The first Malaysian doctor to
gain a PhD in Health Informatics, Prof Awg Bulgiba is also the first public
health physician in Malaysia to accumulate these 4 fellowships (Fellow of
Faculty of Public Health UK, Fellow of Public Health Medicine Malaysia, Fellow
of Academy of Medicine Malaysia, Fellow of Academy of Sciences Malaysia).
Prof Awg Bulgiba is
currently Secretary-General for the Academy of Sciences Malaysia and
Council Member for the Academy of Medicine Malaysia. He was formerly President
of the Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health-KL or APACPH-KL (a
Malaysian NGO dedicated to public health and Malaysian chapter of APACPH), Vice-President
of the College of Public Health, Malaysia, Chair of the Council of Deputy
Vice-Chancellors (Academic and International), Chair of the Council of Deputy Vice-Chancellors
(Research and Innovation) and Chair of the NSR (National Specialist Register) Specialty
Sub-Committee for Public Health.
Prof Awg Bulgiba was Deputy
Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International) for the University of Malaya (UM) from
2015-2018 and oversaw a period of great change in the portfolio. The Academic
and International portfolio went through a period of restructuring and
transformation, greatly improving UM’s academic reputation and
internationalisation which contributed to an extraordinary rise in UM’s QS
world rank from 151 in 2014/15 to 70 in 2019/20.
Before being appointed DVC
(Academic & International), Prof Awg Bulgiba was DVC (Research &
Innovation) in the same university from 2012 to 2015. During this period, he
oversaw a period of extraordinary research growth which firmly established UM
as the top Research University in Malaysia. He continues to sit on the
editorial boards of the Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health (APJPH) and
Malaysian Orthopaedic Journal (MOJ) and several national committees such as the
National Committee on Research Integrity, MoHE R&D Funds Steering Committee
and MOSTI R&D Expert Panel. Prof Awg Bulgiba is also a member of the Inter-Academy
Partnership (IAP) for Urban Health and IAP for Health in All Policies.
During the COVID-19 pandemic,
Prof Awg Bulgiba was appointed by the Ministry of Science, Technology and
Innovation (MOSTI) to head the COVID-19 Epidemiological Analysis and Strategies
(CEASe) research project and the Independent COVID-19 Vaccination Advisory
Committee (ICVAC). He appeared on TV and radio on more than 40 occasions, was
cited more than 400 times in the media and spoke on COVID-19 in more than 30
webinars and online conferences.
Prof Awg Bulgiba has been an
external examiner and assessor for several Malaysian and foreign universities
and was Chair for the University of Malaya Wellness Programme (2007-2009). In
addition, Prof Awg Bulgiba was the Malaysian coordinator for the Asia-Europe
Clinical Epidemiology & Evidence-Based Medicine Programme (2007-2010),
which was a 4-way collaborative effort between UM, University Medical Centre,
Utrecht and Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine, Oxford and the Rumah Sakit
Cipto Mangunkusumo, Jakarta. This collaborative effort resulted in him founding
and heading the Julius Centre UM (JCUM) from 2008 to 2012. JCUM is now known as
the Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Practice (CEBP) and is the most
productive epidemiology research centre in Malaysia.
In 2008, Prof Awg Bulgiba was the
Organising Chair for the 40th Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health
(APACPH) Conference (7-9 Nov 2008), which was the fastest APACPH Conference to
be organised, a mere 10 weeks from award to actual conference. In 2012 he was
the Organising Chair for the 1st Asia Pacific Clinical Epidemiology and Evidence-Based
Medicine (APCEEBM) Conference (6-8 July 2012) and in 2015 he was the Organising
Chair for the 3rd Asian Population Association Conference (27-30 July 2015).
Prof Awg Bulgiba has published
more than 100 Web of Science-indexed journal articles and continues to be
engaged actively in research. He was the lead author for “Strengthening
Academic Career Pathways and Leadership Development”, a book used for the
University Transformation Programme in Malaysia.
As Project Director, Prof Awg
Bulgiba headed a team which completed Malaysia’s National Policy for Science,
Technology and Innovation 2021-2030 (NPSTI 2021-2030). NPSTI 2021-2030 was
launched in 2020 and is now setting the direction for science, technology and
innovation (STI) development in Malaysia until 2030.
In 2010, in recognition of his
contributions to public health, Prof Awg Bulgiba was made a Fellow of the
Faculty of Public Health, Royal College of Physicians, UK (FFPH by
distinction), one of only a handful of fellows from South-East Asia. He was
made a Fellow of Public Health Medicine Malaysia (FPHMM) by the Malaysian Public
Health Physicians Association in 2012. In 2013, Prof Awg Bulgiba was made
Fellow of the Academy of Medicine Malaysia (FAMM) and Fellow of the Academy of
Sciences Malaysia (FASc) becoming the first public health physician in Malaysia
to accumulate these four fellowships (FFPH, FPHMM, FAMM, FASc).
Prof Awg Bulgiba was awarded the
Ma’al Hijrah Award for Outstanding Achievements in Research and Development in
2013 and the Johan Bintang Kenyalang in 2014, both by the Sarawak State
Government. He was awarded the Johan Mahkota Wilayah by the Federal Territory
Government in 2015, Panglima Gemilang Bintang Kenyalang (which carries the
title Datuk) by the Sarawak State Government in 2017 and Dato’ Paduka Mahkota
Perak (which carries the title Dato’) by the Perak State Government in 2017.
In 2018, in
recognition of his leadership contributions, he was awarded the Asia-Pacific
Academic Consortium for Public Health (APACPH) Excellence in Leadership
Medallion, joining a select list of distinguished awardees which include US
Senator Edward Kennedy (1990), US Lt Governor Benjamin Cayetano (1991) and
Thailand House of Representatives Speaker Marut Bunang (1993). He was also honoured with the University of Malaya Eminent Scholar
Award in 2018, the highest award by the University of Malaya.