Pursuing Challenging Endeavours: Completing My PhD via the Publication Track

Dr Mak Kit-Kay completed her PhD in Medical and Health Sciences (specialising in Medicinal Chemistry) via the publication track. As opposed to the conventional thesis-by-dissertation approach, the PhD by publication pathway mandates the evidence of at least 5 published papers directly related to the doctoral research. Dr Mak has submitted eight papers as part of her PhD work entitled “Integration of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Computer Aided Drug Discovery (CADD) Techniques for the Development of Novel Drug-like Keap1-Nrf2 Inhibitors/Direct Nrf2 Activator.”


Dr Mak is a distinguished alumna of IMU, commencing her academic journey with a BSc (Hons) in Pharmaceutical Chemistry and subsequently earning a MSc in Medical & Health Sciences. She was then awarded an IMU Scholarship to pursue her doctoral studies while lecturing within the Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry at the School of Pharmacy.


Like many students worldwide, Dr Mak’s doctoral journey was significantly influenced by the unprecedented COVID-19 pandemic. During this challenging period, her research faced uncertainties, with lockdowns and movement controls leading to the expiration of experimental materials and an inability to access collaborator laboratories such as the Malaysia Genomic Institute and the National Institute of Health.


Despite these obstacles, Dr Mak displayed resilience and adaptability by utilising the newfound time for online courses, where she obtained certifications from Elsevier and the Collaborative Institutional Training Initiative (CITI Program) to improve her research understanding. Her research group was also fortunate to be invited by the editors of high-impact factory journals to write scientific reviews:

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