Dr. Athirah Bakhtiar


School of Pharmacy

+603 5514 4413
Room  2-5-06

Dr Athirah Bakhtiar obtained her undergraduate degree in pharmacy - BPharm (Hons) from International Medical University and doctoral degree from Monash University. Upon completion of her PhD in 2016, she joined the academic line as a lecturer in SEGi University and MAHSA University, where she headed the Scientific Basis of Therapeutics (Pharmacology) Department. Athirah Bakhtiar joined School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia as a Pharmacy Lecturer in June 2019. Her research interest embraces medical nanotechnology discipline, which applies advance delivery approach (biodegradable and inorganic materials) to enhance the delivery system of drugs and gene therapies to breast cancer cells, both in vitro and in vivo. However, she is also interested in exploring other non-communicable disease areas such as diabetic mellitus, especially on oral insulin drug delivery studies. Aside from laboratory-based research, she is also interested in clinical studies related to medication safety, for promoting safe prescribing and dispensing in healthcare organisation.  She is very much interested in collaborative work, both nationally and internationally. Aside from her research background, she has experiences as pharmacist in many sectors including hospital, community pharmacy and industry. She is a Full-Registered Pharmacist in Malaysia, a member of Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society, Malaysian Academy of Pharmacy and Malaysian Society of Pharmacology and Physiology. She is also a member of Society of Biomaterials (USA) and Sakura Science Club (JSPS, Japan).


- Doctor of Philosophy in Medicine, Monash University, 2016

- Bachelor of Pharmacy (Hons), International Medical University, 2010

Research Experience

2017 - 2019: Pharmacology Lecturer, Faculty of Pharmacy, MAHSA University

2013 - 2014: Research Assistant, Jeffrey Cheah School of Medicine & Health Sciences, Monash University Malaysia

Employment History

June 2019 - Current:  Lecturer, School of Pharmacy, Monash University Malaysia

2017 - 2019: Head of Department of Pharmacology & Lecturer, Faculty of Pharmacy, MAHSA University

2016 - 2017: Pharmacy Lecturer, Faculty of Pharmacy, SEGi University

2012 - 2013: Community Pharmacist, WATSON (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd

2010 - 2013: Hospital Pharmacist, Ministry of Health Malaysia

Awards and Honours


  • Travel Award - Representing Malaysia under Japanese Medical Innovation Program (JMIP) in Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan


  • Gold Medal Award - 27th ITEX in Kuala Lumpur on World's First pH-sensitive Inorganic Nano-crystals to serve as a Super-efficient Drug-Transporter


  • Travel Award - Nano Today 2015 in Dubai, UAE on Development of novel inorganic barium nanoparticles for delivery of genetic materials for breast cancer therapy

Professional Affiliations

Registered Pharmacist, since 2010

- Pharmacy Board of Malaysia

Member, since 2005

- Malaysian Pharmaceutical Society

Sakura Science Club, since 2017

- Japanese Science and Innovation Agency

Member, since 2017

- Malaysian Academy of Pharmacy

Member, since 2018

- Malaysian Society of Pharmacology and Physiology

Member, 2017

- Society of Biomaterials, USA

Athirah has strong interests in improving the delivery of conventional therapies for cancer management through smart nanotechnology system. To date, she has successfully observed as many as 25 different types of potential inorganic nanoparticles on gene therapy for breast cancer treatment, both in vitro and in vivo. She is interested in the application of nanotherapy for other non-communicable diseases such as diabetes mellitus to observe the potential of designing oral insulin drug delivery through nano-encapsulation technique. Athirah also has an interest in clinical research focusing on medication safety to promote safe prescribing and dispensing in various healthcare settings.

Scholarly Journals (Refereed Only)


Md. Emranul Karim, Jayalaxmi Shetty, Rowshan Ara Islam, Ahsanul Kaiser, Athirah Bakhtiar, Ezharul Chowdhury, 2019. Pharmaceutics, Strontium sulfite: a new pH-responsive inorganic nanocarrier to deliver therapeutic siRNA to cancer cells.


