Newsletter No. 383

No. 383, 19.9.2011 5 IN PLAIN VIEW 洞 明 集 concoction can comprise up to 20 different herbs. Their chemical compositions will change after decoction, making it very difficult to study that concoction. What we’re doing now is studying individual herbs, with focus on the interactions between traditional Chinese herbs or natural health products and Western medicine, and their safety in terms of drug metabolism and toxicity.’ For example, danshen contains over 40 constituents, including water-soluble phenolic acids and fat-soluable tanshinones. CUHK research shows that there is no metabolic interaction between the water-soluable constituents of danshen and Western medicine. But tanshinones can cause indirect metabolism in several drug-metabolizing enzymes. Drug metabolism refers to the duration and intensity of pharmacological action of drugs in the human body. A particular constituent in a Chinese herb may increase the rate of drug metabolism, thus decreasing the drug level in a patient’s body and making it ineffective. In the opposite case, it will potentiate the effects or side effects of the drug. The pharmacological and toxicological interactions between danshen and warfarin are referred to as xiangchong (incompatibility) in Chinese medicine. This research result is generally accepted by the medicine community. Although there are skeptics who argue that this can be only seen as an isolated case due to the lack of comprehensive clinical trials. But the West has begun to understand that Chinese medicine is characterized by compound formulas. If Chinese herbs and Western medicine can complement each other, it may bring about a quantum leap in the development of medicine. The prerequisite of their integration is mutual acceptance. But is it necessary for a Chinese herb to be evaluated by a clinical trial, which is a must for Western medicine, before it can be accepted by the West? ‘It seems that there is no shortcut,’ said Professor Yeung. ‘Thanks to the more sophisticated equipment for detailed analyses of drug constituents, studies of Chinese medicine have come a long way in the past dozen years. Are Chinese herbs and Western medicine friends or foes? This question is a jigsaw puzzle with a hundred thousand pieces. We have just put together a few.’ 校 園 消 息 CAMPUS NEWS 楊鶴強教授1984年於利物 浦大學取得博士學位後, 於原校藥理及藥物治療學 系擔任博士後研究員。他 於1986年加入中大藥理學 系擔任講師,2003至07年 出任該系系主任,現為生 物醫學學院教授。楊教授 的研究興趣包括草藥及自 然產品活性成分對於癌症 和心血血疾病的藥理學、 傳統中藥及其他天然保 健品與西藥的相互作用, 以及當中的藥理和毒理意 義。 After obtaining his PhD from the University of Liverpool in 1984, Prof. Yeung Hok-keung John became a post-doctorate research fellow in the Department of Pharmacology and Therapeutics at the same university. He joined CUHK in 1986 as a lecturer at the Department of Pharmacology, which he chaired from 2003 to 2007. He is now professor at the School of Biomedical Sciences. His research interests include pharmacology of active ingredients isolated from herbs and natural products in cancer and cardiovascular diseases, drug-drug interactions involving traditional Chinese medicines and other natural products with Western medicines, and their pharmacological and toxicological significance. 楊鶴強教授(中)和他的研究團隊 Prof. Yeung Hok-keung John (centre) and his research team 中大統計學者獲首屆教資會傑出教學獎 • CUHK Statistician Receives UGC Award for Teaching Excellence 理 學院副院長(教育)、統計學系的潘偉賢 教授,榮獲大學教育資助委員會(教資 會)頒發首屆「教資會傑出教學獎」。 教資會讚揚潘教授「自從事教學工作以來,不斷 求進,經過一番探索後,採用以學生為本的教學 法,並熱心推廣良好教學方法。她勇於革新,在 其院校帶領同儕改變傳統教學觀念,盡顯領導才 能。」 中大校長沈祖堯說:「潘教授獲此殊榮,進一步 肯定大學的優質教與學;她對教學的委身及熱 誠,更是老師的典範。」 潘教授1987年加入統計學系擔任講師,多年來 屢獲殊榮,包括理學院模範教學獎及亞太工商 研究所傑出教學獎。對於這次獲教資會傑出教學 獎,潘教授深感榮幸:「我很榮幸成為中大的教 員,中大不斷致力提升教學質素,為教師在各方 面作突破提供了良好的平台。我們一直努力設計創新而具 挑戰性的課程以激發學生的潛能,同時照顧能力較低學生 的需要。我們注重學生全人發展,不單培育專業人才,同時 希望學生建立廣博識見及正面態度,並將這理念延伸至中 學教育界。」 潘教授很感謝幼稚園老師對她的啟蒙和身教,令她從小便 立志當老師,決心幫助學生。身為老師,她認為最重要的是 做好教學工作,其餘時間才進行研究。她說︰「當教完一節 課,看到學生在點頭,好像很明白的樣子,我就很開心。我 最喜歡看到學生點頭。」 潘教授已決定把個人獲頒的獎金捐出,以設立獎學金幫 助更多學生。至於其餘獎金,將用於探討改善教學法,透 過科學研究找出不同教學法在不同環境下之功效,令學 生獲益。 P rof. Poon Wai-yin, associate dean (education) of the Faculty of Science and professor in the Department of Statistics, was conferred the inaugural UGC Award for Teaching Excellence by the University Grants Committee (UGC). In the UGC citation for Professor Poon, she is hailed as ‘a fully committed and selfless academic in advancing learning and teaching in higher education.… Her own development as an educator has greatly contributed to her adopting learner-centred approaches in her work, as well as the spreading of such practices.… As a driver for change, her leadership has been most impressive.’ Prof. Joseph J.Y. Sung, Vice-Chancellor of CUHK, said ‘that this important award being presented to Professor Poon is another significant step towards the affirmation of the quality of teaching and learning at the Chinese University. Her selfless and whole-hearted commitment, and her intense passion for teaching, will certainly set an admirable example for other teachers.’ Poon Wai-yin joined CUHK in 1987 as a lecturer in the Department of Statistics. She has received many recognitions throughout the years, including the Faculty of Science Exemplary Teaching Award and the Best Teaching Award of the Asia Pacific Institute of Business. She feels deeply honoured to have received this UGC award: ‘I am proud of being a professor at CUHK. Its commitment to continually enhancing the quality of education provides a platform for teachers to excel in many dimensions. We design ambitious and challenging curricula to stimulate students, but not at the expense of students of lesser capability. We embrace the concept of whole-person development, and use our classrooms to cultivate not only expertise but also generic skills and positive attitudes and values, and we feel obliged to extend our influence to the secondary-school sector.’ Inspired by her kindergarten teacher, Professor Poon has chosen teaching as her career and has been determined to help her students. For her, teaching always takes priority over research. She said, ‘Whenever I see my students nod in the class, indicating understanding, I am very happy. I like to see them nod.’ Professor Poon has decided to donate the amount in the prize money awarded to her to set up a scholarship to help more students. And the rest of the prize money will be used to fund pedagogy research to determine the effectiveness of different teaching methods in different contexts. 潘偉賢教授(左)從教資會主席史美倫女士手上接過獎項 Prof. Poon Wai-yin (left) receives the commemorative plague from Mrs. Laura Cha, the UGC Chairman