SHKP and CUHK present Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine lecturing on latest Helicobacter Pylori research
Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) presented a public lecture today (17 October) on ‘Helicobacter Pylori: Modern Uses for the Ancient Bacterium’ by Prof. Barry James Marshall, 2005 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine. The lecture drew a full house of over 600 academics, students, medical professionals and the general public. It was shown live at local and mainland universities including Peking, Tsinghua, Zhejiang and Sun Yat-sen Universities, and a webcast was also available on the CUHK web site.
CUHK Vice-Chancellor Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung thanked SHKP for its support over the past nine years, saying: “The lecture series would not have been so successful without the ardent support of SHKP, for which we are most grateful. Professor Marshall’s profound contributions to medical advancement and the world have been widely recognized. I would like to express our sincere gratitude to Professor Marshall for coming all the way to visit CUHK and share with us his wisdom and scholarly insights.”
Professor Marshall’s lecture reviewed the molecular epidemiology of Helicobacter and described the way that Helicobacter strains can be used to trace human migrations over the past millennia. Consideration was given to the possible benefits of Helicobacter which might have relevance to the modern understanding of human association with commensal and perhaps ‘near commensal’ organisms such as Helicobacter. Helicobacter pylori are recognized as the pathogen that causes peptic ulcers and stomach cancer, which colonize more than half of mankind. New evidence has arisen suggesting the Helicobacter might play a beneficial role in controlling what could be an overactive immune system in the 21st century. Professor Marshall also explained that the development of new Helicobacter products can provide the benefits of this ancient human/bacteria association without the more modern pathogenic outcomes.
Professor Marshall received his medical degree at the University of Western Australia in 1974 and he is now Clinical Professor of Medicine and Microbiology there. Professor Marshall and Dr J Robin Warren studied the presence of spiral bacteria in association with gastritis in 1981 and in 1982 cultured Helicobacter pylori (H.pylori) for the first time, and they developed their hypothesis related to the bacterial cause of peptic ulcers and gastric cancer. The World Health Organization gave recognition that H.pylori was the main cause of stomach cancer in 1984. Marshall and Warren’s work is acknowledged as the most significant discovery in the history of gastroenterology and is compared to the development of polio vaccine and the eradication of smallpox.
Professor Marshall and Dr Warren received the 2005 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine and many other important and international awards such as the Warren Alpert Prize, the Australian Medical Association Award and the Albert Lasker Award in 1995, the Gairdner Award in 1996, the Paul Enrlich Prize in 1997, the Dr AH Heineken Prize for Medicine, Florey Medal and Buchanan Medal in 1998, the Benjamin Franklin Medal for Life Sciences in 1999, the Keio Medical Science Prize in 2002, the Australian Centenary Medal in 2003, the Western Australian Citizen of the Year in 2006, the Western Australian of the Year and the Companion in the General Division of the Order of Australia in 2007 and the Australian Society for Medical Research Medal in 2011.
The Sun Hung Kai Properties Nobel Laureates Distinguished Lectures were inaugurated in 2004 by SHKP with CUHK. The series brings Nobel Laureates to speak to a broad cross-section of the community to share scientific knowledge in different areas and promote the discovery and dissemination of knowledge, encouraging life-long learning and innovation. With this 20th installment of the series, 27 Nobel Laureates or renowned scholars have lectured in Hong Kong.
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