postgraduate research
Source: Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences

As the starting point of the academic journey, universities play an important role in advancing discoveries all over the world. 

In Asia Pacific, particularly, the rising standard of academia has led to significant breakthroughs in the field of medical sciences. 

For example, in 2014, Monash University researchers discovered that the anti-cancer drug Fenretinide also acts as an antiviral. The university swiftly teamed up with pharmaceutical company 60P Australia Pty Ltd to develop the drug for dengue fever — a tropical disease that threatens a third of the world’s population.

More recently in Hong Kong, researchers at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) successfully identified a set of potential vaccine targets for the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus using data analysis. Their efforts set novel vaccine development in a promising direction.

University research strengths can lead to important industry ties that bring these breakthroughs into the commercial realm. 

Academics at the forefront of vital research topics protect the interests of public health with medical innovation. If this sounds like your calling, here are three institutions where you can kickstart impactful research and development in the 21st century.

postgraduate research

Source: Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine


With a vibrant, community-centric research culture, the Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences (JCSMHS) offers undergraduate and postgraduate courses for Asia’s scientific leaders of the future.

Postgraduate options such as Postgraduate Diploma in Biomedical Science, Master of Biomedical Science, and Master of Professional Counselling curate a well-rounded learning experience that prepares students to build a professional career in the evolving industries.

The Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) programme offered at JCSMHS provides medical and health sciences research training that is recognised and respected worldwide for its excellence and relevance.

The school’s research strengths are varied and relevant to emerging health matters, including cardio-metabolic research, infection and immunity, neuroscience, and global public health. Therefore, it has attracted curious and brilliant minds from many parts of the world to form an international body of faculty and students.

The cutting-edge research infrastructure at JCSMHS includes various biomedical labs, Monash-Agilent Microarray Service Centre, and LC-MS/MS Laboratory. JCSMHS is also home to the renowned Brain Research Institute at Monash Sunway (BRIMS) and South East Asia Community Observatory (SEACO).

BRIMS is an internationally recognised platform for neuroscience research with a team of outstanding neuroscientists and extensive neuroscience facilities.

postgraduate research

Source: Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Sciences

SEACO, on the other hand, is a health and demographic surveillance system (DHSS) that enables the collaboration between researchers at Monash University with prestigious universities such as the University of Copenhagen, Harvard University and the University of Amsterdam.

By focusing on strategically chosen research areas and working with cross-disciplinary teams, JCSMHS continues to undertake ground-breaking research on a global platform.


As part of the University of Otago Division of Health Sciences, Otago Medical School grooms New Zealand’s future doctors, medical laboratory scientists, nurses, and radiation therapists with insightful health studies and research-led advances. 

Its three campuses in Christchurch, Dunedin, and Wellington consist of thriving research communities with postgraduate students, clinicians, and medical and health sciences experts.

It is the only institution to offer an undergraduate neuroscience degree in the country. It is also known for its research-informed biomedical science programmes, particularly the Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery. Besides that, students may also pursue various science programmes, research-based honours as well as Master’s and PhD programmes. 

postgraduate research

Source: Otago Medical School

The school’s top research interests are as varied as they are compelling – among them agriculture, bioengineering, nanomedicine, health systems and technology, and global migrations. They are led by experts in their fields, who guide the next generation of curious minds to more critical modern discoveries.


This medical school is a partnership between Nanyang Technological University, Singapore and Imperial College London.

It offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programmes including the MBBS, PhD by research, and sports medicine courses. 

Since 2013, its five-year undergraduate medical degree programme has equipped students with the strong scientific basis of medicine, emphasising pertinent components of technology, data science and humanities.

The school also offers six fully-funded postgraduate scholarships to undertake collaborative research projects at The University of Exeter and Nanyang Technology University. These scholars will go on to complete and receive their PhD degrees from either of these leading universities. 

With well-recognised research platforms for advanced optical bio-imaging, stem cell and flow cytometry, histology, genomics and radiation, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine contributes to essential medical research and development that advance regional growth within this industry.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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