Understanding the Brain

Jafri Malin Abdullah

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Prof Dr Hj. Jafri Malin Abdullah
Born 5 December 1962
Kuantan, Pahang, Malaysia

Prof Hj Jafri Malin Abdullah (born 5 December 1962) is a Malaysian neuroscientist.

Education and career

Professor Jafri Malin Abdullah was born to Leftenan General Datuk Abdullah Samsudin previously of the Federation Regiment army as well as the previous Director of the Defence Staff Intelligence Division and mother, Datin Norleni Mohd Salleh.

He was raised and educated in numerous states in Malaysia including Wilayah Persekutuan, Pulau Pinang, Sarawak, Kedah and Kelantan. He is currently the Professor of Neurosciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia. He was educated in numerous schools amongst them:Sekolah Menengah Sains Tun Syed Sheh Shahabudin or better known during that period as Sekolah Menengah Sains Penang from 1976 to 1977, Sekolah Menengah Sains Tengku Muhammad Faris Petra from 1978 to 1979,Leederville Technical College, Perth Western Australia from 1980 to 1981.In 1986 he graduated with an MD from the School of Medical Sciences Universiti Sains Malaysia.

In 1994 he was awarded the Diploma of Certification of Specialization in Neurosurgery from the University of Ghent, Belgium (Chairman Prof Luc Calliauw).In 1995 a Ph.D.(Magna Cum Laude) from the same university was awarded to him after an open public defence of his thesis.

In 2001 he received the Fellow American College of Surgeons,three years later the Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh and in 2008 the Fellow European Stroke Society. Within Malaysian shores,he received in 2009 from the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation (Malaysia) the Fellow Academy of Science, Malaysia.

Research Fellowships and Awards

His research fellowships from Sept 1994 till Dec 1994 were as a research Fellow in Neurophysiology,Dept of Neurology, University Hospital Ghent, Belgium under the supervision of Prof Jacques De Reuk and thereafter from Dec 1994 till May 1995 as the Elekta Research Fellow in Stereotactic ,Functional Neurosurgery in the Department of Neurosurgery, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden under the supervision of Prof Bjorn Meyerson studying neurophysiology, pain and deep brain stimulation.

His professional experiences were as follows:1989-1994 Resident in Neurosurgery and Phd student, University of Ghent, Belgium. From 1997-2004 Associate Professor and Head of Neuroscience Unit, School of Medical Sciences Universiti Sains Malaysia.He was awarded the prestigious Young National Malaysian Scientist Award in 1999.

Current National and International posts

His current academic posts are:2004- 2012 Professor in Neurosciences,VK6, Head of Department, Department of Neurosciences Universiti Sains Malaysia (USM), School of Medical Sciences Universiti Sains Malaysia,2001 till current,Coordinator of Master of Surgery(Neurosurgery) USM training programme,2007 till current Second Coordinator of Advance Masters of Neurology,USM. 2004 till today, Coodinator of the Masters of Neurosciences and Phd programmes in Neurosciences,USM 2007 till today ,Head of Brain Science Cluster Research,School of Medical Sciences, 2007 Committee Member, NeuroScience Programme Network, International Brain Research Organization, 2009 President Society for Neuroscience,United States of America (Malaysian Chapter) as well as the President of the 22 year old Medical Alumni Society of the University Sains Malaysia.He is also an committee member of Majlis Kanser Negara(MAKNA).He is currently the Coordinator of the International Brain Bee competition for secondary schools in Malaysia.

Scientific Focus

Prof Jafri Abdullah has achieved an H-index of 12 under 5 author names (MA Jafri, J Malin, J Abdullah, JM Abdullah, Jafri Malin, Abdullah)with his articles cited 238 times (www.scopus.com). His work is currently focused mainly on functional neurophysiological monitoring for neurointensive care, microstimulation for deep brain stimulation for movement disorders like dystonia, parkinsons and Tourette syndrome, intraoperative monitoring and epilepsy surgery. There is also a small component of his research in neurooncology and stem cells. Since 2007 he has been involved with colleagues in medicinal chemistry where electrophysiology is used for the discovery of ethnopharmacological compounds - especially those that are acting on GABA and other new compounds from plants for learning and memory. In 2008/9 the Magnetoencephalography, Electroencephalography and Event-related potential lab was set up to increase research in the field of epilepsy and cognitive neurosciences. Prof Jafri has 140 manuscript publications, 6 chapter in books, 7 books as editor.[1] [2] [3] [4] [5]

He supports the Decade of the Mind which begins 2010 and ends 2020 by improving fundamental research in the fields of neurochemistry, neurophysics, artificial neural network, cognitive neuroscience, neuroimaging and neuropsychology by establishing groups of young neuroscientists via the Brain Mind Nexus, headed by Prof Zalina Ismail of the Universiti Sains Malaysia

National Societies and Association

  • Association of Neurosciences Department and Programs (ANDF, USA)
  • Society for Neurosciences (SFN)
  • International Brain Research Organization
  • American Society for Gene Therapy
  • European Paediatric Neurology Society
  • European Stroke Council
  • American Academy of Neurology
  • International Headache Society
  • Movement Disorder Society
  • International Association for the Study of Pain
  • European Neurological Society
  • World Federation of Neurorehabilitation
  • Malaysian Neuroscience Society
  • Indian Neurological Society
  • Society of Neurosurgical Anesthesia & Critical Care
  • Congress Stereotactic & Functional Neurosurgical Society
  • International Society of Paediatric Neurosurgery
  • American Association of Neurological Surgeons
  • Asian Society for Stereotactic, Functional & Computer Assisted Neurosurgery
  • Asian Congress Neurological Surgeons
  • World Stereotactic and Functional Neurological Society
  • World Federation of Neurosurgical Societies
  • Neurosurgical Association Malaysia
  • American Association of Electrodiagnostic Medicine
  • European Neurooncology Society
  • World Academy for Neurological Surgeons
  • International Society for Neurochemistry
  • Asian Association of Neurooncology
  • International Society for Neuroimmunology
  • International Clinical Neurophysiology Society
  • Infantile Seizure Society


  1. Jafri Malin Abdullah, (2005) Neurosciences in University Sains Malaysia: the Way to Go Forward in Malaysia with Vision 2020. Malaysian Journal of Medical Sciences, 12 (2). pp. 1-3. ISSN 1394195X
  2. Idris B, Sayuti S, Abdullah JM. History of neurosciences at the School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia. J Clin Neurosci. 2007 Feb;14(2):148-52.
  3. Zulkifli MM, Ibrahim R, Ali AM, Aini I, Jaafar H, Hilda SS, Alitheen NB, Abdullah JM. Newcastle diseases virus strain V4UPM displayed oncolytic ability against experimental human malignant glioma. Neurol Res. 2009 Feb;31(1):3-10
  4. Ahmad, T. J. Abdullah, F. Zakaria, F. Mustapha, & AMH Zabidi-Hussin, “Tracking The Storm In The Brain” Journal of Quantitative Methods, Vol 2. No. 2, Dec 2006, pp.1-9
  5. Bhaskar S, Abdullah JM, Yusoff NM, Prasad A. Gene frequencies of human platelet alloantigens in Kelantan, Malaysia. Singapore Med J. 2007 Jun;48(6):598-9

External links