A bit about yourself
My name is Syahril Abdullah and I’m from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. I am currently affiliated to Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM).
Summarise the research in your DPhil/PhD
My research focus during my DPhil was to study ways to extend the duration of exogenous gene expression in mouse lungs for prospective application in Cystic Fibrosis gene therapy. The main outcome from the study was the identification of certain DNA construct that is effective, with minimal inflammatory responses.
About your current job, and the path you took to get there
I obtained a scholarship for my study at Oxford University from the Malaysian government, which required me to serve at a public university in Malaysia as a lecturer and scientist. After a few years of service at the university and involvement in science education with the Young Scientists Network - Academy of Sciences Malaysia, I got promoted to my current position as an Associate Professor.
I am now the deputy director of an institute (www.ibs.upm.edu.my) and also the head of a research centre that focuses on genetics and regenerative medicine (grmrc.org) at the Faculty of Medicine & Health Sciences, UPM. Therefore, I have to juggle my career as a scientist and an administrator, which can be quite challenging. I believe I was put in this position because I am keen to enhance the scientific capacity of the university and the country.
About what helped you/how you decided to get into this area
I am very passionate about helping people to live longer with quality lifetime, free from debilitating diseases. One of the ways to achieve this is by working in this field. I always ask the purpose of my being in this world, and I hope I will not perish without leaving a meaningful impact to humanity. Doing fundamental research is important, but taking the fundamentals to translational research, and then bringing the product to extend people’s life is one of my main goals in life.
My supervisors at RDM have played a great factor for me to stay in this area of research too. Their perseverance, dedication, and hard work have inspired me to be one of the scientific figures in Malaysia and be successful in my research. Working in a developing country can be a challenge, but I am glad I still have a strong connection with the Genetic Medicine Research Group and I know they will help me to be successful.
Anything extra you found you needed to know, learn along the way or wish you had done differently
If I knew what I needed to know or learn along the way and wished I had done things differently, I would not be where I am today.