From Malaysia to Scotland

Published on 21 October 2020

Professor Chim Lang may be based 7000 miles from his homeland of Malaysia, but he is always surrounded by reminders of home thanks to the Malaysian colleagues that work alongside him in Dundee

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As well as being Professor of Cardiology at the University, Prof Lang is also a consultant cardiologist and clinical pharmacologist whose internationally-renowned research has impacted on health policy around the world.

Prof Lang’s relationship with the University dates back to 1979, when he began his undergraduate medical training here. He worked in the city after graduating, but his stellar career took him to the US and briefly back to Malaysia before the lure of Dundee once again proved too strong to resist. These days,, Prof Lang and his wife, Dundee’s School of Medicine International Student lead, Dr Anna Maria Choy, help Malaysians, Singaporeans and other South-east Asian students adjust to life in a new country.

“It has become a tradition for us to throw a party for some of our students each Chinese New Year. We welcome them into our home and cook for them all, which can be something of a challenge,” he said. “Studying at an international institution is extremely rewarding and opens up a world of possibilities but it also obviously brings a few challenges and it is important for students to have people help them to settle in. That’s what we aim to do and I think the students enjoy the parties as much as we do.

“I was welcomed into the community here and things have changed a lot since I first came to Dundee. There are many students and staff from all parts of the world, including Malaysia and Singapore. The campus is very multicultural and one of the things I am most proud of is how diverse our own little group is. In my own division, I have Malays, Malaysian Chinese and Indians, all working well together in a high performing group.”

Prof Chim Lang

While Prof Lang has spent most of his life outside Malaysia, his homeland always remains in his heart and he retains strong links with several prestigious institutions in the country. His experiences have convinced him of the benefits of international collaboration and exposure to different cultures.

He said, “One of the big strengths of Dundee is that the degree on offer is an international one. We are not just producing graduates to work in the UK and Dundee graduates have gone on to be international key opinion leaders in medicine and life sciences. I am a product of this Medical School and am very happy that South-east Asian students are coming here then going back to their home countries to make a difference to people’s lives there. I was back in Malaysia delivering a series of lectures last year and it became an opportunity for me to meet up with my old students who are scattered across Malaysia and have all become very successful doctors.”


Press Office, University of Dundee

Story category Student experience