SHKP and CUHK Present Nobel Lecture onMolecular Structures in Post-genomic Research
Sun Hung Kai Properties (SHKP) and The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) presented the ninth instalment in their widely-acclaimed Nobel Laureates Distinguished Lectures with 2002 laureate in chemistry Kurt Wüthrich speaking on ‘Molecular Structures in Post-genomic Research’ on November 20. The lecture was attended by about 300 academics, students and members of the public.
SHKP Vice Chairman and Managing Director Raymond Kwok said: “Our company encourages education and life-long learning, and with these Nobel lectures we hope to give Hong Kong people a broader perspective and the required knowledge to meet the challenges of globalization. We believe that the lectures are an important vehicle for advancing academic knowledge and will have a positive impact on the territory’s future.”
Acting CUHK Vice Chancellor Kenneth Young praised SHKP for its generous support and thanked the speaker, saying: “Professor Wüthrich is a scientist of global influence. His work has enhanced our understanding of the processes of life and helped develop new pharmaceuticals, foodstuff controls and early diagnosis of cancers. We are very proud of his close association with CUHK. He first visited us in May 2006 for a lecture in this series and he is now an honorary professor of our Faculty of Science with another project ongoing with our Biochemistry Department.”
The lecture was broadcast live to local universities and the CUHK Tung Wah Group of Hospitals Community College, as well as Peking, Fudan, Shanghai Jiao Tong, Tsinghua, Zhejiang, Nanjing and Sun Yat-sen Universities on the mainland. It was also available on the Hong Kong Education City web site. The broadcast was intended to promote academic exchange and allow more people to benefit from the lecture.
Professor Wüthrich explained that the determination of the human genome and the genomes of a large number of other species carry great promise with regard to improving the quality of life worldwide. New advances are expected in many different fields, including agriculture, nutrition and healthcare. Realization of these advances will have to be based on detailed knowledge of the proteome and other gene products, in addition to the genomic DNA sequences. The lecture reflected on the strategic and practical aspects of post-genomic research.
Professor Wüthrich’s research interests are molecular structural biology and structural genomics. He is currently a professor of Biophysics at ETH Zurich in Switzerland and Cecil H and Ida M Green professor of Structural Biology at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla California in the USA. Professor Wüthrich developed the nuclear magnetic resonance method for three-dimensional structure determination of proteins and nucleic acids in solution. This breakthrough technology earned him a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2002.
The lecture series was initiated in 2004 to allow Nobel laureates speak to a broad cross-section of the community and promote discovery and the dissemination of knowledge and contributions to humanity. The latest lecture brings to 15 the number of Nobel laureates or renowned scholars who have taken part in the series.