23 September 2009

Professorial Inaugural Lecture by Professor Cheuk-man Yu



Professor Cheuk-man Yu, Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics, Head of Division of Cardiology in the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, and Assistant Dean (External Affairs) of the Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), delivered his professorial inaugural lecture on ‘Heart to Heart’ today (23 September).

Professor Yu graduated from the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK in 1990 with distinction, and received his MD from CUHK in 1999. Over the years, he has been awarded membership of the Royal College of Physicians of the United Kingdom, and fellowship of various bodies, such as the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine, the Royal Australasian College of Physicians as well as the Royal College of Physicians of Edinburgh and London.

An accomplished clinician and prolific researcher, Professor Yu pioneered the advanced pacemaker therapy programme for heart failure and employed special cardiac ultrasound technology to optimize implantable device therapy. Because of his outstanding original research work and remarkable contribution to the understanding and management of cardiovascular diseases, Professor Yu is appointed as principal investigator and steering committee member in a number of international multi-centre clinical trials.

Under the leadership of Professor Yu, the S.H. Ho Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Centre of CUHK was established in collaboration with the Division of Neurology, to provide top quality service and research, offering cutting-edge cardiovascular diagnostic imaging modalities. In 2007, he spearheaded the setting up of the Institute of Vascular Medicine in CUHK to further the development of basic research and clinical applications in vascular medicine. To strategically strengthen cardiac intervention services and research development in these areas, the Lee Quo Wei Cardiovascular Intervention Centre and Heart Education And Research Training (HEART) Centre in the Prince of Wales Hospital were established in 2009, with Professor Yu as Director.

At his inaugural lecture, Professor Yu pointed out that heart diseases are among the most important health issues in most parts of the globe. They affect large number of people. Such high prevalence can be readily reflected by a few local figures: hypertension affects more than 15% of the population, coronary heart disease more than 5%, heart failure 2% and another 2% of the population suffers from cardiac arrhythmia. Apart from the huge health expenditure involved, they result in a lot of sufferings and deaths.

Nevertheless, great strides have been made in cardiology over the past two decades in handling many of these conditions. Encouraging advancements have been seen in various fronts: from better understanding of the disease nature to the development of better and less invasive diagnostic tools and then to the advent of more effective therapies. Social awareness is also promoted through various public education programmes.

Being recognized as the centre of excellence in echocardiographic (ultrasonography of the heart) research, the Division of Cardiology of CUHK has played a pivotal role in validating and applying a number of new tools in clinical practice. These include tissue Doppler imaging, real-time 3-dimensional echocardiography, speckle tracking as well as 3D transesophageal echocardiography, etc. These novel techniques enable a new level of patient care ranging from earlier diagnosis, better selection of therapy and monitoring of treatment progress to more precise prognostic estimation. The Division is determined to bring these forward by further vascular imaging research which is currently an integral initiative of the S.H. Ho Cardiovascular and Stroke Centre in Prince of Wales Hospital and Lee Quo Wei Cardiovascular Intervention Centre.

On the therapeutic side, it is one of the leading centres of the cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT) for patients suffering from heart failure. In particular, the development of echocardiographic parameter to assess motion of uncoordinated contraction, being widely cited as ‘Yu Index’, has been widely used in CRT patients. The Division continues to strive for extending this therapy to more applications.

In the future, Professor Yu will continue to expand his sphere of collaboration with various centres in order to contribute his expertise more effectively to areas where cardiology services are less sophisticated.

Professor Cheuk-man Yu, Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics, CUHK
Professor Cheuk-man Yu, Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics, CUHK

(From left) Professor Fok Tai-fai, Dean of Medicine, CUHK; Professor Lawrence J. Lau, CUHK Vice-Chancellor; Professor Cheuk-man Yu, Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics, CUHK; and Professor Joseph Sung, Associate Dean (General Affairs) of the Faculty of Medicine, CUHK
(From left) Professor Fok Tai-fai, Dean of Medicine, CUHK; Professor Lawrence J. Lau, CUHK Vice-Chancellor; Professor Cheuk-man Yu, Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics, CUHK; and Professor Joseph Sung, Associate Dean (General Affairs) of the Faculty of Medicine, CUHK