CUHK Establishes Hong Kong Hub of Paediatric Excellence (HK HOPE) Multidisciplinary Efforts Across the Globe to Advance Children’s Health and Well-being
The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) announces the establishment of a new research institute, namely the Hong Kong Hub of Paediatric Excellence (HK HOPE). This University-level Institute will be comprised of scholars from different Faculties, Institutes and Centres within CUHK as well as experts from international partner institutions. The specific goal of HK HOPE is to enhance multidisciplinary research to accelerate discoveries that can advance the health and well-being of all children.
Considering the increasing complexities of childhood diseases, it is of critical importance to foster multidisciplinary research and international collaboration for the betterment of children. With the commencement of clinical service at Hong Kong Children's Hospital (HKCH) in December 2018, there will be a vast amount of valuable information that covers a wide range of complex, serious and uncommon paediatric diseases. In view of this opportunity, CUHK has committed to establishing HK HOPE to bring together a large “consortium” of local and international child health researchers to stimulate innovation and facilitate the implementation of precision medicine to improve the care of paediatric patients with rare and common diseases as well as to enhance the physical and psychosocial well-being of all children.
HK HOPE will serve as a research hub for partners from the Faculties of Medicine, Arts, Education, Engineering, Science and Social Science, as well as a number of research institutes and centres, which have important and complementary roles in research related to child health and paediatric disease management.
Professor Francis K.L. CHAN, Dean of the Faculty of Medicine at CUHK remarked, “Currently there are many research groups conducting child health and paediatric studies in CUHK who are working in different institutes and faculties. By setting up HK HOPE as a University-level research institute, we hope to promote synergistic collaborations among our experts from different disciplines by providing a common platform to facilitate their sharing of innovative ideas and big data available at HKCH for pursuing cutting-edge research on child health topics. Our ultimate goal is to advance both the physical as well as psychosocial well-being of children with the integration of world-class basic, translational and clinical research for the implementation of precision medicine for paediatric diseases. As its name suggests, this Institute is meant to give HOPE to children and their families.”
Riding on the unique platform provided by HK HOPE, experts from different Faculties and research teams, like biomedical scientists, geneticists, bioinformaticians, engineers, psychologists and linguists, will work together on the following five cutting-edge thematic areas:
i. Paediatric Oncology and Neonatology;
ii. Microbiome and Child Health;
iii. Genetics and Genomics;
iv. Undiagnosed Disease Network; and
v. Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine.
Infrastructure, including a centralised biobank, the necessary laboratory space and equipment as well as a secured big data network, is a prerequisite for the success and smooth operation of HK HOPE. All these state-of-the-art facilities at HKCH will be of critical importance for the growth and expansion of the innovative and high-impact child health research to be conducted there.
Professor LEUNG Ting Fan, Founding Director of HK HOPE and Chairman of the Department of Paediatrics of the Faculty of Medicine at CUHK, highlighted, “With the commissioning of HKCH, many complex and uncommon paediatric cases will be centralised there. It is important for us to make good use of this valuable data and information available at HKCH and conduct cutting-edge multidisciplinary research. We look forward to transforming precision diagnostics and therapeutics for a range of paediatric diseases as well as to promoting child health research, advocacy and the education of all children. CUHK has already established a network of child health experts to work on a number of research themes. Once the required hardware is available, the research work will be commenced immediately. With the welfare of children and their families in mind, this visionary and strategic investment of CUHK in child health research marks our determination to work very closely with our stakeholders to realise this mission.”