Croucher Foundation Day Dinner 2017

14 December 2017

The Croucher Foundation held its annual Foundation Day Dinner last Friday, celebrating 38 years of promoting the advancement of science in Hong Kong and commending this year’s recipients of the Senior Research Fellowships.

Croucher Foundation celebrates its 38th anniversary on the evening of Friday, December 8, 2017. Trustees, committee members, partners, staff, and friends of the foundation gathered at the Renaissance Harbour View Hotel to celebrate and commend this year’s recipients of the Senior Research Fellowships, Fellowship, Scholarship, and Studentship recipients.

Professor Lap-Chee Tsui, FRS, GBM, GBS, JP, President of the Academy of Sciences of Hong Kong was the guest of honour. Prof Tsui also shared some inspiring words for this year’s class of awards recipients, composed of both scholars with years of experience under their belts and those just starting their scientific careers.


Prior to the dinner and awards ceremony, Scholarship, Fellowship, and Studentship recipients gathered for a symposium at the University of Hong Kong to share their research. 

At the awards ceremony that evening, winners of the 2017 scholarships accepted their awards for PhD and postdoctoral study at universities in Hong Kong, the U.K., Australia, Netherlands, France, and the U.S.A.

Complete list of 2017 Croucher Fellowship, Scholarship, and Studentship recipients is available here

Senior Research Fellowships

The ceremony also honoured Dr Giulio Chiribella, Dr Xuechen Li and Professor Mingjie Zhang, recipients of this year’s Senior Research Fellowships.

Dr Giulio Chiribella, of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Hong Kong, is a leading expert of quantum information science and of the foundations of quantum mechanics. He investigates the counterintuitive laws of the quantum world and how they can be turned into working principles for future information technologies. Dr Chiribella will explore a new paradigm of communication, in which multiple transmission lines are combined in a genuine quantum way.

Dr Xuechen Li, of the Department of Chemistry at the University of Hong Kong, pioneered in the development of several innovative methods to synthesize and modify biomolecules including peptides, proteins and glycans. These methods open up new avenues for studying the biology and medicinal chemistry of biomolecules and provide new possibilities to generate biologics with new functional activities. His Ser/Thr Ligation was selected as the Cutting Edge of Chemistry by Thompson Reuters (2013). One of the exciting and promising areas for exploitation of these methods is to develop novel peptide-based antibiotics.

Prof Mingjie Zhang, of the Division of Life Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, reseaches on the structure and function of proteins that are critical for brain cell development and communications. His research findings have broadened the understanding of basic biological areas including neuronal development and signaling, providing important theoretical basis for the pathological mechanism of various nervous system diseases such as stroke, neurological disorders, hereditary deafness and blindness. Professor Zhang will dedicate the reward to the study of the formation mechanism of synapses – the basic unit of neuronal circuits in the brain, which could pave the way for future drug development in curing mental illnesses.