Newsletter No. 272

E-N EWSLETTER A BSTRACT Volume 3 No. 1 | CUHK Scientists Win State Natural Science Awards Two outstandin g scientist s o f the University , Prof . Dennis L o Yuk-ming (left), Dr . L i Ka Shing Professor of Medicine and professor of chemical pathology, and Prof. Jimmy Y u Chai-me i (right), professo r i n th e Department of Chemistry, were each conferred a State Natural Scienc e Award, second class, i n recognitio n of the achievement s o f thei r project s 'Biolog y an d Diagnostic Application s o f Foeta l Nuclei c Acid s i n Maternal Plasma ' and Photocatalyti c Degradatio n of Persistent Organic Pollutants ' respectively . New Centre for Studies of Daoist Culture The Universit y ha s received the generous support of the Daois t Fung Ying Seen Koon to set up the Centre for the Studies of Daoist Culture at the Department of Cultural and Religious Studies. The centre's inauguration ceremony was held on 4th January 2006. From left: Prof. Lai Chi Tim, director of the centre, Master Ren Farong, president of Chinese Daoist Association, Dr. Patrick C.P. Ho, Secretary for Home Affairs of the Government of the HKSAR, Mr. Qi Xiaofei, vice-director of the State Administration for Religious Affairs of the People's Republic of China, Prof. Lawrence T.Lau, vice-chancellor of the University, and Master Lai Hin Wa, permanent chairman of Daoist Fung Ying Seen Koon. For details, please visit CUHK Pioneers Treatment for Hyper tension Caused by Funct ional Adrenal Neoplasm H igh bloo d pressur e i s on e o f th e mos t commo n disease s in Hon g Kong , affectin g approximatel y on e millio n people . Over 9 0 pe r cen t o f th e case s ar e primar y hypertensio n withou t cause. The rest are hypertension secondary to underlying pathologies such as functional adrena l glan d neoplasm . I t is estimated that one to two per cent of all hypertension cases are secondary to a functional adrenal neoplas m whic h produce s excessiv e aldosteron e o r corticosteroid. Conventionally thi s kind of secondary hypertension can be cured by surgica l excisio n o f th e affecte d adrena l gland . Laparoscopi c adrenalectomy introduce d i n the las t decade i s currently th e gol d standard treatmen t fo r functional adrena l glan d neoplasm . Thoug h the procedur e ca n b e accomplishe d wit h minima l morbidity , i t requires general anaesthesia and may result in serious complications. The CUHK Facult y of Medicine has recently introduced a novel technique o f treating the disorder. Sinc e August 2004 , 1 8 patient s with secondar y hypertensio n du e t o a functional adrena l tumou r were treated by CT-guided radiofrequency ablation (RFA) under local anaesthesia at the Prince of Wales Hospital. RFA uses high frequency current delivere d b y a n electrode t o generat e hea t energ y whic h destroys tissue i n a predictable volume. I maging-guided RF A offers a minimally invasiv e approach to ablate neoplasm without externa l wound. The initia l result s of CT-guided RFA in functional adrena l glan d neoplasm ar e encouraging. Al l patient s hav e shown improvemen t in blood pressur e control with two-thirds now completel y drug-free . The seru m aldosteron e o r Cortiso l level s a s wel l a s potassiu m concentration ar e normalize d i n ai l 1 8 patient s wit h a n overal l success rat e of 94 per cent. No majo r complication wa s noted. The median hospita l stay after the procedure is two days and most patients were able to return to normal activity a day after the procedure. The data sugges t tha t RF A i s an innovative , safe , seamless , an d cost - effective measur e fo r th e treatmen t o f thi s typ e o f secondar y hypertension. HK$1 Million from CNOOC to Support Student Exchange T he Universit y ha s received a generous donatio n o f HK$ 1 millio n fro m Chin a National Offshor e Oil Corporatio n (CNOOC ) to support internationa l exchang e scholarships fo r undergraduat e student s o f CUHK , i n particular , thos e from th e mainland. Mr. F u Cheng Yu, presiden t o f CNOOC, chairma n an d CEO of CNOOC Ltd. , and th e director s o f th e Boar d o f CNOO C attende d th e donatio n presentatio n ceremony o n 6t h January, and exchanged views with academic s o f the University . At th e ceremony , Mr . F u restate d hi s company' s commitmen t t o giv e t o th e community. Prof. Lawrenc e J. Lau , vice-chancellor o f the University , expresse d hi s dee p gratitude to CNOOC for their gift. 'W e anticipate that the total numbe r of mainlan d students o n ou r campus will steadil y increas e i n the coming decade, and many o f them wil l b e able t o benefi t from th e ampl e opportunitie s o f oversea s exchang e made available b y generous sponsors such as the CNOOC, ' h e said. Mr. Fu Cheng Yu (right) presenting a cheque to Prof. Lawrence J. Lau 1 No. 272 19t h January 200 6