10 No. 426, 4.11.2013 高浩博士 內外全科醫學士課程四年級 倫敦大學學院神經科學哲學博士 神經科學有甚麼吸引你？ 純粹出於好奇心。人腦是複雜的，讓我們能夠感知世界， 有思考和意志力。這些功能背後的物理基礎和科學機理 到底是甚麼？科學家在這範疇的認知仍相當有限，我很 渴望知道當中奧秘。而神經科學特別之處，是它運用許 多量化的科學方法，如數學、物理等來研究生物醫學，這 是我非常感興趣的。 你先完成博士學位，然後才接受醫科臨床訓練，歷 程與本地醫科生不大相同。為何有此決定？ 這次序是參考美國普遍的醫學與哲學博士課程，首兩年 是臨床前期，中段修讀博士學位，最後兩年為臨床實習。 我想趁年紀尚輕發展解決問題的能力。醫學院的教育 需要我們掌握許多知識，但這些知識是根據甚麼而得出 的？這正是科學探究的範疇。在醫學院，我們沒有時間兼 顧這方面，但我卻很想學習科研方法，所以在修讀醫學 科學增插學士學位課程後，向醫學院取了四年假期，攻 讀博士學位，並進行了一年博士後研究。 可有考慮這樣抉擇的風險？ 當時有許多人勸我說，唸博士、做研究，沒有一定成功 的。但我沒想那麼多，只要我堅持的便會去實踐。把目標 定得高，自然要冒險。抵達英國後，我與導師商議研究題 目，沒有人知道會否成功，但導師是一位很有雄心的人， 我亦是，都渴望在科學領域裏接受更多挑戰。 這樣一路走來，最大的收穫是甚麼？ 我增廣了見識，學到不要為科研設下界線。當地政府、院 校和實驗室都願意為重大的研究課題投資。只要發掘到 重要和有趣的科研問題，即使缺乏相關技術，亦不會構 成障礙，他們會自行開發所需的新技術。如果將來我有自 己的實驗室，我也會效法。另一令我印象深刻的是彼邦 的人才。我加入的實驗室最初只有四人，其中一位是腫瘤 科醫生，但他也是電腦程式高手。我亦遇到兩位分別修 讀機械工程和土木工程的同事，因為對大腦研究感興趣 而轉科，他們把工程學的方法套用於神經科學，並發揚 光大。當地科研人員以興趣為先，不會被個人能力或現有 知識框架所局限，因此，他們的跨學科研究特別多。 你很崇拜何大一博士，有甚麼原因嗎？ 1996年，何大一教授當選《時代雜誌》封面人物，表彰 他在研究愛滋病病毒複製和感染機制的工作，以及他所 提出的雞尾酒療法的成效。我那時剛移居香港，讀小學 三年級，在新環境裏我需要一個偶像，一個奮鬥目標或方 向。我從新聞見到他，很渴望長大後也有所成就。因此， 我從小立志，我的事業要對社會有貢獻和承擔。 將來有何計劃？ 先完成臨床學習，盡力學得好一些，對未來的病人負責。 我會與其他教授保持合作關係，參與研究和出席學術會 議，令自己不會和科研脫節。到完成實習後，除了行醫， 我亦希望建立自己的實驗室，繼續腦神經的研究。 Dr. Ko Ho MB ChB, Year 4 PhD in Neuroscience, University College London What attracted you to neuroscience? I chose it primarily out of curiosity. The brain is a complex organ. It enables us to perceive, think and to have will power. But what are the physical basis and scientific mechanisms that support the brain’s function? Scientists know very little. I wanted to unlock these secrets. The study of neuroscience is special because it uses many quantitative approaches in mathematics and physics to analyse biomedical issues, and I was keenly interested in applying these methods. You finished doctoral studies before undertaking clinical training, unlike most local medical students. Why? I reprioritized my studies using as reference the Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MD PhD) programme in the US in which students would spend two years in pre-clinical studies before pursuing a doctorate, and then receive clinical training in the last two years. I wished to model my studies on the programme to develop my problem-solving skills at a younger age. Medical school requires students to be knowledgeable. But little attention is paid to the origin of medical doctrines. They are, in fact, derived from scientific research. As an undergraduate student, I didn’t have time to explore that. But I was eager to find out what’s in the scientific research. So, after I finished the Intercalated Degree Programme in Medical Sciences degree, I applied for leave for four years from the Faculty of Medicine. I studied for a PhD and completed one-year post-doctorate research training. Were you aware of the underlying risks of your decision? I was often told that there’s no guarantee of success in research and PhD studies. But I didn’t worry that much. I am a persistent person and I’ll strive to realize what I want. We need to bear the risks if we aim high. After I arrived in the UK, I discussed my research topic with my supervisor. No one knows if it was feasible, or what it would lead to. My supervisor was a very ambitious person, and so was I. We both long to be challenged. What was the greatest reward of your decision? My horizons were broadened, and I learned that we mustn’t create boundaries in scientific research. In the UK, government departments, educational institutions and laboratories are willing to invest in research that is significant. If the topic is important and interesting, they’ll develop new technologies tailored for it even if they lack the necessary technology for conducting experiments. I would do the same if I had my own lab one day. Another thing that impressed me was the talent. When I joined my supervisor’s lab, there were only four members. One was an oncologist with superb computer programming skills. The other two colleagues were former mechanical engineering and civil engineering students who changed their specializations due to their immense interest in the human brain. They applied engineering methods on neuroscience research and got encouraging results. In the eyes of UK researchers, interest ranks first. Inadequacy in one’s ability and lack of knowledge won’t hinder them. Hence they have a lot of inter-disciplinary research projects. You are a fan of Dr. David Ho. Why? Dr. David Ho was TIME ‘Man of the Year’ in 1996. His efforts at investigating the mechanisms of HIV replication and transmission, and his invention of ‘cocktail therapy’ were lauded worldwide. I moved to Hong Kong in the same year. As a Primary 3 student in a new environment, I needed an icon, a purpose in life, and a clear object to guide myself. I came across his name on TV and in the newspapers, and I too wanted to be successful just like him. I made up my mind to pursue a career that would allow me to contribute to society. What are your future plans? The first task is to complete my clinical training. I must learn well since I’ll need to take care of my patients in future. I’ll keep in contact with professors, take part in lab work and attend academic conferences to keep up with advancement in research. After I complete my houseman training, I wish to start my own lab and continue my neuroscience research.