SIDC, National Institutes of Health signs MoU for research excellence in biomedical sciences, human capital devt


Dr Murizal (seated left) and Dr Yap sign the MoU, witnessed by Dr Annuar (standing centre), Norazman (standing, fourth right) and others. – Photo by Nur Shazreena Ali

KUCHING (Sept 22): Sarawak Infectious Disease Council (SIDC) yesterday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Malaysia to pave the way for research excellence in biomedical sciences and human capital development in Sarawak.

The MoU was signed by SIDC chief executive officer Dr Ivan Yap Kok Seng and NIH manager Dr Murizal Zainol, and witnessed by Sarawak Deputy Minister for Education, Innovation and Talent Development Datuk Dr Annuar Rapaee, Ministry of Health (MoH) deputy secretary-general (Finance) Dato Sri Norazman Ayob, and Sarawak Public Health, Housing and Local Government Ministry acting permanent secretary Abu Bakar Sepawi.

In his speech, Norazman said the collaboration between NIH and SIDC would leverage the role of the Sarawak Research and Development Council (SRDC) and SIDC in stimulating the state’s biomedical research and development.

He lauded the Sarawak General Hospital’s (SGH) Clinical Research Centre (CRC) for its efforts in developing Sarawak towards a vibrant biomedical sciences centre.

According to him, the establishment of the two research councils proved that Sarawak’s clinical research team played a pivotal role not only in leveraging on Sarawak’s natural resources, but also facilitating the innovation of the research and development (R&D) capabilities and commercial applications.

“Established in 2017, SRDC plays a pivotal role in supporting, stimulating, and facilitating research and development initiatives within Sarawak. Additionally, the council works towards improving research standards and capabilities, while also facilitating the commercialisation of research outcomes.

“One of its remarkable subsidiaries is the Sarawak Infectious Disease Centre. The SIDC is set to embark on an extensive research and development initiative, focusing on disease surveillance, diagnostics, therapeutic discovery, vaccine development, and data analytics and human capital development,” he said during the opening ceremony of the 16th National Conference for Clinical Research 2023 at the Waterfront Hotel yesterday.

Commenting further, Norazman said the development of research and development in biomedical sciences in Sarawak would not be able to stand as it is today without a visionary leader in the person of Deputy Premier Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian.

He commended Dr Sim for working very hard to position Sarawak as a biomedical research and development hub in the country.

“This marks the momentous 20th anniversary of the Clinical Research Centre founded in 2003 by the current Sarawak Deputy Premier Prof Dato Sri Dr Sim Kui Hian. The Clinical Research Centre here has thrived under his guidance and vision.

“Notably, it stands as the sole site among Institute Clinical Research’s Network where 37 clinical research centres here are equipped with a sophisticated and ISO-accredited precision laboratory.

“Furthermore, CRC SGH is accredited to be the First-in-Human clinical trial ward in Malaysia,” he added.