RGC Public Lectures - Theme-based Research Scheme

Two leading scholars have been invited to deliver public lectures organized by the Research Grants Council on 14 December 2019 (Saturday). Details of the lectures are as follows:

Topic Speaker Time
Theme-based Research Scheme - Diabetes: a Global Epidemic in Need of Novel Solutions Professor Ronald Ching Wan Ma (Professor of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics of the Chinese University of Hong Kong) 2:30 pm - 3:30 pm
Theme-based Research Scheme - The Most Unwanted Influence: Influenza Professor Leo Lit Man Poon (Professor of the School of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong) 3:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Venue: Lecture Hall, Hong Kong Science Museum (Location Map)
Language: Cantonese
Free admission on a first-come, first-served basis.

For enquiries, please contact us at 2524 3987 or rgc@ugc.edu.hk.

First Session

Topic: Theme-based Research Scheme - Diabetes: a Global Epidemic in Need of Novel Solutions
Speaker: Professor Ronald Ching Wan Ma
Time: 14 December 2019 (Saturday) 2:30pm - 3:30pm

Brief introduction:

Diabetes has become one of the most important public health problems in the 21st century. With adoption of modern lifestyles and increasing rates of obesity, diabetes has become increasingly common, and now affects more than 10% of the population in China. Furthermore, diabetes is associated with increased risk of damage to different organs in the body, including the heart, kidneys, eyes and blood vessels. The scale of the diabetes epidemic and the severity of some of the complications, present a huge challenge to healthcare system. Professor Ma, in his talk titled "Theme-based Research Scheme - Diabetes: a Global Epidemic in Need of Novel Solutions", will share the novel ways to combat this healthcare crisis and bring better outcome to patients with diabetes.

About the Speaker:

Professor Ronald Ma is Assistant Dean, Faculty of Medicine, Professor at the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, Chinese University of Hong Kong and Honorary Consultant Physician, Head of Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes, Prince of Wales Hospital, Hong Kong.

Professor Ma completed his medical training at the University of Cambridge, UK and trained in Internal Medicine in London. He subsequently returned to Hong Kong, where he completed his endocrinology fellowship training. Through support from a Croucher Foundation Fellowship, he furthered his research interest in the area of diabetic complications at the Joslin Diabetes Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, USA.

Professor Ma's research focuses on the epidemiology and genetics of diabetes and diabetes complications, gestational diabetes. He is leading a mutli-disciplinary project team to leverage on the large Hong Kong Diabetes Register and accompanying biobank to identify novel molecular markers for diabetic complications, and is the principal investigator of the Hong Kong Diabetes Biobank. He has published over 280 research articles in international peer-reviewed journals including Nature Genetics, JAMA, Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, Diabetes and Kidney International, with more than 10,000 citations, and authored 11 book chapters. Professor Ma is a recipient of several awards, including the Young Investigator Award from the International Diabetes Epidemiology Group (IDEG), Ten Outstanding Young Persons Award, Hong Kong, the Albert Renold Fellowship from the European Association for the Study of Diabetes, the Research Excellence Award and the Outstanding Fellowship of Faculty of Medicine from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

Professor Ma is a Past President of the International Diabetes Epidemiology Group (IDEG), a Past President of Diabetes Hongkong and the Hong Kong Society of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Reproduction (HKSEMR), a member of the Executive Board, the Asian Association for the Study of Diabetes (AASD). He is a Regional Editor of Diabetic Medicine, and editorial board member of PLoS Medicine, Obesity Reviews, Nutrition, Metabolism and Cardiovascular Diseases, and Journal of Diabetes Investigation.


Second Session

Topic: Theme-based Research Scheme - The Most Unwanted Influence: Influenza
Speaker: Professor Leo Lit Man Poon
Time: 14 December 2019 (Saturday) 3:30pm - 4:30pm

Brief introduction:

In Hong Kong, seasonal influenza virus and animal influenza virus (e.g. H7N9) affect our daily lives. Seasonal influenza strikes every year, along with the constant threat of avian influenza and occasionally pandemics. The secondary attack rates of seasonal and pandemic influenza viruses can be as high as 15% and 50%, respectively. Professor Poon will share the origin and transmission of these viruses, as well as effective control measures and new possibilities to prevent these infections in his talk, "Theme-based Research Scheme - The most unwanted influence: influenza".

About the Speaker:

Professor Poon received his doctoral training in Sir William Dunn School of Pathology in University of Oxford (1996-1999). He currently serves as a Professor in the School of Public Health, HKU.

Professor Poon has strong interests that are related to emerging viruses, ranging from studying basic biology of RNA viruses to developing molecular diagnostic tools for infectious diseases. His work primarily focuses on influenza virus and coronavirus. Professor Poon has conducted influenza research for over 20 years. He studies influenza virology, ecology, transmission and vaccination. He is a co-discoverer of SARS coronavirus in 2003. He published over 190 peer-reviewed articles. He has been ranked in the top 1% of the world's most-cited scientists each year since 2005 by Clarivate Analytics (Total number of citations: 17260; H-index: 65) and, an even more prestigious honour, as a Highly Cited Researcher since 2015. He was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the Croucher Foundation in 2017.

Professor Poon serves as an expert for several international organisations. He is a committee member in the Coronavirus Study Group under the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (since 2006) and he is also an expert in the Influenza Molecular Diagnosis Working Group of the World Health Organization (since 2009). He previously served as an ad hoc consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and for the World Organization for Animal Health for MERS surveillances.