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Best Thesis Award for UNMC academic


The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus’ School of Biosciences Assistant Professor Dr Cheng Shi Hui  received the Malaysian Dietitians’ Association Postgraduate Best Thesis Award at the 23 Malaysian Dietitians’ Association (MDA) National Conference 2017 held on 10 to 11 July in Kuala Lumpur. The Postgraduate Thesis Award served as a platform to recognise outstanding achievements and contributions of MDA members in the field of dietetics and nutrition.

The theme for this year was advancing Clinical Care in Dietetics. Dr Cheng’s PhD research entitled “Metabolic Effects of Cosmos caudatus Kunth (Ulam Raja) Supplementation in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus Patients” was judged the best thesis for the PhD category. She received  a cheque and certificate from Director General of Health Yang berbahagia Datuk Dr Noor Hisham bin Abdullah during the opening ceremony of the conference.

Dr Cheng said: “It is indeed a great honour and achievement and I am truly thankful to Malaysian Dietetics’ Association council members for recognising me for this award. I am also deeply grateful to my supervisors, Associate Professor Barakatun Nisak Mohd Yusof, Professor Amin Ismail, and Dr Joseph Anthony from Universiti Putra Malaysia for their unwavering support throughout my PhD journey.”

About her research

Dr Cheng’s research was a clinical trial to determine the effectiveness and safety of Cosmos caudatus (Ulam raja) supplement in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM).

The research provided evidence that by consuming Ulam Raja supplements, there was improved insulin sensitivity in T2DM patients; it also improved the anti-inflammatory marker and systolic blood pressure in T2DM patients, suggesting its effect in reducing cardiovascular risk factors. Her research findings also showed that supplementation of C. caudate did not negatively affect liver and renal functions, suggesting that it is safe for T2DM patients. 

A total of 101 T2DM patients were enrolled in this study and were randomly assigned to treatment and control groups. Patients in the treatment group received 15g of C. caudate daily for eight weeks. Both groups received standard lifestyle intervention.

Dr Cheng obtained her PhD in Nutritional Sciences from University Putra Malaysia and her masters in Clinical nutrition from University Kebangsaan Malaysia via a scholarship from the Ministry of Higher Education. She has previously won the Professor Mustaffa Young Investigator Award for her PhD research. She is an ordinary member of Malaysian Dietitians’ Association and Nutrition Society of Malaysia. Dr Cheng Shi Hui has a great passion for nutrition and dietetics, and is committed towards uplifting evidence-based, professional and ethical practice through her teaching.


More information is available from Dr Cheng Shi Hui on or Josephine Dionisappu, PR & Communications Manager at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus on +603 8924 8746,

Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham has 43,000 students and is ‘the nearest Britain has to a truly global university, with a “distinct” approach to internationalisation, which rests on those full-scale campuses in China and Malaysia, as well as a large presence in its home city’ (Times Good University Guide 2016). It is also one of the most popular universities in the UK among graduate employers and the winner of ‘Outstanding Support for Early Career Researchers’ at the Times Higher Education Awards 2015. It is ranked in the world’s top 75 by the QS World University Rankings 2015/16, and 8th in the UK by research power according to the Research Excellence Framework 2014. It has been voted the world’s greenest campus for four years running, according to Greenmetrics Ranking of World Universities.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest-ever fundraising campaign, is delivering the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future.

Posted on 19th July 2017

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