Hong Kong scientists win national science awards
The Ministry of Education of China has honoured five research projects involving universities in Hong Kong in the recent Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (Science and Technology). The annual accolades recognise significant contributions to scientific discovery, technological innovation, science and technology advancement, and implementation of patented technologies.
Croucher scholars led two of the projects receiving recognition:
Natural Science Award (First Class)
Professors, Ng Siew Chien (Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowship 2020), Francis Chan Ka-leung (Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowship 2007, Croucher Fellowship 1993), and Emeritus Professor Joseph Sung (Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowship 2004, Croucher Fellowship 1988), of the Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong, carried out integrative research to improve understanding of the epidemiology, natural history, genetics, and environmental risks of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
IBD is a chronic, relapsing inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract that has become increasingly prevalent, affecting an estimated 3.7 million people worldwide in 1990, and reaching 6.8 million in 2017. The team’s research has laid the groundwork for better prevention, diagnosis and clinical care of IBD patients.
Natural Science Award (Second Class)
Deputy President and Provost Professor Wing-tak Wong (Croucher Senior Research Fellowship 2003, Croucher Studentship 1986) of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, in collaboration with Hong Kong Baptist University researchers, developed a series of fluorescent small molecules that have wide applications in the fields of fluorescent probes, organic electroluminescence, and solar cell photosensitisers.
The molecules have a unique electronic configuration of rare earth ions that allows them to absorb light from ultraviolet, visible, and infrared regions, with long fluorescence lifetimes and high quantum yields. These properties make fluorescent molecules suitable for popular research fields such as medical imaging and diagnosis.
The 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.
Professor Ng Siew Chien is a faculty member of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics and Assistant Dean (Development) of the Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong. She received her medical degree from St Bartholomew’s and the Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry in 2000 and was awarded a PhD from Imperial College London in 2010. In 2017, she established Asia’s first Microbiota Transplantation & Research Centre and the first longitudinal FMT Registry in Asia to aid development of personalised gut microbiota-based therapy and safety surveillance. She was awarded a Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowship in 2020.
To view Professor Ng’s Croucher profile, please click here.
Professor Francis Chan Ka-leung is Choh-Ming Li Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics and Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He graduated from the Faculty of Medicine, CUHK. After completing his postgraduate training as a Croucher Foundation Research Fellow in Canada, he joined the Faculty of Medicine, CUHK, as a lecturer in 1997 and became Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics in 2005. He received his Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowship in 2007 and a Croucher Fellowship in 1993.
To view Professor Chan’s Croucher profile, please click here.
Professor Joseph Sung is Dean of the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and Senior Vice President (Health and Life Sciences) at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, and Emeritus Professor at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He received his MBBS degree from the University of Hong Kong in 1983, PhD in biomedical sciences from the University of Calgary, Canada, in 1992, and MD at CUHK in 1997. He is a Fellow of the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Thailand, and of the American College of Gastroenterology, Royal Australian College of Physicians, American Gastroenterological Association, Hong Kong College of Physicians, and Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. Sung was the seventh Vice-Chancellor/President of CUHK. He is also an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering, and Eurasian Academy of Sciences. He was awarded a Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowship in 2004 and a Croucher Fellowship in 1988.
To view Professor Sung’s Croucher profile, please click here.
Professor Wing-tak Wong is Deputy President and Provost (DP) of Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU). He received a Bachelor of Science with first-class honours in 1986 and a Master of Philosophy in 1988 from the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He then furthered his studies in the UK and obtained his PhD degree from the University of Cambridge in 1991. Prior to joining PolyU, Wong was Chair Professor in the Department of Chemistry, HKU, where he began his career as a lecturer in Chemistry in 1991. Wong is an accomplished scientist with outstanding research achievements. His research interests lie in design and synthesis of molecular probes and nanomaterials for chemical imaging, early detection and treatment of cancer, and in vitro detection of ions and toxins; and design and development of new chiral catalysts for asymmetric organic catalytic reactions. He received a Croucher Senior Research Fellowship 2003 and a Croucher Studentship in 1986.
To view Professor Wong’s Croucher profile, please click here.