The fourth “Presentation Ceremony of CUHK Scholarship for Children of the Disciplined Services” was successfully held on Thursday, 2 May 2019 at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Officiated by Mr Sonny Au, Under Secretary for Security of the Government of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, Dr Anita Leung, representative of Dr Philip Wong, donor of the Scholarship, Professor Fok Tai-fai, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President of CUHK and Professor Joseph Lau, Master of Lee Woo Sing College, CUHK, the ceremony was also graced by the presence of the representatives from various disciplined services and respective staff associations and family members of the scholarship recipients.
Professor Fok Tai-fai expressed his sincere gratitude to Dr Philip Wong and Dr Anita Leung for establishing the Scholarship to support the CUHK students whose parents are current or retired members of the disciplined services. He encouraged all scholarship recipients to strive for academic excellence and to contribute to the society after graduation.
Ying Luk-hin, Michael, a Year 3 medical student from Wu Yee Sun College represented all scholarship recipients to deliver a vote of thanks at the ceremony. He thanked Dr Philip Wong and Dr Anita Leung for establishing the Scholarship which encouraged them to pursue their goals and promised to devote themselves to the community in the future.
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) organized the Second “Tea Gathering with Recipients of Shanghai Fraternity Association Diligence Bursaries” on Saturday, 13 April 2019. Mr Lui Chun-fan and Mr Jimmy Jim, Vice-Presidents of Shanghai Fraternity Association Hong Kong Limited (SFA), Professor Fok Tai-Fai, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Vice-President of CUHK, Professor Wong Suk-ying, Associate Vice-President of CUHK, Professor Joseph Lau, Master of Lee Woo Sing College of CUHK, members of SFA and over 50 recipients of Shanghai Fraternity Association Diligence Bursaries (the Bursaries) joined the tea gathering.
In his welcoming address, Professor Fok Tai-fai expressed his heartfelt gratitude to SFA for the establishment of the Bursaries to support students with financial needs. On behalf of SFA, Mr Jimmy Jim delivered an address at the tea gathering. “We hope the Bursaries can help relieve the financial burden of the students and motivate them to strive for their academic excellence,” said Mr Jim. Lau Yan-yi represented all bursaries recipients to give a vote of thanks. “We would like to thank SFA wholeheartedly for establishing the Bursaries which encourage us to achieve our goals. We promise to give back to the society after graduation,” said Lau.
Aiming to support students with financial difficulties, the Shanghai Fraternity Association Diligence Bursaries was established in 2017 with a generous donation from SFA to award 65 full-time undergraduate students in CUHK including 15 students from Lee Woo Sing College.
The Faculty of Medicine at The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) inaugurated the Margaret K.L. Cheung Research Centre for Management of Parkinsonism (the Centre) today (11 April), World Parkinson’s Day. With a generous donation from Ms. Margaret Kam Ling CHEUNG, the Centre is set up to conduct transdisciplinary research that enables the discovery of therapeutics for preventing or slowing the progression of parkinsonism.
The Centre will establish registries for early stage Parkinson’s disease (PD) and cerebral small vessel disease (SVD), both the most common diseases causing parkinsonism, in Chinese subjects to develop precise biomarkers and diagnostics as well as to predict and monitor disease progression. The team has also built Hong Kong’s first custom-built in vivo multiphoton microscope which will greatly enhance the future development of novel therapeutics that can delay the progression of SVD.
Over 6 million individuals suffer from PD globally, while one third of HK elderly are harbouring SVD
Parkinsonism was first identified more than 200 years ago (1817) by Dr James Parkinson. It refers to a cluster of symptoms that primarily includes slow movement, together with other conditions such as stiffness, tremor and/or instability. The most common diseases causing parkinsonism include idiopathic PD, which is the second most common neurodegenerative disease, and sporadic cerebral SVD. Currently, it is estimated that 6.1 million individuals suffer from PD globally. In China there are 1.7 million and in Hong Kong 12,000 people with PD. It is projected that the number suffering from PD will at least double in the coming two decades because of an ageing society. As for SVD, the prevalence is even higher. About one third of the elderly in Hong Kong are incubating this disease, contributing to a slow and unsteady gait that is commonly seen in many older people. Stroke and dementia are other common manifestations of SVD.
Donor Ms. Margaret Kam Ling CHEUNG, said at the inauguration ceremony of the Centre, “Thousands of individuals and their families are being affected by parkinsonism in Hong Kong and around the world. I hope the Centre can advance research breakthroughs in the management of parkinsonism to benefit the well-being of patients and families suffering from parkinsonism.”
Professor CHAN Wai Yee, Pro-Vice-Chancellor/Vice-President of CUHK, remarked, “The establishment of this Centre is very timely given the expected increasing burden of parkinsonism coming with the ageing society. We believe this donation will realise the visionary steps taken by CUHK to generate a profound understanding of advancing parkinsonism management, alleviate the suffering of patients and their families and raise up future high quality researchers in this field.”
Experts from different disciplines unite in the fight against parkinsonism
Despite certain breakthroughs made over the centuries in the management of parkinsonism, there is still no effective treatment that can slow progression of PD and SVD. Professor Vincent Chung Tong MOK, Director of the Centre, Mok Hing Yiu Professor of Medicine and Head of the Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Faculty of Medicine at CUHK, stated, “Developing novel disease-modifying therapeutics that can be applied at the earliest stage of the disease is the grand challenge in the fight against parkinsonism.”
To tackle this challenge, the Centre will unite researchers from different disciplines (including clinician scientists, neurologists, psychiatrists, neuroscientists, radiologists and engineers). The team will focus on unravelling disease mechanisms and developing early detection methods and therapeutics that can slow the progression of the diseases.
Hong Kong first’s custom-built multiphoton microscope for SVD pathogenesis
Basic research focusing on SVD is severely lacking in Hong Kong and Asia. The Centre has built a state-of-the-art in vivo multiphoton microscope dedicated to the study of SVD. Dr. Owen Ho KO, Associate Director of the Centre, Assistant Professor and Head of Translational Neuroscience Unit at the Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics and Assistant Professor of the School of Biomedical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine at CUHK, explained, “Our system allows simultaneous measurements of neuronal and neurovascular changes in awake behaving animals, for studying pathogenic changes in the structure and functions of brain vasculature in animal models of SVD. Combined with single-cell genomic techniques, our work will enhance the fundamental understanding of the pathogenesis underlying SVD, the knowledge of which is crucial for the future development of novel therapeutics that can delay disease progression.” The Centre has also built cellular and animal laboratories for conducting other basic research for PD and SVD.
Setting up an Early PD and SVD registries in Chinese population
Dr. Anne Yin Yan CHAN, Executive Committee Member of the Centre and Clinical Associate Professor (Honorary), Head of Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorder Unit, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics at CUHK, added, “As well as motor problems, PD is commonly associated with non-motor features such as cognitive and behavioural problems as the disease continues to progress, which further aggravate the disability. Current treatments (including dopaminergic drugs and deep brain stimulation) mainly help improve motor symptoms. Moreover, around 50% to 80% of the dopaminergic nerve cells are lost when the motor symptoms appear. Identifying subjects at an earlier stage and intervening early when degeneration is less severe will offer a higher chance of slowing disease progression as well as preventing the development of disabling symptoms.”
To this end, the Centre will establish registries for early stage PD and SVD in Chinese subjects. These registries will collect data among subjects who are at the early stage, e.g. subjects with REM Sleep Behavioural Disorder (RBD) which is considered as one of the earliest symptoms of PD. Dr. ZHANG Jihui, Executive Committee Member of the Centre and Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine at CUHK, said, “In this collaboration, we aim to develop precise biomarkers and diagnostics, e.g. clinical, whole genome sequencing, microbiota, and neuroimaging, to understand genetic and other putative causative factors, as well as to predict and monitor disease progression at the early stage of PD in the Chinese.” The Centre will also utilise the state-of-art MRI postprocessing technology (AccubrainTM) developed by Dr. SHI Lin, Principal Investigator of the Centre and Assistant Professor, Department of Imaging and Interventional Radiology, Faculty of Medicine at CUHK, to quantify automatically volumetric changes of multiple brain volumes at the early stage of the disease.
Source: Communications and Public Relations Office, The Chinese University of Hong Kong