27 August 2013

CUHK Professor Rossa Chiu Receives Young Investigator Award from American Association for Clinical Chemistry

Prof. Rossa Chiu Wai-kwun from the Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has received the Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievements by a Young Investigator from the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) for her work in non-invasive prenatal diagnosis.  Professor Chiu is the first ever scientist from an Asian institution to receive the honour.  Her remarkable scientific achievement is once again affirmed, so as CUHK's leading position in innovative research. 

Professor Chiu said, 'It is my deep honour to receive an award from AACC which is one of the most internationally reputable organizations of my profession.  I was humbled by being among the many highly acclaimed past awardees whom I have always aspired to.'

Professor Chiu is a professor in the Department of Chemical Pathology and Assistant Dean for Research at CUHK.  She is also a consulting chemical pathologist at the New Territories East Cluster of Hospitals in Hong Kong, where she heads the inborn errors of metabolism and molecular biology unit. 

Her significant contributions include research on using fetal nucleic acids circulating in the blood for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis.  She was the first to apply cell-free fetal DNA analysis in maternal plasma for the prenatal diagnosis of recessive genetic diseases.  Professor Chiu also demonstrated an effective technique for sequencing maternal plasma DNA for prenatal screening for Down syndrome that has been adopted for clinical use worldwide, making prenatal testing safer and less stressful for pregnant women and their families. 

Professor Chiu has published more than 115 peer-reviewed research articles, holds 20 patents or patent applications, and has served as president of the Hong Kong Society of Clinical Chemistry. 

AACC Young Investigator Award 

The AACC is a nonprofit professional association with a membership of more than 9,000 clinical chemists, pathologists, medical technologists, and others in related fields.  Through educational services and publications, AACC works to improve and advance clinical laboratory services to enhance public health and patient care.

The Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievements by a Young Investigator is one of the major awards of AACC.  It was set up in 1976 to recognize the professional development of a young investigator under the age of 40 who has demonstrated exceptional scientific achievements early in his or her career.  It is given to one scientist each year, based on the degree of originality exhibited in the individual's creative process and the significance of the research conducted relevant to the field of clinical laboratory medicine. 

Dr. Robert Christenson, President of AACC, presents the award plaque to Prof. Rossa Chiu.
Dr. Robert Christenson, President of AACC, presents the award plaque to Prof. Rossa Chiu.