Our Team

Prof Mak Joon Wah


JW Mak is currently the Dean, Postgraduate Studies & Research and concurrently the Vice-President for Research, and Professor of Pathology at the Faculty of Medicine and Health, International Medical University (IMU) in Kuala Lumpur. His previous appointments were at the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), Malaysia where he served in various capacities, culminating in his appointment as Director of the Institute in 1996. He served as a consultant in filariasis and malaria to the World Health Organization on numerous occasions and was the Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Lymphatic Filariasis based at the IMR. He was also the Dean of the SEAMEO-TROPMED Post-graduate School for Applied Parasitology and Entomology from 1991-1996. On his retirement from IMR he was appointed Professor in the Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at Universiti Putra Malaysia, where he served for three years before joining IMU in 2001.

He obtained his MBBS from the University of Singapore in 1967, Masters of Public Health (MPH) from the University of Malaya in 1976, and Doctor of Medicine (MD) from University of Singapore in 1980. He obtained his Membership and the Fellowship of the Royal College of Pathologists in 1983 and 1995 respectively.

He was the President of Malaysian Society of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine in 1982 and the Founding Editor of its Journal, Tropical Biomedicine in 1985 and continued as its Editor until 1987. His fields of interest include tropical and parasitic diseases and he has published over 350 scientific papers. He was awarded the National Science Award in 1985 and the Merdeka Award for Outstanding Scholastic Achievement in 2011.

Prof Chu Wan Loy


Professor Chu Wan Loy is currently the Associate Dean of Research at the International Medical University (IMU) in Kuala Lumpur. Professor Chu joined IMU on April 1st 1999 as Lecturer, attached to the Division of Human Biology. He was the Programme Coordinator for the Medical Biotechnology Programme from 2009 – 2011. He obtained his BSc degree in Biochemistry from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia in 1988, and PhD from the University of Malaya in 1997. He undertook his post-doctoral training at the Marine Biotechnology Institute in Kamaishi, Japan from 1997 – 1998 with the support of a scholarship from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Professor Chu has been actively involved in Algal Biotechnology research for more than 20 years. As an active member of the Malaysian Antarctic Research Programme (MARP), he has gone on three expeditions to the Antarctic and Arctic for the collection of polar algae. His research interests cover many aspects of algal biotechnology, ranging from bioactive compounds and nutraceuticals from algae, algae for bioremediation and toxicity testing, algae for biofuels to stress adaptation, and phylogenetics of algae.

Professor Chu was the Honorary Secretary of the Asian Pacific Phycological Association (APPA) from 2005 – 2011, and Honorary Secretary of the Asian Pacific Society for Applied Phycology (APSAP) from 2003 – 2006. Presently, he is a Member of the Editorial Board of the Malaysian Journal of Science. He has published and presented over 120 scientific papers, and has supervised 8 PhD and 12 MSc students. In 2003, Professor Chu received the IMU Recognition Award for his achievements in research.

Prof Stephen Ambu


Professor Stephen Periathamby Ambu joined IMU on November 6th 2006. He is attached to the Postgraduate Studies & Research/Department of Pathology. Professor Ambu is from Kuala Lumpur, and his qualifications are BSc (Zoology Major) (Madras University, India, 1973), MSc (Parasitology) (University College of North Wales, United Kingdom, 1976) and PhD (Biomedical Science) (University Malaya, 1981).

Prior to joining IMU, Professor Ambu had served at the Institute for Medical Research (IMR), Ministry of Health Malaysia and Universiti Technologi MARA. He was the former Head of the Medical Ecology Division, Snake Farm (antivenom production) and the founding Head of the Environmental Health Research Centre at the IMR. He was also the Head of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Training to Eliminate Lymphatic Filariasis, IMR (2004 – 2005).

Professor Ambu's specific areas of teaching are in Parasitology and Environmental Health. He has done research on parasitology, environmental health and ecology of small mammals and reptiles in relation to public health and has several publications and presentations to his credit in local and international journals. Currently there are a number of postgraduate students doing their MSc and PhD under his supervision.

