Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

We are open to project suggestions from candidates on topics related to epilepsy, traumatic brain injury and neurodegenerative diseases, in either preclinical or clinical settings.


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Personal profile


Dr Alina Arulsamy is a lecturer and the current head of the Neuropharmacology Research Laboratory (NPRL) at JCSMHS. She was a former postdoctoral research fellow at Monash. Her research journey began in 2013, where she joined the Brain Research Institute of Monash Sunway (BRIMS) to undertake an honours research project. After graduating with first class honours, Dr Alina was offered a six-month contract as a research assistant at Monash University Malaysia. 

She was then awarded a full PhD scholarship (Beacon of Enlightenment scholarship) at the University of Adelaide, Australia. During her PhD program under the Cognitive Ageing and Neurodegenerative Diseases Lab (CANDL), she developed her passion and expertise in traumatic brain injury. She completed her PhD in due time, with at least ten conference/seminar/workshop presentations, seven publications (three as first author), one shortlisted candidacy for a CMAX (research-business translation) award, and a dean commendation on her thesis for research excellence.

After her PhD, she was offered a postdoctoral research position at Monash University Malaysia to work under the guidance of her former supervisor, Dr Mohmad Farooq Shaikh, in March 2020. Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, she managed to obtain a large number of high quality publications and supervised 16 Year 5 medical students in their Scholarly Intensive Placement (SIP) projects. Besides that, she also was awarded three internal grants for various projects as the PI; she also helped in securing another internal grant worth RM100,000 as a co-investigator.

In 2021, she was appointed as a secretariat for the First Malaysian Epilepsy Congress 2021 and 34th MSPP Scientific Meeting 2021. In 2022, she was nominated to be an Executive Committee (Ex-Co) member of the Persatuan Epilepsi Malaysia as well as for the Epilepsy Council Malaysia. She currently is a core member of the Neuroscience Research Strength (NRS) in JCSMHS, leading the Neurology arm. 

Dr Alina’s main expertise lies in traumatic brain injury, epilepsy and animal behaviour studies. She has also ventured into other research areas such as neurodegenerative disease, neuropsychiatry disorders, and more recently, gut microbiota analysis and nanoformulations of drug delivery.

Research interests

Research Expertise:

  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Epilepsy
  • Neurodegenerative diseases
  • Neuropsychiatric disorders
  • Animal studies in drug discovery
  • Nanoformulations
  • Natural Product Extracts

Internal Grants

1) Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Science (JCSMHS) Seed Grant, 2020, RM10, 000 (as Principal Investigator).
2) Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Science (JCSMHS) Strategic Grant, 2021, RM 100, 000 (as Co-Investigator)
3) Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Science (JCSMHS) ECR Grant, 2021, RM20, 000 (as Principal Investigator).
4) Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Science (JCSMHS) Seed Grant, 2022, RM10, 000 (as Principal Investigator).
5) Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Science (JCSMHS) Seed Grant, 2023, RM21, 400 (as Principal Investigator).
6) Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine and Health Science (JCSMHS) Strategic Grant, 2023, RM 100, 000 (as Co-Investigator)

External Grants
1) MOHE FRGS grant (government) 2020-2024, RM132,000 (as Co-Investigator)

Monash teaching commitment

NUT1022-Fundamentals of Biomedical Sciences

MED1100/1200: Problem-based Learning (PBL)

MED 1100/1200 and MED 2100/2200 : Neuroscience-related Anatomy and Physiology

MED 2100/2200: Student project cases (SPC)

MED5101 - Scholarly Intensive Placement (SIP)

MDP Program -Animal Models in Drug Development and Toxicological Screening

Community service

  • Secretary of Persatuan Epilepsy Malaysia (2023-present)
  • Ex-Co member of Malaysian Epilepsy Council (2023-present)
  • Community Pillar member of Women's Empowerment Network Monash University Malaysia
  • GCP certified

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Anatomy and Pathology, Doctor of Philosophy, From Trauma to Neurodegeneration: A One-Year Time Progression of Functional Impairments and its Associated Neuropathological Link Following Varied Severity of Experimental Diffuse Traumatic Brain Injury, University of Adelaide

Aug 2015Jun 2019

Award Date: 31 Jul 2019

Medical Bioscience, Bachelor of Science (Honours), The Pharmacological Evaluation of Leucaena Leucocephala in Anxiety and Depression, MONASH UNIVERSITY

Jul 2010Jul 2014

Award Date: 24 Oct 2014

Research area keywords

  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)
  • Epilepsy
  • Neurodegenerative Diseases/Disorders
  • Systematic Reviews
  • Neurotrauma
  • Traumatic brain injury - Rehabilitation
  • Neuropsychiatry
  • Animal Disease Models
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Nanoformulations
  • Natural Product Extracts

Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or