MALAYSIA University of Science and Technology (MUST) is set to continue its efforts to anchor the development of human capital in biotechnology through innovative courses and ongoing research initiatives.
The courses offered by MUST focused on three main areas – science and technology, entrepreneurship and innovation – related to the field of biotechnology.
Specifically, MUST offers very comprehensive undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in the various fields of biotechnology which include agrobiotechnology, industrial biotechnology, nutraceutical and food biotechnology, as well as health and pharma biotechnology.
Through its research projects, some of the notable inroads achieved by MUST’s biotechnology faculty include structure-function relationship of protein, enzyme and bioactive molecules from natural resources, nanotechnology and nanobiotechnology, as well as pharmaceutical technology (design of drug delivery systems).
Its success is backed by more than RM7 million research grants which it has received over the past eight years from various sources.
From the amount, between 2004 and 2008, the faculty received RM2.5 million in research grants from Intensification of Research in Priority Areas (IRPA), SAGA (Akademi Sains Malaysia), and the Science Fund.
"With the Biosafety Act in place, research and commercialisation of Genetically Modified Organisms (GMO) will be streamlined with an objective to promote modern biotechnology, and at the same time protect human and animal health, and the biodiversity," said MUST associate professor Dr Joseph Selvaraj Samy.
Commenting on the field’s future prospect, Joseph said: "As in any other business investment there are also risks in investing in biotechnology, but with adequate legalities in place and a sound Comprehensive Product Development Plan (CPDP) the necessary mitigation measures can be taken."
He also emphasised on the need to build talented human capital. "MUST have designed its undergraduate and post-graduate programmes to develop graduates with a strong foundation in the principles of modern biotechnology and exposure to contemporary thinking in a variety of specific fields," he said.