Heads of Julius Centre University of Malaya

The Julius Centre University of Malaya (JCUM) was established in 2008. Using advanced epidemiological methods and health data analytics, JCUM aims to be a regional referral centre for learning and research in the areas of epidemiology, clinical epidemiology, evidence based medicine, and biostatistics.


Professor Dr. Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud

The first head of JCUM is Professor Dr. Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud, who is also a founder of this centre. He started to head this centre from 2008 to Mei 2012. The first Malaysian doctor to gain a PhD in Health Informatics, Prof Awang Bulgiba is also the first public health physician in Malaysia to be awarded these 4 fellowships (Fellow of Faculty of Public Health UK, Fellow of Public Health Medicine Malaysia, Fellow of Academy of Medicine Malaysia, Fellow of Academy of Science). He is currently Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Academic and International) for the University of Malaya. He was formally the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation) in the same university and oversaw a period of extraordinary research growth in UM. He continues to sit on the editorial boards of the Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health (APJPH) and Malaysian Orthopaedic Journal (MOJ) and several national level committees in Malaysia. Prof Awang Bulgiba has been an external examiner and assessor for several universities, was the founding Head of the Julius Centre UM (2008-2012), Chair for the University of Malaya Wellness Programme (2007-2009) and the Malaysian coordinator for the Asia-Europe Clinical Epidemiology & Evidence-Based Medicine Programme (2007-2010). In 2008, Prof Awang Bulgiba was the Organising Chair for the 40th Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health (APACPH) Conference (7-9 Nov 2008). In 2012 he was the Organising Chair for the 1st Asia Pacific Clinical Epidemiology and Evidence-Based Medicine (APCEEBM) Conference (6-8 July 2012) and in 2015 he was the Organising Chair for the 3rd Asian Population Association Conference (27-30 July 2015). He was recently elected as President of the Asia-Pacific Academic Consortium for Public Health (APACPH) KL, an NGO dedicated to public health, Vice-President for the College of Public Health, Academy of Medicine and Council member for the Academy of Science Malaysia. Prof Awang Bulgiba has published more than 100 peer-reviewed journal articles and is currently Principal Investigator for a number of research projects.



Associate Professor Dr. Noran Naqiah Hairi

In June 2012, Associate Professor Dr. Noran Naqiah Hairi replaced Professor Dr Awang Bulgiba Awang Mahmud to head JCUM. Noran N Hairi [MBBS, MPH, MPH (Epidemiology), PhD] served for several years with the Ministry of Health, Malaysia before becoming an academic in the University of Malaya in 2004. Double distinctions for her Masters degrees and a PhD put her on track to be an outstanding researcher particularly in the field of chronic diseases, geriatrics and gerontology. Collaborative research work with Ministry of Health researchers in subsequent National Health and Morbidity Surveys led to a development of a policy brief on improving the effectiveness of Pictorial Health Warnings on cigarette packages. Her interest in chronic diseases, geriatrics and gerontology led to her active involvement in several large-scale research projects such as AGOPHS (Alor Gajah Older People Health Survey), STeMM (Spatio-Temporal Modelling and Meta-analysis), MELoR (Malaysia Elder Longitudinal Research), CLUSTer (Clustering of Lifestyle risk factors and Understanding its association with Stress on health and wellbeing among school Teachers) and HELP (Health promotion, Education and Lifestyle interventions in special Populations). An important achievement of STeMM has been the historic formation of the Malaysian Cochrane Network in collaboration with five other local institutions as a part of the Australasian Cochrane Network. Noran has published widely in peer-reviewed journals, book chapters and editorials across a wide range of areas including public health, epidemiology, geriatrics and gerontology. Noran has also served as a Guest Editor in Preventive Medicine (a world leading public health journal) and is currently an Editor with the Asia Pacific Journal of Public Health, Asia’s leading public health journal. She has supervised to graduation several Masters students, and is currently supervising 5 doctorate candidates.


Associate Professor Dr. Sanjay Rampal

Associate Professor Dr. Sanjay Rampal currently heads Julius Centre University Malaya. Dr. Rampal is a public health specialist and preventive medicine physician. He is an Associate Professor of Epidemiology and Applied Biostatistics and heads the Biostatistics unit at the Department of Social and Preventive Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, University of Malaya. He also coordinates the UM Wellness Health Screening Centre. Dr Rampal was medically trained in India, and then served in the Ministry of Health Malaysia for seven years. The clinical experiences from his early medical career helped him realize that treating one patient at a time was not sufficient and more could be done by intervening at a population level. He improved his basic epidemiology and biostatistics knowledge by completing a MPH degree in 2004 from Harvard University. He joined University of Malaya in 2005 with the idea that intervening at the graduate level would improve the research skills of the medical and public health community. He completed his PhD from Johns Hopkins University in 2014.


His research work focuses on the epidemiology and prevention of cardiovascular disease, with a special emphasis on nutrition, obesity, diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and dyslipidemia. He is particularly interested in elucidating their roles as common upstream factors utilizing common major pathways leading to the different Non Communicable Diseases. He hopes to further leverage this information to better design and implement more “Horizontal” prevention programs that ultimately would reduce the number of new patients seen by our healthcare system. His methodological interest includes improving causal inference, epidemiological designs, regression models, multiple imputations, measurement error, propensity scoring, and biostatistics. Dr Rampal actively lectures at University of Malaya and is supervising 9 doctoral and 2 master students. He has provided numerous methodological and biostatistical consultations to graduate students and clinical researchers. As of 2015, Dr Rampal has published 67 peer reviewed research papers, of which 53 are ISI indexed, and has an h-index of 15 with 3000+ citations. Dr Rampal is the chairman for the Public Health Society, Malaysian Medical Association, and is a member of various international associations such as International Epidemiology Association, American Heart Association/American Stroke Association, Society for Epidemiology Research. He was the past honorary secretary for the College of Public Health Medicine, Academy of Medicine Malaysia from 2006-2009. He is also the current Medical Officer for Malaysian Red Crescent Society WP Putrajaya.