Scholars and students from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) continue to conduct distinguished, innovative scientific research and make contributions that earn them national and global accolades. They have demonstrated to the world how research in geography, medicine and engineering can be of great help in understanding the relationship between humans and the environment, and improving medical technology to enhance quality of life.

The first Chinese to win the highest honour in applied geography

Professor Mei-Po KWAN

Geography is not just about the study of landforms and geology; it can also be about the interdisciplinary understanding of environmental health, urban life and social problems. Professor Mei-Po KWAN from CUHK’s Department of Geography and Resource Management, who is a Choh-Ming Li Professor and also Director of the Institute of Space and Earth Information Science, has received the James R. Anderson Medal of Honor in Applied Geography for her multidisciplinary, paradigm-shifting contributions to applied geography. She is the first Chinese and the third female scholar to receive this honour.

Established in 1983, the medal is the highest honour bestowed by the AAG Applied Geography Specialty Group. The AAG acclaimed Professor Kwan for her innovative thinking in analytical approaches and for substantive relevance, as well as for her notable success in linking geography with diverse disciplines in the social, health and transport sciences, demonstrating a significant and sustained contribution to applied geography. Professor Kwan’s research interests include environmental health, human mobility, urban and social issues in cities, and geographic information science.

Recognition of outstanding achievements in gastrointestinal tumour research

Professor Jun YU

Professor Jun YU, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics, and Assistant Dean of CUHK’s Faculty of Medicine (CU Medicine), received the 14th Guanghua Engineering Science and Technology Award from the Chinese Academy of Engineering for her distinguished achievements in and contribution to gastrointestinal cancer studies. This award is regarded as the most prestigious in Chinese engineering science, and technology and engineering management.

Over the years, Professor Yu has been responsible for new findings regarding gastrointestinal cancers in relation to genomic and epigenomic molecular mechanisms, and gut microbiota, as well as basic and translational research in cancer biomarkers and cancer therapy. Her research has far-reaching implications for understanding the pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of gastric cancer, colon cancer and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

Innovative research bags prizes at Olympics of Chinese student science

Recipients of Top Prize: Professor Samuel AU, supervisor (left), Mr. Hongbin LIN, Mr. Xuchen WANG (top on the screen), Mr. Yan WANG (bottom on the screen)
Recipients of First Prize: Professor Patrick Ming Kuen TANG (left), supervisor, Mr. Jeff Yat Fai CHUNG (middle), Mr. Max Kam Kwan CHAN (right)

In addition to the honours CUHK scholars received, innovative research projects by CUHK students also swept a total of five awards, the most among Hong Kong universities, including a Top Prize for the first time, at the 17th Challenge Cup National College Students’ Extracurricular Academic Science and Technology Contest. The Challenge Cup is famed as the Olympics of promoting science, technology and innovation among university students in China. CUHK was the only Hong Kong university this year to receive Top and First Prizes.

The Top Prize project by Yan WANG, Hongbin LIN and Xuchen WANG, PhD students from the Department of Mechanical and Automation Engineering, supervised by the department’s Professor Samuel Kwok Wai AU, developed a miniaturised steerable surgical drill for bone work in confined spaces to reduce intraoperative damage to patients. The First Prize was given to PhD students Jeff Yat Fai CHUNG and Max Kam Kwan CHAN from the Department of Anatomical and Cellular Pathology, under the supervision of Professor Patrick Ming Kuen TANG, Assistant Professor in the Department. They developed a novel anticancer immunotherapy, in which a unique anticancer immunotherapeutic cell type S3KO-TAN can be mass produced by editing human neutrophils with the latest genome engineering technology CRISPR/Cas9. (List of awarded CUHK projects)