Newsletter No. 190

Chinese Medicine Research and Further Development to be Funded HK$25 Million as AoE T he University Grants Committee (UGC) announced on 26th September the selection results of the second round of its Areas of Excellence (AoE) scheme. The UGC wi ll fund the development of three research proposals into internationally recognized areas of excellence with a total allocation of HK$99.8 million. One such proposal, 'Chinese Medicine Research and Further Development', led by The Chinese University, has received funding support to the tune of HK$25 million. It is also the third project at CUHK to have received UGC support under the AoE scheme, after 'Plant and Fungal Biotechnology' and 'Information Technology'. The University set up the Institute of Chinese Medicine last year to conduct evidence-based research into Chinese medicine with expertise from the Faculties of Medicine, Science, and Engineering. To further promote the modernization of Chinese medicine and conduct clinical research for drug development, the institute initiated collaboration with the City University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology to research into alternative treatment methods for illnesses with no known effective solutions or preventive measures in Western medicine. These include antiviral preparation for hepatitis, maintenance of childhood asthma, limb salvage for diabetic foot ulcer, treatment of female ailments, and prevention of cardiac diseases. The project is coordinated by Prof. Leung Ping-chung, chairman of the Management Committee of the Institute of Chinese Medicine, and Prof. Fung Kwok-pui, the vice-chairman. The research findings wi ll not only provide clinical evidence on the efficacy of the herbal formulae under investigation, but wi ll also set models for clinical trials and drug authentication for Chinese medicine, thereby facilitating commercialization and creating more business opportunities for Hong Kong. The concept of identifying areas of excellence in UGC-funded institutions was first put forward by the UGC in 1997 and endorsed by the HKSAR government. The objective is to encourage the growth of research areas which can draw on the existing strengths of the institutions involved to make important contributions to Hong Kong and the world. Besides 'Chinese Medicine Research and Further Development', CUHK is also the collaborating institution for the ' Institute of Molecular Technology for Drug Discovery and Synthesis', which is also one of the three successful AoE proposals in the second round of the bidding exercise. Project leaders for 'Chinese Medicine Research and Further Development': Clinical Non-Clinical Hepatitis B Prof. Joseph Sung Dept. of Medicine & Therapeutics (CUHK) Prof. W.F. Fong Dept. of Biology & Chemistry (CityU) Women's Ailment Prof. C.J. Haines Dept. of Obstetrics & Gynaecology (CUHK) Prof. Karl Tsim Dept. of Biology (HKUST) Diabetic Foot Ulcer Prof. P.C. Leung Dept. of Orthopaedics & Traumatology (CUHK) Prof. C.T. Che School of Chinese Medicine (CUHK) Child Asthma Prof. Rita Sung Dept. of Paediatrics (CUHK) Prof. F.T. Chau Dept. of Applied Biology & Chemical Technology (PolyU) Cardiovascular Tonic Prof. K.S. Woo Dept. of Medicine & Therapeutics (CUHK) Prof. K.P. Fung Dept. of Biochemistry (CUHK) Over 20,000 Sixth-Formers and Their Parents Visit CUHK T he University held its annual Orientation Day for Sixth Formers from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on 6th October 2001. Faculties, departments, and colleges were open on that day with their own programmes for the visitors. Ac t i v i t i es included video shows, display of facilities and equipment,i n f o r m a t i vet a l k s , exh i b i t i ons, and guided tours. The students were also given information on admi ss i on to CUHK and sub j ect selection and the opportunity to ask questions. Funding Support for Three Research Projects T he following three research projects of the University have succeeded in attracting funding from different local quarters: • Interface Software for Cluster Computing: Providing Cost-effective Computational Turnkey Solutions to Local Industries (HK$10,512,000) Sponsors: Innovation and Technology Fund (HK$4,371,000) and Cluster Technology Ltd. (HK$6,141,000) Principal investigator: Prof. Philip Leong (Department of Computer Science and Engineering) Investigators'. Dr. Suen Wai-mo, Dr. Kenneth Chow, and Dr. K.S. Leung • Enhancing English Proficiency Through School-based Learning (HK$730,600) Sponsor. Quality Education Fund Principal investigator. Prof. Jack Lam Yee-lay (Department of Educational Administration and Policy) • Evaluation of Subjective Sleepiness and Prevalence of Obstructive Sleep Apnoea and Sleep Disordered Breathing in a Population of Commercial Drivers (HK$537,920) Sponsor. Health Care and Promotion Fund Principal investigator: Prof. David S.C. Hui (Department of Medicine and Therapeutics)