It was my second time going back to my country, Indonesia, because there was a long holiday for students after final exam session. So, I benefited it to spend my annual leaving by ‘hometown-ing’ to Solo, Jawa Tengah. But, I won’t tell this story if I think no special things happened during my vacations.
At the same week, I had to attend one conference that was interesting me to join and publish my research. Last time, I had frustrated that I couldn’t develop my desired field by myself, i.e. DRUG DISCOVERY. As we have known that drug discovery takes so long time, big budget, and high energy to find out even one new compound only that must be proven having EFFECTIVE, EFFICIENT, SAFELY & ACCEPTABLE criteria. In my environment, it was not supporting what my idea was, at all.
People tend to get anything instantly and won’t think further to anticipate what will happen to their next generation. They love to consume high technologies just for fun but no willing to benefit it as much as possible, yah…that has been our culture which make us been left out so far away from “The Super Power Country”……
Later, I thought to find another way to create non-drug compound but still high related with my interesting field in synthesis of organic matters. My friend inspired me”Why don’t you try to create semi synthetic polymers?” I was trying to think farther about what the unique of polymers was actually. When I compared to the drug, polymers has the specialty itself due to its abundance in plants. Polymer is one of primary metabolite that can be included as carbohydrate class, protein, lipid, enzyme and nucleic acid which is normally having non-biological effect to our bodies. It is more in producing energy to run our basal metabolism. Together with lipid, protein and nucleic acid, carbohydrate has a big role to make us survive in life and then I chosen polymer of carbohydrate as my starting point to study the unique of such organic compound.
polymer chain of inulin (carbohydrate), fatty acid, and nuckeic acid
Otherwise, the abundance of its compound, make it will be easier to isolate it from its resources in a high yield and purity. Comparing to secondary metabolites such as alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenoids, etc. that is usually presented in a pretty small quantity; I tried to anticlockwise of my steer. Moreover, it is a new challenge for me because of its complicated molecules make me must work harder to confirm its structure. Polymer might be composed by > 100 units of monomer that is not as simple as when we analyze the secondary metabolite’s structure. Here are brief descriptions of the difference between primary & secondary metabolite.
structure of terpenoids, assigned by isoprene unit
ABC ring of flavonoids
N-heterocyclic of alkaloids
|Availability in resources||Abundant||Low|
|Biological/ pharmacological activity||No||Yes|
|Body’s demand||Big portion||Pretty small doses|
|Function||Producing energy and repairing cellular damage (protein)||Medicines and Poisons|
|Example||Carbohydrate (glucose, starch, inulin), protein (albumin, keratin), lipid (cell membrane), nucleic acid (DNA, RNA)||Alkaloids, flavonoids, terpenoids, iridoids, antocians.|
Polymer has been widely applied in our life such us cotton, foam, fiber glass, polystyrene and so on. Recently, it also can be a precursor to synthesize a biologically active compound. As we knew that a few of medicine has a part of molecule structure been composed by a polymer such as antibiotics, antiviral and anticancer. So, I thought it will be more flexible than I just focused on drug synthesis because polymer can be applied both in industrial chemistry and drug discovery. I can develop the organic compounds that will be able to be produced faster than drugs but still could be related with drug discovery either.
And then as I have published in my previous article that I tried to make semi synthetic polymer derived from dahlia tuber. Fortunately, there were 2009 9th National Symposium of Polymeric Materials conducted by Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM). The date of conference was closer to the week I planned going back to my country. So I decided to attend it firstly before crossing the oceans and BINGO, when my abstract was accepted by the committee, Universiti Kuala Lumpur were ready to support the finance included presentation fee, hotel, meals and transportation.
Actually, I was a bit lack of confident because of my 1st time I participated as oral presenter in overseas and have to present in English. But that opportunity might not be come back if I just let it went away. So, I collect the whole of my brave heart to make me sure that I can do it. It would be one of my histories of my life that I will tell to my young generation to motivate them be successful in their life.
14th December, 2009
I left Ipoh by using fast train straight to Kuala Lumpur. Here are the views surrounding Ipoh Railway Station. There was a HINDU TEMPLE behind there interesting me to snap shot it.
About 2 hours taken, I arrived at Kuala Lumpur Railway Station, KL Central. Since it was still too early to check in a hotel, I decided to spend my time by going to Suria KLCC, one of big mall in Kuala Lumpur. It was getting close to Christmas so that I could feel and smell the santa clause, snow, and Christmas tree over there.
Kinokuniya Book Store at Level 4 of KLCC, the outlet that I never missed it when I visit this place
Getting evening I went to the KL Central anymore and bought ticket to Putrajaya. It took 20 minutes to reach that place while heavy rain, storm and lightning were accompanying me outside. By taxi, I went straightly to Residence Hotel, Uniten, Putrajaya, Serdang, the venue of conference will be conducted. And then I booked the standard room for two nights and puffzz…….I laid down my body on the warm spring bed to release my cramp legs.
15th December, 2009
After registering, I enter the hall of the main seminar conducted where in. I felt like weird since I thought I was one and only “OUTSIDER” because most of them were a chemical engineers. I am PHARMACIST, so what I wanted to do actually?? Ha3x…….But I just went through whilst nobody asking me and then why I had to be lack of confident?? The most importance that I can get a new experience and enlarge my network with other discipline but still can be high related with my area.
WHAT A SURPRISE I WAS!!! I got the 1st DAY and 2nd SLOT in presentation and honesty; I was pretty nervous, really-really nervous. But as I said” just go through and see what the result is, we never know if we don’t try”. I also met some INDONESIANs who took further study while teaching in UPM. With my poor English I tried to present my research and 20 minutes presentation run like 10 second only and then suddenly, I finished it up. What free from stress I was and I would never forget this scene of my journey.
16th December, 2009
That time was the second day of conference; I was just becoming an audience and enjoying a lot of interesting presentation about recent progress in polymeric materials. There were researches about nanocomposite materials, natural fiber usage reinforce some household materials, latex, chitosan, thermoplastics and so on.
Interestingly, even it was a national scale, but the participants came from so many foreign country such as Nigeria, Morocco, Ghana, Egypt, and of course INDONESIA, he3x….
At 5.00 p.m., the conference finished already and I directly checked out from the hotel I stayed. And of course, my next destination would be LCCT airport that would fly me to SOLO city. ONCE UPON TIME IN PUTRAJAYA strengthen me to be better and better facing my future. COMING SOON, next SYMPOSIUM of POLYMERIC MATERIALS make me can’t wait that even to dive in as deep as possible. See you……..