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  2. 2. 1 2009-2010 NEUROSCIENCES HANDBOOK Table of Content: Page Department Introduction and Directory 2 Objectives 3 Training Philosophy 3 Training Program 4 General Neurosciences Program Requirements 5 Requirements for MSc and PhD 5 Qualification 6 Financial Support 6 Research Integrity 6 Guidelines for Thesis Research 7 Neurosciences Laboratory Facilities 9 Useful Websites 11 Department Members and Contact 11 Current students 12 Alumni of the Neurosciences Program 14
  3. 3. 2 INTRODUCTION: The Department of Neurosciences of the School of Medical Sciences and the Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia (HUSM) was established on the 17th of August 2000 as a unit. It was upgraded on the 1st of May 2004 as a specialist and research center for the management of patients as well as offers graduate education and postdoctoral training in a wide range of disciplines in modern neuroscience. The department hosts weekly seminars, journal clubs, a social hour, and invites talented secondary school students to participate neurosciences introduction courses every year. This department is a collective of multidisciplinary researchers and clinicians with a common goal of understanding the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves in health and disease. Current thesis research opportunities are available with more than 15 department members /students working in areas such as neural stem cells, regeneration, neurogenetics, regulation of neurotransmitter expression and neurophysiology, synaptic physiology and plasticity, ion channel biophysics and information processing, neuro-oncology, sleep disorder, biomarkers, and neuro-behaviour. The HUSM is located in Kubang Kerian, 6km from the Kota Bharu, the capital town of Kelantan state. Kelantan is a state in a northeast cost of Malaysia Peninsular and border with the southern Thailand on east side. USM Healthy campus can be reached by: Flight: 1. From Kuala Lumpur : Malaysia Airline System (MAS) from KLIA to Kota Bharu Airport (15 minute to campus with taxi). 2. From Kuala Lumpur: Air Asia from LCCT to Kota Bharu Airport. 3. From Penang / Subang: Firefly to Kota Bharu Airport. Bus: Intercity Express from anywhere in Malaysia Peninsular to Kota Bharu Town. The campus is 20 minute from the town. Accommodation: International House is prepared in USM Health Campus and can be contacted at 09-7665065 (Puan Asyikin). Please post your application to: The Head of Department of Neurosciences School of Medical Sciences/Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia Jalan Sultanah Zainab II 16150 Kubang Kerian Kelantan, Malaysia Tel : 006 09 7664240 Fax: 006 09 7648613 Website: Email:
  4. 4. 3 OBJECTIVE: The objectives of the Department of Neurosciences are to provide: 1. State of the art care for the patients with neurological diseases 2. A center of excellence for postgraduate training in neurology, surgical neurology as well as applied and fundamental neurosciences 3. Center for clinical, applied and basic sciences research in Neurosciences. 4. New biotechnological advances in the diagnosis of neurological Diseases. The Department of Neurosciences acts as a regional referral centre for neurological disorders and has achieved international reputation in both clinical and research work. TRAINING PHILOSOPHY Graduate education in Neurosciences at School of Medical Sciences/ Hospital Universiti Sains Malaysia addresses many aspects of the science profession, and involves formal and informal interactions and research activities. "The Doctor of Philosophy degree is the highest academic degree granted by Universiti Sains Malaysia. It is a research degree and is to be distinguished from other doctorates which are designed for professional training or which focus on applied rather than basic research. The Doctor of Philosophy degree is designed to prepare a student to become a scholar, that is, to discover, integrate and apply knowledge, as well as communicate and disseminate it. The program emphasizes the development of the student's capacity to make significant original contribution to knowledge in a context of freedom of inquiry and expression." Neuroscientists today require many skills to succeed in a competitive environment. Our Neuroscience students can expect training in: 1) Scientific excellence, with close interactions with faculty advisors leading to an understanding of problem-solving, critical analysis of data and modern technical approaches. 2) Communication skills, including practice and advice in the analysis of contemporary literature, grantsmanship, and oral presentations.
