By Muhamad Mazlan Najkhan
Kuala Lumpur, 16 Dec (UPM) – A research on a virus that has the potential to become an anti-tumour or preventive agent against cancer cells has won a Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) scientist a RM30,000 grant from the National Cancer Council Malaysia (MAKNA).
Dr Yeap Swee Kong, 31, a Research Fellow at the Laboratory of Vaccines and Immunotherapeutic of the Institute of Bioscience of UPM, is one of the three recipients of the MAKNA Cancer Research Award 2013.
The other two are Asst. Prof Dr Ho Wan Yong of the University Nottingham Malaysia Campus and Master student Cik Noorfaiza A. Aziz of the Institute for Molecular Medical Biotechnology Mara (UiTM).
Dr Yeap said his research on Newcastle Disease Virus (NDV), a type of virus known to infect livestock, has been identified as an anti-cancer agent with high selectivity against cancer cells instead of normal cells.
“The mechanism of NDV as an anti-cancer agent is still in the research stage and we are still trying to discover its efficacy potential in curbing cancer cells, especially in breast cancer,” he said at the MAKNA Cancer Research Award 2013 ceremony on 3rd December 2013.
Dr Yeap who obtained his PhD in Animal Cells Biotechnology from UPM in 2010, said their laboratory study on the use of NDV in treating breast cancer cells, involved the use of the in vitro method through Advance Sequencing Technique which is also an advanced approach to study living cells.
In particular, he wanted to know the mechanism that contributed to the selectivity of NDV against cancer cells, especially breast cancer.
“My present research focuses on breast cancer because it is most prevalent not only in Malaysia but also the whole world, apart from lung cancer.
“I hope that the study can provide hope to all those suffering from cancer, that there is a ray of hope for recovery from the chronic disease that they are suffering from,” he said.
The awards were presented by MAKNA president, Datuk Mohd Farid Ariffin at the Academy of Sciences (ASM). Also present was the Secretary-General of ASM, Dato’ Dr Samsudin Tugiman.
Dr Yeap also said he was grateful to UPM and Institute Bioscience for supporting his research, besides Prof Dr Abdul Rahman Omar, for his help and inputs for the research project. – UPM
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