The University of Macau (UM) Faculty of Health Sciences (FHS) keeps running the Laboratory Work Experience Programme which not only heightens local students’ interest in biomedical research, but also help them craft their career plan. This year, led by the professors and researchers of FHS, six students participated in multiple research projects under this programme.

Attaining practical experience in the field

Alex Chon In CHEANG is one of the students who joined this programme. Under the supervision of Prof. William Chong Hang CHAO and his research team members, Alex conducted research work on cell culture and protein purification. He reflected that the programme has broadened his theoretical knowledge in molecular biology, structural biology, and protein purification, and has also enhanced his skills in experimental manipulation. Moreover, he was invited to join the regular meetings of the team to report the progress. “Being one of the research team members allows me to work in a real-world environment of a researcher, which is a great opportunity for career exploration and development,” said Alex.

Being inspired by the guidance of the research team

Lina Weng Tong CHAN is grateful for the conscientious guidance of Prof. Tzu-Ming LIU and his Ph.D. students, Ke LU, Liping CHEN and Moxin LI on her research work under this programme. She successfully used microscopic imaging and two-photon fluorometers for animal tissue embedding and learned how to use data science for case review studies. “They remind me that besides accumulating solid scientific knowledge, making good use of information technology to expand the scope of study and keep abreast of the latest developments in the field is crucial to the research studies,” said Lina.

Sharing the sweetness of the scientific achievement

Antonio CHIU joined Prof. Kin Yip TAM’s research team to investigate the combination of different drugs in non-small cell lung cancer regarding its metabolic mechanism. He learned aseptic manipulation and cell culture during the programme. “I am so excited as this is my first try in cell-related research,” Antonio said. “ Our team discovered the combination of the use of benserazide and CPI-613 is effective in inhibiting lung cancer cell growth, which is the most exhilarating moment to me.”

A valuable chance for career exploration and development

All the three students thought that the Laboratory Work Experience Programme has offered them the opportunity to have real-life exposure to the university-level research and work in a real-world environment, which not only heightens their interest in biomedical sciences, but also help them understand their career trajectory.

Students under the “Summer Laboratory Work Experience Programme” can take part in the research work under the supervision of various research teams in wide research fields, such as big data science, genetics, microbiology, molecular biology, neuroscience, etc. The flexible timetable allows the students to participate in different research projects to obtain first-hand experimental experience according to their own schedule, gaining the fun of research and identifying themselves in future development.

Prof. William Chong Hang CHAO (left) and Alex Chon In CHEANG (right) discuss the results of their experiments.

Prof. Tzu-Ming LIU (left) introduces the spectrometer to Lina Weng Tong CHAN (right).

Prof. Kin Yip TAM (right) guides Antonio CHIU (middle)