Press Releases

New Chair Professorship initiative and HK$100 million research fund for CUHK

31 August 2005


The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) announced it has received an additional grant of HK$40 million from the Li Ka-shing Foundation (LKSF). Expanding on the earlier commitment of HK$60 million, CUHK has received a total of HK$100 million from LKSF. The entire fund will be used to support clinical studies and research programmes in health sciences under the Li Ka-shing Institute of Health Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine. Vice-Chancellor Professor Lawrence Lau said, “This generous grant represents a strong endorsement of CUHK’s research excellence and will assist CUHK in continuing our commitment to provide the best possible education and research in health sciences and to contribute to health promotion in the community. This grant will further support the Li Ka-shing Institute of Health Sciences to secure its place as a unique and vital institution at the forefront of research in the global life sciences arena.”

Over 80% of the grant will be directed towards research that focuses on integrative transdisciplinary science in health promotion and disease prevention, mechanisms, diagnosis, monitoring, treatment, clinical sciences and regenerative medicine, while the balance will be used to establish a Dr. Li Ka-shing Chair in the Faculty of Medicine. This will be the first Chair Professorship to be granted by LKSF under its Chair Professorship initiative. CUHK considers it a great honour to be the first recipient and has nominated Professor Y.M. Dennis Lo, the Director of the Li Ka-shing Institute of Health Sciences and a world-renowned medical scientist, to hold the Chair.

Dr. Li Ka-shing, Chairman of LKSF, said, “Society will reap huge benefit from advances in the life sciences that grow out of a broad and integrative view of science; great minds must be given opportunities to realize their vision.”

Professor Dennis Lo said, “I am truly honoured by being named to this chair. I grew up in Hong Kong and received my medical education and early research training in the U.K. and returned to Hong Kong in 1997. I have always had a dream: that world-class research can be performed in Hong Kong, using resources available in Hong Kong, on health problems whose solution would bring direct benefits to the people of Hong Kong and indeed the world. This generous donation will make this dream possible, not only for my team, but also for other young scientists who share this vision. Over the past decade, I have been engaged in research on DNA in blood plasma, which will bring long term benefits to health care and early disease detection. The Institute opens up exciting new opportunities in multi-disciplinary and translational research in the life sciences. I am privileged to take part in this exciting development.”

The Li Ka-shing Institute of Health Sciences: The Institute will be housed in the Li Ka-shing Medical Sciences Building at the Prince of Wales Hospital site. It is anticipated that the construction of the building will be completed by early 2007. A distinguishing feature of the Institute is the innovative and interdisciplinary approach emphasizing research projects aimed at translating advances in basic and molecular sciences into tests and treatments that will benefit patients and promote health.

The vigorous research programmes at CUHK have already had many notable successes. For example, CUHK has a research programme in the use of DNA that exists in blood plasma for prenatal and cancer diagnosis that is at the cutting edge of molecular diagnostics research. CUHK also has a successful research programme on the molecular basis, detection and treatment of nasopharyngeal and liver cancers. CUHK workers are also leaders in research into peptic ulcer disease, viral hepatitis, and endoscopic therapy of digestive diseases. Other outstanding bio-medical research at CUHK includes using genetic techniques to improve rice strains for better nutritional value V work that will help to solve the problem of food scarcity.

CUHK shares Dr. Li’s view that education and medical care are “the twin pillars of society’s well being”. CUHK will over the next decade support its Medical Faculty and this Institute with funding of several billion dollars, and scientists working in the Faculty are all committed, through their research, to contributing to the improvement of health care in Hong Kong, China and the world.

The Li Ka-shing Foundation

The Li Ka-shing Foundation was established in 1980 to nurture a culture of giving. Mr. Li believes that this can be accomplished by focusing on capacity empowerment through education and the building of a caring society through medical and healthcare projects. The Li Ka-shing Foundation and other private charitable foundations established by Mr. Li have supported numerous philanthropic activities with grants, sponsorships, and commitments of approximately HK$7.6 billion.

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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 bachelor’s, master’s 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-odd 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.


Aug 31, 2005