  5. 5. 4 3) Ethics, to make complex decisions on authorship, data handling, and intellectual property. TRAINING PROGRAM Journal Clubs and Squire Seminars. Journal clubs and seminars offer an opportunity to learn about broad areas of Neuroscience, and form an important part of graduate training. All students, postdoctoral fellows and faculty are expected to attend both the Journal Club Thursday at noon (unless otherwise specified). Students are strongly encouraged to actively participate by asking questions at seminars and journal clubs. Puan Mazira Ghazali (Senior Science Officer) will organize the seminar schedule and Dr. Aziz Yusoff, the Head of the Neurosciences Lab of the Department of Neurosciences will organize the journal club calendar and topics. To gain oral presentation skills, students and postdoctoral fellows should make presentations to the community according to scheduled of presentation rotation among students. Students have to present a current research article from a prominent journal. Participants offer constructive question and criticism to the student directly following the presentation. Postdoctoral fellows and experienced students usually present their research work with relevant background and significance, but may opt to do a journal club. Brain Science Lectures Series It is a program to expose students to wide branches of neurosciences and research undertaken conducted by invited lecturer or neuroscientist abroad. Students and postdoctoral fellows are encouraged to attend and meet with visiting speakers at lunch following the noon seminar. This is a good opportunity to practice talking about science in a concise, interesting way. Further, it offers a means to get to know the speaker, his/her institution and to discuss scientific strategies or collaborations. A student or postdoc should expect to meet with at least 4 speakers a year. Student-sponsored departmental speaker. One speaker a year is selected and sponsored by the graduate students in the Department. The visiting speaker is honoured by this distinction and is very accessible to students during the visit. Faculty input about candidates is encouraged to ensure that "student-friendly" speakers are selected. Students create the schedule for the speaker, arrange lunch with students and postdocs, introduce the speaker at the seminar, and create a department-sponsored dinner with the speaker.
  6. 6. 5 Attending national meetings. Students are encouraged to present their work at national meetings once a year. The most appropriate meetings may be the National Conference of Medical Sciences, USM, Malaysia Society for Neuroscience, International Brain Research Organization (IBRO), Society for Neuroscience (SFN) or other international neurosciences meeting. Students should compete for individual travel grants as well as funds from training grants such as those provided by the RIKEN summer school programmes. GENERAL NEUROSCIENCES REQUIREMENT PROGRAM It is the responsibility of the student to become familiar with the general rules and regulations of the University as well as the specific rules which apply for the course of study in Neuroscience (this document). The Neurosciences Graduate Program Advisor (GPA) is Prof Dr Jafri Malin Abdullah 09 7664240 The Graduate Program Advisor oversees graduate training in the Neurosciences Program. The GPA is available to discuss progress and provide advice on course selection. The GPA also coordinates student activities and serves as a student advocate should difficulties arise. REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MSc AND PHD: Neuroscience is an interdisciplinary program offering MSc and Phd degrees. The MSc by research in Neurosciences is a maximum 36-month, full-time course suitable for graduates in biological sciences, chemistry sciences, physical sciences, biomedicine, biotechnology, mathematical, engineering, veterinary or computer sciences who wish to make career in neurosciences research. Our graduates from the MSc course may pursue further studies towards a Phd on a Neurosciences based thesis after approval from the University Senate. Phd courses are from 4 years to a maximum of 8 (part time) years focused on applied for fundamental theories of neurosciences. It is important to note that 3 papers are necessary to be published for MSc and 6 papers for Phd respectively prior to defence of thesis (papers in proceedings, abstracts in journal and full papers with international database indexing).
  7. 7. 6 The research interests of the department include: 1. The cellular mechanisms underlying neurological diseases of the bottom billions such as traumatic brain and spine injury, dengue haemorrhagic fever, virus as well as bacterial infections of the central nervous system, epilepsy and strokes. 2. Strategies to limit and even repair damage to the brain and spinal cord caused by traumatic injury, ischemia, or stroke. 3. The detail molecular mechanisms underlying the expression and function of ion channel and neurotransmitter receptors. 4. The mechanisms of learning and memory in the field of cognitive and behavioural neurosciences. 5. The development of the nervous system, including signal transduction, tumorigenesis, and cells communication. This diversity of research interests in reflected in the training opportunities open to graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. QUALIFICATIONS: To be considered for admission to the graduate program, applicants must have: a Bachelor's degree in science or equivalent as well as art degrees a grade point of 3.0 or above (out of 4.0) a strong quantitative background FINANCIAL SUPPORT Individual Predoctoral Support. Once accepted, graduate students who train with Neurosciences Department are encourage to apply for financial support. Stipend support may derive from government scholarship, department individual research grants, federal and private research grants and university resources. It is highly advantageous for students to successfully compete for individual grant support from extramural sources, and the department strongly encourages such applications. Neuroscience students have been successful in obtaining National Science Fellowships (NSF) from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (MOSTI), please see and the Institute Of Graduates Study (IPS USM), please see Note that several agencies require applications early in graduate training. The Institutes of Postgraduate Studies (IPS) usually maintains a list of graduate funding opportunities.
