical applications of biotechnology in the country with the hope of optimizing the process of disease diagnosis & treatment, improving the yield and affordability of protein drugs/diagnostic kits.
Our research programmes are directed towards evidence-based, safe and effective use of medicines, steering to enhancements in health outcomes of patients. Among some research undertaken by our research members are in the areas of assessing the knowledge and use of medicines for women’s health, gastrointestinal diseases and amongst the indigenous people of Malaysia. This research group also focuses on unused medicines, medicines disposal and medication safety.
1. Disposal of medications
2. Pharmaceutical care
3. Medication safety
4. Minor health problems/self-medication
5. Community pharmacy practice
The outcomes of host-pathogen interaction depend on the balance between the ability of the host to detect and eliminate a potentially harmful agent and the ability of the pathogen to utilize host cell signaling in survival and evading elimination. Thus, understanding the cross-talk between host and pathogen such as bacterial and fungal infection may shed some lights on how these pathogens can breach the host cells and cause a plethora of host cell reactions.
This research group is aimed to provide an avenue to understand the molecular mechanism on how pathogen infects the host, the prevalence of antibiotic resistance, looking at ways to improve the efficacy of antibiotics or antifungals, development of rapid kits in the bacterial/ fungal infections and commercialisation of fundamental research for market use.
1. Neglected tropical diseases
2. National surveillance on antibiotic resistance
3. Molecular mechanism on pathogen virulence and host immunity in infection
4. Commercialisation of research
A prevailing nutritional problem in Malaysia is under-nutrition that is still affecting certain segments of the population. At the same time over-nutrition has contributed to the high prevalence of diet-related non-communicable diseases (NCDs). The causes of these challenges are multiple and complex, involving biological, economic, social, cultural and policy issues. There is a huge research gap in this area to examine these issues. The Food and Nutrition Research Cluster in Taylor’s University aims to investigate these areas deeply whilst complementing the objectives of The National Plan of Action for Nutrition of Malaysia (NPANM) III.
The research group will focus on designing and evaluating nutrition interventions including nutrition education and nutrition-related research in response to the national nutritional challenges. In addition, strengthening of food and nutrition security is also one of the focus areas which will include food sustainability and exploitation of underutilized food resources in the country to provide adequate, affordable, nutritious, functional and safe food to achieve global food security.
The cluster also consists of expertise in gut microbiome investigating the human digestive tract responses to certain diseases and revealing the interactions of gut microflora with new functional foods, medical foods and nutraceuticals, to facilitate the development of novel consumer products to enhance host well-being.
The sustainable management of our natural resources is vital for ensuring human wellbeing, now and in the future. Applied Biodiversity generates and contributes scientific knowledge towards better understanding of contemporary issues relating to the use and conservation of biological resources.
Improved understanding leads to stronger appreciation, better management, and thus better conservation and more sustainable utilization and protection of our biological resources. Group members are from multidisciplinary field, and our research encompasses areas including Agricultural Science, Environmental Science, Bioprocess and Applied Chemistry.
1. Research conducted in Agricultural Science and Environmental Science focuses on plant genetics and genomics, biotechnology, bioremediation, taxonomic identification of marine flora (seaweeds and microalgae), algae adaptation to environmental stresses and potential bioactive compounds from plants and algae for application in pharmaceutical, cosmetic and food industries. In addition, researchers in this area also provide consultation on environmental management systems, plant genomics and micro-propagation of crops.
2. Research conducted in Bioprocess and Applied Chemistry focuses on bioprocessing (fermentation), biocatalysts and polymer chemistry. This field includes fundamental biomolecular research and combines biotechnology and engineering for the manufacturing of recombinant proteins as well as renewable energy (e.g. battery). The members focus on inorganic molecular interactions in natural and industrial systems to develop fundamental knowledge and create new efficient processes. Besides, the members also towards getting solutions for stronger, lighter, more durable, more recyclable material which can be produced with less energy and less waste.
As such, there are great potentials for collaborative research that spans across disciplines, for instance, in regeneration medicine, health sciences as well as sustainable environment.
Medical care is improved through the introduction of new pharmacological agents and new methods of treatment using old and new technology and agents. There is therefore a critical need for independent research on the introduction and evaluation of these new agents and methods. This group will look at current and future healthcare needs and identify gaps and weaknesses. Translational research that uses epidemiological and laboratory data that lead to actual products, changes or innovations in medical care will be prioritised. Among the focus areas of this group are:
1. Epidemiological & cohort studies, meta-analysis and systematic reviews to identify gaps in knowledge and also to educate the healthcare community to use and practice evidence-based medicine.
2. Clinical nutrition
3. Clinical risks and outcome assessment
4. Clinical evidence synthesis and Interventional studies
5. Mental Health and Clinical Psychology
This group encompasses research in chronic diseases particularly cancer and metabolic diseases. Cancer research includes development of technology and innovations for the prevention, screening, diagnosis and treatment of cancer. Investigation of metabolic diseases and its relation to obesity and the relationship between the gut microflora and chronic diseases will also be a focus of the group.
1. Medical Imaging and Interventional Oncology Research
2. Phytomedicine cancer Research
3. Gut Microflora
4. Metabolic-Obesity Research
The pace of innovation in the health and medical sciences requires that educators in the field continuously update and upgrade curricula and delivery methods and challenge the existing paradigms in which knowledge is disseminated and acquired. This group will research innovative learning approaches such as simulations, silent mentor programmes, and technology integration and integrate values such as ethics, compassion, empathy and even anthropology in the new curricula of health and medical sciences. There will also be emphasis on inter-professional education given the interdisciplinary nature of healthcare where expertise in medicine, pharmacy and basic sciences converge.
1. Medical Simulation Training Centre
2. Silent Mentor and Mental Health
3. Surgical Innovation Research
4. UNESCO Bioethics Research
5. Evolution Medicine and Anatomical research
6. Inter-professional Education and Communication Skills Development (SOP)
7. Teaching & Learning Methods (e-Learning) and Education Systems (SOP)
8. Curriculum Development & Continuing professional development (SOP)