Dr Jezamine Lim, pushing the envelope

Hajar Umira Md Zaki
29 Jul 2022 11:54am
Dr Jezamine Lim - pics from Instagram
Dr Jezamine Lim - pics from Instagram
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When it comes to “beauty and brains” there’s this connotation that you can only have one or the other. Truth is, there’s no golden rule that says the two traits can’t co-exist.

Women in Malaysia who are both beautiful and intelligent are aplenty. One example would be Dr Jezamine Lim who is also fondly known as the wife of popular comedian Harith Iskander.

Graduated in Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) in Stem Cells and Tissue Engineering, the 39-year-old smart and inspiring Dr Jezamine Lim spent more than six years working on her PhD in Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM).

She spent four years studying at the Melaka Manipal Medical School and graduated with a Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS).

Dr Jezamine said shifting from a medical doctor to research was not an easy journey for her and to top it off, there were many naysayers who didn’t believe she would get through it.

But she only proved them wrong with the string of awards she has received, with the latest being the Distinguished Woman Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award by KSI Strategic Institute for Asia Pacific.

“I feel very grateful, honoured and very blessed because people have started to recognise science since the work of a scientist is not so glamorous.

“I considered this as a start and I hope this award will make the industry look cool because right now the percentage of science stream students is very low, about 14 per cent.

“I really want to encourage these students to take up science,” she said.

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Dr Jezamine added, with the award she received, she wants to let the medical students know there were also other ways to give back to the industry and earn a living.

Currently, Dr Jezamine said she’s working on commercialising stem cell therapy that involves a niche cutting edge technology. She believes she is the only woman in the country working on it.

“I’m passionate about science because it shaped me to become disciplined and committed in whatever I do.

“Plus for me, science keeps evolving and I need something that is challenging to produce an impact on society.

Dr Jezmine shared she dreams of setting up a stem cell therapy centre.

“Imagine having a centre equipped with advanced technologies, I want this treatment to be available in Malaysia so there isn’t a need for people to travel abroad to get therapy,” she said.

In addition to her role as the chief executive officer of Cell Biopeutic Resources, she also co-founded The Joke Factory and The Hope Branch, a non-government organisation (NGO) with her husband, Harith Iskander.

The Hope Branch was established in 2021 to help those in need during hard times amid the pandemic.

“I think my passion is giving hope to people, that includes my NGO and what I do in my career and stem cells therapy and also in laughter, through The Joke Factory.

Dr Jezamine Lim, Harith Iskander and their three kids
Dr Jezamine Lim, Harith Iskander and their three kids



JUGGLING FAMILY AND WORK

Wearing many hats at once, juggling between work and family is no walk in the park. How does she do it all?

For Dr Jezamine, it’s all about time management and being disciplined.

“For me, my family comes first. First is my husband, next would be my kids and then my career.

“I am also very disciplined and I have a whole schedule set out for the kids.

“Moreover, I will always make sure to spend at least two hours with them a day and that includes playing and helping them with their homework,” she said.

Of course, like any other working mother, the “mom guilt” is something she can’t escape from.

“It was way worse when I gave birth to my first child, Zander Xayne Iskander. I would have a CCTV camera in front of me all the time to see what he’s doing.

“However, I realised how it actually took a toll on my health. I was torn but I’m glad to say that I was lucky to have my husband’s support," she said.

As she juggles between motherhood and her career, Dr Jezamine hopes to inspire all women to succeed.

Not too long ago, a public figure went viral for saying women aren’t born to be leaders. Much to Dr Jezamine’s disagreement, she said women definitely can definitely be leaders.

“To say that women are not suitable to be leaders, I don’t think so. They make great leaders especially women who are mothers because they are able to juggle motherhood and other commitments,” she said.