Newsletter No. 236

Wei Lun Lectures on Adolescent Academic Development P r o f. Jacquelynne S. Eccles, W i l b e rt Mc K e a c h ie Co l l e g i a te Pr o f essor o f Psychology, Education and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan, gave two public lectures on 16th and 17th February respectively while visiting the Faculty of Education in her capacity as Wei Lun Visiting Professor of the University. Both lectures took place in the auditorium of Ho Tim Building. In the first lecture, entitled 'School Structure, C l ass r oom Experiences, and Ado l es cent Development', Prof. Eccles summarized her research work, along with other research, on how school structure and classroom experiences could impact on different aspects o f adolescent d e v e l o pme nt i n a d d i t i on to a c adem ic achievement. It has been observed in some that both mental health and school motivation decline during the early adolescent years and many adolescents experience major school transitions during these same years. Research findings have suggested that the nature of these transitions might have contributed to such a decline. Prof. Eccles discussed this hypothesis and summarized the relevant empirical evidence. In the second lecture, entitled 'Gender, Academic Performance, and Academic Choices', Prof. Eccles discussed the social, cultural, and psychological factors that help to explain gender differences in academic performance and academic choices o f students. She also summarized intervention efforts that have successfully increased the enrolment and interest of women in the physical and technological sciences. Prof. Eccles has conducted research on topics ranging from gender-role socialization, teacher expectancies, and classroom influences on student motivation to social development in the family and school contexts. W i t h close to 200 publications, Prof. Eccles's most recent work focuses on the l ong i t ud i nal study o f the development and socialization of different types of psychological influences on motivation, activity choice and involvement. Such influences include self-perceptions of competence, task values and interests, life goals, self-schema, motivational orientation, and mental health. Upcoming Anniversary Celebrations University Presidents' Global Forum 2004 The University Presidents' Global Forum 2004 on 'Universities in the 21st Century' will be held from 28th to 30th March 2004 at T.Y. Wong Hall and Cho Yiu Conference Hall on CUHK campus. Some 50 university heads from across the world will attend, and discussion sessions will be conducted in putonghua and English with simultaneous interpretation from English to putonghua and vice versa. Business School Gala Dinner in April Faculty members of the Faculty of Business Administration and the alumni and friends of the faculty's MBA Programmes will come under one roof for the first time at the gala dinner organized by the faculty and the MBA Alumni Association on 3rd April. The purpose of the dinner, to be held at J.W. Marriott, is to reunite faculty members, alumni, supporters, and friends, and to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the University. Dr. Victor Fung, chairman of the Li & Fung Group, will be the guest of honour. Also in attendance will be Prof. Ambrose King, vice- chancellor of the University, the pro-vice-chancellors, and leading figures in the public and corporate community, including guests featured in the series Talking to CEOs, New Thinking in Management, and CEOs in the New Century. Please go to fo r online registration. The organizers are also seeking sponsorship for a commemorative publication to trace the history of the faculty. For details, please visit SponsorshipJetter.pdf. Please visit http://www.cuhk. for updates. New Horizons of Diagnosis and Treatment of Heart Failure L ike obesity, diabetes, hypertension and coronary artery disease, heart failure is an urban disease and one with a high mortality rate. The Division of Cardiology of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics has pioneered a new therapy for heart failure — unconventional cardiac resynchronization therapy (CRT). The treatment involves the implantation of three pacing electrodes, instead of one or two in conventional treatment, to different chambers of the heart to improve its function. The survival rate is 85 per cent compared w i th 60 per cent for patients w i th severe heart failure without this therapy. Patients reported significant improvement in exercise capacity and displayed improved cardiac function. The division also pioneered two new technologies in echocardiography to assess heart failure patients — tissue synchronization imaging and three-dimensional echocardiography. The current criteria for determining the suitability of CRT are very restrictive and insensitive. And often symptoms such as shortness of breath and fatigue can be easily neglected by patients, hence delaying diagnosis. Tissue synchronization is useful for immediate identification of uncoordinated contraction of the heart while three-dimensional echocardiography allows 'real time' viewing of the heart structure and provides a better understanding of the relationship between the structure and function of the heart. These two new tools w i ll help doctors to select appropriate patients for CRT. The division held a press conference on 19th February at the Postgraduate Education Centre of the Prince of Wales Hospital to announce the latest development of diagnosis and treatment of heart failure. Patients were also present to share their experience and two of the latest technologies for assessment were demonstrated. Then on 21st and 22nd February, medical professionals in the area of heart failure from mainland China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and the US exchanged views and experiences at the 'International Heart Failure Symposium 一 Hong Kong 2004', held by the Faculty of Medicine in collaboration with Tsinghua University of Beijing. The largest ever held in Hong Kong on the topic of heart failure, the symposium highlighted the importance of early diagnosis and optimal treatment for this very common but serious condition. From left: Prof. Joseph Sung, Prof. Yu Cheuk-man, Prof. John Elsby Sanderson, and Dr. Fung Wing-hong of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics 1 No. 236 4th March 2004