Tan Mei Wei, Tsui Man Fui, Athirah Bakhtiar, 2018. Frontiers, Development of novel inorganic strontium nanoparticles for delivery of anti cancer drugs to breast cancer cells.


Athirah Bakhtiar, Nur Izyani Kamaruzzaman, Iekhsan Othman, Ezharul Chowdhury, 2017. Journal of breast cancer research and advancement, Intracellular delivery of p53 and MAPK siRNA into breast cancer cells utilising barium salt nanoparticles, 1(1).


Athirah Bakhtiar, Sayyad Mustak, Rozita Rosli, Atsushi Maruyama, Ezharul Chowdhury. 2014, Current gene Therapy, Intracellular delivery of potential therapeutic genes: Prospects in cancer gene therapy, 14 (1):247-57.


Anthony Stanislaus, Anil Philip Kunnath, Snidgha Tiash, Tahereh Fatemian, Nur Izyani Kamaruzaman, Athirah Bakhtiar, Sayyad Mustak, Sharif Hossain, Toshihiro Akaike, Ezharul Chowdhury. 2014, Drugs & therapy studies, Intracellular delivery of NF-kB small interfering RNA for modulating therapeutic activities of classical anti-cancer drugs in human cervical cancer cells, 3:1.


Anthony Stanislaus, Athirah Bakhtiar, Snigdha Tiash, Tahereh Fatemian, Sharif Hossain, Toshihiro Akaike, Ezharul Chowdhury. 2012, Cancer Cell International, Knockdown of PLC-gamma-2 and calmodulin 1 genes sensitizes human cervical adenocarcinoma cells to doxobrubicin and paclitaxel,12:30.

Books / Book Chapter

Athirah Bakhtiar, 2012, Medication Safety Newsletter, Pharmaceutical Services Division, Ministry of Health Malaysia. High Alert Medications: Implementing error reduction strategies, 4:1.

Athirah Bakhtiar. 2012, Drug Bulletin Hospital Kajang, High Alert Medications. 1:3.

Research Grants (Completed)

Type of Grant: Research Grant (from MAHSA University) (RP124-09/17)
Title of Research: Delivery of pDNA and siRNA to breast cancer cells utilising pH-sensitive strontium nanoparticles
Main Investigator: Dr Athirah Bakhtiar
Date/Duration: 2nd November 2017 - 2nd May 2019
Amount: RM 65,048.68

Postgraduate (MSc & PhD)

Md Emranul Karim (MSc: Completed) Fabrication and evaluation of biodegradable inorganic-organic hybrid nanoparticles as potential tools for targeted delivery of genes and small interfering RNAs into breast cancer cells
- Co-Supervisor

Wesley Zhi Chung See (PhD: 2018 to date) Bio-functional and biodegradable inorganic nanoparticles as efficient nano-carriers for small molecular
- Co-supervisor

Undergraduate BPharm (Hons)

Collaboration with JCSMHS

Tsui Man Fui (Research Project on advance drug delivery system: Completed 2018)

Tan Mei Wei (Research Project on advance drug delivery system: Completed 2018)

Neah Aik Seng (Research Project on advance drug delivery system: Completed 2019)

Liew Xin Qing (Research Project on advance drug delivery: Completed 2019)

Workshop Organisers

Organising chairperson for Master Class (Veterinary Pharmacy, Setting up a Pharmacy, Radio and Nuclear Pharmacy, Complementary Pharmacy) 2019 in Faculty of Pharmacy, MAHSA University

Organising chairperson and speaker for "How To Be a Smarter Patient" workshop 2019 at Auditorium Faculty of Pharmacy.

Organising committee member for the "International Conference on Drug Discovery and Translational Medicine 2018" at The Everly Putrajaya.

Organising committee member and speaker for "3rd Pharmacy Student Scientific Conference 2017" at MAHSA University.

Organising committee member and speaker for "4th Pharmacy Student Scientific Conference 2018" at MAHSA University.

Invited speaker for Faculty of Dentistry Workshop on PPE 2016 at Faculty of Dentistry, UiTM Puncak Alam.

Invited speaker for Ministry of Health "Housemen Inductions 2013" at Oriental Crystal Hotel Kajang.