Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Good Practices in Scientific Writing

             On Monday, 17 January 2011 we were given a session about scientific writing and publication by Ms. Anne John Michael who is a medical writer. Actually, I have learnt this topic during my undergraduate study but it is good to revise it and to better know the importance of it in the biotechnology industry. We were explained the needs of writing an effective scientific publications and its ethics. Besides,several types of scientific publications such as original articles, review articles, short papers and personal views were introduced. She told us about the differences of each publication. The individual and group exercises were done accordingly. The task for the group exercise was to give the most appropriate titles for four journal articles by referring to their abstracts. I was blurred at first but suddenly an idea popped up! I told my groupmates how about we try to "google" any sentence from the abstract to get the title. Luckily, it worked! within 10 minutes we have finished the task and the brainstoming session had another 45 minutes. Ms Anne did not mention any restriction to use an "online" resources. So, our work was legal. I found that a good title must give a clear overall view to the whole article. Till the next post, don't sleep too late. See ya!

-Ancora Imparo-

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Clinical Data Management

The topic on 14th January 2011 was about Clinical Data Management and the role of Biostatistician. Coming into the training without having at least brief information about what would be lectured can cause me to be lost in the middle and hard to catch up with the pace. The night before the session, I browsed through the net to get some ideas about what is it all about as I did not find any lecture notes about it in the module file. There was only a lecture note for Biostatistician. Luckily, I found a workshop notes which were prepared by the trainer (Ms Teo Jau Shya) from the official site of clinical research centre (CRC) Malaysia and read it out.
            Ms. Jau Sya is a certified data manager in Malaysia and she gave the lecture base on her experience in the field. A lot of things we learnt from her especially the job scope of data manager, challenges and satisfactions. Becoming a data manager could also gave us a good salary. The visual aids that she used were very interesting and related to the topic. She was also like the other trainers, emphasized on good communication skills especially when dealing with busy doctors to get the data that we wanted.  Besides,  patience and determination were also required.She said we were lucky to be in this program as it gave us in depth exposure about the current situation in the Malaysia’s biotechnology industry. The session in the evening was given by a biostatistician from Stats Consulting Sdn. Bhd. Her brief lecture finished earlier that day as she knew everyone was eager to go back home for weekend. I stop my post here. Have a great weekend!

-Ancora Imparo-

A day with National Pharmaceutical Control Bureau.

The session on Thurday (13th January 2011) was highly packed with a lot of information, rules and regulations related to drug development according to the Malaysian laws. The first part was given by Dr. Kamaruzaman Saleh who is the deputy director at the Centre for Research & Compliance in bureau. The pace of his lecture was quite fast but he covered all the lecture slides as accordingly. The second part was handled by Dr. Tajudin Akasah also from the same bureau but he his the deputy director at the Centre for Quality Control. The lecture was about Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP). He added his lecture with some humours that attracted us to listen and awaken from our sleepiness. The day went appropriately as it was plan in the tentative schedule. Till the next post, Bubbye!

-Ancora Imparo-

Sponsor's Role inClinical research and Snacks~

The session about the Sponsor’s Role on 12th January 2011 was filled with interaction between the trainer and trainees. The trainer was Ms. Adeline Kwok who is the Head of Clinical Operations from Pfizer (M) Sdn. Bhd. Just for our information, Pfizer is a multi-national company (MNC) focusing on healthcare. Ms. Adeline actively kept asking questions to us as she went along her lecture. This had made us alert about the lecture and also helped us to understand the session.  
We also have a quiz session before the afternoon break. All the nine groups were competing with each other to collect as many points as possible because Ms. Adeline would give reward to the winner. In this quiz, each correct answer was rewarded two points while any wrong answer would have one point deduction. My group ( was a little bit left behind at first but we managed to chase the other group in collecting points. Everybody was excited to answer the questions.
Another task was case study presentation. This was also carried marks for each group. The total mark was 15. The mark from this task was added with the collected marks from the previous quiz to determine the overall winner. The winner for the whole session was the Prodigy group while my group was at the third place. So, what is the prize? Actually, all groups obtained a reward from Ms Adeline. She bought us varieties of snacks and the winner got an advantage to choose which snack they want followed by the next group. Everyone was enjoying themselves that day.
There is one thing that in my opinion can be improved which is the lecture notes were given at the end of the session. It would be better off if the lecture notes were provided before or within the lecture session as the trainees and jot down any additional points in the notes according to the particular slides. I understand that the trainer intention was to do the quiz without the trainees referring to the notes but not all people could absorb and comprehend a lot of information within a short time and then convey it out directly when they were asked. Some people need more time to read, digest and understand the information that they received. That is all for now, enjoy the day!

