Perdana University is proud that the university’s faculty members have been awarded the Merdeka Award Grant for two successive years. The recipients are Dr Jeevaratnam, the Head of Physiology at School of Medicine, Perdana University – Royal College of Surgeons Ireland and Dr Abhi Veerakumarasivam, Director, Scientific Foundations of Medicine, Perdana University Graduate School of Medicine. It is a testament to Perdana University’s commitment to attract excellent faculty to realise our vision to be a premier university and contribute to the global community through the pursuit of excellence in education, research and service.
Dr. Veerakumarasivam, the inaugural recipient, is a University of Cambridge-trained multi-award winning geneticist. He has been seconded from Universiti Putra Malaysia since the inception of Perdana University in 2011. His established cancer and birth defects research programme includes various local and international collaborators. The high-throughput phenotype-associated genotype platforms that his research team employs facilitate for a better understanding of the diseases that allow for tailor-made management of Malaysian patients.
Dr. Jeevaratnam, the recipient for 2014, is Head of Physiology at the School of Medicine, Perdana University-Royal College of Surgeons Ireland. His research interest includes integrative physiology, novel therapeutic agent and biomarker discoveries, microsurgical techniques for animal models as well as medical education. His present work concerns the use of integrative physiology techniques to elucidate mechanism of cardiac arrhythmia and developing risk stratification strategies for clinical practice. The work involves the identification and characterization of novel ion channel and receptor genes through functional analysis using gene-targeting to the invasive analysis of cardiac arrhythmia substrates in patients. Dr Jeevaratnam will use the grant received from the Merdeka Award Trust to further expand his field of expertise. Specifically, he will be looking at cardiac stem cell electrophysiology in view of their potential use for cardiac cellular therapy.
Perdana University’s research strategy begins with the understanding that the translation of biomedical discoveries from bench to bedside requires significant cross-disciplinary collaboration with a problem-centred philosophy. Perdana University has thrived on the mutual goodwill that has been established between the various local institutions in Malaysia. For example, Perdana University committed close to MYR750,000 into a collaborative project with the Malaysian Agricultural Research and Development Institute (MARDI) to investigate the use of selected phytonutrient formulations as therapy for various chronic diseases.
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