Newsletter No. 169

MOLECULAR BIOSCIENCES TRIPARTITE COLLABORATION From left: Prof. Lu Yongxiang, Prof. Arthur K.C.Li, and Dr. K. C. Cho China claims 22 per cent of the world's total population but only 7 per cent of its cultivated land. Food and health care, therefore, are top national priorities. Molecular biosciences and biotechnology research are recognized as crucial elements of China's national strategy for food and health care security in the 21st century. A long-term cooperative agreement was recently concluded among the University, the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and Anson Biotechnology En t e r p r i se to pursue research i n molecular biosciences, focussing on the areas of health and food. The signing of the agreement took place on campus on 23rd August, with Prof. Lu Yongxiang (Chinese Academy of Sciences), Prof. Arthur K.C. L i (CUHK), and Dr. K.C. Cho (Anson Biotechnology Enterprise) officiating at the ceremony. A total of HK$100 million will be injected into the project. The three parties w i ll capitalize on their respective expertise and resources to support and manage multidisciplinary research activities and resource development within the field of biosciences. The main effort will fall on basic research w i t h po t en t i al f or app l i c a t i on t h r ough b i o c hem i c a l, pharmacological, and genomic studies. The collaboration w i ll support two research centres at the Shanghai Institutes of Biological Sciences and The Chinese University. Expo Brings Software Component Technologies to Hong Kong Three key speakers: (from left) Prof. Kenneth Young; Prof. K.F. Wong, principal investigator of OCF; and Mr. Y.C. Cheng, acting director of the Information Technology services Department. Representatives f r om component vendors, software companies, and quality assurance consultancy organizations in the US, India, Singapore, and Hong Kong gathered in Hong Kong to introduce component technologies and software quality assurance models at Open Component Expo 2000, which took place on 24th August at the Hong Kong Convention and Exh i b i t i on Centre. Lead i ng software companies also demonstrated the use of components in e x h i b i t s w i t h showcase applications. The expo was organized by the Open Comp o n e nt Foundation, wh i ch was set up by the Un i v e r s i ty and sponsored by the H K S AR government's Innovation and Technology Fund to provide a pub l i c ly accessible object software repository portal for promoting a cost-effective way o f enhancing the quality of locally developed software. Its target customers are all independent software vendors who need to deliver high quality software products within a tight schedule and a competitive environment. Coorganizers of the expo included professional bodies and government departments such as the Hong Kong Computer Society, the Information Technology Services Department, and the Hong Kong Section of the British Computer Society. Women's Health i n Asia Under Probe a t Conference About 80 scholars, public health workers and policy-makers from Hong Kong, ma i n l a nd Ch i na, S i ngapo r e, the Philippines, Australia, India, No r th America, and the UK exchanged views on issues related to women's health at the I n t e r n a t i o n al Con f e r ence on Globalization and Women's Health: Challenges in a Changing Asia, held on CUHK campus on 30th and 31 st August. The conference was j o i n t l y o r g a n i z ed by the University's Gender Research Centre and the School of Public Health, and the Centre for Environment, Gender, and Development in Singapore. That was the first time an international conference had focussed on the impact of g l oba l i za t i on on women's health. As Asian countries liberalize their markets and privatize their public sectors, they undergo macro-economic restructuring so as to integrate t he ir na t i onal economies effectively into the global economy. These changes present threats to women's health, well-being, and quality of life. At the conference, the p a r t i c i p a n ts p r e s e n t ed p a p e rs demonstrating how globalization is affecting women's environmental health, occupational health, psychological health, sexual-reproductive health, and substance abuse. Based on the growing body of evidence worldwide, the conference organizers and participants proposed an international information system that w i l l d r aw in mu l t i - d i s c i p l i n a ry and mu l t i - sectoral partners to mon i t or these concerns. The f unc t i on also marked the inauguration of the Gender Research Centre, which has been reconstituted from the Gender Research Programme of the Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies. Prestigious International Award Goes toCUHK Statistician Prof. Fan Jianqing, professor of statistics and chairman of the Department of Statistics, was recipient of the Presidents' Award of the Committee of Presidents of Statistical Societies (COPSS) for the year 2000. The award, to honour outstanding statistics researchers under 40, is the most prestigious one in the international statistics community, especially among researchers. Prof. Fan was presented the award at the Joint Statistical Meetings held in Indianapolis in the United States on 16th August. Visitors from Shantou Medical School Twe n ty students and f i ve teachers from Shantou Medical School visited the Department o f Ana t om i c al and Ce l l u l ar Pathology f r om 5th to 15th August under the department's exchange agreement with Shantou Medical School. The students attended classes, tutorials, and practicals with their counterparts at CUHK. The visit was partially supported by the L i Ka Shing Foundation. Officiating at the opening ceremony on 9th August were Prof. Sydney Chung, dean of medicine, Dr. Katherine Lo, representative o f the L i Ka Shing Foundation, and Prof. H.K. Ng, acting c h a i r man o f the De p a r t me nt o f Anatomical and Cellular Pathology.