Newsletter No. 224

T E N DISTINGUISHE D PERSON S MAD E HONORAR Y FELLOW I n celebration of its 40th anniversary, the University conferred honorary fellowships on 10 distinguished persons at the Second Honorary Fellowship Conferment Ceremony held on 30th May 2003 at the Lee Hysan Concert Hall. The 10 honorees are all individuals who have been closely related to CUHK and who have made significant contributions to the University and Hong Kong. They were Mr. Chan Tak Lam, Norman, a distinguished alumnus and Deputy Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Monetary Authority; Prof. Chen Tien Chi, Emeritus Professor of Computer Science and Engineering of CUHK; Ms. Cheung Man Yee, the first Chinese Director of Broadcasting in Hong Kong and a distinguished CUHK alumna; Mr. Chien Lee, renowned entrepreneur and director of Hysan Development Company Limited; Mr. Lee Fei, outstanding industrialist; Dr. the Honourable L i Ka Cheung, Eric, certified public accountant and member of the Legislative Council; Prof. Ma L i n, former vice-chancellor of CUHK and current chairman of the Board of Trustees of Shaw College; Mr. Shum Choi Sang, an elder statesman of the press and chairman of the Overseas Chinese Enterprises Group Limited; Mr. Sung Sheung Hong, distinguished industrialist and chairman and superintendent of Pentecostal Mission in Hong Kong and Kowloon; Mr. Tam Chung Ding, Chief Executive Officer of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation. Prof. Ambrose Y.C. King, vice-chancellor of the University, presided at the ceremony, and Ms. Cheung Man Yee represented the honorary fellows to address the congregation. Mr. Lee Fei received the honour in absentia. Profiles of the honorary fellows are carried on page 4. As i an He r oes at P W H Recei ve Time Aw a r d Time magazine held its inaugural Asian heroes award presentation ceremony and dinner in Tokyo on 11th June 2003. The aim of the ceremony was to honour Asian heroes for the positive work they did over the past year to help improve society. Members of the 'Dirty Team' at the Prince of Wales Hospital, a winner of the award, were unable to attend the ceremony in person. But their representatives Prof. Joseph Sung (right 1), chairman of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Prof. Gavin Joynt (left 2), associate professor in the Department of Anaesthesia and Intensive Care, and Dr. Tam Lai-shan (right 2), adjunct tutor of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, had received the award earlier in Hong Kong from Mr. Karl Taro Greenfeld (left 1), editor (Asia) of Time magazine on 30th May. Video extracts of this occasion were shown at the Tokyo event on 11th June. Pioneer ing Treatment for SARS T he Depa r tment o f Med i c i ne and Therapeutics has i den t i f i ed three phases in the course of SARS for which different treatments are required. Prof. Dav id Hui o f the department explained that the first phase, corresponding roughly to the first week o f illness, i s h i gh l i gh t ed by rapid v i r al replication. Symptoms during this period include high swinging fever, muscular pain, chills, dry cough, and minor lung infection. Twenty per cent of the patients may also suffer from diarrhoea. They can be treated with ribavirin, which inhabits the vims, with the addition of a low-dose steroid should the fever persist beyond 48 hours. The second phase is days 5 to 7 from fever onset. There is immune-mediated lung injury w i th progression of pneumonia. Patients wi ll have high fever again and some may develop respiratory failure. A high-dose of intravenous steroid is required to prevent lung injury during this phase. I f the response is not satisfactory, i.e. i f lung infection is serious and respiratory problems persist, convalescent serum therapy i s applied. I mmu n o g l o b u l in i s also used a s a n alternative for its immuno -modu l a t i ng effects. The third phase is the third week of the illness. Ninety per cent of the patients w i ll have registered improvement and can start a rehabilitation programme that includes physical exercise. The effectiveness of convalescent serum therapy has also been studied by the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics. It has been used on SARS patients since late Ma r ch w i t h encou r ag i ng results. I n convalescent serum therapy, convalescent plasma with antibodies is first extracted from recovered SARS patients. The serum is then injected into the patients after tests for the H I V and the Hepa t i t is B v i r us. The antibodies in the serum are expected to curb the growth and development of the SARS coronavirus. Prof. Gregory Cheng of the department said that the therapy is most effective in the second week of medical treatment when the coronavirus is most active. About 70 per cent of the patients treated with convalescent serum have recovered within 22 days. Some 60 to 70 recovered patients from the Prince of Wales Hospital have donated their blood plasma. A mere 600 t o 1,000 c c o convalescent plasma f r om a donor can benefit three to five patients. No. 224 19th June 2003