A Division of Acarology was first established towards the end of 1967 as part of the reorganization of the Division of Medical Zoology. The Acarology Division under its first head, Dr M Nadchatram, focused on taxonomy, ecology, biology and distribution of acari, especially that of trombiculid mites, ticks and mesostigmatid mites. A number of new species and new records of acari from both local and international collections were successfully described. Dr Nadchatram retired in 1988 and was replaced by Dr Ho Tze Ming. Under the new stewardship of Dr Ho, the scope of research of the Division became more focused on the biology, distribution and control of acari of medical importance, especially the allergen producing house dust mites.
In 1994, the Institute for Medical Research (IMR) was reorganized. Divisions were renamed Units and placed under one of 5 Departments. The Acarology Unit came under the Department of Tropical Medicine. The research focus of the Acarology Unit did not change significantly after that reorganization.
In 2001, the 5 Departments were restructured into 8 Centres. The Acarology Unit was placed in the Infectious Diseases Research Centre. At that time, the Acarology Unit initiated a Tick-borne Diseases Research Programme to supplement its on-going House Dust Mite Research Programme.
From its humble beginning in 1967 with a scientist supported by a few technicians, the human resource number of the Unit has grown incrementally to its current strength of 7 scientists, 11 technicians and 2 support staff.
Physically, the Acarology Unit had occupied many locations in the IMR that included a wooden bungalow at the southern end of the IMR and a section at the first floor of the College of Medical Laboratory Technology. At present, the Unit occupies one wing of the wooden heritage building facing Jalan Pahang, and one wing of a wooden bungalow at the corner of Jalan Pahang and Jalan Raja Muda.
The Institute for Medical Research is located along Jalan Pahang. It is situated between the Kuala Lumpur Hospital and the junction of Jalan Pahang and Jalan Raja Muda Abdul Aziz. The Acarology Unit occupies a wing of the heritage building that is the first building seen on entering the main gate at Jalan Pahang.
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Our GPS coordinates are 3.169633, 101.699077
Institute for Medical Research
50588 Kuala Lumpur
Tel : 603 26935926
Fax: 603 26935928