SEMARANG – Entering a not so young age, the enthusiasm for learning continues to be shown by Prof. DR Sultana MH Faradz PAK, Ph.D in terms of scientific development in the field of genetics. Recently, a lecturer and medical researcher at Faculty of Medicine of Diponegoro University (UNDIP) Semarang found an idea about developing a more personalized use of medicines based on complex genetic profiles.

When became the main resource person in Australia Indonesia Association Vivtorian (AIAV) News magazine published at the end of August 2021, Prof Sultana through an interview with the editor of AIAV, Carly Norman, explained that to anticipate the emerging trend of problems related to genetics in the coming year, Prof. Sultana and her team will propose research on the use of personal medicine.

She is the woman who have been awarded various awards for her works in the medical field, including: Australian Alumni Finalist in Research and Innovation from the Australian Embassy in Jakarta in 2009; The National Best Medical Researcher from Bakrie Foundation in 2012 about more personalized medicine which is likely used in the future and everyone will probably use chips. In the future, doctors can read files based on chips. This will allow doctors to understand the patient’s ideal medicine based on their DNA patterns.

“This is very important to do to overcome problems related to symptoms of diseases caused by genetic factors that are increasingly complex in the future for the community,” said Prof. Sultana to the PR team, on Monday (6/9/2021).

According to her, every scientist should dream of what they can do for this world so that it can be useful. Through her expertise, she wants to help many people. Prof. Sultana also alludes to the mindset in developing countries for people who only aim for more money than knowledge and quit once they reach a high position.

“For example, my job started in the field of intellectual disability, but now I am working in a sexual development disorder field. By getting my PhD, it was the beginning of my scientific life. Science is a dynamic field and requires continuous learning, that’s why learning is a lifelong learning,” she said.

As a woman who has many achievements, Prof. DR Sultana shared her experience of studying cytogenetics for the first time in Japan. She feels glad to learn this because there is no development of this knowledge in Indonesia. “I was quite frustrated when I returned to Indonesia because I didn’t have the same equipment, luckily a private hospital allowed me to apply this knowledge and I was able to spread my work in other centres. Then I went to Sydney, Australia to study cancer cytogenetics for three months, where they encouraged me to continue my PhD. So I returned to Australia on a five-year scholarship at the University of NSW. It was a difficult life at that time, because I brought my three children and my husband in the Netherlands to complete my PhD,” she explained.

Regarding the interest in studying genetics, Prof. Sultana said that she first became interested in working with children with intellectual disabilities, because at that time she did not find any information about “down syndrome” or the symptom on women over thirty-five years old who risked their chances of having children with “down syndrome”. From there she learned how to do genetic counseling to advise, educate families and patients about it.

Later, she wrote a book on this issue entitled “Knowing Down Syndrome: A Guide for Parents and Professionals”, and gave it to parents/patients. Parents are often shocked and embarrassed to have a child with “down syndrome” and do not want to have another child because of the fear of it to be a genetic disease, but this is a misunderstanding that is fueled by misinformation. This new knowledge is very inspiring to help and educate families.

“This is why learning is a lifelong learning. All of this work has led me to study sexual differentiation disorders, also known as ambiguous genitalia. Until now, I am still doing research with MCRI/Royal Children’s Hospital in Australia. I can do this because Australia is rich in funds and sophisticated equipment, while Indonesia has many cases of it,” she concluded. (PR team)

Translated by: Titis (Public Relations)