Prof. Datin Paduka Dr. Khatijah Receives 14th National Academic Award (AAN) | Universiti Putra Malaysia
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Prof. Datin Paduka Dr. Khatijah receives 14th National Academic Award (AAN)

PUTRAJAYA, March 24 – A lecturer from the Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, Prof. Datin Paduka Dr. Khatijah Mohamad Yusoff, has been chosen as the recipient of the 14th National Academic Award (AAN).

The prestigious award was presented by the Prime Minister, Dato' Sri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, witnessed by the Minister of Higher Education, Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad.

Prof. Datin Paduka Dr. Khatijah was selected based on her service and contributions to the poultry industry, making her the 3rd Houghton Lecturer honoured by the UK-based Houghton Trust (2001). She was also the recipient of the Carlos J Finlay Prize (2005) for her meritorious work in Microbiology and the Albert Einstein Medal by UNESCO.

In addition, she won the National Young Scientist Award in 1990 and was also awarded the 8th Mendel Lecturer (2009), Best Microbiologist (2009), Zakri Award (2013), and Lifetime Scientific Research Achievement Women’s Award (2019).

The various awards and recognitions had allowed her to elevate her research and teaching to an outstanding and broader level.

Prof. Datin paduka Dr. Khatijah was awarded DSc (honoris causa) by her alma mater, La Trobe University, in 2010.

She is currently a member of the Malaysian National Research Integrity Committee and also a member of the Steinbeis-Malaysia Foundation Board of Trustees, an industry-focused platform to stimulate industry-academic collaboration.

She is also the director of VentureTech Sdn. Bhd., a government investment company established to encourage the participation of local Malaysian companies in high value-added and high technology industries. She is also a member of the founding council of the War-on-Cancer Malaysia initiative.

As a researcher, she was a pioneering figure at the forefront of the Newcastle disease virus (NDV) research and was the first person to determine the perfect genome sequence for the NDV polymerase gene. Her research had resulted in new biology (with the US, Singaporean and Malaysian patents).

She had continued to innovate by developing several types of NDV-based therapeutic cancer vaccines as the virus was reported to kill cancer cells selectively. Leveraging on the NDV-based vaccine, she had collaborated with the University of Oxford, UK, to develop a vaccine against COVID-19. Since NDV is essentially a chicken virus, it has minimal side effects on humans, thus making it safer, more effective and stable.

In 2004, Prof. Datin Paduka Dr. Khatijah established Malaysia's first Faculty of Biotechnology, the Faculty of Biotechnology and Biomolecular Sciences, at Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). She had held various important administrative responsibilities, including as Dean of Biotechnology and Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic & International Affairs).

In 2008, she was seconded to the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation Malaysia, serving as the Deputy Secretary-General (Science). She is currently a Senior Fellow and Council member of the Academy of Sciences Malaysia (ASM), Vice President of the Islamic World Academy of Sciences (IAS), and Vice President of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS). She is also a member of the Council of Scientific Advisers of the International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB).

The National Academic Awards (AAN) was held to give the highest recognition to leading scholars in local higher education institutions (IPT). - UPM

Date of Input: 18/04/2022 | Updated: 18/04/2022 | hairul_nizam


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