The Official Newsletter of the University of Puthisastra (UP)-Vol.35 for March 2020 Download

All You Need to Know About Novel Coronavirus Outbreak Workshop at UP

On 17 February 2020, Dr. Prom Vireak, UP’s Deputy Dean of Clinical Affairs, presented an update on the outbreak of Corona virus. This important presentation, on a topic of concern to many people, was attended by UP’s President, Deans, Deputy Deans, other UP staff and students in Hall H. Dr Prom mentioned that coronaviruses are one a big family of viruses that can cause the common cold and other diseases into humans and animals. This new (novel) coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan China and appears linked to wild animals’ market. This virus seems to have mutated and spreads from animals to human and now it spreads from humans to humans.

Dr Prom outlined WHO advice including taking necessary precautions but also not to panic. Just like normal cold and flu, most people who become infected experience mild illness and recover, but it can be more severe for others who are elderly or already unwell.

We can prevent ourselves from being infected by regularly washing hands with soap and water or hand rub, avoiding touching T-zone (eyes, nose, and mouth). We can also cover our mouths if we are coughing or sneezing for example by wearing a mask to prevent others catching our infection. This workshop was conducted to raise awareness for UP staff to prevent themselves from being infected.

UP is currently closely monitoring the situation and has emailed all staff and students with latest corona prevention updates as well as putting posters up around our campus.

Future of Jobs in 2020!

What are the best careers for the future? How will everything change? What skills will we need, are we ready? Is it possible to prepare for the jobs of tomorrow or today? Many of us would love to have definitive answers for these questions. But, of course, nobody can say for sure what the future holds.

The best we can do is make educated guesses based on past and current trends. Still, even educated guesses can help us prepare. An interesting perspective on what skills will be required for 2022. Funnily enough these are exactly same things that we focus on at the University of Puthisastra such as critical thinking, problem solving, active learning etc.

At UP we make this investment because we owe to our students, to Cambodia and all of our futures to make sure that we do the best we can to see what we can achieve together today to make tomorrows world better.

Source: Future of Jobs Survey 2018, World Economic Forum.

UP Pharmacy students jump-start the career with a spring internship abroad

Trying to get a great job post-graduation without an internship on the resume is like baking a cake without flour. These are global times, so the professional world that awaits upon student graduation becomes increasingly interconnected. In addition, in this Digital economy technology continues to advance by leaps and bounds. Not surprisingly then, employers increasingly seek workers who have both cross-cultural competence and cutting-edge technical skills. One of the best ways to prepare students for this global marketplace is to intern abroad, especially for those who curious or ambitious about the big world out there.

During this coming spring break, 44 pharmacy students from year 4 and year 5 are going to UGM (Universitas Gadjah Mada) in Indonesia and KKU (Khon Kaen University) in Thailand for their one-month internship. In previous years, students only went to KKU, but this year with the extended collaboration, UGM also offered the internship opportunities for UP pharmacy students. It’s a great opportunity for UP students as both universities are ranked top 25 in the Southeast Asia, according to the Times Higher Education (THE).

Students will intern in 4 sectors namely community pharmacy, clinical pharmacy, research and development (R&D), and Pharmaceutical Technology. Panha Phally, the class monitor from year 4, is says he is really looking forward to it – excitedly telling us that interning abroad is an opportunity to learn about new people and cultures, taste delicious new foods, and make lasting memories whereas gaining more professional experience.

Equipped with per-departure internship advice from the faculties, our students seem to be ready for this exciting journey. Go show off your talent on the global stage and bring back home some amazing international experiences, students! Remember your goal and keep your mind open to changes and the unexpected.


Dr Chenda is a part-time clinical tutor and lecturer in endodontics at UP. Dr Chenda originally studied law before deciding to become a dentist. After graduating with a DDS he joined Cambodia’s first Masters specialist training course in endodontics, along with two other UP lecturers, Dr Leng Ravuth and Dr Peung Kimsreang. The 3 year Masters program was conducted by a group of Australian and NZ endodontists lead by Assoc Prof Steve Cohn, who in recent years has been a visiting lecturer at UP. Dr Chenda lives and works in Siem Reap, but travels to Phnom Penh every two weeks to teach at UP. He is very popular with students, and a leader in the field of endodontics in Cambodia. When patients of students or tutors have endodontic problems, they can call on Dr Chenda or one of our other endodontic specialists to help them. Dr Chenda is very happy to be working at UP, since it has the latest equipment including a Rotary Endodontic machine and one of only two Dental Microscopes in the whole country. Passionate about education, Dr Chenda is currently studying for his Diploma in Implantology at UP. Students, staff and the public are warmly invited to see our highly competent staff and students for all their oral health care needs. Our clinic is open from Monday to Saturday from 8.30 to 5pm (and 8pm on Mon, Wed and Fri).

