Hong Kong scientists shine in Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards
China’s Ministry of Education awarded a total of 13 accolades to research projects involving universities in Hong Kong in the recent Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (Science and Technology). The annual honours recognise significant contributions to scientific discovery, technological innovation, science and technology advancement, and implementation of patented technologies.
Croucher scholars led three of the projects receiving recognition:
Natural Science Award (Second Class)
Professor Michael Lyu Rung Tsong (Croucher Senior Research Fellowship 2008), Chairman of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Professor Zibin Zheng, of Sun Yat-Sen University, Guangzhou, worked together to predict and evaluate the reliability of service systems. They designed a key module identification algorithm and framework for selecting the optimal fault-tolerant strategy, helping system developers to quickly locate key modules that need fault tolerance and select appropriate strategies. The proposed algorithms have been effectively applied to industry.
Professor Wong Ming Hung (Croucher Senior Research Fellowship 1997), senior advisor to the State Key Laboratory of Environmental and Biological Analysis at Hong Kong Baptist University, together with Professor Cai Zongwei, Director of the Lab, carried out research into the characteristics of complex environmental pollutants. Using new biosensing and bioimaging techniques, they conducted trace analysis in complex systems such as environment, food and biological matrices, with a focus on metabolomics and proteomics research on human health and diseases associated with environmental pollution.
Technological Innovation Award (Second Class)
Professor Dennis Lo (Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowship 2006), Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences and Chairman of the Department of Chemical Pathology, Chinese University of Hong Kong, and Professor Allen Chan, also of the Department of Chemical Pathology, analysed plasma DNA to screen for early nasopharyngeal cancer (NPC). The scientists looked at 20,000 nasopharyngeal carcinoma cases and demonstrated that analysis of Epstein-Barr virus DNA in the plasma can effectively screen early asymptomatic NPC. With this non-invasive technology, patients can be identified and treated at an earlier stage when there is a much greater likelihood of successful treatment.
China’s Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (Science and Technology) scheme was set up by the Ministry of Education to recognise top research projects at the country’s tertiary institutions. Hong Kong universities have been included in the scheme since 2009. The Natural Science Award honours researchers who have made discoveries in natural science and applied science, or provided explanations for natural phenomena and characteristics. The Technological Innovation Award honours individuals or units using scientific knowledge to make important technological innovations in products, processes, materials and systems.