Newsletter No. 208

2 No. 208 4th October 2002 CUHK Newsletter Centre for Clinical Trials on Chinese Medicine R e c e i v e s D o n a t i o n T he Centre for Clinical Trials on Chinese Medicine (CCTCM) received a donation of HK$2,580,000 from the Oriental Press Charitable Fund Association to subsidize the acquistion of research equipment and materials, and to support a new project on elderly health. A cheque presentation ceremony was held on 16th September 2002 at the CCTCM in the School of Public Health Building at the Prince of Wales Hospital, with Mrs. Michelle Leung, wife of the Financial Secretary of the HKSAR, and Prof. Liu Pak Wai, pro-vice-chancellor, as guests of honour. Prof. Leung Ping C h u n g , c h a i r man o f the Management Committee, the Institute of Chinese Medicine (ICM), and section conveners of the institute introduced the facilities and the latest development o f the CC T CM to the guests before the ceremony. T h e C C T C M is an executive arm of the Clinical Trials Section of the ICM. Mrs. Michelle Leung, wife of the Financial Secretary (right 7) and Mr. Ricky Ma Ching-fat, President of Oriental Press Group Ltd. (right 6), posing with Prof. Liu Pak Wai (right 8), Prof. Leung Ping Chung (right 5), and members of ICM. Site-specific Drug Delivery System Gives New Hope to Uveitis Sufferers U veitis, a kind of eye inflammation, is classified mainly into anterior and posterior types. Anterior uveitis refers to inflammation in the front part of the eye while posterior uveitis refers to that in the back part. A serious and sight threatening condition, posterior uveitis is conventionally treated with oral steroid or immunosuppressants. Dr. Chan Wai-man of the Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences points out that orally prescribed steroid could cause a lot of undesirable side-effects including weight gain, obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, gastritis, and osteoporosis. Similarly immuno-suppressants are potentially harmful to internal organs. Worse still, some patients cannot tolerate either form of treatment. Researchers in the US have recently developed a device to be secured inside the eyeball, which w i ll release drugs for years. The CUHK Department of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences is one of 40 leading eye centres around the world chosen to participate in a study to test the implant. The study w i ll involve a total of 500 patients and so far over 260 have been implanted with the new device, including 12 Chinese patients. The University is the only centre in Hong Kong that provides the new treatment for uveitis. Se r v i ce t o t h e C o mm u n i t y a n d I n t e r n a t i o n al O r g a n i z a t i o ns • Prof. Lam Mong Chow, Amy, professor in the Department of Social Work, has been appointed by the Secretary for Health, Welfare and Food as a member of the Social Work Training Fund Committee for two years from 1st October 2002. • Prof. Tung Ho Suk Ching, professor in the Department of Marketing, has been appointed as a member of the Hong Kong Advisory Council on AIDS for three years from 1st August 2002. • Prof. Ching Pak-chung, professor of electronic engineering, has been appointed as a co-opted member of the council of the Hong Kong Institution of Engineers for the 2002-3 session. He has also been elected to serve as an ordinary member of the council of the Institution of Electrical Engineers for three years from 1st October 2002. •Prof.Fok Tai Fai, professor of paediatrics, has been appointed as a member of the Health Services Research Committee of the Health, Welfare and Food Bureau from 9th September 2002 to 19th August 2003. •Prof.Chan Yan Keung, Thomas, associate professor in the Division of Clinical Pharmacology of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, has been appointed as a member of the Licentiate Committee of the Medical Council of Hong Kong for three years from 11th November 2002. • Prof. Diana Lee, professor in the Nethersole School of Nursing, has been appointed by the Nursing Council of Hong Kong as a co-opted member of the Education Committee for two years from 1st August 2002. • Prof. Lam Kin-che, professor in the Department of Geography and Resource Management, has been appointed by the Chief Executive of the HKSAR as a Justice of the Peace on 30th June 2002. • Prof. Chiu Fung Kum, Helen, reader in the Department of Psychiatry, has been appointed by the University of Rochester Medical Centre as an adjunct professor of psychiatry in the School of Medicine and Dentistry for one year from 1st August 2002. (Information in this section is provided by the Information and Public Relations Office. Contributions should be sent direct to that office for registration and verification before publication.) P rof. Ambrose King, renowned sociologist and pro-vice- chancellor of the University f r om October 1989 to July 2002, had planned on entering a new and perhaps more tranquil stage in his life after spending over three rich and fruitful decades at The Chinese University when a rather weighty and unexpected responsibility fell upon his shoulders. He was handed the reins of vice-chancellorship by the University Council to take the place of Prof. Arthur K.C. Li, the former vice-chancellor and now Secretary of Education and Manpower of the HKSAR. The appointment wou ld not affect his retirement plans too much, says Prof. King, even if they have to wait until a new vice- chancellor is found for the University. A nd although he takes his hat off to all his predecessors who have served the University in that capacity, he himself has never aspired to be vice-chancellor, as the onerous duties of the job wou ld not leave him, or anyone for that matter, much time for what lies closer to his heart: research and teaching. He fully understands, however, that the University needs a vice-chancellor during the interim period, and he deeply appreciates the trust and confidence the University Council has shown i n him. 'I realize my responsibility is heavy (任重 ), but my way (道) is not that long (遠 ),' Prof. King quips. Perhaps because of his close involvement i n high-level policy-making as pro-vice-chancellor over the last 13 years, the new appointment does not seem to have exerted on h im the same emotional impact as that he experienced when he was made head of New Asia College a quarter of a century ago by the then vice- chancellor, Dr. C.M. Li. ' I was much younger then, and those were very t r y i ng times for the collegiate system,' he recalls. Basically he sees his role during the interim period very much the same as any other vice-chancellor. Matters and projects which have been started and planned w i l l continue, and things that should be done w i l l be done. 'It is only when it comes to new, major initiatives that I wo u ld have more reservation, as I must include the next vice-chancellor i n my considerations,' he remarks. One of his major preoccupations w i l l be to continue w i t h efforts to maintain research and teaching quality. The Sutherland Report of the UGCs Higher Education Review recommends that a small number of universities should be strategically identified as the focus of f und i ng support, w i t h the explicit intention of creating institutions that can compete at the highest international levels. To justify its claim to be a research university deserving of such support, the University not only has to monitor the research performance of teachers but also to e n s u re s u f f i c i e nt f u n d i n g f o r important research projects. 'Certain projects cannot wa it for the next v i ce - chance l l o r 's a p p r o v al to commence. They have to start now or there'll be regrets,' says Prof. King. He also points out that the percentage of p o s t g r a d u a te research