Biological science teaching and research could be traced back to the early days of 1959 when the University of Malaya was instituted with two Divisions, the Kuala Lumpur and the Singapore Divisions. The Faculty of Science of the Kuala Lumpur Division of University of Malaya was officially opened on January 15, 1959 and the first session of the biological sciences started in the Department of Zoology and Botany on the 25th of May 1959 in borrowed premises until the Faculty of Science building was officially opened in 1961.
On the 1st of April 1967, the two Departments of Zoology and Botany became one under the School of Biological Sciences with five divisions viz., Zoology, Botany, Ecology, Genetics and Physiology. Eight years later on April 1975, the School of Biological Sciences was separated into three Departments of Botany, Zoology, and Genetics and Cellular Biology. The other two divisions of Ecology and Physiology were managed by the Department of Zoology. Physiology was discontinued in 1978 while Ecology continued to flourish under the management of Zoology. In 1980, the Division of Microbiology was formed under the management of the Department of Genetics and Cellular Biology. On June 1st 1997, the amalgamation of these three departments led to the formation of the Institute of Biological Sciences.
These changes are necessary to cater to changing needs and demands of the nation. The changes within the biological sciences reflect current global trends in research evolving away from basic disciplines of botany and zoology. However although we are keeping up with current technologies, we are still documenting and unraveling the rich biodiversity available in our tropical ecosystems. This is because fundamental sciences form the baseline for biotechnology and information science. Our philosophy is to keep up with the latest advances in science and at the same time not losing sight of the need for basic studies on our rich biodiversity. The courses in our Degree Programmes are in keeping with this philosophy. More changes are to be expected within the next few years to ensure that the study of biological sciences in the University of Malaya is geared to meet future challenges.
To be in the forefront exploring Biological Sciences with the intention of:
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Saharuddin bin Mohamad