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https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/two-cu-medicine-scholars-are-elected-as-foreign-members-of-the-academia-europaea
https://www.med.cuhk.edu.hk/press-releases/two-cu-medicine-scholars-are-elected-as-foreign-members-of-the-academia-europaea

Two CU Medicine scholars are elected as Foreign Members of the Academia Europaea

Professor Francis KL Chan and Professor Siew Ng from The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK)’s Faculty of Medicine (CU Medicine) have been elected as Foreign Members of the Academia Europaea this year for their distinguished achievements in the advancement and propagation of excellence in scholarship in medicine, for the betterment of public health. They are also the only Hong Kong scholars in the Clinical & Veterinary Science section in 2024.

 

Professor Francis Chan: world authority in gastrointestinal research

 

Prof Francis Chan

Professor Francis Chan

Professor Francis KL Chan, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics and Director of the Centre for Gut Microbiota Research at CU Medicine, is an internationally renowned clinician-scientist in gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding, helicobacter pylori, colorectal cancer prevention and applications of gut microbiota. He is also the co-director of the Microbiota I-Center (MagIC), the first microbiota innovation centre in the Greater Bay Area. Starting his research career more than two decades ago, he is the first in academic history to publish eight first-authored, investigator-initiated, original research articles in The New England Journal of Medicine and The Lancet. He is also the first scholar in Asia to be profiled by The Lancet, in May 2007, underlining his excellence in clinical research. His ground-breaking research has generated over 860 full scientific articles in high-impact international journals, yielding an h-index of over 100. His research on the prevention of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug- (NSAID) and aspirin-related GI bleeding has led to major revisions to clinical practice guidelines in the U.S., Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, which assist physicians to communicate with patients, enhancing their understanding of the benefits and risks of aspirin therapy. In recent years, he and his research team have developed a novel faecal test, M3CRC, which can detect polyps and early colon cancers. In 2023, he led the formulation of new clinical practice guidelines with international experts on the use of non-invasive biomarkers for colorectal cancer screening.

 

“I feel deeply honoured to be elected as a foreign member of the Academia Europaea and would like to dedicate this achievement to my colleagues and collaborators who have worked along with me over the years. This recognition is a testament to collaborative efforts to advance knowledge and innovation in the field of gastrointestinal research,” Professor Chan remarked.

Professor Siew Ng: A pioneer in inflammatory bowel disease and microbiome medicine

 

Prof Siew Ng

Professor Siew Ng

Professor Siew Ng, Croucher Professor in Medical Sciences and Assistant Dean (Development) of CU Medicine, is a world-renowned researcher of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and the gut microbiome. She currently serves as the Director of  MagIC and Associate Director of the Centre for Gut Microbiota Research. Since joining CU Medicine’s Department of Medicine and Therapeutics in 2010, Professor Ng and her team have been deeply devoted to the study of IBD, leading researchers from over 30 countries and territories in the Asia-Pacific region, and bringing about a paradigm shift in public health regionally and globally. Professor Ng was the first to define the genetics, epidemiology and potential environmental triggers of IBD in newly industrialised countries. In 2013, she introduced faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) to Hong Kong to treat patients with life-threatening gut infections, and later established Asia’s first FMT research centre. Her patented technology, MOZAICTM, which improves the success rate of FMT, is the first microbiome innovation adopted by the local hospital authority to provide a territory-wide FMT service in Hong Kong. In 2019, Professor Ng established MagIC as part of the HKSAR Government’s InnoHK initiative, to focus on studies in the gut microbiome, and founded a biotechnology company that focuses on translating innovative microbiome solutions into effective diagnostics and therapeutics.

 

“I am most delighted to receive the honour from Academia Europaea. Over the years, we have transformed our study of the gut microbiome into novel innovations for early disease detection and treatment. We hope to redefine human health with microbiome solutions,” said Professor Ng.

About the Academia Europaea

 

Established in 1988, the Academia Europaea is a Pan-European Academy of Sciences, Humanities and Letters. It is a European non-governmental association acting as an academy and comprises over 5,500 members, including 83 Nobel laureates. Its objective is the advancement and propagation of excellence in scholarship in the humanities; law; the economic, social and political sciences; mathematics; medicine; and all branches of natural and technological sciences, for the public benefit and the advancement of public education.

 

Awards and recognitions Professor Francis Chan and Professor Siew Ng have received over the years

 

Professor Francis Chan’s contributions to medical research have been recognised worldwide with many national and international awards. Some of the honours he has received include the Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowship 2007-08; Andy Martynoga Memorial Lecturer (England) in 2008; JGHF Marshall and Warren Lecturer (Asian Pacific Association of Gastroenterology) in 2011; and the Outstanding Scientific Research Output Award (Ministry of Education, PRC, 2011). In recognition of his outstanding academic achievements, he was bestowed with the title of Doctor of Science by CUHK in 2011. He was named the 19th Vikit Viranuvatti’s Lecturer (Thailand) in 2016, received the State Natural Science Award (PRC) in 2016 and was appointed the 27th Seah Cheng Siang Memorial Lecturer (Singapore) in 2017. He received an honorary doctorate from Osaka City University, an honour that it has only awarded 12 times in its 138-year history, and an Honorary Fellowship of the Royal College of Physicians of Thailand in 2018. In the same year, he was conferred the International Leadership Award by the American College of Gastroenterology, the first Chinese scholar to be selected for this honour. In 2019, global physician directory ExpertScape named him top 0.06% world expert in aspirin. He further received the Gold Medal with Congratulations of the Jury, Gold Medals and Silver Medals of International Exhibition of Inventions Geneva 2022 and 2023; was named as a Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate Analytics in 2022 and 2023, demonstrating significant and broad influence in his field of study through the publication of multiple papers which ranked in the top 1% by citations during the last decade; and received the Research Mentor Award from the American Gastroenterology Association in 2023. He has held visiting professorships at many institutions in China, South Korea, Japan, Germany, Spain and the United States.

 

The awards and recognitions Professor Siew Ng received over the years include the 2019 Sir Francis Avery Jones Visiting Professor, St Mark’s Hospital, and Joanna and David B. Sachar Visiting Professor, The Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai. She was also awarded the 2014 and 2020 Ministry of Education Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Award – First-class Award in Natural Sciences, China’s highest honour in the field. She was named a Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate for four consecutive years, from 2020 to 2023. In 2021, Expertscape listed Professor Ng as one of the world’s top 20 IBD researchers. In 2023, she received the Higher Flyer Innopreneur Award and the Most Popular Innopreneur Award from the Federation of Hong Kong Industries for her outstanding leadership in innovative technology. In the same year, she was selected as a New Cornerstone Investigator under The New Cornerstone Investigator Program initiated by Tencent, which aims to provide stable long-term support for a select group of exceptional scientists to carry out basic research. She was the first and only Hong Kong scholar in the field of Biology and Biomedical Sciences to receive the honour.

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