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CUHK Launches ‘Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award’ Over HK$15 Million Worth of Scholarship to Support Medical Students’ Pursuit of Postgraduate Research Overseas

(Hong Kong, 12 May 2016) – Medical research is of paramount importance in the face of an aging population, emerging infectious diseases and many other new public health threats. The development of medical-related innovation and research is expanding rapidly in Hong Kong and the demand for clinician-scientists is growing. With the generous donation of US$2 million (HK$15.6 million) from Dr Lui Che-woo, Founder and Chairman of K. Wah Group (the “Group”) through the LUI Che Woo Charity, The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) has set up the 'Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award', a scholarship programme which aims to support the University’s medical students who aspire to develop a career in medical research and to further their studies abroad. 

Awardees are expected to return to Hong Kong to contribute to the teaching, research or clinical work in the medical field. A donation ceremony to mark the launch of the award scheme was held today (12 May) at the Lui Che Woo Clinical Sciences Building, CUHK.  Officiating at the ceremony were Dr Lui Che-woo, Mrs Lui, Prof. Joseph Sung, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK and Prof. Francis Chan, Dean of Faculty of Medicine, CUHK. Prof. Francis Chan, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK (First from Right)

Growing Demand for Clinician-scientists

Medical research and technology in Hong Kong have earned international recognition, particularly research in cancer and diabetes, non-invasive prenatal diagnosis and minimally invasive surgery. Training of research talent requires abundant resources and time. Over the years, the Faculty of Medicine at CUHK has been committed to nurturing clinician-scientists, who play a crucial role in developing treatment and preventive measures for a variety of diseases. CUHK launched the Global Physician-Leadership Stream (GPS) in 2013 to groom undergraduate students and the ‘CU Medicine 2035’ programme in 2014 to recruit teaching and research professionals in medical research. 

Prof. Joseph Sung, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK, said, ‘The development of health science and medical technology is growing by leaps and bounds, and the healthcare sector is facing unprecedented challenges. There is a great sense of urgency to reform medical education and advance medical and scientific research. We hope that medical students with a strong passion for and potential in research can be given the opportunity to study abroad through an award scheme, so that they will return to the University to develop a career in teaching or research at the Faculty of Medicine, contributing to the Hong Kong community.’

CUHK Receives US$ 2 Million from Dr Lui Che-woo

Sharing the same vision of nurturing young medical research talent as CUHK, Dr Lui generously made a donation of US$2 million (HK$15.6 million) through the LUI Che Woo Charity last year to the University to establish the ‘Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award’. Under the award scheme, the ‘Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Research Scholarship’ of up to HK$250,000 annually will be granted to an outstanding medical student at CUHK who is in pursuit of a postgraduate research programme overseas. Upon completion of the programme, the awardee is required to return to Hong Kong to take up teaching or research work in the Faculty.

Dr Lui Che-woo, Chairman of K. Wah Group; and Mrs Lui (First and Second from Left); Prof. Joseph Sung, Vice-Chancellor and President of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (“CUHK”) (Second from Right)

Dr Lui Che-woo, Chairman of K. Wah Group; and Mrs Lui (First and Second from Left); Prof. Joseph Sung, Vice-Chancellor and President of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (“CUHK”) (Second from Right); Prof. Francis Chan, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK (First from Right); together with the medical students of CUHK officiate the launch ceremony and announce the establishment of the “Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award”. Through the Award, outstanding medical students can be given the opportunity to study and engage in medical research abroad, so that they can better contribute to the medical field in Hong Kong and other different communities upon return

Dr Lui Che-woo, Chairman of K. Wah Group, said, ‘The “Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award” aims to make a sustainable and positive impact on society rather than to emphasize an individual’s achievement. I hope the scholarship will encourage and support talented medical students to fully realize their potential and bring innovative and diverse perspectives to future medical development. Upon completion of their studies, they will come back to Hong Kong to serve our community with new insights.’

Dr Lui Che-woo, Chairman of K. Wah Group, delivers a speech at the ceremony

Prof. Francis Chan, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine, CUHK said, ‘Training a clinician-scientist requires abundant resources and time and fortunately we are not alone on our way to reach the goal. Thanks to the generosity of Dr Lui, our Faculty is able to give financial support each year to at least one of our MBChB students to advance his or her knowledge, build a connection, gain international exposure and make contributions to society when he or she returns home. Cultivation of a clinician-scientist requires six years of undergraduate study of medicine, plus four years of advanced study in a research profession, so, in all, at least ten years. The set up of the “Lui Che Woo Distinguished Young Scholars Award” is indeed a manifestation of the old saying “it takes ten years to grow a tree”.'

Dr Lui’s Distinguished Contributions to CUHK

Dr Lui Che-woo has always been a distinguished philanthropist, particularly in the development of medical care, education and information technology. He has been on the Board of Trustees and the Endowment Fund Committee of United College since 1995, and played a vital role in the establishment of CUHK’s School of Hotel and Tourism Management. Dr Lui also made a generous donation in 2012 for the establishment of the Lui Che Woo Institute of Innovative Medicine, which is dedicated to the advancement of three focused initiatives, namely BRAIN (Brain Research And Innovative Neuroscience), SMART (Sports Medicine And Regenerative Technology) and CARE (Cardiovascular Advancement, Research and Education). The Institute now serves as a significant international platform for clinical service and scientific research.

 

 

Prof. Joseph Sung, Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK (Second from Left); Prof. Francis Chan, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK (First from Left); and medical students of CUHK present the Lego model of Lui Che Woo Clinical Sciences Building, CUHK, and mascots of the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK, respectively, to Dr and Mrs Lui Che-woo (First and Second from Right), to express their gratitude for Dr Lui’s solid support to the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK over the years

Before the ceremony, Dr Lui Che-woo meets with medical students of CUHK and encourages them to concentrate on research excellence and to explore new frontiers in medicine with innovation and from diverse perspectives, ultimately to serve our community with new insights