21 May 2020

There were many people both in Hong Kong and the US, who worked very hard to make the JUSTL programme a success and so it is important to acknowledge their help and support here.

In Hong Kong, the JUSTL programme would not have happened at all without the vision of JUSTL programme Director, Professor Andrew L. Miller (Division of Life Science, HKUST). He ran all aspects of the JUSTL programme, taking Hong Kong students, researchers and junior faculty to the MBL each year from 2007 to 2015. In addition to being the programme Director, Professor Miller also frequently mentored the JUSTL students himself, supervising 9 students during the course of the programme.

The JUSTL programme would not have happened in the first place without the support of Mr Antony Leung and Mr David Foster (former and current Directors of the Croucher Foundation), as well as the Croucher Foundation Trustees, who approved funding of the programme. They were key to making Professor Miller’s initial concept a reality. In addition, the extra finances provided by the Hong Kong Government Matching fund were also vital to keep the programme running for as long as it did.

With regards to the JUSTL programme administration in Hong Kong, special thanks to Ms Michelle Hwoi and Ms Mandy Chan (Division of Life Science, HKUST) for supporting Professor Miller and me when we were paying the bills, and when we prepared and posted JUSTL advertisements to each Principal Investigator of each Biological Science department in each of the six big research Universities of Hong Kong every Autumn.

We also acknowledge the supervisors of the JUSTL participants for agreeing to (and in some cases even strongly encouraging) their students to spend 8 weeks away from their post-graduate research projects.

In the US, we must acknowledge Dr Lenny Dawidowicz (former Director of Education, MBL) who was so enthusiastic about Hong Kong students experiencing the MBL summer season in the first place. He played a major role in helping to establish the programme. Thanks also to Dr Gary G. Borisy (MBL Director from 2005-2012) who supported the JUSTL programme from its inception, and to Dr James A. Yoder (former Vice President for Academic Programmes, and Dean Emeritus, WHOI), for his encouragement for the programme.

Special thanks to the JUSTL Co-Director, Professor Robert Baker for his enthusiasm and efforts in all aspects of the JUSTL programme. He helped to set the programme up, helped select mentors for the JUSTL participants, and on many occasions mentored the JUSTL participants himself. Professor Baker also helped to equip the JUSTL laboratory and he allowed the JUSTL students to share his laboratory’s instruments and consumables. Furthermore, he traveled to Hong Kong at his own expense to participate in the interviewing and selection process of JUSTL participants on a number of occasions.

Many thanks also to Professor Karen Crawford for looking after all of the JUSTL participants so well, especially because for many of them it was their first big trip away from home. She was a fantastic ‘Den mother’ and made sure that the JUSTL laboratory ran smoothly and efficiently. She also personally mentored five of the JUSTL participants, including me.

Thanks also to all the other mentors and the people in their laboratories who took the time to train the JUSTL participants in a particular technique or piece of equipment. Some people such as Dr Marko Horb (National Xenopus Resource, MBL), Professor Scott Brady (University of Illinois at Chicago), Dr Alessandro Rubinacci (San Raffaele Hospital, Milan), Dr Scott Lindell and Dr Timothy Shank (both of WHOI) mentored a number of the JUSTL students over the duration of the programme.

We must also thank the support staff at the MBL who played a big role each year in the successful running of the JUSTL programme. Special thanks to those in the Human Resources Office, who helped the JUSTL participants obtain a US visa. Also thanks to those in the Housing Office and in Dining Services who made sure that the participants had a roof over their head and were well fed each summer. Thanks also to the staff of the MBL Microscopy Facility who provided training on and maintenance of the equipment in the JUSTL laboratory, and to the staff of the Marine Resources Center who kept the participants in biological specimens for their experiments.

Finally, I can’t finish without a very special ‘thank you’ to Mr Alan Shipley and Mr Eric Karplus who each year took time from their respective businesses to help design, build and maintain much of the equipment in the JUSTL laboratory. In addition, Mr Shipley helped to mentor several of the JUSTL participants and he also went out of his way to help many of us outside the work environment; in doing so, he made us all feel very welcome during our stay in the US.