Clinical Resident Uniform

UP Dental Clinic has employed three of our top new graduates as General Practice Residents. They are Dr Pheach Ratanak, Dr Theme Terong and Dr Bun Sophealeak. Their job includes seeing private patients who wish to be treated by a dentist rather than a dental student. In addition, they also help and mentor the dental students when they have time. The three Residents have been busy since starting, and have been providing a wide range of treatment. They are also making the most of the opportunity to get advice from our dental specialists, in order to develop further their already excellent clinical skills. They are particularly focused on improving their knowledge and skills in implants and orthodontics. The photo shows the 3 Residents in their smart new uniforms. If you would like to make an appointment to see Dr Terong, Dr Ratanak or Dr Sophealeak please see our Dental Receptionist.

UP invests $70,000 USD for pharmaceutical laboratory equipment in 2020

Pharmacists are experts who are responsible for drug development. Drug development comprises the journey from development to lab testing to shelf. This journey will have begun in a university laboratory where students, lecturers, and researchers have undertaken basic research and experiments to understand the processes of drug development, often at a molecular level. At UPs Faculty of Pharmacy, there are 5 different laboratories: Pharmaceutical technology laboratory (J01), Pharmacognosy laboratory (J11), Inorganic chemistry laboratory (J21), Organic chemistry laboratory (L52), and Medical biology laboratory (L51).

In 2019, UP invested $40,000 for the equipment in these laboratories and in 2020 an additional $70,000 has been allocated for other necessary equipment. We have seen the importance of the laboratory for our students, said Dr. Sin CHEA, Dean of Faculty of Pharmacy. Laboratory sessions are designed to allow students to apply knowledge from lectures and share experiences from personal observations in a pharmacy setting.

Faculty of Medicine team visits Chenla Children’s Healthcare (CCHC)

UP is committed to provide quality training to medical students in hospitals and training centers in Cambodia. So on 20th February 2020, Dr. Prom Vireak, Deputy Dean for Clinical Affairs, led a team from the Faculty of Medicine to visit Chenla Children’s HealthCare (CCHC) in Kratie Province.

CCHC is an excellent Center run by a non-governmental organization and provides free medical treatment to poor Cambodian children in the Province and surrounding areas.

The team was welcomed by CCHC’s Director, Dr. Bill Housworth and by the Medical Director, Dr. Seng Chanthou. The discussion was friendly and fruitful and a MOU will be prepared to allow UP medical students to soon do their pediatric internship at CCHC.

Research Supervision at UP

Research is very important for health professions as it trains the brain in critical thinking and communication skills to help decide the best treatment for patients. But how can we be sure that our students are getting the best research and research supervision?

At UP all research supervisors do annual professional development/updates on research supervision which is run by the Research Department. A Research Supervisor Workshop was held last weekend at UP with the Faculties of Nursing /Midwifery and Medicine; Department of ICT; Angkor Children’s Hospital and Khmer Soviet Hospital.

At the workshop it was discussed that one of the most important things a research supervisor can do is to encourage students to be curious for them to ask questions (lots!) help them find answers to the questions (through literature reviews, collecting data and analyzing data) and help them to evaluate the ‘so what’ of their findings (how do the findings change what we think and do, change guidelines, influence policy and lead to better health outcomes?). For students a good supervisor is someone who is available and meets with them regularly (and gives regular constructive feedback) and coaches them to the finish line; who respects them and expects the best from them; and who is not afraid to also be a learner.

The next Research Supervision workshop (for existing supervisors and for those who would like to become supervisors) will be run in early June 2020.

UP ICT students carry out various exciting mini-projects

For the mid-term activities of the Virtualization class, ICT students have carried out mini-projects on various topics:
– Backup and Restore options for Virtual Machines and Virtual Machine Databases: providing data loss prevention tools
– Offline virtual machine servicing tool and WSUS: maintaining virtual machine updates offline
– Hyper-V Failover Cluster: ensuring operational stability against risks throughout the operation process
– Converting a Physical Server to a Virtual Machine ( P2v ): reducing the amount of time spent creating and configuring virtual machines Project-based learning not only focuses on theory and academic content, but also includes real-world applications of the knowledge.
Thank our lecturer, Mr. Phary Ren, for keeping our students challenged, pushing them to think as a System admin professional to solve technical problems.

