12 May 2016

CUHK Launches ‘Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award’
Over HK$15 Million Worth of Scholarship to Support Medical Students’ Pursuit of Postgraduate Research Overseas



Medical research is of paramount importance in the face of an aging population, emerging infectious diseases and many other new public health threats.  The development of medical-related innovation and research is expanding rapidly in Hong Kong and the demand for clinician-scientists is growing.  With the generous donation of US$2 million (HK$15.6 million) from Dr Lui Che Woo, Founder and Chairman of K. Wah Group through the LUI Che Woo Charity, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has set up the ‘Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award’, a scholarship programme which aims to support the University’s medical students who aspire to develop a career in medical research and to further their studies abroad. 

Awardees are expected to return to Hong Kong to contribute to the teaching, research or clinical work in the medical field.  A donation ceremony to mark the launch of the award scheme was held today (12 May) at the Lui Che Woo Clinical Sciences Building, CUHK.  Officiating at the ceremony were Dr Lui Che-woo, Mrs Lui, Prof. Joseph Sung, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK and Prof. Francis Chan, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, CUHK. 

Growing Demand for Clinician-scientists 

Medical research and technology in Hong Kong have earned international recognition, particularly research in cancer and diabetes, non-invasive prenatal diagnosis and minimally invasive surgery.  Training of research talent requires abundant resources and time.  Over the years, the Faculty of Medicine at CUHK has been committed to nurturing clinician-scientists, who play a crucial role in developing treatment and preventive measures for a variety of diseases.  CUHK launched the Global Physician-Leadership Stream (GPS) in 2013 to groom undergraduate students and the ‘CU Medicine 2035’ programme in 2014 to recruit teaching and research professionals in medical research.

Prof. Joseph SUNG, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, said, ‘The development of health science and medical technology is growing by leaps and bounds, and the healthcare sector is facing unprecedented challenges.  There is a great sense of urgency to reform medical education and advance medical and scientific research.  We hope that medical students with a strong passion for and potential in research can be given the opportunity to study abroad through an award scheme, so that they will return to the University to develop a career in teaching or research at the Faculty of Medicine, contributing to the Hong Kong community.’ 

CUHK Receives US$ 2 Million from Dr Lui Che Woo

Sharing the same vision of nurturing young medical research talent as CUHK, Dr Lui generously made a donation of US$2 million (HK$15.6 million) through the LUI Che Woo Charity last year to the University to establish the ‘Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award’.  Under the award scheme, the ‘Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Research Scholarship’ of up to HK$250,000 annually will be granted to an outstanding medical student at CUHK who is in pursuit of a postgraduate research programme overseas.  Upon completion of the programme, the awardee is required to return to Hong Kong to take up teaching or research work in the Faculty. 

Dr the Honourable Lui Che-woo said, ‘The “Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award” aims to make a sustainable and positive impact on society rather than to emphasize an individual’s achievement.  I hope the scholarship will encourage and support talented medical students to fully realize their potential and bring innovative and diverse perspectives to future medical development. Upon completion of their studies, they will come back to Hong Kong to serve our community with new insights’ 

Prof. Francis CHAN, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, CUHK said, ‘Training a clinician-scientist requires abundant resources and time and fortunately we are not alone on our way to reach the goal. Thanks to the generosity of Dr Lui, our Faculty is able to give financial support each year to at least one of our MBChB students to advance his or her knowledge, build a connection, gain international exposure and make contributions to society when he or she returns home.  Cultivation of a clinician-scientist requires six years of undergraduate study of medicine, plus four years of advanced study in a research profession, so, in all, at least ten years. The set up of the “Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award” is indeed a manifestation of the old saying “it takes ten years to grow a tree”.’  

Dr Lui’s Distinguished Contributions to CUHK 

Dr Lui Che-woo has always been a distinguished philanthropist, particularly in the development of medical care, education and information technology.  He has been on the Board of Trustees and the Endowment Fund Committee of United College since 1995, and played a vital role in the establishment of CUHK’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management.  Dr Lui also made a generous donation in 2012 for the establishment of the Lui Che Woo Institute of Innovative Medicine, which is dedicated to the advancement of three focused initiatives, namely BRAIN (Brain Research And Innovative Neuroscience), SMART (Sports Medicine And Regenerative Technology) and CARE (Cardiovascular Advancement, Research and Education).  The Institute now serves as a significant international platform for clinical service and scientific research. 

About K. Wah Group

K. Wah Group was founded in 1955 by Dr Lui Che-woo, who transformed the company into a multinational conglomerate.  Core businesses include property development and investment, entertainment and leisure resorts, hospitality and construction materials.  The Group has a business presence in Mainland China, Hong Kong, Macau, Southeast Asia and major cities in the US. The Group includes two Hong Kong-listed flagships: K. Wah International Holdings Limited ("KWIH"; HK stock code: 0173) and Galaxy Entertainment Group Limited ("GEG"; HK stock code: 0027 and a member of the Hang Seng Index).  Other major subsidiaries include Stanford Hotels International and K. Wah Construction Materials Limited and, in the US, Stanford Hotels Corporation and Cresleigh Homes Corporation.  To date, the Group has over 200 subsidiaries and more than 33,000 staff worldwide. 

