Four CUHK Scholars Named inaugural RGC Senior Research Fellows and RGC Research Fellow
Four scholars from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) received the inaugural RGC Senior Research Fellow Scheme and RGC Research Fellow Scheme awards (2020/2021) presented by the Research Grants Council (RGC) in recognition of their distinguished research achievements. Each awardee is being supported with a fellowship grant over a period of 60 months to cover salary costs for relief teachers and support for research projects, to facilitate their dedication to research.
The three CUHK scholars receiving the awards under the RGC Senior Research Fellow Scheme are Professor Yu HUANG, Professor of the School of Biomedical Sciences of the Faculty of Medicine, Professor Jianfa SHEN, Professor of the Department of Geography and Resource Management and Professor Zuowei XIE, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Chemistry of the Department of Chemistry. Each awardee receives a grant of around HK$7.8 million. Professor Yilin WU, Associate Professor of the Department of Physics named in the RGC Research Fellow Scheme receives a grant of around $5.2 million.
RGC Senior Research Fellow Scheme
Professor Yu HUANG, Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine
Project title: Systemic Benefits of Physical Activity: Crosstalk between Organs on Signal Transduction from Mechano-stimulation to Metabolism
Professor Huang is currently a Professor of the School of Biomedical Sciences and the founding Director of the Heart and Vascular Institute, CUHK. He has served as the editor for 17 SCI-indexed journals, including associate editor of Circulation Research, an official journal of the American Heart Association. He is currently the Vice-President of both the Chinese Society for Vascular Medicine and the Chinese Section of International Society for Heart Research. He is also an elected Fellow of the International Society for Heart Research (2019) and has received a number of awards for his research excellence, namely the 2020 Wuxi PharmaTech Life Science and Chemistry Award – The Scholar Award, the Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Award, Ministry of Education (first-class award in 2019 and second-class award in 2017), The State Natural Science Award (second-class award in 2015), and the Croucher Senior Research Fellowship (2014).
Professor Huang’s team aims to explain the cellular and molecular events in initiation of endothelial dysfunction in hypertension, atherosclerosis, obesity and diabetes to develop venues to reverse vascular dysfunction in animal models of cardio-metabolic disorders. The team will also identify the secretory proteins and metabolites that mediate functional communication between organs during physical exercise, to develop them into useful diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets against cardiovascular and metabolic diseases.
Professor Jianfa SHEN, Professor, Department of Geography and Resource Management
Project title: Modelling and Simulating Regional Migration Systems
Professor Shen is a Professor in the Department of Geography and Resource Management and Director of the Research Centre for Urban and Regional Development at CUHK. His research interests are migration and urbanisation, urban and regional development, Hong Kong and Pearl River Delta. He has undertaken substantial research in these areas contributing to theoretical and methodological advancements, as well as empirical analysis and applications including the development of a dual-track urbanisation framework and the causes of changing migration patterns in China. According to a paper published in the journal Urban Studies in 2017, Professor Shen was one of the top 50 most productive authors in urban studies in the world in the period 1990-2010. He was also named in the list of the World’s Top 2% Scientists by Stanford University last year, and received the Research Excellence Award from CUHK twice, in 2007-08 and 2013-14.
Professor Shen’s team will analyse the sources of modelling error in migration models by using an innovative simulation approach. Modelling errors can be caused by missing one significant explanatory variable, wrong assumption of random process, and random process. But they have been mixed up and aggregated into one overall measure of goodness-of-fit in previous migration modelling. His project will tackle this challenge and identify each of the above-mentioned errors using an innovative approach, which will advance the knowledge of migration modelling to analyse migration flows with higher accuracy.
Professor Zuowei XIE, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry
Project title: Base Metal Catalysed Selective B-H Functionalisation of Carboranes: Controlled Synthesis of Functionalised Carboranes and their Applications in Catalysis
Professor Xie joined the Department of Chemistry of CUHK in 1995. His main research interests include organometallic and main group chemistry, with distinguished works in the areas of carboranes, supercarboranes, metallacarboranes, and low-valent boron chemistry. He has made significant contributions to controlled functionalisation of carboranes and supercarborane chemistry. Professor Xie has also co-authored over 300 papers in top international journals and his novel work has been highlighted several times in the Chemical & Engineering News.
Professor Xie is a member of The Chinese Academy of Sciences and The Hong Kong Academy of Sciences, as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has received several prestigious awards including the Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards in Natural Sciences (2019), the Chinese Chemical Society Yao-Zeng Huang Award in Organometallic Chemistry (2010), the State Natural Science Prize (2008), and the Croucher Award from the Croucher Foundation (2003). Professor Xie’s project will generate a series of new and cost-effective base metal catalysed synthetic methodologies, bringing more possibilities to the effective and efficient construction of carborane-based functional molecules and the corresponding applications.
RGC Research Fellow Scheme
Professor Yilin WU, Associate Professor, Department of Physics
Project title: Self-organisation of Bacterial Active Matter in Viscoelastic Fluids and Gels
Professor Wu mainly studies the physics of living matter, a field at the interface of physics and biology. Current research in his laboratory is to reveal and understand the spatial-temporal order in bacterial systems. In his past research, Professor Wu has advanced understanding on motile behaviour of bacteria, including flagellar hydrodynamics near interfaces, bacterial swarming, and self-organisation in bacterial communities. He has mentored 5 PhD and 2 MPhil graduates, and received the Young Researcher Award from CUHK in 2017.
Supported by this award, Professor Wu’s team will study the self-organisation and mechanics of bacterial active matter in viscoelastic environments, with a vision to pave the way for a new paradigm in non-equilibrium physics and active matter engineering.
About RGC Senior Research Fellow Scheme / RGC Research Fellow Scheme
The RGC Senior Research Fellow Scheme (SRFS) and RGC Research Fellow Scheme (RFS) aim to give relief from teaching and administrative duties to outstanding researchers from UGC-funded universities at full Professor (for SRFS) or Associate Professor rank (for RFS), by providing sustained support with the view to facilitating their dedication to research and development. Both schemes annually provide ten awards encompassing all academic disciplines. Each SRFS and RFS awardee will be conferred the title “RGC Senior Research Fellow” or “RGC Research Fellow” and the supporting university will receive a fellowship grant of around either HK$7.8 million or HK$5.2 million per award, to cover salary costs for relief teachers and support for research projects including staff, equipment, travel, subsistence and dissemination costs, for a period of 60 months.
For more details of the schemes, please visit: