Today, the Inaugural Eminent Speakers Conference Series was held at
the Auditorium, Research Management & Innovation Complex, Universiti
Malaya. Four eminent speakers, some of the world’s foremost, award winning
researchers and experts shared their insights during the event titled
‘Navigating Towards Healthy Ageing’ on the latest approaches in medical science
with respect to healthy ageing, through early detection and novel treatments.
Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman and Chief Executive of Genting Berhad during his
speech at the Eminent Speakers Conference Series 'Navigating Towards Healthy
The event was co-organised by Genting Berhad and Universiti Malaya’s
Faculty of Medicine in conjunction with the Genting Founder’s Day.
Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman and Chief Executive of Genting Berhad
said during his opening speech at the conference, “Over the past decade,
Genting Berhad has been involved in research and development for new treatments
and new ways for early detection of diseases through our investments in life
sciences and biotechnology companies. We hope that our investments in these
companies will benefit Malaysia, through knowledge transfer via collaborations
between these world class companies and researchers with our local universities
and local researchers, through bringing cutting edge technology to Malaysia to
combat ageing and diseases, and through creating employment in Malaysia. We
have already seen the benefit of our investments as three of the four eminent
speakers for today’s conference are our invitees and they are founders of life
sciences companies which Genting Berhad has invested in over the past decade.”
Also in attendance during the conference were Datuk IR. (Dr.) Abdul
Rahim Haji Hashim, Vice-Chancellor of Universiti Malaya, Professor Dato’ Dr
Adeeba Kamarulzaman, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya, members of
the life science and medical fraternity, students and the public.
Sri Lim Kok Thay, Chairman and Chief Executive of Genting Berhad (second from
right) and his wife Puan Seri Cecilia Lim (first from right) greeting Malaysian
Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad during the Eminent Speakers
Conference Series 'Navigating Towards Healthy Ageing'
Dr. Aders M. Dale, Professor of Neurosciences, Radiology, Psychiatry,
and Data Science at the University of California, San Diego, started the
conference with his talk titled ‘Integration of Quantitative Imaging and
Genetics for Proactive Medicine’. He touched on one of the major challenges in
medicine, being the early detection or prediction of disease, to enable
proactive intervention. He then presented a novel integrated framework for
combining genetic information with quantitative imaging, molecular tests, and
other health data, to enable individualised, proactive medicine.
The second speaker was the only Malaysian speaker at the
conference, Professor Dr Ng Kwan Hoong, Professor of Medical Physics,
Universiti Malaya. Professor Dr Ng is one of the top 50 medical
physicists in the world and the first Malaysian scientist to receive the Marie
Sklodowska-Curie Award for outstanding contributions to the field of nuclear
and plasma sciences and engineering. In his talk titled ‘The Age of Precision
Scanning – Decoding the Ageing Process’, he spoke on
Radiogenomics, a new field that analyses large number of scan images to
characterise the microscopic appearance and genetic changes of a disease. This
approach gives us the ability to examine our cells and tissues with a high
level of precision, therefore helping in understanding the ageing process and
medical conditions linked to ageing, including dementia.
The third speaker was Professor Claude M. Wischik, Holder of the Chair
in Mental Health, University of Aberdeen, and Executive Chairman of TauRx
Pharmaceuticals Limited. Professor Wischik is a pioneer in Tau research. In his
talk titled ‘Developing a Practical Strategy for Maintaining Cognitive Function
Later in Life’, he explained that the main driver of cognitive decline is the
brain pathology originally discovered by Alzheimer: so-called tangles forming
inside nerve cells of the brain composed of sub-units of a protein called Tau.
He was the first to identify the Tau protein as the main constituent of the
Alzheimer tangle and developed the first Tau aggregation inhibitors.
The final speaker was Dr Robert J. Hariri who is a surgeon, biomedical
scientist, and a highly successful serial entrepreneur. Dr Hariri pioneered the
use of human stem cells to treat a range of life-threatening diseases. He was
also the pioneer to recognise the regenerative potential of the human
placenta. In his talk titled ‘Cell Therapy – Augmented Immunity, Augmented
Longevity’, he spoke about how recent advances in cell biology and genetic
engineering are setting a new direction in medicine, shifting the traditional
health care paradigm toward the possibility of regenerative and curative
The talk was followed by a panel discussion, where the public took the
opportunity to pose questions to the panelist comprising Professor Dato’ Dr.
Adeeba Kamarulzaman and the four speakers. Professor Tan Maw Pin from the
Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya facilitated the panel discussion as the
left: Puan Seri Cecilia Lim, wife of Tan Sri Lim Kok Thay; Tan Sri Lim Kok
Thay, Chairman and Chief Executive of Genting Berhad; Malaysian Prime Minister
YAB Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad and YM
Tengku Datuk Dr. Mohd Azzman Shariffadeen Tengku Ibrahim, Chairman of
University of Malaya during a dialogue after the conference
As part of the conference, the Malaysian Prime Minister YAB Tun Dr
Mahathir Mohammad who epitomizes healthy ageing, held a dialogue with the
speakers, and representatives from Genting Berhad and Universiti Malaya to
discuss medical advances and exchange ideas on healthy ageing.
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