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Jul. 01, 2020

Sidebar story: Learning about reproductive biotechnologies

Sidebar story: Learning about reproductive biotechnologies

On July, 13-22, 2015, Malaysian veterinarian Dr. Mark Hiew attended the 10-day international training course on “Dairy Herd Improvement by the Use of Reproductive Biotechnologies"

The course started off with plenary talks given by notable speakers followed by country reports from the participants on the current status of their livestock industry. Delegates hailed from various countries with many from the ASEAN region, Pakistan and as far as Ecuador. It was indeed eye-opening to learn of the various goings-on as well as the success and struggles that each nation faced in terms of animal production. On the other hand, the speakers and trainers were from Japan, Thailand and Taiwan. This was definitely a very international event and it was great to be able to mingle and exchange ideas and thoughts with people from such diverse backgrounds.

The training course proper consisted of informative morning lectures and hands on afternoon practical exercises. We were all given the opportunity to work in the PCC laboratory and learn about in vitro maturation and fertilization, cryopreservation and vitrification. It was truly amazing feeling when we managed to harvest embryos after performing embryo flushing and whenever we managed to perform virtification successfully within the allocated time. Spending time in the laboratory showed me the importance of resource planning, time management and why cleanliness was important in preventing contamination.

One memorable part of the training course was the visits to the PCC’s gene pool where the buffaloes were housed. We all had the chance to work with these animals and learned procedures such as ovum pick up, embryo collection and transfer, and fetal sexing via ultrasonography. The staff at PCC and the trainers were all very patient and guided us well. They gave their full attention and were always happy to answer any questions or queries that we had.

All in all, this was a wonderful and enriching experience. I hope to make the most of the information that I obtained, the connections that I established and to stay in touch with the other participants, staff and trainers. A big thank you to the FFTC, PCAARRD and PCC on a job well done.


Mark WH Hiew, Ph.D.
Faculty of Veterinary Medicine
Universiti Putra Malaysia

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