Associate Professor Dr Nadia Atiya obtained her medical degree from the National University of Ireland and her master's degree and specialist qualification in Medical Microbiology from the University of Malaya. Dr Nadia is currently an Associate Professor at the Department of Medical Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya and a Consultant Clinical Microbiologist at the University of Malaya Medical Centre (UMMC). She is certified and registered as a medical specialist in medical microbiology in the National Specialist Register (NSR) of the Malaysian Medical Council. She is a life member of the College of Pathologists, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia and the Malaysian Society of Infectious Diseases and Chemotherapy. She is a member of the Malaysian Medical Association, the American Society for Microbiology, the European Society of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases and the International Society for Infectious Diseases.
She has been the Head of the Diagnostic Mycobacteriology Unit at the Department of Medical Microbiology, UMMC since 2014 and the Deputy Chairman of the UMMC Tuberculosis Committee since 2019. She has written and reviewed SOPs as well as have been involved in introducing new laboratory diagnostic tests for the diagnosis of tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacterial infections at UMMC. She has also served as the Chairman of the UMMC Technical Evaluation Committees for the evaluation of tenders for the provision of mycobacteria identification test kits. She is regularly consulted on laboratory testing for mycobacterial infections as well as interpretation of mycobacteria test results by her medical colleagues. Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, she has been actively involved in COVID-19 rRT-PCR testing.
She is actively involved in teaching and supervising both undergraduate (medical, dental, nursing, and biomedical science) and postgraduate students including Ministry of Health doctors pursuing their clinical master’s and specialist training in medical microbiology at UMMC/UM. She has been an invited lecturer for the annual Basic Medical Science course organised by the UM Faculty of Dentistry for their postgraduate dental students since 2015. She has served as the Medical Microbiology Coordinator as well as an Internal Examiner and member of the Board of Examiners for various clinical master’s programmes, including the Master of Pathology (Part 1), Master of Surgery (Part 1) and Master of Otorhinolaryngology - Head & Neck Surgery (Part I) programmes. She was the Co-chairman of the Master of Pathology (Medical Microbiology) Part II (Final) Conjoint Examination 2019/2020 Committee. As a member of the UM Faculty of Medicine’s Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Committee since 2016, she is actively involved in training both medical students and her fellow lecturers in PBL. She has been the Chair of the Organising Committee for the University of Malaya Medical Programme (UMMP) PBL Training Workshop for Medical Students since 2018. She was a member of the UMMP Case Development Project Team from 2018 - 2020 and coordinated the development of new PBL cases for the Stage 2 Gastroenterology Block. She is currently the Coordinator for the MBBS Year 2 programme, the Student Mobility Coordinator and the Communications & Social Media Coordinator at UM Faculty of Medicine. She also currently sits on the UM medical school admissions committee.
She finds teaching the most enjoyable aspect of her job and is especially passionate about getting her medical students to excel beyond the classroom. Since 2016, she has coached and trained many medical students for various national and international inter-medical school competitions. She was the Head Coach and Academic Advisor to the UM medical students who were crowned Champions of the National Intervarsity Microbiology Quiz Challenge 2019 (1st place among 38 teams representing 14 medical schools from local public and private universities). She was also Head Coach and Academic Advisor to the UM medical students who clinched 2 silver medals and 1 bronze medal in the individual category and emerged as semifinalists in the team category at the prestigious Siriraj International Medical Microbiology, Parasitology & Immunology Competition (SIMPIC) 2021.
She is also passionate about nurturing interest in research among her medical students and has supervised many of them during their research elective attachments, all of whom were awarded travel grants to present their research study findings at major microbiology/infectious diseases conferences, including the 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID) 2018 and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Microbe Conference 2019. She is also actively involved in student-led events including being recently invited to speak at the “Alternative Pathways for Medical Graduates Forum (Clinical Academic Career Pathway), MMI Into the Future 2020”, organised by the medical student-led organisation, Malaysian Medics International and serving as an Advisor for the “An Insight into Medicine (AIM 2020) Pre-Medical Student Workshop for Pre-University Students Interested in Pursuing a Career in Medicine”, organised by the University of Malaya Medical Society.
She has been invited to speak on her areas of expertise, tuberculosis and nontuberculous mycobacterial infections, at both national and international events, including the 29th National Scientific Conference 2018, the Global Health Pharmacy Youth Summit (GHPYS) 2018, the Asian Collaborative Training on Infectious Diseases, Natural Disasters & Refugee Management (ACTION) 2019 and the International Congress of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine (ICPaLM) 2021 (organised by the College of Pathologists, Academy of Medicine of Malaysia). In 2019, she was the Chair of the Organising Committee for the inaugural “A Practical Approach to the Management of Patients with Tuberculosis (TB): A Case-Based TB Workshop”, a national level TB workshop which was well-attended by Malaysian doctors and healthcare professionals from both the government and private sectors.
She is currently involved in both national and international collaborative research projects. Together with her collaborators, she has been awarded several research grants (including grants under the Fundamental Research Grant Scheme [FRGS] and the Trans-Disciplinary Research Grant Scheme [TRGS] from the Ministry of Higher Education of Malaysia), amounting to over RM1 million. She has published papers in international peer-reviewed journals including Tier 1 journals such as Scientific Reports and The Journal of Hospital Infection. She has reviewed for Tier 1 international journals including PLOS ONE and the British Medical Journal (BMJ) Open. She is currently a member of the editorial board of the Journal of Health and Translational Medicine.
She is a two-time recipient of the University of Malaya Faculty of Medicine Best Para-Clinical Lecturer Award, voted by the UM medical students in the graduating class of 2018 and 2020. In recognition of her excellent service, and contributions to clinical service, teaching and research, she was awarded the University of Malaya Excellent Service Award in 2017 and the University of Malaya Certificate of Excellent Service in 2020.