Ground-breaking research combats chronic disease


With the establishment of Newcastle University Medicine Malaysia (NUMed) - the first international branch university of the United Kingdom-based Newcastle University, with over 180 years of history in the field of medical research, interested students can obtain a solid grounding from a top medical institution right here in Malaysia.

From left: Prof Dr Derek Bell, Prof Chris Baldwin, Prof Dr Rosmawati Mohamed, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Dr Letchuman Ramanathan and Datuk Dr Paras Doshi officiating the launch of the Regional Medical Conference 2019 held at the NUMed Malaysia campus in Johor recently.

In just over a decade, the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that diabetes will be the seventh leading cause of death worldwide. As well as causing serious long-term health problems, including impaired vision, blindness and amputation of the lower limbs and feet, diabetes is a major cause of kidney failure, heart attack and even stroke, as well as causing serious long-term.

Type 2 diabetes has long been regarded as a chronic disease with a complex and unknown cause. However, research by Newcastle University’s Professor Roy Taylor using innovative magnetic resonance methods has confirmed his Twin Cycle Hypothesis – that Type 2 diabetes is caused by excess fat within the liver and pancreas. By clearly defining the cause of the disease, a planned treatment can reverse the processes.

The research has established that people can reverse their Type 2 diabetes to the point where they no longer require medication. More importantly, recent findings by Prof Taylor who is also Newcastle Magnetic Resonance Centre Director, showed that diabetes stays away provided that the excess weight is not allowed to reaccumulate.

Now, a trial is underway, aiming to find an effective and accessible way to put Type 2 diabetes into remission for good. Results from the first year of the trial, published in late 2017 by Prof Taylor, identified that people in the first six years of Type 2 diabetes who follow a low-calorie programme with support from their general practitioner (GP) can reverse their diabetes for at least a year.

The trial, DiRECT (Diabetes Remission Clinical Trial), found that almost nine out of 10 people who took part and lost 15kg or more put their Type 2 diabetes into remission. The study also found that almost half of those had gone off all their Type 2 diabetes medication with normal blood glucose levels after one year.

The university also gained global recognition with a gold medal in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) as well as securing eighth place in England for combined Medical Units of Assessment in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014.

Led by experts in their respective fields, the research team at Newcastle University is constantly upgrading its capabilities to equip the university with an excellent platform for students to enhance their research skills with proper guidance from distinguished lecturers and researchers.

The research at Newcastle University covers a variety of fields, from ageing to genetic medicine and molecular biosciences to neurosciences; all of which have been actively contributing to the well-being of the surrounding community.

As part of NUMed, students are able to join the reputable research team in contributing further to the advancements in the medical field. With a dedicated research laboratory on campus, NUMed’s research mission is congruent to that of Newcastle University’s in the UK.

From left: Prof Dr Roslina Abdul Manap, Datuk Dr Paras Doshi, Dr Letchuman Ramanathan, Dr Richard Lim, Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah, Prof Dr Rosmawati Mohamed, Prof Dr Derek Bell, Prof Chris Baldwin, Dr Si at the medical conference.

NUMed also recently held a Regional Conference 2019 on April 26 to 28, jointly organised with The Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh, College of Physicians and Academy of Medicine Malaysia.

Based on the subject of managing common medical challenges, there was a list of overseas and local speakers such as Associate Professor Ong Gim Seong (Johor), Dr Audrey Wong (Singapore), Datuk Dr David Chew (KL) and Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah (KL) to name a few.

With guidance from the UK main campus, NUMed has always been at the forefront of research and teaching with its reputation externally confirmed as one of the highest international quality. The Malaysia campus is located at EduCity@Iskandar, Iskandar Puteri, Johor.

For more information, visit, email or call 07-555 3800/ 012-784 9456.

Professor Roy Taylor;

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