but often researchers themselves are very motivated and want to push their work to the next level. The important thing is that the management team and the University provide them with support in terms of physical space and equipment, and most importantly, thinking space and colleagues to help them,’ he said. He believes in giving researchers leeway to pursue their research interests, while also setting some priorities to ensure societal needs are met. Research related to ageing, cancer, degeneration and regeneration is in high demand as the population gets older. HKU’s world-leading expertise in emerging infectious diseases and population health has become even more important during the COVID-19 pandemic, as has family medicine where healthcare workers have been at the frontline dealing with patients. At the same time, interdisciplinary research collaborations within HKUMed and between universities are flourishing. ‘These areas are all very much interconnected,’ he said, adding that across all of the Faculty’s specialties, new technologies and big data are fuelling momentum and potential for growth. Throughout all this activity, Professor Lau has sustained his research activities. He is programme director of a research group under the Centre for Translational Stem Cell Biology at Health@InnoHK, where he is leading efforts to better understand systemic lupus and immune-deficiencies and ultimately develop better treatments (see page 21). As Dean, he will continue to be involved in this research, but at the same time, he is deeply committed to improving support for research across the Faculty. ‘Research is a top priority of any university or medical school. Yes, leaders can drive research, Research motivations 11 HKUMed News Winter 2022