Facts and Figures 2010

Areas of Excellence The University Grants Committee (UGC)* has provided preferential funding to the local tertiary institutions to conduct research into 16 selected Areas of Excellence (AoEs). Five ongoing projects are led by researchers at CUHK: Centre for Research into Circulating Fetal Nucleic Acids The project team discovered the presence of cell-free fetal DNA in the plasma of pregnant women, offering new possibilities for non-invasive prenatal diagnosis. The team continues to address a number of high-profile unsolved questions in the field of circulating fetal nucleic acids, including non-invasive molecular methods for the diagnosis of fetal Down syndrome. Chinese Medicine Research and Further Development The project further pursues the two formulae for promoting ulcer healing and cardiovascular health. It will not only set models for clinical evidence on the efficacy of selected herbal formulae, but will also establish models for clinical trials and drug authentication for Chinese medicine. Centre for Plant and Agricultural Biotechnology The aim of the project is to build a pipeline for biotechnology crop production, through identification of useful genes from elite germplasms; transfer them into designated crops (e.g., rice) to produce new lines with improved agronomic performance after conducting field trials and safety assessment. Institute of Network Coding With an aim to making Hong Kong a major centre of Network Coding, the world-leading Institute of Network Coding will con- duct forefront research on the theory of Network Coding and its various applications on the Internet, wireless communications, information security, data storage and bioinformatics. The Historical Anthropology of Chinese Society This project will study 15 geographic areas in China to recover the history of both how local society identified with its own characteristics, and incorporated into the broad expanse of a unified culture. By comparing the time frame of separate local histories, this project will construct a history of China from the bottom up. * UGC is an advisory body responsible for advising the HKSAR government on the development and funding needs of the higher learning institutions in Hong Kong Research 22