  8. 8. 7 RESEARCH INTEGRITY Students should carefully attribute material generated by others. “As a general working definition, the Vice Chancellor’s Office considers plagiarism to include both the theft or misappropriation of intellectual property and the substantial unattributed textual copying of another’s work. It does not include authorship or credit disputes. Substantial unattributed textual copying of another’s work means the unattributed verbatim or nearly verbatim copying of sentences and paragraphs which materially mislead the ordinary reader regarding the contributions of the author. GUIDELINES FOR THESIS RESEARCH A. Goals for Graduate Students: Students must strive to develop with the advisor a research project that yields a coherent and original body of work. The thesis must be written in a scholarly manner with a detailed historical introduction and a critical discussion. The first draft of the thesis must be the original and individual effort of the student. The draft submitted to the Thesis Committee should be a polished document developed in consultation with the mentor. In general, the thesis research should utilize more than one technical approach. In the thesis document, thesis seminar, and thesis defence, the student should demonstrate that he/she has become an expert in the field of research. By the time of the thesis examination, the student should have submitted for publication at least one peer reviewed experimentally based manuscript on which he/she is the first author and have completed a body of work that the student's committee judges will lead to a second manuscript, and a draft of the second manuscript should be completed. The first draft of all manuscripts should be written by the student. During the course of study, students should present their data at, at least one national meeting. B. Goals for the Training Faculty: Training faculty of Ph.D. students must be active participants in the Neurosciences Program and contribute to courses, collaborative research projects and/or journal clubs. The program periodically reviews faculty for training status, and faculty who have been inactive will be declined. The thesis advisor must provide the student with intensive training in the scientific method, including the ability formulate clear research questions, develop feasible research approaches to answering such questions,
  9. 9. 8 evaluate data from the student’s own research and that of others, and discuss the broad context and significance of the student’s work. The thesis advisor, in conjunction with the Thesis Committee, is responsible for developing and implementing a training plan with the student, including the elaboration of an independent research project. The thesis advisor is responsible for providing physical, financial, and intellectual resources necessary for accomplishing the research plan. The thesis advisor should work regularly with the student to develop good communication skills, in both speaking and writing. The thesis advisor should encourage the student to think broadly about the research project and not necessarily be limited to approaches/techniques currently used in the advisor’s laboratory. The Dissertation All candidates for the PhD degree must submit a written dissertation as evidence of their ability to conduct independent research at an advanced level. The dissertation must represent a significant and original contribution to existing knowledge in the student's field. At least twelve months before the student anticipates PhD completion, a thesis committee meeting should be held to discuss whether the student's progress toward the degree is sufficient. The committee should agree at that time to the format of the thesis. It is in a student's interest to submit any manuscripts before leaving the University, because once a postdoctoral position is begun, other concerns arise. Because many students have published manuscripts on their studies, the thesis often reflects that work as chapters, placed in context with a general Introduction, and a Discussion that considers the relevance of the studies. The form of the thesis is not proscribed by the department, but is arrived at by the student and thesis committee. Examples of Neuroscience graduate theses are in the Neuroscience library. Detailed regulations concerning format, quality, time of submission and oral defence are established by the Dean of Graduate Studies and Research, and instructions are available from the Office of Graduate Studies. Neuroscience researches can be divided following the chart (Appendix 1). Statistical Analysis The statistical analysis of the research findings is a critical component to determine the significance of the study. In this particular topic, it is compulsory to student to attend the Basic Statistical Course organize by school. The student should also meet the bio-statistician to confirm their study design or analysis. The statisticians available in the campus are Prof Dr Syed Hatim Noor and Dr Mohd Fadhli Bin Khamis (Ext:3692).