He is the immediate Past President/Life Member of the Malaysian Society of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine. He is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (United Kingdom) and the Malaysian Scientific Association. He has also been a reviewer for several journals such as Tropical Biomedicine, Malaysian Journal of Science and the Medical Journal of Malaysia. He is on the Editorial Board of the Tropical Biomedicine. He has served on National Committees in air pollution and was involved in the preparation of Malaysia's Initial National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Ministry of Science, Technology and the Environment. He has also contributed his expertise to the World Health Organisation as a Temporary Advisor to several environmental programmes conducted in the Western Pacific Region. He was an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Faculty of Environment and Agriculture, University of Western Sydney, Australia, from 2001 – 2004 and carried out many research projects in collaboration with the faculty members.

In 1993, he received the Malaysian Society of Parasitology and Tropical Medicine Medal and in 2005 the Sandosham Medal. He was also awarded the excellent service awards by the Ministry of Health Malaysia in 1991, 1993, 1997 and 2003 and the AMN award by the Federal Government in 2000.

A.P. Patricia Lim Kim Chooi

BSc (Hons) Dip Ed MSc PhD

Patricia K C Lim joined the International Medical University as an Associate Professor attached to Pathology Unit, Faculty of Medicine and Health, on 16 February 2011. She received her BSc Hons (1976), Dip Ed (1977), MSc (1984) and PhD (1992) from University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur.

Prior to joining IMU, she worked in the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) for 26 years where she served in various capacities, culminating in her appointment as Head, Molecular Pathology Unit in 1996 till 2004 when she opted for optional retirement. Her research at IMR involved several disciplines including malaria, filariasis, biotechnology, molecular pathology and cancer research and this has resulted in several publications in local and international journals. She was awarded the excellent service awards by the Ministry of Health Malaysia in 1994 and 1996 and for her research involving development of new diagnostic assays for malaria and typhoid, she and her research team have been awarded four gold medals and 1 silver medal. Subsequently she spent 6 years in the industry, as a Chief Scientific Officer in a bio-diagnostic company for 4 years (2004-2008) and as Senior Vice- President (R&D and Lab Services) in a vaccine company for 2 years (2009-2010). Her specific areas of teaching are medical parasitology and tropical medicine.

She is the current Editor-in-chief for the International e-Journal of Science, Medicine and Education and has been a reviewer for Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health and Tropical Biomedicine. She is also currently a member of the Cluster Working Group on Human Capital, Malaysian Biotechnology Corporation. She was a former Editor of the Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health. While working in IMR, she served as Joint Coordinator of the Medical Biotechnology Cooperative Centre under the National Biotechnology Directorate, Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia from 1997-2004 and as Director of the IMR-JICA Third Country Training Courses on Biotechnological Techniques in Tropical Medicine from 1996-2000. She has also contributed her expertise to the World Health Organization as a resource person for workshops on filariasis and as a Short Term Visiting Expert to China on malaria diagnosis.

In her spare time she enjoys reading, gardening, travelling and spending time with family.

A.P Cho Min Naing


Dr. Cho Min Naing obtained her MBBS and MMedSc in Preventive and Tropical Medicine from the University of Medicine, Yangon, Myanmar. She then continued her studies and obtained MSc in Health economics from Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand and PhD from University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia. She was awarded Fellowship of Royal College of Physician in 2008. By training and by practice, she is a medical malariologist. Her main field of interest is in malaria case management. During her spare time, she enjoys home-gardening, and reading novels and poetry.

A.P Tan Eng Lai

BSc MBiotech PhD

Dr Tan Eng Lai is an Associate Professor attached to the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences (SPHS), International Medical University, Kuala Lumpur. He was appointed as the Head of the Life Sciences Department in March 2012. Dr Tan has been serving as the Research Coordinator for the SPHS since 2008. Prior to joining IMU, Dr Tan worked as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of Malaya where he also obtained his doctorate degree in the year 2005. Prior to this, he obtained his BSc from Murdoch University, Western Australia in 1996 and Master of Biotechnology from the University of Malaya in 2000.

