8 January 2010

Inauguration Ceremony cum Symposium of CUHK School of Biomedical Sciences Held Today



The inauguration ceremony and symposium of the School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) were held today (8 January). Officiating at the event included: Prof. Benjamin Wah Wan-sang, Acting Vice-Chancellor, CUHK; Prof. Fok Tai-fai, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; Dr. Owen M Rennert, Chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Committee, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK, and Scientific Director, Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, National Institutes of Health, U.S.A.; four members of the Scientific Advisory Committee, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK — Dr. Law Ping-yee, Professor of Pharmacology, Department of Pharmacology, University of Minnesota, U.S.A., Dr. Vassilios Papadopoulos, Director, Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre, Canada, Dr. James Lupski, Cullen Professor of Molecular and Human Genetics and Professor of Pediatrics, Baylor College of Medicine, U.S.A., Dr. Rocky Tuan, Director, Centre for Cellular and Molecular Engineering, University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, U.S.A.; and Prof. Chan Wai-yee, Professor of Biomedical Sciences and Director, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK.

Biomedical Sciences has been identified as one of the five focused areas of research in the University’s Strategic Plan 2006. Guided by the vision of pursuing research excellence, the first School of Biomedical Sciences in Hong Kong was formed under CUHK Faculty of Medicine in June 2009 through the re-organization of four pre-clinical science departments, namely Departments of Anatomy, Biochemistry (Medicine), Pharmacology, and Physiology.

‘The establishment of the School aims to promote cutting-edge research through interdisciplinary collaboration among basic science investigators and clinicians, thus advancing translational research locally, regionally and internationally. We also aim to generate synergies in team teaching at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels, and to nurture the next generation of basic researchers and physician scientists in Hong Kong, China, Asia and around the world,’ said Professor Chan Wai-yee, the School Director.

The School has adopted a research theme-based approach as its new operational model. Specifically, the following five thematic research programmes (TRPs) have been established:
‧ Cancer and Inflammation
‧ Neuro-degeneration, Neuro-development and Repair
‧ Reproduction, Development and Endocrinology
‧ Stem Cell and Regeneration
‧ Vascular and Metabolic Biology

Investigators in these TRPs are supported by the School’s core facilities, namely the Macromolecular and Microarray Core, Flow Cytometry and Cell Culture Core, Microscopy and Imaging Core, and Histology Core. These facilities serve as an extension of the investigators’ laboratories and augment their research by providing specialized state-of-the-art equipment and on-site training or help from experienced technical staff.

To encourage interdisciplinary research collaborations, investigators in the Faculty of Medicine with relevant research background are invited to join the TRPs as associate members. Through the regrouping of investigators with similar scientific interests and complementary expertise, and the ongoing recruitment of new faculty, it is believed that a critical mass will be formed to undertake ambitious research projects of local, regional and global impact, and make substantial advances and contributions to biomedical sciences. It is also the School’s hope to facilitate the translation of basic research to clinical applications.

While striving for research excellence, the School also recognizes the value of training high-caliber research postgraduate and undergraduate students and is committed to quality teaching and learning.

At the postgraduate level, the Graduate Division of Biomedical Sciences has been established since August 2009. To strengthen basic training and to enhance in-depth research of the highest standard, the Articulated MPhil-PhD Programme will be launched in 2010/2011 under which flexible study modes and a range of theme-based research topics across different disciplines will be offered for selection by the admitted students according to their research interests. The Division has already established strong academic links with reputable research institutes both nationally and internationally so as to provide its postgraduate students with global perspectives. Examples of these links include the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Graduate Partnerships Program and the Collaborative Partnership in Training of Predoctoral Students with the School of Basic Medical Sciences, Zhejiang University.

At the undergraduate level, the School offers medical and non-medical courses to different programmes available within or outside the Faculty of Medicine, including MBChB, Nursing, Pharmacy, Human Biology, Chinese Medicine and Food and Nutritional Sciences Programmes. In view of the implementation of the 334 curriculum in 2012 and the increasing emphasis on improving teaching and learning quality with the application of outcomes-based approach as advocated by the University Grants Committee, the Teaching and Learning Unit was established in October 2009. This Unit undertakes the missions of i) promoting the development and the use of teaching techniques and learning tools that advance teaching quality and facilitate student learning, ii) improving the quality of formative and summative assessments, and iii) conducting research in areas of teaching, learning and assessments for implementation in the School.

‘To cope with the anticipated expansion in research activities and provide support for the new scientific and developmental initiatives, the School will be relocated to Area 39, Northside Research Campus around mid 2012. It is hoped that the new infrastructure and the cohesive physical environment in the new building will help nurture a prolific team of dedicated researchers who would become well recognized global leaders in their specialized areas of expertise,’ concluded the School Director.

Officiating guests unveil the commemorative plaque of the School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK: 
(From left) Prof KP Fung, Associate Director, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; 
Prof Woody Chan, Associate Director, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; 
Professor T F Fok, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; 
Dr James Lupski, Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; 
Dr Ping Yee Law, Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; 
Prof Benjamin Wah, Acting Vice-Chancellor of CUHK;
Dr Owen M Rennert, Chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Committee, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK;
Dr Vassilios Papadopoulos, Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; 
Dr Rocky Tuan, Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; 
Professor Chan Wai-yee, Director, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; 
Prof C H Cho, Associate Director, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; and
Prof Michael Tam, Associate Director, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK
Officiating guests unveil the commemorative plaque of the School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK:
(From left) Prof KP Fung, Associate Director, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK;
Prof Woody Chan, Associate Director, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK;
Professor T F Fok, Dean, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK;
Dr James Lupski, Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK;
Dr Ping Yee Law, Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK;
Prof Benjamin Wah, Acting Vice-Chancellor of CUHK;
Dr Owen M Rennert, Chairperson of the Scientific Advisory Committee, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK;
Dr Vassilios Papadopoulos, Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK;
Dr Rocky Tuan, Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK;
Professor Chan Wai-yee, Director, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK;
Prof C H Cho, Associate Director, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK; and
Prof Michael Tam, Associate Director, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK

Officiating guests and other distinguished guests attend the inauguration ceremony, including Mr Edward Yau, Secretary for the Environment, HKSAR Government (first row, second from right); Prof. Tony F Chan, President, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (first row, third from right); and Prof. Timothy W. Tong, President, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (first row, third from left)
Officiating guests and other distinguished guests attend the inauguration ceremony, including Mr Edward Yau, Secretary for the Environment, HKSAR Government (first row, second from right); Prof. Tony F Chan, President, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (first row, third from right); and Prof. Timothy W. Tong, President, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (first row, third from left)

Prof. Chan Wai-yee, Director, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK
Prof. Chan Wai-yee, Director, School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, CUHK

Prof. David Yew, CUHK Professor of Anatomy, School of Biomedical Sciences, speaks on how ketamine and heroin affect the central nervous system
Prof. David Yew, CUHK Professor of Anatomy, School of Biomedical Sciences, speaks on how ketamine and heroin affect the central nervous system

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