Kit-Kay Mak

Hello! I am Kit-Kay, Lecturer in Pharmaceutical Chemistry, School of Pharmacy at International Medical University (IMU), Kuala Lumpur. My academic background is in pharmaceutical chemistry and specialised in drug discovery. My current research interest is integration of Artificial intelligence (AI) and computer aided drug discovery (CADD) technologies for drug discovery & development in metabolic, inflammatory disorders and anti-infectives.

My supervisor introduced me to the ‘drug discovery training’ at WCAIR. We are thankful to Dr Ola Epemolu for introducing WCAIR to us. WCAIR is the first research Centre I have found that embeds training and public engagement alongside research. I was excited to learn that many scientists in WCAIR were formerly industrial experts from big pharma giants with years of R&D experience.

My first day at WCAIR was very welcoming. I received a welcome note on my computer desk. Ms Sandra took me around the campus, introduced the people and took me through the introduction. I was amazed to witness the technology and structure in person after reading them in the WCAIR web and witnessing robotic arms in the lab was the biggest excitement. Talking to renowned scientists is the most fulfilling experience. I can’t believe that I am spending time in such a wonderful atmosphere – which is my dream all the way from my undergraduate studies.

I have been receiving training in drug metabolism and pharmacokinetics (DMPK) studies from Dr Ola, medicinal chemistry training from Dr Lauren and cell culture work training from Ms Sandra. Besides that, we also have many activities and focused-seminars and personally, I find that I am always learning a new technique, skill or theory during these sessions. I also enjoy working in a diverse atmosphere with people from Brazil, Nigeria, Italy, Ghana, Cameroon, Belgium and etc. It is both a fun-filling and valuable learning experience. I have heard about ‘Learning While Having Fun’ but this would be my first time experiencing it. There are countless of happy moments to share but it’d require stacks of pages to write. I will do my best to transfer this knowledge back to my home institution to serve the whole purpose of this WCAIR’s training.

Writing this, I have recalled a lot of ‘moments’ that I have experienced while I was here. The moment before I boarded my flight to Dundee – I was anxious and I was thinking to myself, how am I to live in a place for a year which is half-a-world away from home. The moment when I found comfort because the majority of the people here are helpful and have made my stay comfortable. The moment when I know I have made genuine and long-lasting friendships. Those moments when I suited-up and entered the lab and run an experiment and feeling amazed by robots when I visited the phenotypic screening lab. Also, those moments when I can explore different places of Dundee under comfortable weather while enjoying the natural scenery, culture and history. Also, in parallel to writing this, I am currently learning the calculation of ‘moments’ of a drug’s pharmacokinetics as part of my training in DMPK.

I know I will miss this place when I leave, so I am cherishing every moment I have now. Last but not the least, my heartfelt thanks to each and every one in WCAIR who has made my stay memorable.