23 January 2021
16 December 2011
CUHK Vice-Chancellor Professor Joseph Sung Elected Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering
The Only Hong Kong Scientist to Receive the Honour this Year

Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung, Vice-Chancellor of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), has been elected an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (CAE), in recognition of his remarkable achievements and contributions in the field of gastroenterology. Professor Sung is the only Hong Kong scientist to receive the honour in 2011. 

'I am very honoured to be elected an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering. This is an honour founded upon an achievement that belongs to my whole team of gastroenterologists and scientists at the Institute of Digestive Disease in CUHK. As a clinician/scientist in the academic arena, I pledge my full support to the promotion of scientific exchange and collaboration between Hong Kong and the mainland for the betterment of mankind,’ said Professor Sung. 

Professor Sung is a renowned scientist in gastroenterology, and holds the currently Mok Hing Yiu Chair of Medicine at the Chinese University. He has long been committed to clinical, education and research work in gastroenterology, with significant contributions in gastrointestinal bleeding, Helicobacter Pylori, peptic ulcer, gastrointestinal endoscopy, hepatitis and gastrointestinal cancer. Professor Sung and his team proved the relationship between H. pylori and peptic ulcer diseases. They were first in demonstrating that a course of antibiotics lasting a week can cure H. pylori infection and successfully treat peptic ulcers and minimize their relapse. At the same time, Professor Sung and his research team pioneered the use of endoscopic treatment for ulcer bleeding to reduce the need for operative surgery. These research results have a major impact on and have changed the practice of gastroenterology worldwide. 

Professor Sung is a world leader in gastroenterological research. He led a group of experts from 15 Asia-Pacific countries to launch colorectal cancer screening research in 2004, and was the first to prove the growing prevalence of colon cancer in the Asia Pacific region. His team has laid down clear guidelines and promoted colorectal screenings in the region. Professor Sung has also conducted in-depth research in the functions and regulations of the related genes of gastrointestinal cancer, and successfully identified tumor markers with high sensitivity and specificity. He has also uncovered various new tumor suppressors and proto-oncogenes as well as their mechanisms and diagnostic values. 

Professor Sung’s current research focuses on the prevention and early diagnosis of digestive cancers. These include the use of colonoscopy in screening for colorectal cancer; identification of new genetic mutations and epigenetic changes in gastric and colon cancer; the use of microRNA in the early diagnosis of gastric and colon cancer; the relationship between androgen and liver cancer; and the use of medication such as PPARgamma agonist in the prevention of liver cancer, among others. 

CAE membership is a life-long honour and is the highest academic title in engineering science and technology in China. The election of new members is conducted biennially and 54 new members have been elected among 485 candidates this year. The nine divisions of CAE are: Division of Mechanical and Vehicle Engineering; Division of Information and Electronic Engineering; Division of Chemical, Metallurgical and Materials Engineering; Division of Energy and Mining Engineering; Division of Civil, Hydraulic and Architecture Engineering; Division of Environment & Light and Textile Industries Engineering; Division of Agriculture; Division of Medical and Health; and Division of Engineering Management. 

Including Professor Sung, CUHK has, among its faculty members, a total of three CAE members, six Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) members, four CAS members of foreign nationalities and eight Academia Sinica members. 

Prof. Joseph Sung shares his gastroenterological research along with two members of his research team from the Institute of Digestive Disease (IDD) at CUHK. They're Prof. Francis Ka Leung Chan (left), Director, IDD, and Prof. Jun Yu.

Prof. Joseph Sung