News | Welcome Message From LHS Dean
It is with great pleasure that I welcome you back for the new school year! All our faculty members have been missing you since the Chinese New Year. It is so nice to see you again on campus.
I would like to share with you the progress LHS made in the past few months. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we were unable to provide classroom teaching and all lectures were delivered online since February 17. I am pleased to note that most students adapted quickly and performed well as reflected in their exam scores and in CTE surveys. Students in the BME program studied hard on the Anatomy / Physiology course. They have not only completed the 4-credit course but also performed well with an overall satisfactory score. Our faculty members strived to provide students with quality lectures, and added some new courses in the summer session. The Basic and Applied Immunology course was offered for the first time on this campus and attracted 24 students. Most students liked the course, so we will keep this course on the major elective list. I would like to thank our teaching assistants for their contributions that ensured smooth delivery of online lectures.
To enrich our undergraduate programs, LHS has revised the curriculums by adding several new courses. In addition to the Basic and Applied Immunology course, Animal Physiology will be offered in the coming semester. Neurobiology is another new course that will be offered in Term 2 of 2020-2021. For students in the BME program, one major required course of Biomedical Modeling and Design I and one major elective course, Systems Bioengineering II: Neural Systems, will be offered in Term 2. Another good news is that BME will have its own teaching laboratory. A 200 m2 space has been acquired, and BME lab courses will be offered once the teaching lab construction is completed.
In March, the Ministry of Education approved LHS’ proposal for a Pharmaceutical Science undergraduate program. This 4-year program may start to offer courses in as early as 2021. LHS has also launched several new initiatives including the submission of proposals for a new taught-master degree program in Bioinformatics, and an undergraduate program in Biological Sciences. Upon approval by the Ministry of Education, the former will provide interested students an opportunity to complete their MSc study in Bioinformatics through course studies. The latter, an undergraduate major of its own, will provide strong support to both the BIM and BME programs through improved organization of all BIO courses. The Biological Sciences undergraduate program connects seamlessly to our MPhil-PhD program in Biological Sciences.
Several faculty members joined LHS in the past 5 months. Prof. Ying-Chih Chiang, who obtained her PhD degree from University of Heidelberg, joined LHS in March and became a member of the Kobilka Institute of Innovative Drug Discovery, Prof. Yong Lei, a CUHK graduate, completed his postdoctoral training at Baylor College of Medicine and joined LHS for the Pre-Clinical Division. Prof. Gang Chen, a graduate of University of Rochester, came from Nanyang Technological University with expertise in RNA research. Prof. Zheng Liu, an expert in cryo-electron microscope from Columbia University, joined LHS as the Deputy Director of the Kobilka Cryo-EM Center. Dr. Zhou Yang joined LHS as a Lecturer after completing his PhD thesis at HKUST. He will offer several new courses in the coming academic year. As of today, LHS has a full-time faculty of 24 with 6 more in the recruiting process. LHS also has 10 adjunct faculty members in local hospitals, including two of our affiliated hospitals in the Longgang District. Their joining will expand the scope of our academic programs.
Academic research at LHS continues to make progress in the past semester, with faculty members publishing in top journals such as Nature and Nature Communications. Faculty members have been working hard to combat COVID-19, with one of the research programs on SARS-CoV-2 antibody funded by the local government. Construction of laboratories for the Ciechanover Institute of Precision and Regenerative Medicine is currently going on and will finish in the next 3 months. You may have noticed several new plaques on the wall next to the main entrance of the H.L. Tu Building, indicating that the Shenzhen Key Laboratory of Steroid Drug Discovery and Development and The Chinese Univerisity of Hong Kong, Shenzhen Futian Biomedical Innovation R&D Center have been established and will provide students with opportunities in practical training. Since January, LHS has acquired more than RMB 15 million worth of state-of-the-art research equipment, which will enable our faculty members to conduct cutting-edge research.
More and more undergraduate students have joined research laboratories in recent months. Some of these students have been engaged in research projects under the guidance of their academic advisors. Of the ~20 students currently exploring the mystery of life in our research labs, some have completed their projects and become co-authors or even first author of research papers. An exposure to laboratory research during undergraduate years can greatly enhance the capabilities of the students when they enter graduate schools, as most top-ranking graduate programs value research experience of applicants at time of application. I encourage students who have not yet joined a research lab to explore this opportunity in the new semester.
Richard D. Ye
Presidential Chair Professor
Dean, School of Life and Health Sciences