PRecision medicine for diabetic Individuals: a joint Malaysia- UK Effort (PRIME): Closeout Symposium

On 20th February 2023, we hosted a closeout symposium for our UK-Malaysia Joint Partnership for Non-Communicable Diseases (NCD) grant (“PRecision Medicine for Diabetic Individuals: A joint Malaysia-UK Effort (PRIME)). The session was held at the Auditorium, UKM Medical Molecular Biology Institute (UMBI), and via an online platform from 9 am to 5 pm.

The PRIME project is a collaborative effort between the UMBI from Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and the University of Dundee (UK). Prof.  Dr. Chim C Lang (University of Dundee) and Prof. Datuk Dr. A Rahman A Jamal (UMBI) led the UK and Malaysia (UMBI) teams of researchers, respectively. The project aimed to establish partnerships among physician-scientists, genetic epidemiologists, big-data analysts, machine-learning scientists, and policymakers to cohesively deliver multi-level strategies to augment precision medicine for diabetic patients in Malaysia. The closeout symposium was held to share the achievements and findings from the PRIME project and to increase the awareness and importance of precision medicine in managing Diabetes individuals.

Precision Medicine For Diabetic Individuals: A Joint Malaysia-UK Effort (PRIME) Symposium Part 1

The session started with a welcoming talk from the Malaysian principal investigator, Prof. Datuk Dr. A Rahman A Jamal. He narrated the works to establish the PRIME project from The Malaysian Cohort (TMC) and briefly introduced the project aims and work packages. Following that, the UK principal investigator, Prof. Dr. Chim C Lang, shared the current knowledge on cardiovascular disease (CVD) burden in Diabetes Mellitus (DM) patients. Prof. Dr. Ewan Pearson (University of Dundee) continued the symposium by introducing the concept of precision medicine and its application in DM care via his recorded talk before the morning break.

The symposium continued with Dr. Siti Aishah Sulaiman’s (UMBI) presentation to share the key findings from the PRIME cohort, highlighting the ethnic-specific effects on Diabetes and genetics. Dr. Alexander Doney (University of Dundee) also shared his findings on the clinical, genetics, and retinome data of Scottish DM individuals from the GoDARTs cohort.

Precision Medicine For Diabetic Individuals: A Joint Malaysia-UK Effort (PRIME) Symposium Part 2

After lunch, the symposium continued with a talk from Prof. Dr. Norlaila Mustafa (Hospital Chancellor Tuanku Mukhriz, UKM) regarding CVD biomarkers and how they are used to identify high-risk patients. The symposium continued with a special public engagement between PRIME project leaders and a few invited Malaysian Diabetes patients. This session addressed many different issues regarding Diabetes care and precision medicine, especially on the patients’ rights, awareness, and perception towards precision medicine. Following that, the recorded talk of Prof. Dr. Ewan Pearson was displayed to introduce and share the Intelligent Diabetes’ (iDiabetes) programme, which aims to implement precision diabetes care in NHS Tayside, Scotland, clinically in 2023. Lastly, Dr. Alexander Doney shared the application of artificial intelligence (AI) in precision medicine. The symposium finished at 5 pm with approximately 150 people came to the Auditorium, and 209 individuals were in attendance via the Zoom online platform, which includes the clinicians, researchers, and students.