(Hong Kong, 7 April 2005) The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has announced a major donation of HK$60 million from the Li Ka-shing Foundation to establish an institute of health sciences and to fund clinical studies and health sciences research at the Faculty of Medicine.
The newly established Li Ka-shing Institute of Health Sciences will devote its research effort mainly to areas related to the health of individuals, with particular emphasis on sickness prevention, clinical sciences, and regenerative medicine. Research foci include early detection of severe diseases (e.g. cancers, genetic diseases, common urban health problems, infectious diseases), innovative therapeutics, and disease prevention through understanding of genetic susceptibility. The Institute will also seek multi-disciplinary collaboration with private and public partners in research projects related to personal health and health education.
The Li Ka-shing Institute of Health Sciences, to be headed by Dean of Faculty of Medicine Professor Tai-fai Fok, will be housed within a new 12-storey building at the Prince of Wales Hospital scheduled for completion in the fourth quarter of 2006. The new medical sciences building will be named after Dr Li Ka-shing in recognition of his contribution.
The Li Ka-shing Foundation has been a long-standing supporter of education and healthcare related projects. Since its inception in 1980, the Foundation has made over HK$2.3 billion in contributions related to medical care and research, accounting for 35% of total commitments.
CUHK and the Foundation have a history of successful collaborations. Two specialist clinics at the Prince of Wales Hospital were built with the support of the Foundation in 1984 and 1997, respectively. In 2001, CUHK joined forces with Shantou University, which is one of the Foundations major ongoing projects, to found the Joint Shantou International Eye Center to provide quality patient care and to establish a new social model for medical relief through the establishment of a platform and network for the delivery of medical skills and technology.
In thanking Dr Li for his generous donation, Vice-Chancellor of CUHK, Professor Lawrence Lau, said the university admired Dr Lis legendary philanthropy and public-spiritedness.
We are truly impressed by the many significant contributions Dr Li has made over the years towards educational and medical causes in Hong Kong and on the mainland, Professor Lau said.
The Foundation and CUHK are in active discussion to explore new possibilities for future collaboration in the education and medical spheres.
An artists impression of the Li Ka-shing Medical Sciences Building, which will house the Li Ka-shing Institute of Health Sciences when completed in the fourth quarter of 2006. The institute will focus on research in sickness prevention, clinical sciences and regenerative medicine.
Professor Tai-fai Fok will head the Li Ka-shing Institute of Health Sciences. Professor Fok is currently Dean of Faculty of Medicine of CUHK and a member of the Prince of Wales Hospital Governing Committee. A paediatrician in his own right, Professor Fok is the President of the Hong Kong College of Paediatricians and was honoured with the Outstanding Asian Paediatrian Award in 2003.
About the Faculty of Medicine of The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Established in 1963, The Chinese University of Hong Kong is a comprehensive research university of international renown. It has achieved academic excellence in many areas and nurtured many distinguished graduates who have made remarkable contributions to the local community and worldwide. The Faculty of Medicine was established in 1977 with the mission of serving the community through quality education, caring practice and advancement of health science. It admitted the first cohort of students in 1981 and offers programmes at bachelors, masters and doctoral levels. The programmes in Nursing and Pharmacy were introduced in 1991 and 1992 respectively. In 2001, the territory first and only School of Public Health, which aims at promoting public health through research and education into disease prevention, health maintenance, and health care delivery, was opened. In the same year, a reform in the medical curriculum was introduced. The new system-based integrated curriculum enhances students clinical exposure and emphasizes the training of communicative techniques, lifelong education capability and clinical skills. For the past twenty years, the Faculty of Medicine has made great advances in teaching and research, gaining international recognition as a medical centre of excellence and producing top-notch medical professionals for the community.