FEATURE Heart and other diseases are also benefiting from new technologies and research collaborations across disciplines. ‘Our efforts now are focused on maximising the impact of our research by expanding collaborations between departments, between institutions, and internationally,’ Professor Tse said. Professor Tse himself is co-leader with Professor Eric Tse Wai-choi of Hong Kong’s first GMP-standard laboratory, which opened in May 2023 with the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation. The lab is a research platform for human cell-based therapy clinical trials and the development of advanced therapy products, with an initial focus on stem cell therapy for cardiac diseases and CAR-T cell therapy for blood cancers. Another recent collaboration has been the new multidisciplinary Centre for Translational Stem Cell Biology, which has received HK$284.6 million under Health@InnoHK and has as a co-principal investigator the Dean of Medicine and rheumatologist, Professor Chak-sing Lau. He is leading efforts to better understand systemic lupus and immunedeficiencies and ultimately develop better treatments. The new Centre of Cancer Medicine, established in October 2022, also brings together different disciplines and subspecialties to focus on the academic development of oncology and is working closely with the Faculty’s flagship cancer programmes, the Jockey Club Centre for Clinical Innovation and Discovery and the Jockey Club Institute of Cancer Care. Collaboration also features in established research centres led by or closely involving the Department, such as the Guangdong-Hong Kong Joint Laboratory on Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (with the Guangzhou Institutes of Biomedicine and Health), the State Key Laboratory (SKL) of Pharmaceutical Biotechnology (with a similar SKL at Nanjing University), and the HKU Clinical Trials Centre (with other Faculty units and the Hospital Authority’s Hong Kong West Cluster). Professor Tse said that apart from collaboration, the Department is also seeking to advance research through recruitment. ‘We are recruiting more academic staff under the Faculty’s 140 for 140 campaign [to recruit 140 staff by HKUMed’s 140th anniversary in 2027], and giving incentives to new recruits to get involved in research. One thing we want to do is to provide younger staff with relief from some clinical duties if they are awarded General Research Fund (GRF) grants,’ he added. Recruitment targets include scholars with special expertise, such as biostatistics, that is sought by all divisions – people not unlike Professor Vivian Chan five decades ago. ‘Finding the right experts and promising young talent will drive our Department forward because ultimately, people are at the heart of our success,’ Professor Tse said. ↑Research trainings in the 1950s 1950年代醫科生接受 科研培訓 ↓Researchers working at HKUMed Laboratory of Cellular Therapeutics 研究員於香港大學 細胞治療實驗室展開嶄 新科研工作 8