Medical Laboratory Technology students Study Tour

On 18 and 20 February 2020, UPs Department of Laboratory Sciences, conducted the study tour for Medical Laboratory Technology students to the private medical laboratories LABORATOIRE D’ANALYSES MEDICAL BIOBYKHIN and VS Medical Laboratory, both within Phnom Penh. During the event the students visited all the units within the laboratories which had prepared a short training course for them to gain experience. The students were excited to have this chance to participate and look forward to another opportunity to do so.


The UP Dental Clinic starts each session with a “huddle”. The idea for the huddle came from our partner school in the US, the University of New England.

They found the huddle to be a valuable learning activity, which supplemented the normal lecture program.

The huddle at UP is a 30 minute period before the patients arrive when the tutors and students meet together to discuss all sorts of things related to clinical practice.

Sometimes, treatment plans for the patients coming in are discussed. Sometimes, clinic rules, protocols or issues are aired.

Sometimes students share with the tutors and other students interesting radiographs or clinical cases.

The outcome of the huddle is that students are better prepared for their treatment sessions, and learn from each other as well as their tutors.

UP is the only dental school in Cambodia which has the huddle and is proud to be trying new and innovative learning approaches with its students. “Happy Huddle” everyone!


Peer Assisted Study Support (PASS) and Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) are two terms for schemes that run at UP. They are similar but slightly different PAL focusses on students learning by helping each on academic matters; whereas whilst PASS includes student learning PASS also includes pastoral matters such as emotional support and being a friend when needed.

UP Faculty of Dentistry congratulates a group of year 2 dental students for helping Anatomy Lecturer, Dr Koeun Kalyan, during her anatomy classes this semester. This type of student help is called “Peer Assisted Learning” or PAL, and was introduced to UP several years ago by Assoc Professor Jenny Hayes from Melbourne University, during one of her visits with her anatomy team. During Semester 1, Dr Kalyan needed help to perform small group learning activities (such as identifying anatomical structures on models and photos, body painting and group presentations).

Eight dental students (Tan Bunho, Houn Maradin, Suon Pichchansotha, Chen Raksmey, Hakseng Linkeang, Yim Navi, Heab Kimchheang and Thoeurn Samnang) were motivated to help their classmates by studying the lessons in advance so they could assist the lecturer during small group activities. Indeed, they not only helped the lecturer during class, but they also made themselves available outside class whenever the students needed help. As a consequence, peer tutors not only helped their classmates to learn, but also improved their own anatomy knowledge and developed some useful leadership skills.

Dr Kalyan suggested that the 8 students were deserving of a “Certificate of Appreciation” for their efforts and wrote to the Dean saying: “the peer tutors have done a great job so far. They have been passionate to help their classmates, even outside the classroom! Because of this some of the students who initially performed poorly in this class have improved a lot!”.

Thank you Dr Kalyan and thank you students for your valuable contribution as peer tutors!


The partnership between UP and Future Forum (FF) began over coffee (as good endeavours often do) and an invitation by the UP Emerging Researchers group to the Future Forum Young Researchers to meet over a “Research Café” get together. The UP Emerging Researchers group came up with this concept to network with other researchers – find out what they were doing, share knowledge and support each other in research. The first inaugural research café at Future Forum was a huge success and contributed in its own small way to the expanding network of emerging researchers in Cambodia.

From there UP staff and students were invited to attend the Policy Lab Boot Camp last year – resulting in the final submissions of the policy brief papers this month. Our emerging researchers/policy analysts benefited from the incredible knowledge, support and new ways of thinking that Virak and his team from Future Forum offered at every step of the way. From here the partnership has expanded to include attendance at the Cambodia 2040 forums; policy lab forums where the Policy Lab participants presented their work; the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung forums and regular discussion between UP and FF around the importance of policy and health; research potential in Cambodia and the future of ethics review.

UP are delighted to be working with Future Forum in contributing to a positive outcome in the health and policy space for Cambodian society. We believe that working together in thinking forward, trying new approaches, and being innovative bring exciting opportunities for the future.

