CUHK Professor Dennis Lo elected as member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences
Professor Dennis Lo Yuk-ming from The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Medicine (CU Medicine) has been elected as a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), in recognition of his success and contribution in life sciences and medical research. The CAS elected 59 new members this year, with Professor Lo being the only one from Hong Kong.
Professor Lo said, “I am deeply honoured to be elected as a CAS member. Doing scientific research is not just a job to me but a part of my life. With the enduring support of my research team, I hope to continue translating research achievements and applying medical advancements to many. In the coming years, I will focus on cancer research, aiming to lower the mortality rate from cancer through early detection technologies.”
Known as the “father of non-invasive prenatal testing”, Professor Lo is the Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, Associate Dean (Research) and Chairman of the Department of Chemical Pathology of CU Medicine. Professor Lo joined CUHK in 1997 and reported the presence of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma the same year. He and his colleagues have been instrumental in making non-invasive DNA-based prenatal testing a clinical reality. The non-invasive prenatal test they developed for Down syndrome is regarded as a significant breakthrough by the global scientific community, and has been widely adopted in dozens of countries. Professor Lo has developed genome-wide genetic and epigenetic approaches that lay the foundation for early detection of multiple types of cancer. He and his team have successfully developed technologies that allow for their detection and have been working with commercial partners on clinical applications.
In recognition of his work, he has received numerous international honours and awards. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011 and a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2013. He received the 2014 King Faisal International Prize for Medicine and became the first Chinese scientist to be honoured with the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) Wallace H. Coulter Lectureship Award, in 2015. In 2016, Professor Lo was selected as the winner of the inaugural Future Science Prize-Life Science Prize, regarded as China’s Nobel Prize. In the same year, he was named as the Thomson Reuters Citation Laureate – Chemistry, an honour considered as a predictive index of the Nobel Prize. He was also the first Chinese recipient of the Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award, in 2019. In 2021, he received the Breakthrough Prize, widely known as the Oscars of Science, and became the first Chinese scientist to receive the Royal Medal in biological sciences from the Royal Society of London. In 2022, Professor Lo was awarded the Lasker-DeBakey Clinical Medical Research Award, widely regarded as the US’s top biomedical research prize.
CAS members are elected by all current CAS members who have voting rights. The elected individuals are required to have made systematic and creative achievements as well as significant contributions in the field of science and technology. The CAS elects new members every two years. Together with Professor Lo, CUHK has a total of eight CAS members among its faculty members, including Professor Xie Zuowei, Professor Henry Wong Nai-ching, Professor Wu Chi and Professor Thomas Mak Chung-wai.