CUHK Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Rocky S. Tuan Inducted into National Academy of Inventors
Professor Rocky S. Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), Lee Quo Wei and Lee Yick Hoi Lun Professor of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, was inducted as a Fellow into the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) at the organization’s annual conference held in Washington DC, USA on 5 April 2018. During the induction ceremony, Professor Tuan was presented with a signature trophy, medal, and custom rosette pin in recognition of his prolific spirit of innovation in creating and facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.
Professor Tuan said, “I am humbled to receive this great honor and am grateful to my research team members and collaborators, who have supported and inspired me throughout my career. My greatest reward as a biomedical scientist is to be able to translate scientific discoveries into inventions and technologies that can improve the quality of life. I hope that my experience can help to foster and guide collaborations between CUHK, local and overseas academics, as well as the industrial sector to advance technological innovations for the benefit of mankind.”
Professor Tuan is internationally renowned for his research in stem cell biology, musculoskeletal tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, and for his leadership role in biomedical education. He joined the University of Pittsburgh in 2009 and served as Distinguished Professor and Director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery. He was also the Founding Director of the Center for Military Medicine and Associate Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine. He is well acquainted with higher education and academic research in Hong Kong, having previously served as a member, then Chairman of the Biology and Medicine Panel of the Hong Kong Research Grants Council. Since 2016, Professor Tuan has served as Distinguished Visiting Professor and Director of the Institute for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (iTERM) at CUHK, and took office as the University’s Vice-Chancellor and President on 1 January 2018.
Professor Tuan’s longstanding research activities in musculoskeletal biology and tissue regeneration, carried out in academia as well as at the U.S. National Institutes of Health, cover basic science and engineering, as well as translational and clinical applications. His research work on stem cells aims to discover the mechanisms that regulate their regenerative ability and to manipulate and apply this ability to repair and restore function to tissues that have been compromised as a result of injury, trauma, disease, birth defects or aging, with emphasis on musculoskeletal tissues and organs. His studies are particularly focused on the soft connective tissues, including cartilage, meniscus and tendon and ligament, which have no inherent self-healing ability. Using stem cells and smart (biomimetic) biomaterials and advanced manufacturing technologies, including 3D printing, his laboratory is developing functional tissues that have similar biological and mechanical properties as the original tissues, and are suitable for regeneration and repair.
Widely known for his expertise in skeletal tissue engineering and regeneration, Professor Tuan’s research has made significant contributions to the understanding of and potential regenerative solutions to pressing clinical needs in musculoskeletal medicine. Most recently, Professor Tuan has been recognised for his efforts to engineer the first ever three dimensional joint-on-a-chip, called the “microJoint”, to replicate a human joint using a microbioreactor platform. The microJoint will be used to study the nature of degenerative joint diseases, such as osteoarthritis, which represent the primary cause of physical disability, and to screen for potential therapeutic agents.
About the National Academy of Inventors (NAI)
Founded in 2010, the NAI is a non-profit member organisation comprising U.S. and international universities, and governmental and non-profit research institutes, with over 4,000 individual inventor members spanning more than 250 institutions worldwide. The mission and goals of the NAI are to recognise and encourage inventors with patents issued from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, enhance the visibility of academic technology and innovation, encourage the disclosure of intellectual property, educate and mentor innovative students, and translate the inventions of its members to benefit society.
Election to NAI Fellow status is the highest professional distinction accorded solely to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on the quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society. Those elected to the rank of NAI Fellow are named inventors on U.S. patents and were nominated by their peers for outstanding contributions to innovation in areas such as patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology, significant impact on society, and support and enhancement of innovation.
Included among all NAI Fellows are more than 100 presidents and senior leaders of research universities and non-profit research institutes; 439 members of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; 36 inductees of the National Inventors Hall of Fame; 52 recipients of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation and U.S. National Medal of Science; 29 Nobel Laureates; 261 AAAS Fellows; 168 IEEE Fellows; and 142 Fellows of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, among other awards and distinctions.
For details, please visit: http://www.academyofinventors.org/