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CUHK Medical Centre Breaks New Ground

CUHK held the ground breaking ceremony of The CUHK Medical Centre on 8 December, symbolising the commence­ment of the Centre’s construction.

Officiating guests at the ceremony included Dr. the Honourable Ko Wing-man, Secretary for Food and Health, HKSAR Government, Mr. Patrick Nip, Permanent Secretary for Food and Health (Health), HKSAR Government, Dr. Constance Chan Hon-yee, Director of Health, HKSAR Government, Dr. Leung Pak-yin, Chief Executive, Hospital Authority, Dr. Norman N P Leung, Chairman of the Council, CUHK, Mr. Chien Lee, Chairman, Board of Directors, CUHK Medical Centre, Dr. Simon S O Ip, Chairman, The Hong Kong Jockey Club, Prof. Joseph J Y Sung, Vice-Chancellor and President, CUHK, Dr. Edgar Cheng Wai-kin, Member, Board of Directors, CUHK Medical Centre, Prof. Francis K L Chan, Dean of Medicine, CUHK, Dr. Fung Hong, Executive Director, CUHK Medical Centre, Miss Amy Chan, District Officer (Sha Tin), Home Affairs Department and Mr. Sammy Zhou, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, China State Construction International Holdings Limited.

CUHK has been preparing for the establishment of the city’s first not-for-profit and self-financed teaching hospital since 2014. Wholly-owned by CUHK, the surplus from the Medical Centre will be used to support its future development, and meet the teaching and research needs of the Faculty of Medicine. The hospital provides a full range of medical services, including Anaesthesiology, Cardiology, Chinese Medicine, Emergency Medicine, Family Medicine, Geriatrics, General Medicine, General Surgery, Obstetrics & Gynecology, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Otorhinolaryngology, Orthopaedics and Traumatology, Paediatrics, Pharmacy, Psychiatry and Mental Health, Renal Medicine and Urology.

Located next to the MTR University Station and the public transport exchange, the hospital will provide around 600 beds, and it is expected to be completed by the first quarter of 2020 and start operation in the second quarter. The CUHK Medical Centre will provide innovative and patient-centered healthcare services, with package prices offered for 70% of inpatient services. This will bridge the service gap between private and public healthcare sectors by providing high-quality medical services with transparent and affordable pricing to middle-class families, so alleviating the pressure on the public healthcare system.

About 200 honoured guests and members of the university attended the ceremony and celebrated the new milestone in local healthcare services. A short video was prepared to record the new milestone in local healthcare services.

A Dream Come True for Budding Architect

Thomas Chee King-hei, a 2016 Master of Architecture graduate of the School of Architecture, has won this year’s RIBA President’s Silver Medal, one of the most prestigious international awards in architectural education, for his design project entitled ‘Crafts Vault: The V&A Academy of Artisanal Crafts’. He is the first graduate from a Hong Kong university to have been awarded this prestigious award from the RIBA in its 180 years’ history.

Prior to his Master’s education, Thomas completed his Bachelor of Social Science (BSSc) degree in Architectural Studies at CUHK in 2013. During an exchange at the University of Cambridge from September to December 2015, he envisioned his awarded project. Owing to the 2008 economic downturn and the rise of digital manufacturing technologies such as 3D printing, the living prospects for self-employed craftsmen who are less resilient to financial crises are gradually tightening. The project introduces crafts workshops to a new extension of London’s Victoria and Albert (V&A) Museum, promoting a new typology of museum building that makes artisanal skills relevant to the modern city again. Situated at a strategically chosen brownfield site in North Kensington left by a local gasworks, the proposed project serves not only as a museum of craft but also an archive of knowledge, as well as an academy for preserving and retrieving the lost art of craftsmanship.

Speaking about his winning the medal, the emerging architect called it a ‘dream come true’. ‘While it is an exceptional recognition of my work,’ he said, ‘the award also helps bring architectural education in Hong Kong and even China to a broader audience from around the world, which I think is fascinating.’

Professor Kathy Lui Receives the Croucher Innovation Award

Prof. Kathy Oi-lan Lui, Assistant Professor at the Department of Chemical Pathology and the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine has been honoured with the Croucher Foundations’ Croucher Innovation Award 2017 for her distinguished accomplishment in the international scientific community through her work in cardiovascular development and regeneration.

According to the statistics from the World Health Organization, cardiovascular diseases are the number one cause of death worldwide and the leading cause of death for aged patients suffering from diabetes. Nevertheless, the heart is notorious for not being able to regenerate itself following injuries. To regenerate a damaged heart, recent advances have been focusing on recapitulation of human heart development using pluripotent stem cells. Pluripotent stem cells, including embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), are “master” cells that give rise to almost all types of cells and tissues of the body. Therefore, scientists can literally generate new heart muscle and blood vessels to replace the damaged heart tissues using human pluripotent stem cells. Prof. Lui has previously derived methods for generating human heart progenitors, cardiac muscle and blood vessels from human pluripotent stem cells. She also identified an angiogenic factor as a cell fate switch for heart progenitors, and one that is responsible for heart regeneration delivered in the form of modified mRNA. Results of her studies formed a solid foundation for a recently filed clinical trial with the hope of treating human patients with heart diseases.

Prof. Lui completed both her BSc (first-class honor) and MPhil at the Department of Biochemistry, CUHK. She then moved to the University of Oxford to do her DPhil studies and to Harvard University for her postdoctoral training. With the support of the award, Prof. Lui hopes to extend the knowledge of human heart development to model and treat human congenital heart diseases associated with maternal diabetes, using human pluripotent stem cells.

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