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25 Jul 2017

Professor Rocky S. Tuan Appointed the Eighth Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK

25 Jul 2017

Professor Rocky S. Tuan

Prof. Rocky Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President Designate (left) and Dr. Norman Leung, Chairman of the University Council, CUHK

At its meeting held today (25 July 2017), the Council of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) unanimously approved the appointment of Professor Rocky S. Tuan, an eminent biomedical scientist, as the eighth Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK for a period of 6 years from 1 January 2018, to succeed Professor Joseph J.Y. Sung who will step down as Vice-Chancellor and President and resume his position as Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics, the Faculty of Medicine, CUHK, with effect from 1 January 2018.

Born in Hong Kong, Professor Rocky S. Tuan is a world leading biomedical scientist specialising in stem cell science and regenerative medicine.  He is currently Distinguished Professor and Executive Vice-Chairman in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. Chair in Sports Medicine, Director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering, Founding Director of the Center for Military Medicine Research, Associate Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine, and Professor in the Department of Bioengineering, at the University of Pittsburgh.  

Professor Tuan is well acquainted with higher education in Hong Kong.  He 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 been serving as Distinguished Visiting Professor and Director of the Institute for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at CUHK.  For Professor Tuan’s detailed biography, please see attachment

The Council Chairman, Dr. Norman Leung said, “The Council is very delighted to have Professor Tuan at the helm of the University to take it into new realms of achievement.  As a comprehensive research University, CUHK needs a visionary leader of distinguished academic standing and with a profound understanding of local and global higher education and research systems to be the Vice-Chancellor and President.  Professor Rocky S. Tuan is a perfect match.  We are confident that Professor Tuan will take CUHK to levels of distinction even more remarkable than those of its past.”

Foster Education and Research Excellence at the University

Professor Tuan remarked, “It is indeed my honour to be appointed the Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, a university I hold in the highest esteem.  CUHK is an internationally renowned comprehensive research university with a long history of general education, which places integrated emphasis on formal learning experience and whole-person education. I look forward to working with the University community to nurture and cultivate these unique characteristics of CUHK, while at the same time, fostering its teaching and research excellence.”

He added, “My primary goal is to lead CUHK in a way that gives further strength to its education and its excellence in research and engagement.  I will do my utmost to achieve this.” 

World-renowned Biomedical Scientist

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.  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 solutions to pressing clinical needs.

At present, Professor Tuan directs a multidisciplinary research programme, which focuses on orthopaedic research as a study of the biological activities that are important for the development, growth, function, and health of musculoskeletal tissues, and the utilisation of this knowledge to develop technologies that will regenerate and/or restore function to diseased and damaged skeletal tissues. Ongoing research projects are directed towards multiple aspects of skeletal and related biology, including skeletal development, stem cells, growth factor signaling, bone-biomaterial interaction, cell-extracellular matrix interaction, nanotechnology, biomaterials, 3D printing, mechanobiology, regenerative medicine, tissue engineering, and microphysiological tissue chips.  His research team utilises an integrated experimental approach that combines contemporary technologies of biochemistry, cell and molecular biology, embryology and development, cellular imaging, and bioengineering.

Welcome from the current CUHK Vice-Chancellor and President

Professor Joseph Sung, current CUHK Vice-Chancellor and President welcomed Professor Rocky Tuan to CUHK and to the role of Vice-Chancellor and President.  He said that Professor Tuan, a highly accomplished scholar, has convincingly shared his vision on how his expertise and experience will help shape the future development of CUHK.   He fully expects that Professor Tuan’s warm and sincere personality will win the respect and trust of teachers, students, and staff.  He is confident that Professor Tuan will successfully take CUHK to higher heights. 

Selection arrangements

In June 2016, the Council established CUHK’s Search and Selection Committee for the Appointment of the Vice-Chancellor.  The Committee organised two consultation sessions in October 2016 to gather the views of the University community.  With the assistance of a search consultancy firm, the Committee commenced a global search for CUHK’s next Vice-Chancellor and President in October and received nominations and applications from Hong Kong and overseas. In the past few months, the Committee has met a number of potential candidates.   Having taken account of the views expressed by University members and given careful and thorough consideration to all applications, the Committee unanimously recommended Professor Rocky S. Tuan as the candidate for appointment as Vice-Chancellor and President.

In the first week of July, Professor Tuan, in his capacity as a Vice-Chancellor and President candidate, met with students, staff, alumni, Senate members and University officers, Faculty Deans and College Heads, articulating his visions and exchanging views on a wide range of topics that are of concern to the University community. 

About The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Founded in 1963, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) is a leading comprehensive research university with a global reputation.  Located in the heart of Asia, CUHK has a vision and a mission to combine tradition with modernity, and to bring together China and the West.  Under the University’s unique collegial system, the  programmes and activities offered by its nine colleges complement the formal curricula by delivering whole-person education and pastoral care.  The University has eight faculties: Arts, Business Administration, Education, Engineering, Law, Medicine, Science, and Social Science. Together with the Graduate School, the University offers over 300 undergraduate and postgraduate programmes. All faculties are actively engaged in research in a wide range of disciplines, with an array of research institutes and research centres specialising in interdisciplinary research of the highest quality. 

CUHK is recognised as the most innovative university in Hong Kong and ranks 27th in the Asia-Pacific region by the latest ‘Reuters: Asia Pacific’s Most Innovative Universities’ listing. The University currently has more than 750 granted patents in different jurisdictions worldwide. A majority of these patents have been licensed to relevant industries that help bring these innovations to the market to benefit society. In academic year 2016-17, CUHK has received 88 granted patents and filed 183 patent applications for inventions developed in the areas of medical technology, biotechnology, information technology, telecommunications, and materials science.

To learn more about CUHK, please visit

Professor Rocky S. Tuan

Professor Rocky S. Tuan


Prof. Rocky Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President Designate (left) and Dr. Norman Leung, Chairman of the University Council, CUHK

Prof. Rocky Tuan, Vice-Chancellor and President Designate (left) and Dr. Norman Leung, Chairman of the University Council, CUHK


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