On 17 October 2023, Professor Dr Moy Foong Ming, from the Department of Social & Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Malaya conducted her inaugural lecture. This is the third inaugural lecture from the department, the first was from Professor Dr Awang Bulgiba (2014) and the second from Professor Dr Maznah Dahlui (2018).
Professor Moy is a professor in Epidemiology and Public Health. The topic of her lecture was “A Journey towards Health and Wellness”. It was conducted at the TJ Danaraj Auditorium, Faculty of Medicine. It was chaired by Professor Dr April Camilla Roslani, the Dean of the Faculty of Medicine. The lecture was attended by her colleagues, students, friends and family members.
In the lecture, Professor Moy shared her journey in health and wellness as a researcher. Her main research work was carried out with the aim of understanding how lifestyle risk factors were associated with health outcomes and implementing interventions in the pursuit of health and wellness. The development and validation of tools for more reliable and valid measurements of lifestyle risk factors also formed an important part of her research.
She researched the prevention of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) in the community setting, Workplace Wellness, and the effects of obesity and lifestyle behaviours (diet, physical activity, etc) on NCDs. Dr Moy initiated and established the University of Malaya Wellness Program for UM staff in 2008 and coordinated the program until 2013.
Currently, she heads a cohort study comprising almost 15,000 teachers from Peninsular Malaysia (CLUSTer). A biobank with serum, plasma and buffy coat was set up. The study aims to determine the temporal relationship between lifestyle risk factors and stress with NCDs.
Her latest study works on the development of a mobile diet app using image capture as the dietary assessment method. The goal is to have users monitor their diet more efficiently and for researchers in the nutrition field to have a better tool for dietary assessment. This project has won a Gold medal in the PECIPTA 2022 and a Silver medal in the International Awards, Malaysia Technology Expo (MTE) 2022.
Professor Moy engages with the media in health advocacy, especially in the prevention of obesity and NCDs, and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she actively promoted public health preventive measures and vaccination for COVID-19. She coached her DrPH/PhD candidates in conducting seminars for the public, dissecting the systematic reviews and meta-analyses on the controversial anti-parasitic drug, Ivermectin as the treatment drug for COVID-19. She also worked on increasing the public’s awareness of Long COVID by initiating studies on Long COVID and had patients with Long COVID sharing their experience in seminars. She is passionate in her academic, research and advocacy work.