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CU Medicine’s Professor Yu Jun receives the Wu Jiepeng – Paul Janssen Medical and Pharmaceutical Award The only scholar from a Hong Kong institution on the awardee list this year

Professor Yu Jun, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics and Assistant Dean (Mainland Affairs) at The Chinese University of Hong Kong’s (CUHK) Faculty of Medicine (CU Medicine), recently received the “Basic Medicine Award” at the 24th Wu Jieping – Paul Janssen Medical and Pharmaceutical Award (the Award). It is recognition of Professor Yu’s remarkable achievements and contributions in research into the pathogenesis, prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal tumours. The Award is China’s highest honour in the medical and pharmaceutical field. There were 15 medical and healthcare experts on this year’s awardee list, and Professor Yu is the only one from a Hong Kong institution.


Recognising Professor Yu’s remarkable achievements and contributions in research into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of digestive diseases


Prof Yu Jun

Prof Yu Jun

Professor Yu Jun said she is honoured to receive this year’s Award. She stated, “I am grateful for the recognition given to me and my team by the expert committee and panel of the Award. Basic science is essential in driving progress and development in medicine. My team and I often work day and night in the laboratory doing basic medical research, hoping our discoveries will contribute to the clinical field. Although the work can be challenging, I find joy in it because of the excellent collaboration with my teammates. We will continue to devote ourselves, leverage our strengths and cherish the support of others.”


Having dedicated herself to digestive disease research for 30 years, Professor Yu is currently the Director of the State Key Laboratory of Digestive Disease (CUHK) and the Director of the Institute of Digestive Disease at CUHK. She has made significant contributions to unravelling the molecular mechanisms of gastrointestinal cancer development, elucidating the relationship between gut microbiota and tumours, as well as understanding the mechanisms of fatty liver and related liver cancer. She has also played a vital role in the development of early diagnostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets. With 31 authorised patents, the diagnostic biomarkers she has developed for colorectal and gastric cancer have received approval from the National Medical Products Administration and have now been applied to clinical use.


In addition to being a member of the Chinese Academy of Medical Sciences, a foreign member of the Academia Europaea and a member of the Hong Kong Academy of Sciences, Professor Yu is a Changjiang Scholars Chair Professor, appointed by the Ministry of Education (MoE). She has received more than 50 prestigious awards, including the 2022 Guanghua Engineering Science and Technology Award from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the 2018 Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation Prize for Scientific and Technological Progress, and the 2017 American Gastroenterological Association (AGA) Research Mentor Award, of which she was the first awardee from Asia-Pacific region. Her remarkable accomplishments have led to recognition as one of the “2022 Best Female Scientists” from academic research platform, followed by recognition from as a top scientist in the medical field globally and becoming one of the most highly cited researchers named by Clarivate in 2023. 


Her team has also received plenty of awards, including The State Natural Science Award (2016 and 2020), The State Scientific and Technological Progress Award (2012) and MoE Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (2010, 2012, 2014 and 2022). In the MoE Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (Science and Technology) 2022, Professor Yu’s research team was the only one from Hong Kong to receive the first-class award.


About the Wu Jieping – Paul Janssen Medical and Pharmaceutical Award


Approved by the Ministry of Science and Technology of the People’s Republic of China, the Wu Jieping – Paul Janssen Medical and Pharmaceutical Award was established by the International Exchange and Cooperation Center of the National Health Commission in 1994, with Xian Janssen Pharmaceutical Limited. It includes special contribution awards, and awards in the fields of basic medicine, clinical medicine, pharmacy and public health. The Award aims to honour and reward outstanding medical and pharmaceutical professionals who have made important contributions in the field of medicine and health.

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