Newsletter No. 241

Six Distingusihed Persons Awarded Honorary Fellowships A t th e University's Thir d Honorary Fellowshi p Confermen t Ceremon y hel d on 17t h May a t Lee Hysan Concert Hall, Esther Lee Building, honorary fellowship s were conferred on six distinguished persons by Dr. Edgar Cheng , chairman of the University Council . The honorees were Ms. Pamela Chan Wong Shui, Dr. Thoma s Chen Tsen g Tao , Mr . Dic k Le e M i n g Kwai , Dr . Joseph Pang Yuk Wing , Prof . John Nelso n Tarn , an d Dr . Yung Kun g Hing . Picture s o f the ceremon y and recipients' profile s w i l l b e carried in the next issu e of this newsletter . IMPORTANTBREAKTHROUGHIN RESEARCH ON SPERM MATURATION S perms d o not intrinsicall y posses s the ability to swim or fertilize eggs . They acquir e these abilities through a process called sperm maturatio n in th e epididymi s situate d nex t t o the testes . Ho w sper m mature s i n the epididymis ha s been puzzling to scientists despit e nearl y fou r decade s of research. A recen t stud y conducte d by the University' s Epithelia l Cel l Biolog y Research Centre in collaboration with the Shanghai Institute of Biochemistr y and Cel l Biolog y o f the Chines e Academy o f Sciences reveal s th e first secret of sperm maturation. It has been found that Bin1b, a β -defensi n gene found in the head region of the epidigymis , ca n attach itsel f to th e sper m head and induce progressive sper m motility i n originally immotil e immatur e sperm. Prof. Chan Hsiao Chang, director of the centre, explained that β -defensin is the firs t molecul e foun d in the epididymi s tha t is involved in initiating sperm maturation . I t can be used a s a biomarker fo r the diagnosis o r treatment o f male infertility . Th e findings als o provid e a basis fo r the development o f new contraceptiv e strategies . Studies o n the detailed mechanism s of β -defensin's interactions w i t h sper m membrane protein s ar e already i n the pipeline an d there ar e also plan s t o examine Bin1 b expressio n i n infertile patients. The Lalor Foundation in the US has awa r d e d a L a l o r F o u n d a t i o n Postdoctoral Fellowshi p t o Mr. Che n Xi Zhou (photo), a doctoral candidate unde r the s upe r v i s i o n o f P r o f . Chan , t o undertake on e o f the studies , entitle d 'The Role o f Epididymis-specific Defensin, Bin1b , in Sperm Maturation' . Greenligh t for th eLaunc hof a Schoo lo f La wat CUH K T he University w i l l procee d ful l stea m to prepare for the establishment fo r a school o f law . Th e University Grant s Committe e (UGC ), i n its advice o n the Un i ve r s i t y 's Academic Developmen t Proposa l f o r the 2005-8 triennium , ha s indicated that ther e is merit i n establishing a third law schoo l in the t e r r i t o ry an d that i t ha s r ecommende d acceptance o f CUHK 's proposa l t o do so in the coming triennium. The establishmen t of a law schoo l i s a key ite m i n the University' s 10-year vision . The rul e o f law i s one o f Hong Kong' s most crucia l competitiv e advantage s and demand fo r legal talen t i s on the rise. The U n i v e r s i t y w i l l t r a i n q u a l i t y l e g a l professionals b y recruiting th e best students , p r o v i d i ng t he m w i t h th e best l ea r n i n g experience, an d l eve r ag i ng o n its own strengths i n the humanities an d the social sciences t o enrich th e stud y o f law withi n a broad socio-cultura l context . Th e la w schoo l is als o expecte d to contribute t o the learnin g and developmen t o f law throug h research , particularly i n the context of the different lega l and constitutional tradition s o f the region . A Plannin g Committe e fo r the Schoo l of Law w i l l b e set up unde r the chairmanship of Dr. An t h o n y Neoh , SC , member o f the University Council . Dr . Neoh i s a senio r member o f the bar, and has been chairman of the Ho n g K o n g Securitie s an d Futures Commission a s well as the chief adviser to the China Securitie s Regulatory Commission . Dr. Neoh i s currently Nomur a Visitin g Professo r of International Financial Systems at Harvard Law School . He is also visitin g professo r i n many majo r universitie s i n mainland China , including Pekin g and Tsinghua Universities . Generous donation s fro m Dr . Q.W . Lee and Dr . Simo n Li w i ll enabl e the foundin g o f two name d chairs in law. Dr. Q.W. Lee has f o r ma n y year s bee n t h e chairman o f the Un i ve r s i t y Council; Dr . Simon L i was a senior membe r o f the Hon g Kong Judiciar y an d has been a major benefacto r of CUHK. I n addition , Mr . Warren Chan, SC , has also mad e a generous donatio n i n support of the la w school while majo r collections o f law book s hav e been donate d by C.Y. Kwa n & Co . an d Mr. K . K. Chu . Th e lat e Dr . C.Y . Kwa n wa s the founding chairma n of the University Counci l and Mr. Ch u is asolicitor i n Hong Kong . The L LB Programm e w i ll begin admittin g students i n 2006 an d the PCLL in 2007. A JD programme p r ov i d i n g lega l educatio n t o graduates of non-law subject s will be offered in 2006. Othe r postgraduat e programme s w i l l include a one-year taugh t L L M tha t offer s a selection of specializations, as well as an M.Phil. and a Ph.D., all to be launched in 2007. The Universit y i s very gratefu l t o the community, especially the legal profession, fo r support an d advice , an d thei r confidenc e i n its abilit y t o found a law schoo l of quality. From left: Dr. Anthony Neoh , Prof. Ambrose King , and Prof. Liu Pak- wai announcing plans for a law school Minimally Invasive Approach to Complex Bladder Surgeries Proves Highly Successful T he Division o f Paediatric Surger y an d Paediatric Urolog y unde r th e Department o f Surgery ha s pioneere d a new approac h t o bladder surgery whic h involve s performin g laparoscopi c procedure s w i t h i n the bladder unde r carbon dioxide bladde r insufflation . Thi s approac h has been tried an d tested by University staf f in a n animal mode l fo r its safety an d subsequently applie d with muc h succes s to anumber o f bladder surgerie s in infant s an d children sinc e 2000 . Various comple x bladde r surgerie s i n infants an d children tha t conventionally requir e a large open bladder incision can now be very safel y and effectively conducted using this new technique. It has also significantl y reduced surgical trauma and stress, and shortened hospital stay from between seven and 1 4 days to only 2 4 hours . Traditionally comple x bladde r surgerie s i n both adult s an d childre n have been performed via an open approach which requires a large incisio n over the abdominal and the bladder walls. Forceful retraction of the bladder wa ll i s required t o allow adequat e exposur e f o r surgical visio n and manipulation an d prolonged urinary diversion is necessary post-operatively . This i s associated with sever e wound pai n an d bladder spasm , significan t surgical stres s reactions , delaye d retur n to normal dail y activities , an d a long, unsightl y abdomina l scar . The ne w techniqu e wa s introduce d to the publi c a t the Postgraduat e Education Centr e of the Prince of Wales Hospita l o n 28th Ap r il 2004 . 1 No. 241 19th May 2004