Homecoming for CUHK Life Sciences Students Pursuing Their Summer DREAM
A homecoming ceremony was recently held for 15 undergraduate and postgraduate students from the School of Life Sciences at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) who participated in its summer DREAM (Dedicated Research Exchange and Mentorship) internship programme this year. The students finished their research projects on various interesting scientific topics such as seafood allergy, cancer-related proteins, biofuel etc at top overseas universities and institutions, including Harvard University, University of California at Berkeley, University of Tübingen and Academia Sinica. In the ceremony, they shared their research projects and their eye-opening experiences gained from the DREAM programme with other school members.
Qu Dan, a fourth-year biochemistry student who went to Harvard Medical School in the DREAM programme, said, 'It's my honour to work in the Furie's lab at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC) of Harvard Medical School. Barbara Furie and Bruce Furie, the co-chiefs of the Hemostatis and Thrombosis Division at BIDMC, are two of the world's most renowned scientists in the field of blood coagulation and thrombosis. Under the supervision of Prof. Huang Mingdong and Dr. Lin Lin, who are both structural biology experts, I've learnt some advanced technology of protein expression methods including the Drosophila S2 expression system. During my exchange in Boston, I've not only participated in the most advanced research in hemostasis and thrombosis by attending the weekly lab meetings, but also expanded my horizon in various aspects of life sciences by talking to other outstanding scientists from all around the globe during leisure hours. This invaluable experience has opened up my eyes and strengthened my aspiration to pursue a career in scientific research.'
Prof. Chu Ka-hou, Director of the School of Life Sciences, remarked, 'The School of Life Sciences is committed to providing ample training opportunities for our students beyond the classrooms. The DREAM programme is one of such initiatives and has proved to be very successful in promoting research and the pursuit of excellence among our students.'
Established by the Department of Biochemistry in 2006, the DREAM programme has been opened for application to all students of the School of Life Sciences since it came into being in 2010. The programme aims to provide opportunities for year one and year two students to conduct scientific research projects in laboratories at prestigious institutes overseas, and to increase their exposure to the frontiers of life science research. Before embarking on their research journey, students will be coached by supervisors in the School to learn the basic techniques and background information related to the projects they are going to participate in.
Since the programme was launched, more than 40 students have been sent to overseas institutes around the world, including reputable universities such as Harvard University, University of California, Mayo Clinic, University of Toronto, and Imperial College London. The programme has been a great success. Many participated students have published papers in highly-cited international journals, while some were offered scholarships to pursue a PhD, or invited to spend a year as exchange students at their host institutions.