Website: http://www.kwah.com 

Quick facts about the Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award scheme:  

Name of Scheme

Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award

Name of Scholarship

Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Research Scholarship

Amount

Up to HK$250,000 annually per scholarship (may vary subject to inflation and other considerations)

Number

One recipient each year, under CUHK’s discretion

Duration

An overseas postgraduate programme usually takes 3 to 4 years.  The  grant will be offered up to 4 years depending on the academic performance and financial need of the recipient

Eligibility
(must fulfill all requirements)

  • A full-time MBChB undergraduate student in the Faculty of Medicine, CUHK;  
  • A permanent resident of Hong Kong;
  • Demonstrating excellent academic performance and commitment in medical research and serving Hong Kong;
  • Fulfilling all application procedures and admission requirements at the overseas institution of his/ her choice and be offered a place subsequently;
  • With financial needs; and
  • Will pledge to undertake a three-year academic or teaching position at the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK after the completion of his/ her overseas research programme

Selection procedure

  • Open for applications in September every year

Appendix 

Asia's first undergraduate medical leadership programme – ‘Global Physician-Leadership Stream’ 

To cultivate a new generation of conscientious, well-rounded physicians with a global perspective and leadership skills, the Faculty of Medicine established the Global Physician-Leadership Stream (GPS) under the MBChB programme, which is the first undergraduate medical leadership programme in Asia.  GPS allows students with potential and interest in medical research to get early exposure.  They can follow notable professors to work on research projects and are eligible for advance studies in famous universities such as Oxford University, Cambridge University and Yale University. 

GPS has enrolled more than 100 medical students since its launch, and some have already made great achievements.  Seven students got their papers published in international top medical journals.  Ten students were awarded the Innovation and Technology Scholarship Award Scheme in 2014/15 and 2015/16 by The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups.  The University has sent 30 students to Yale University, Stanford University, Cambridge University and Oxford University for study and research.

‘CU Medicine 2035’ programme 

To maintain high quality medical service and a leading role in medical research in the international arena, the Faculty of Medicine is putting extra effort into the ‘upper stream’ by actively recruiting medical research talent as teaching staff.  This can ensure sustainable development in medical education and research, allowing one to pass on the torch to the next. 

Launched in 2014, the ‘CU Medicine 2035’ project is injected HK$20 to 30 million each year to attract talent to the Faculty.  The target of the project is to expand the faculty size by a minimum of 20 percent within five years.  Since the scheme was launched, the Faculty has already hired six world-class scientific research professionals and global recruitment will continue.

Dr LUI Che Woo, Founder and Chairman of K. Wah Group and Mrs. LUI, accompanied by Prof. Joseph SUNG, Vice-Chancellor of CUHK and Prof. Francis CHAN, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, meet twenty some CUHK medical students who are interested in clinical research.
Dr LUI Che Woo, Founder and Chairman of K. Wah Group and Mrs. LUI, accompanied by Prof. Joseph SUNG, Vice-Chancellor of CUHK and Prof. Francis CHAN, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, meet twenty some CUHK medical students who are interested in clinical research.

Dr LUI and Mrs. LUI present a cheque worths of HK$ 15.6 million to CUHK for the establishment of the ‘Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award’ to Prof. Joseph SUNG, Vice Chancellor of CUHK and Prof. Francis CHAN, Dean of Faculty of Medicine who receive on behalf of CUHK.
Dr LUI and Mrs. LUI present a cheque worths of HK$ 15.6 million to CUHK for the establishment of the ‘Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award’ to Prof. Joseph SUNG, Vice Chancellor of CUHK and Prof. Francis CHAN, Dean of Faculty of Medicine who receive on behalf of CUHK.

Dr LUI Che Woo and Mrs LUI, Prof. Joseph SUNG and Prof. Francis CHAN officiate at the launching ceremony of the ‘Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award’.
Dr LUI Che Woo and Mrs LUI, Prof. Joseph SUNG and Prof. Francis CHAN officiate at the launching ceremony of the ‘Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award’.

Prof. Joseph SUNG and Prof. Francis CHAN present a model of the Lui Che Woo Clinical Sciences Building to Dr LUI Che Woo, in appreciation of his continued support to CUHK.
Prof. Joseph SUNG and Prof. Francis CHAN present a model of the Lui Che Woo Clinical Sciences Building to Dr LUI Che Woo, in appreciation of his continued support to CUHK.

Student representatives present mascots of CUHK Faculty of Medicine to Dr LUI Che Woo and Mrs LUI whose names are stitched on the costume of the mascots.
Student representatives present mascots of CUHK Faculty of Medicine to Dr LUI Che Woo and Mrs LUI whose names are stitched on the costume of the mascots.