INFORMM Profile

INFORMM Profile

INFORMM started as a multi-disciplinary cluster-based research program spearheaded by 11 main researchers from the Schools of Medical Sciences, Dental Sciences, Health Sciences and MITD (Medical Innovation and Technology Development Unit) located at the USM Health Campus in Kelantan. Although the cluster had established a credible track record in its research outputs, it was put to the test when USM decided to audit its research programs in the year 2001. Under USM's world class research program, five senior professors were appointed by the then Vice-Chancellor, Dato' Professor Dzulkifli Abdul Razak, to undertake a research audit that would benchmark USM's research programs against international standards. As a result of the audit, the research cluster and its medical biotechnology program was recognized as a world class researchprogram as it had met all the 10 stringent criteria imposed. The program also satisfied the strict criteria imposed on the formation of a research institute. Hence in 2003, the Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM) was established following a formalized recognition accorded by the University and the Ministry of Higher Education. This was also the first time in the history of USM that an institute was formed"bottom-up" through efforts of a group of researchers in a cluster. As a fully fledged research institute, INFORMM moved into its own building in Kelantan in 2003 and at this time, the Penang branch was set up in temporary rooms at the Eureka Complex. Research in Penang commenced and was immediately productive. Finally in year 2005, USM approved the building of a new IN FORMM Building at the Penang campus and inDecember 2007, the much-awaited move to the new building took place. From the initial members of the loose research cluster, INFORMM now boasts of 20 fulltime PhD qualified lecturers. The multidisciplinary character of the institution has been maintained and is reflected in the staff development plan of its younger members, who have been trained in the latest techniques in biotechnology and molecular biology, ranging fromrecombinant antibody development, protein expression and characterization, in-silica modelling, biomarker discovery, proteomics and nano-biotechnology