The new Emerging Researcher group 2020 is starting this week. If you are interested, please email Dr Tineke Water (Director of Research) on wtineke@puthisastra.edu.kh

UP dental students are making high quality dentures for patients who are missing some or all their natural teeth. Heng Rithi and Mith Visal (year 7 dental students) were very happy to create a new smile for this patient, who was very appreciative of their efforts. The case was supervised by Dr Sovatdy (surgical preparation) and Dr Chris Park (prosthodontic steps), with technical assistance by dental technician Mr Sok Samseiha.

Dental students are currently looking for MORE patients who need complete and partial dentures. The price is only $65 for a complete upper and lower denture set – and $70 to $150 for a partial denture. Appointments can be made at the UP Dental Clinic.


Each UP Dental Student has to make several sets of dentures during their 4 years of clinical training in the UP Dental Clinic. These dentures are made with supervision of our top dentists, including our 2 specialist prosthodontists (Dr Visal and Dr Rithy), with additional help from our two Dental Technicians (Mr Kiny and Mr Seiha). We provide these dentures at very low cost, and would like to offer, for a limited period of time, a DISCOUNT of $20 off the normal price of the dentures.

If you would like to take up this offer please talk to the Dental Clinic Receptionist.


Side By Side International is a non-profit organization that was established in 1985 supply humanitarian aid, counseling, and work with other likeminded organizations that want to help people in need. It has does this in partnership and collaboration with many partners over the years providing educational materials for children, as well as food, stationary, toys, clothing etc to aid children institutions in Japan and Cambodia. It also provides medicines and medical equipment for hospital in Cambodia. Side by Side work with the MoH to ensure appropriate and sustainable contributions that make a difference to the health outcomes of different population groups in Cambodia.

The non-governmental organization Graphis is one of those who partners with Side by Side International, bringing a group of Japanese university students to Cambodia every year to help them in their service. The students (all nursing undergraduates) visited University of Puthisastra Faculty of Nursing & Midwifery this week, to meet with our nursing students and to exchange insights into each other’s nursing programs.

The UP nursing students showed the visiting students the labs where nursing students carry out their clinical skills training in the first years of their program and the OSCE preparation for graduating exams in their final year.

UP nursing students then shared with them a presentation the Health Status of the Cambodian People. The Japanese students also presented insights into nursing in Japan and our students also got an indepth understanding of the work Side by Side International does here in Cambodia. These presentations engendered a lot of cross cultural discussion between the groups and provided each side with much broader insight into their professioparticularly as a wider ASEAN perspective. Overcoming language and other cultural barriers proved to create lots of laughter and fun in the process. It was a wonderful experience for all!

Delegates from Faculty of Dentistry joined the 7th International Workshop on Clinical Research Methods in Oral Health in Thailand

UP is the leading university in Cambodia for oral health research. Last week, two of UP’s lecturers in dental research methods, Dr. KONG Sophannary and Dr. Y Lima, joined the 7th International Workshop on “Clinical Research Methods in Oral Health” at Khon Kaen University, Thailand.

This joint workshop is organized by Khon Kaen University, Thammasat University, and University of Washington (USA), with support from the US National Institutes of Health (NIH/NIDCR). 33 dental researchers from 10 countries around Asia took part in the 5-day intensive research course.

Participants studied many topics related to oral health research methods, including Ethical Issues in Research, Behavioral Sciences Research in Dentistry, Biostatistics, as well as Study Designs in Clinical Research. By the end of the 5th day, participants also had gained the skills to develop a good research proposal. Dr Sophannary and Dr Lima plan to share their newly acquired knowledge and skills with our UP students, and help them to complete and publish their theses.


Dr. Sin CHEA, dean of Faculty of Pharmacy, was invited as a speaker at ‘International Conference on Natural Products and Human Health 2020’ which was held from February 27 to February 29, 2020 at University of Delhi, India. This conference aims to establish scientific network, research, and training collaborations among experts from different parts of the world in the field of natural products. He had two presentations. The first presentation was in the pre-conference workshop, which was about ‘Cambodian Medicinal Plants: An overview’, and the second one was in the main conference, which was about ‘Ethnobotanical survey of medicinal plants used by the communities residing in Banteay Srei district, Siem Reap province, Cambodia.’

During the conference, biologists, young researchers, scientists, students, cooperate world stalwarts, economists, environmentalists, industrialists, doctors, clinicians and educationists from India and abroad had a chance to benefit from his presentation and grab the chance to collaborate with UP. He also expressed the gratitude feeling towards this opportunity to learn from other speakers and participants whereas to represent University of Puthisastra and Cambodia as a whole.