  10. 10. 9 FACILITIES: We provided a teaching and research laboratory with clean room class P1000 as well as class P100 for the students. In order to accomplish our long range-goals in neuroscience research, we are equipped with: Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope - Carl Zeiss LSM 5 Pascal PALM Microdissection - Carl Zeiss, Microlaser Tech, PALM Microbeam Version 1104Z Oocyte Recording Chamber - NPI Surgical Microscope - Carl Zeiss Model 303294-9903 Fluorescence Stereo Microscope - Carl Zeiss Lumar V12 Stereo Microscope - Nikon SMZ1000 Inverted Microscope - Carl Zeiss Axiovert 40C Drug Screening Tool - Tecan Robot Screening System Animal Behaviour System - Modular Operant Behaviour Model LE1005 - IR Actimeter Locomotor detection model LE8811 - Any-Maze and T-maze - Active and Passive Avoidance Model H10-11R-XX-SF - Morris Water Maze (PanLab) - Rotational Behaviour (PanLab) Patch Clamp System - NPI PTC-20, SEC-10LX, ISO-Stim 01D - Nikon Microscope Model ECLIPSE FN1 - Burleigh PCS-6000 Motorised Micromanipulator - Micro-g Anti-vibration Table - Gibraltar Platform with Motorised X-Y Stage
  11. 11. 10 EEG machine for the rat - DSI, PhysioTel (receiver Model RPC-1) Stereotactic Frame - Stoelting, USA Animal Isolators - Harlan M20- UK Model DWG-476 B DNA sequencer - Applied Biosystems (ABI PRISM 300 Genetic Analyzer) USA Gel Image Analyzer - Alpha Innotech Imager HP Automated Karyotyper - Leica Microscope DMRA2 and Sever System Model Net Server LC20043 Traumatic Injuri Model Device - Rat Brain Injury Device, DragonFlyInc Model HDP-1700 - Spinal Cord Injury Device High Content Cell Screening - Cellomix vHCS with CellworX High Content Cell Analysis System 64 channel Electroencephalography and Event Related Potential Machine - EGi (USA) Magneto-encephalography (MEG) System - Elekta Neuromag, Sweden Basic Facilities: Freezer: -80°C and -20°C Refrigerated Centrifuges: Eppendorf 5417R Water Purification System: Sartorius Microtome: MICROM GmbH Model HM650V Micropipette Puller: Sutler Instrument Model P-97 Autoclave: Hirayama, HVE-50
  12. 12. 11 Chilling Incubator: ECHOtherm, Torrey Pines Scientific CO2 Incubator Biohazard : NuAir Rotamax Shaker Water Distiller Model WCM4L USEFULL WEBLINK Universiti Sains Malaysia: School of Medical Sciences: Health Campus of Universiti Sains Malaysia: Institute of Post Graduates Study: DEPARTMENT MEMBERS AND CONTACT Lecturer: 1. Prof Dr Jafri Malin Abdullah PhD: 2. Prof Madya Dr Hillol Kanti Pal: 3. Prof Dr John Tharakan: 4. Dr Abd Rahman Izaini Ghani: 5. Dr Zamzuri Idris: 6. Dr Sani Sayuti: 7. Dr Mohd Saufi Awang: 8. Dr Badrisyah Idris: 9. Dr Abd Aziz Yusoff : 10.Mdm Maria Socorro Pieter : 11.Dr Raj Kumar Associates Lecturer: 1. Prof Dr Zabidi Azhar Hussin : 2. Prof Dr Suhaimi Sidek : 3. Prof Madya Dr Hasnan Jaafar : 4. Dr Win Mar @ Salmah : 5. Dr Che Badariah Abdul Aziz : 6. Dr Nizar Abdul Jalil :
