Opportunities are available to suitably qualified graduates to carry out research in analytical biochemistry which involves different fields of study, such as food biochemistry, environmental biochemistry, proteomics, genomics, lipidomics, glycomics, metabolomics, environmental toxicology, forensic toxicology and biochemical analysis. Transdisciplinary research is encouraged within the centre and with other schools within the university. There are also opportunities to be involved in research projects which are carried out in collaboration with other universities, institutions, industry and community in Malaysia, as well as abroad.
The Analytical Biochemistry Research Centre offers the degrees of MSc and PhD by research in the following fields of specialization.
This field is focused on the study of the functional properties, interactions or reactions between food constituents on the molecular basis using various state-of-the-art instrumentation or mass spectrometry with respect to food quality, nutrition and safety. Biochemical and physiochemical changes in the constituents of foods (water, carbohydrates, proteins, lipids, vitamins, pigments, flavourings and toxicants) which are affected by intrinsic or extrinsic factors will be studied in this field.
This study characterizes the pollution of aquatic, terrestrial, and atmospheric ecosystems. The students will learn how environmental toxins are metabolized, and how they may disrupt biological processes. Research is conducted to provide information to resource managers regarding the source of pollution, exposure, trophic transfer and environmental fate. Custom analytical methods are developed to decipher complex mixtures of emerging contaminants, endocrine disruptors, toxic elements and persistent organic pollutants (including dioxins) using gas chromatography mass spectrometry (GC-MS), GC-IRMS, and ICP-MS.
This field involves Identification, quantitative and high throughput proteomics, post translational modifications, “top down” proteomics, data analysis and Bioinformatics. The course emphasizes the link between mass spectrometry and biological insights. The techniques involve includes sample preparation, protein extraction, assay, quantitation, separation/ fractionation, digestion, enrichment, isolation, mass spectrometry and bioinformatic data analysis.
This field is focused on the study of the genomics and informatics of rare and common diseases, which can be applied to clinical practice and medical research. The topics of research involve omic techniques and their application to genomic medicine, pharmacogenomics and stratified healthcare, genomics of common and rare inherited diseases, application of genomics in infectious disease, and molecular pathology and its application in disease diagnosis, screening, and treatment. Bioinformatics, interpretation, and data quality assurance in genome analysis will also be involved in the study.
This field gives insights on structural lipid characterisation and on the role played by lipids and lipoconjugates in intercellular and intermolecular interaction phenomena. The course emphasizes the link between lipid structures and biological markers. The techniques involve includes sample preparation, lipid extraction, assay, quantitation, separation, digestion, enrichment, mass spectrometry and Bioinformatics data analysis.
This field gives insights on structural carbohydrate characterisation via degradation/digestion and derivatisation; on the role played by carbohydrates and glycoconjugates in intercellular and intermolecular interaction phenomena and the possibility to interfere with them with synthetic molecular systems. The course emphasizes the link between glycan structures and health and disease conditions. The techniques involve includes sample preparation, protein/lipid extraction, assay, quantitation, separation/digestion, digestion, enrichment, carbohydrate release, derivatisation, mass spectrometry and Bioinformatics data analysis.
This field involves profiling of metabolites from different sources such as herbals. MS-based metabolomics is used to analyse metabolites and contents in various plant extracts to better understand their medical or pharmaceutical properties. The techniques involved are sample extraction and fractionation, compound identification and quantitation using a mass spectrometer, structural elucidation using NMR, introduction to metabolomics software for data processing and interpretation, and targeted metabolomics.
This field provides the vital link between environmental chemistry and environmental biochemistry. The main focus of the field will be the effects of pollutants, and how they are distributed in the environment (including air, water, soil and food chains) both on a local and a global scale. The student will study the interaction between environmental toxicants and organisms, and how this impacts on populations and ecosystems. It is specialised within the area of environmental monitoring of organic and inorganic chemical toxicants. This will include method development, and quality assurance using different mass spectrometers such as LCMS, GCMS and ICP-MS. The student will also study a wide range of environmental pollutants and methods of pollution control which are of utmost importance for the management of natural resources and ecosystems.
This field is designed to provide students with an in-depth working knowledge of the principles and practice of drug toxicology in various areas. The major strength of this field is that students study within an operational ISO 17025 accredited forensic toxicology laboratory and are taught by practising forensic toxicologists. This study includes method development using different laboratory techniques, case review and interpretation, and laboratory management. This study will be of particular interest to those interested in pursuing or furthering careers in forensic toxicology as court-reporting scientists, laboratory scientists or academics.
The topic of research will covers a wide range of biochemistry disciplines with a strong emphasis on translational research underpinned by basic science. It covers the interdisciplinary aspects of analysis in the pharmaceutical, biomedical and clinical sciences, including developments in analytical methodology, instrumentation, computation and interpretation. The students are not only to be well-equipped with knowledge of modern research principles and techniques, but also need to be well-versed in the principles and application of translational research skills. The major focus of research will be on genetically related disorders and their related biochemical pathways. The students will learn how to perform a comprehensive biochemical analysis of a biomolecule in a biological process or system, the biochemist typically needs to design a strategy to detect that biomolecule, isolate it in pure form from among thousands of molecules that can be found in an extracts from a biological sample, characterize it, and analyse its function. Detection assay, in particular using mass spectrometry and electrophoretic approach, will be used in the research.
Expertises available in research centre are as follows:
Applicants should possess one of the following:
- A Bachelor’s degree (CGPA >3.67) in a related field in biochemistry, chemistry, biology, biotechnology, biomedical or other related fields; OR
- A Master’s degree with CGPA 3.00/4 in a related field in biochemistry, chemistry, biology, biotechnology, biomedical or other related fields (research mode)
(Applicable for International Applicants Only)
- A minimum score of 35 in Internet-based TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language) ; OR
- A minimum score of 5.0 in IELTS (International English Language Testing System); or
- A minimum score of 154 in Cambridge English Advance (CAE); or
- A minimum score of 154 in Cambridge Proficiency Advance (CPE); or
- A minimum score of 36 in Pearson Test of English (PTE); or
- English is the candidate's mother tongue or National Language; or
- The candidate graduated from an Institution of Higher Learning in which the medium of instruction at Bachelor and Master level is English; or
- English courses offered by British Council (The level of qualification and the relevant courses are to be identified by the University Postgraduate Studies Council ) ; or
- English courses from selected Malaysian public/private University or institution (The level of qualification and the relevant courses are to be identified by the University Postgraduate Studies Council)
- Full-time: Min 4 semesters / Max 10 semesters
- Part-time: Min 6 semesters /Max 15 semesters
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** Fees are subject to change