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Special Projects Director 

Datuk Professor Dr. Ghazally Ismail received his Ph.D in Microbiology and Immunology in 1977 from Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis, USA.  Upon his return to Malaysia, he has pursued a keen interest in unravelling the pathogenic mechanisms of a number of bacterial and parasitic diseases in the Tropics. He is widely acclaimed by his peers as a reputable scientist who pioneered research works on the pathogenic mechanism of a frequently misdiagnosed but fatal bacterial disease called melioidosis.


Though trained as a medical immunologist, he is also a passionate naturalist and an ardent environmental advocate. He was instrumental in the establishment of the University Kebangsaan Malaysia Sabah Campus (UKMS) where he served as the Dean of Science for a number of years during his stint in Sabah from 1981-1993. Through his sustained enthusiasm in SCUBA diving and rainforest expeditions, Prof Ghazally has contributed immensely in the research and conservation of both terrestrial and marine ecosystems in Borneo. He has served as the Chairman of Danum Valley Field Research Centre and was also one of the prime movers in the establishment of the Rafflesia forest reserve in the Crocker Range of Sabah, Borneo. A prolific writer, he has published widely in both technical journals and popular magazines in areas not only related to his own discipline of medical immunology but also on nature education and conservation of Bornean flora and fauna.


Prof Ghazally left the Malaysian academia as Professor of Immunology and Microbiology at the Universiti Malaysia Sarawak (UNIMAS) where he was also the Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Research and Services. Later, in collaboration with the Massachusetts’s Institute of Technology (MIT) USA, he helped to found and establish a private university in Kuala Lumpur, The Malaysia University of Science and Technology (MUST) as its first Vice President.  

After 38 years as an academic, he retired and returned to New Zealand where he first pursued his early tertiary education in 1969 at the University of Otago. In the ensuing 4 years, he devoted his time travelling and writing for magazines and books on managing university research, environmental conservation and nature.


However, in November 2013, he was appointed as the founding Vice Chancellor of the University College Sabah Foundation (UCSF) in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah. In the last 3.5 years he was tasked with pioneering and charting the path of growth for this new higher education institution as a green university.


In May 2017, his contract at UCSF came to closure when he decided to pursue a project he has been most passionate for a long time – his next adventure. He joined Ecotourism & Conservation Society Malaysia (ECOMY) as Project Director for his project entitled ‘Bringing Back Malaysia’s Natural Heritage Held Overseas (Wallace’s Type Collection & Malaysian Collection) in Digital Format.  

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