  13. 13. 12 7. Dr Wan Nazaruddin Wan Hassan : 8. Dr Salmi Abdul Razak : Sciences Officer: 1. Puan Mazira Mohd Ghazali: 2. Hazim Omar: Speech Therapist: 1. Wan Nor Azlen Wan Mohamed 2. Affandi Hussien : Laboratory Technologies: 1. Mohd Azlin bin Ismail : 2. Azza Husna Ahmad Satar : 3. Nur- Leem Murshid : CURRENT STUDENT Dr Mohd Zulkifli Mustafa (DVM) – PhD year 2 Project Details: In vitro and In Vivo Studies Of Newcastle Diseases virus Strain AF2240 and V4UPM on Experimental human malignant glioma with molecular and ultrastuctural Perspectives. Ku Asmarina Ku Ahmad – MSc year 3 Project Details: Role of Matrix Metalloproteinase 3 and apoptosis gene Bax in brain tumor. Mohd Harizal Senik – MSc year 3 Project Details: Effect of Mitragyna Speciosa Korth extract of phycho- activity on rat hippocampus. Mohd Nasir Mohd Noor – MSc year 3 Project Details: Effect of Centella Asiatica extract of phycho-activity on rat hippocampus. Mohd Azim Patar – MSc year 3 Project Details: Evaluation of 2 species of sea cucumber extract on regenerating astrocytes after mechanically induced injury of basal ganglia. Ahmad Tarmizi Che Has – Msc year 2 Project Details: Comparison of antiepilepric effect acting on
  14. 14. 13 GABA (A) receptor from Zizypus Mauritiana and Magnvfv fragrance?? Raisah Ab Hadi – MSc year 2 Project Details: Characterization of development stage and neural differentiation potential of rat stem cell from striatal tissue and bone marrow. Nor Entan Supeno – MSc year 1 Project Details: Proliferation, apoptosis and telomerase activity study of embryonic striatal stem cell culture under the influence of growth factors. Mohd ‘Ulul ‘Ilmie b Ahmad Nazri – MSc year 1 Project Details: The behavioural, antiepileptic and electro- physiological effect of metragyna speciosa on epileptic rat model Siti Zawani Md Ramli – MSc year 1 Project Details: The study of Boris protein in Brain tumor clinical sample. Shazrina Shazrin – MSc year 1 Project Details: Encapsulation Study of Dopamine using cyclodextrin. Zarif Mohamed Sofian – MSc year 1 Project Details: Study of Cyclodextrin as a biodegradable drug delivery system and cyclodextrin-vancomysin complexes controlled release. Emmilia Husni Tan – MSc year 1 Project Details: Genetic studies in Generalized Epilepsy (Mutation on SCNIA, encoding a neuronal sodium channel, in a epileptic patients in HUSM Kelantan. Nurul Haffiza Mahamed Razani– MSc year 1 Project Details: Monitoring the effect of Oxygen therapy on pathophysiology and gene expression of TBI in rat striatum. Siti Nor Hajah Hasyim – MSc year 1 Project Details: Sleep Study in epilepsy: A questionnaire and polysomnographic study. Khairol Naaim Mohd Nasir – MSc year 1
  15. 15. 14 Project Details: Mitochondrial alteration analysis of brain tumor Encik Affandi Hussein – MSc year 1 (part time) Project Details: Spectrographic Analysis of vowels production among post stroke patients Puan Mazira Mohd Ghazali– MSc year 3 (part time) Project Details: Biochemical Analysis of An Apolipoprotein E in haemorrhagic Stroke. Hazim Omar– MSc year 1 (part time) Project Details: Baseline EEG: Challenger For The Novice ERP researcher. Muhammad Hafiznur Yunus Mohd Hafiz Mail Mohd Nazrul Anuar Ali Faizul Rahman Sjafri Samhani Ismail Alumni of the Neurosciences Program Dr Abd Aziz Mohamed – MSc USM – PhD Newcastle UK - Completed Current Post: Lecturer, Department of Neurosciences USM ext:4908 Dr Sarina Sulong – MSc USM – PhD Newcastle UK - Completed Current Post: Lecturer, Human Genome Centre, USM ext: 4151 Norafiza Zainuddin – MSc USM, PhD Sweeden – On-going Farizan Ahmad – MSc (Neuroscience), USM – PhD Kuppio, Finland - Ongoing