Postgraduate student Foo Lee Sze wins Young Investigator Award: Non-Clinical at MSC 2021

It was a celebratory moment for UTAR Lee Kong Chian Faculty of Engineering and Science (LKC FES), Doctor of Philosophy (Science) postgraduate student Foo Lee Sze when she won “Young Investigator Award: Non-Clinical” at Malaysia Stroke Conference 2021 which was held from 13 to 15 August 2021. She walked away with a cash prize worth RM1,500 and a certificate.

The three-day virtual conference was organised by Malaysia Stroke Council (MSC), in collaboration with the Malaysian Neurointerventional Society (MyNIS), International Society of Hypertension (ISH), Malaysian Society of Geriatric Medicine (MSGM), Malaysian Association of Rehabilitation Physicians (MARP) and Docquity. It aimed to bring together healthcare professionals across various specialities that are involved in stroke management and build an engaging and easily accessible platform for all healthcare professionals to learn and stay up to date with the latest advancements in the field of pharmaceutical and medical devices.

Foo’s award-winning paper was titled “Study of Common Quantification Methods of Amide Proton Transfer Magnetic Resonance Imaging for Ischemic Stroke Detection”. She was supervised by LKC FES lecturer-cum-Centre for Healthcare Science and Technology Chairperson Assoc Prof Dr Tee Yee Kai.

Foo said, “Stroke is one of the leading causes of death worldwide, including Malaysia. The life-saving treatment for ischemic stroke using recombinant tissue plasminogen activator (rtPA) is currently limited to only about five per cent of patients due to its limited therapeutic window and risk of intracranial haemorrhage. Amide proton transfer (APT) MRI is a pH-weighted imaging technique that could estimate the acidotic tissue at risk of infarction better than existing imaging techniques and thus potentially increase the number of patients eligible for the rtPA treatment. This paper assesses the methods to quantify the APT effect and its correlation with the pathophysiology. The work supports the hypothesis that APT MRI has the potential to better stratify patients for rtPA and increase the number of patients suitable for the thrombolytic treatment, leading to faster recovery and better quality of life after stroke.

She also expressed her gratitude to her supervisor and co-supervisors, “I am very honoured to accept the award and grateful for the opportunity to contribute to the betterment of stroke healthcare. The research work was certainly not an alone effort. I would like to acknowledge the contributions of my co-authors and express my sincere gratitude to my supervisor, Dr Tee, as well as my co-supervisors, Assoc Prof Ts Dr Yap Wun She and Dr Faizah Mohd Zaki for their guidance and support.”


Certificate of appreciation

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