He began his career as a lecturer in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, National University of Malaysia (UKM) in 1980. He was actively involved in producing laboratory diagnostic kits for a variety of fungal diseases such as Candidiasis, Aspergillosis, and Cryptococcosis. He was soon given a number of administrative responsibilities beginning with his appointment as Head of the Medical Microbiology and Immunology Department, UKM in 1985 and Deputy Dean of Academic Affairs in the Faculty of Medicine at UKM in 1990.
He actively sought the establishment of the biomedical sciences-related programmes in Malaysia and successfully established the first Faculty of Allied Health Sciences in Malaysia. He became a full Professor and the founder Dean for FAHS in UKM in 1992 till 1995, when he was appointed to become the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Development Affairs) from 1995-2000 and reassigned to the Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Students’ Affairs) post in September 2000. With the vast experience he had accrued in the top management of the university, he was subsequently appointed UKM’s Vice-Chancellor in May 2003 until August 2006.
He is currently serving as Founder Director of the United Nations University International Institute for Global Health (UNU-IIGH). He was a board member of Malaysian Industry Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) and the National Council for Scientific Research and Development (MPKSN). He now serves as Chairman, Malaysian Qualifications Agency Board. He was conferred a Panglima Setia Mahkota (Malaysia’s second highest award) for his contributions to education development and society.