Dr Tan's research interest is in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) particularly in the virology and molecular prognostication of the disease. His current research interest is in the identification of cancer stem cells in NPC. He has won an award in the Asia-Pacific Congress of Medical Virology in 2003 for his work on elucidating the role of Epstein-Barr virus latent membrane protein 1 and NPC and has published 15 research papers. He was involved in the national research programme on oral cancer and NPC from 2001-2005 and was also a recipient of grant from the Malaysian Toray Science Foundation. Since joining IMU, Dr. Tan had secured research grants from MAKNA and the Ministry of Health, Malaysia for his work on NPC. Dr Tan has supervised numerous undergraduate and postgraduate students and is also local liaison for the British Council Prime Minister 2 Initiatives (PMI2) Student Mobility Programme in collaboration with the University of Strathclyde in Scotland.

Dr Koh Kwee Choy

MBBS (India), BSc(Hon)(UKM)

Dr Koh Kwee Choy joined IMU as a Trainee Lecturer in Internal Medicine in 2001. He is currently a Senior Lecturer and Infectious Diseases Consultant at the IMU Clinical School in Seremban, Negeri Sembilan. James joined the ICCE team in 2011 to represent the clinical school in ensuring high quality CPD activities are designed and conducted by IMU.

A.P Leong Chee Onn


Dr Leong, who is an Associate Professor in the School of Pharmacy and Health Sciences and Department of Life Sciences, has conducted multi-year research focused on drug target discovery, novel molecules development through preclinical and clinical trials, and biomarkers development for diagnosis and treatment of refractory breast cancers. He has published extensively in high impact journals, including Nature Cell Biology, Cancer Cell, PNAS, Cancer Research etc. He has received numerous international awards including the FMD Fellowship (USA), ORS Award (UK) and the IBMS President's Award (UK). He was a Senior Research Fellow at the Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, USA and is presently an Associate Professor at IMU.

Dr Leong and his team are broadly interested in how genetic abnormalities within cancer cells influence their biology, and how that biology can in turn be exploited to therapeutic advantage. Through extensive international collaborations, the team addresses these questions through basic research studies of key tumor cell signaling pathways including p53, FGFR, MAPK, and AKT. This work is complemented by genetic analysis of patient tumor samples conducted through our companion laboratories. Finally, the discoveries from the team in the basic research are being translated into ongoing clinical trials which seek to identify predictive markers for response to specific therapeutic agents. Our ability to work at the interface of basic tumor biology and therapeutic application is strongly supported by the strong research culture and infrastructure at the IMU Cancer Research Center.

A.P Vishna Devi Nadarajah


Dr Vishna Devi V Nadarajah is Associate Professor and Associate Dean of Teaching and Learning at IMU. She obtained her PhD from the University of Cambridge and was awarded national and international research grants for her research on Bacillus thuringiensis proteins and biomarkers for neuromuscular disorders. She has supervised, published and presented 54 research papers related to biomedical sciences and medical education. Dr Vishna was an elected Committee Member of Chevening Alumni Malaysia, panel member for ‘Anugerah Academik Negara’ and the safety committee for Standards Malaysia on Microbial research. She has been continuously involved in curriculum development , having played a key role in the development of Problem Based Learning and new programmes in IMU.

Dr Nyi Nyi Htun

MBBS (Medical), MMEDSC (Internal Medicine), MRCP (Part I), MRCP (Part II)

Nyi Nyi joined the university as a lecturer in Internal Medicine, Clinical School IMU, in January, 2012. He is interested in clinical research and medical education especially for undergraduate students. He has some experience in presenting research posters and organising workshops, and is always ready to impart his learnings.