The ICT Department attended the Korean Software HRD Center

The ICT Department attended the Korean Software HRD Center (aka “HRD”) 7th Generation Graduation Ceremony. The HRD is a highly selective training center focusing on Software development. It provides free education and an allowance for its students who were selected among the Year 3 & Year 4 University Students. After this intensive program, some of them pursue their Masters degree in Korea, and also the Masters at UP.

Currently, UP ICT Department is excited to employ two lecturers Mr. Channat TEM and Mr. Tola PHENG who were students and trainers at HRD. This year, one UP ICT student, Ms Seyma LY, applied and got selected for their program. We wish her good luck and also would also like to Congratulate the 25 students who graduated from HRD this year!

Medical Laboratory Technology student’s workshop

On 23 February 2020, The Department of Laboratory Sciences, University of Puthisastra cooperated with the Cambodia Association of Medical Technologists (CAMT), to organize the training “Webpro Program for Hematology” which was sponsored by the Japan Association of Medical Technologists (JAMT). After the students were instructed on how to sign up, they went through a session of the hematology course and took an online test. In order to successfully complete the course students will have to take all tests by the end of March 2020.

After completion of this course students will have gained a better understanding of how to search on the internet, how to access online learning platforms, and will have increased their knowledge of normal and abnormal cell identification in the hematology field.

Congratulations to 9 UP pharmacy students receiving academic scholarships

Making that transition to university means parents and students are both keyed into the same reality: that the cost of higher education is often more than what they can afford. Every student’s story is different, but the financial gap in paying for university is still apparent. By providing sufficient scholarship assistance, we can enable greater success in higher education, providing backing for deserving students who want to graduate with their degree and give back to society.

On February 12, 2020, the scholarship acknowledgement ceremony was held to congratulate students who received the scholarship to pursue their undergraduate program in health sciences at University of Puthisastra. There were 9 pharmacy students who got scholarships this year. Among them, there was a student with full scholarship, a student with 75% scholarship whereas the rest got 50% scholarship. The students expressed their thankful attitude and promised to study hard and well. We hope these scholarships can change the course of their life, allowing them to access the higher education and taking their life in exciting new directions.

UPs nurses make Research Proposal Presentation

On the 17th and 21st of February 2020, 47 Year 4 Bachelor Science in Nursing students (divided into 9 groups,) made their research proposal presentations to students at Hall H from 8:30 am to 12 noon. Students we ably supervised by five research advisors and Dr. Virya Koy, PhD in nursing, who is lead lecturer for of nursing research course in UP.

Research has been introduced to level 4 bachelor nursing students to widen there scope and critical thinking skills and students are required to do their group research for their final project to complete requirements for graduation. As a result, all of 9 groups have presented their research proposal successfully with changes they have to make within 2 weeks then resubmit to UP nursing department.

After their proposals have been reviewed by UPs research committee, students will continue their research to the next stage by doing data collection. They will complete their research write up by end of August. Their final oral presentation will be sometime in October 2020.

Research Space Presentation every Wednesday at 4 pm University of Puthisastra, Phnom Penh Green Fridays


Last year the Emerging Researcher group from UP had an opportunity to join Future Forum for a weeklong ‘Policy Boot Camp’ in Kirirom.

Muyngim Eng, who is a lecturer in the Faculty of Pharmacy, developed up a policy brief around the importance of exercise in promoting good health (focusing on a green prescription rather than a medical prescription).However, Muyngim also raised concerns around how and where people could exercise in large cities. One of the issues with rapid urbanization has been the increase of air pollution from industry and motorized transportation – making exercise outside not ideal. Air pollution is also associated with non-communicable diseases such as respiratory and cardiovascular disease. In Phnom Penh traffic congestion and pollution are growing problems for the city.

To tackle both the problem of traffic congestion and pollution, and to promote physical activity, Muyngim has proposed implementing “Green Fridays” a social movement campaign which encourages people to use alternative green transport (for example walking, cycling, or bus) one day per week. People would be encouraged to post pictures on Facebook or Instagram to highlight their participation in this movement.

Congratulations to Muyngim for the submission of her policy brief last month and we look forward to reading the published version soon! Thank you to Future Forum for offering the Emerging Researchers this amazing opportunity and the knowledge, support and new ways of thinking that you shared with them. We look forward to finding ways of implementing this initiative!

Research Space is open to any staff, researchers and students from UP or any other organisation who are interested in research and updates on recent topics. If you would like to present, please email Dr Tineke Water wtineke@puthisastra.edu.kh