-Ancora Imparo-

Friday, January 14, 2011

Intellectual Property Protection in Malaysia.

            On Monday this week (10th January 2011), we were explained about what is patent right in Malaysia and it was lectured by Associate Professor Rohazar Wati Zuallcobley who is a senior lecturer in Faculty of Law, UiTM. The session was packed from morning till evening with information linking to intellectual property such as patent monopoly, trademark and trade secret. I was very interested when Madam Rohazar exposed to us about the job scope of patent agent. It was interesting because a patent agent can get a salary up to RM 15,000 a month and she encouraged us (if interested) to be one of them. Of course, we must have knowledge of patent law. This was the first time I heard about this occupation. It is a good exposure given by a professional like her. Looks like I want to adjourn my post now. Take care!

-Ancora Imparo-

An Elevator Pitch to hook Donald Trump's attention to our proposal!

An Elevator Pitch to hook Donald Trump's attention to our proposal!
            The technical module was continued with the training with Dr Roland Xavier which was held on 6th and 7th January 2011. It was about the “Five Disciplines of Innovation” and a method to obtain a successful business plan. The five disciplines are;
Discipline #1.  Important Customer and Market Needs
Discipline #2.  Value Creation
Ø  Guiding Principles
v  Value Propositions — NABCs
v  Elevator Pitches
Discipline #3:  Innovation Champions
Discipline #4:  Innovation Teams
Discipline #5:  Organizational Alignment

            The first two disciplines were the focus of the training. We were emphasized to always alert about what our customers need rather than what we (the company) intended to do. An innovation or invention that is customer oriented will be easy to penetrate into the market and get a high quantity of sales. Besides, we were taught to always sieved the idea that we have into two categories which are either it is interesting or important. A preferable one and has high potential to be successful in the market is the important idea. An important idea is often related to the needs of people like staple food, health and well-being.
            We were also exposed to another important method which is an “Elevator Pitch”. According to Wikipedia, an elevator pitch is “an overview of a product, service, person, group or organization, or project and is often a part of a fundraising, marketing communications, brand, or public relations program”. An elevator pitch from the perspective of John Brown who was once the British Petroleum CEO is that “If you can't get it on one page, you don't know what you are talking about”. We were given an analogy that if we were accidently in the same elevator as Donald Trump and we have a good business plan to propose but the time we have was only 20 seconds, how do we use that short time to attract his attention to listen to our idea and subsequently able to get an appointment to be in his office and discuss further.
            The skill is to have a “Hook” which is a question that should get the person’s attention. Then, we can start to use the NABC tool. N refers to need of the potential customers and market, A is the approach that we want to do to get to the two parties, B is the benefits per cost that a customers and the company will gain from the product while C stands for competition that the product will face in the market and we should give alternatives for the product to survive in the competition. We were given a case study about a pizza business and we applied the NABC tool to identify the sustainability of the business if it is role. All groups gave similar points and Dr. Roland gave supportive comments to all. In another assignment, we were asked to come out with our owh elevator pitch based on our product. It was a good exercise which increased our understanding about the session that we were learning. That is all about the valuable session. Have a great day, Thank you.

-Ancora Imparo-