The population of China, including Hong Kong, is aging rapidly.
Currently, China has one-fifth of the world's population
over the age of 60. In Hong Kong, the elderly with an age
of 65 or above comprises about 11.9% of the population in
2004. The number will be almost tripled in the year 2031,
when one in four of the Hong Kong population will be over
65. Elderly citizens consume 40% of the expensive hospital
in-patient services and 30% of general out-patient services
in Hong Kong. Age-related disorders are often inter-related.
Therapeutic measures for the regeneration of the function
of the cardiovascular, neurological and endocrine systems
through drugs, appropriate hormone replacement, cell therapy
and tissue engineering can be developed using similar platforms.
This directly leads to the setup of this Centre which aims
at gathering research and management efforts to promote healthy
aging from a multidisciplinary perspective. So the ultimate missions
of this Centre are to enhance and extend human health span
and improve the quality of life in the aging population around
the world through excellence in biomedical research.
To achieve this we are targeting
at the development of novel therapeutic and diagnostic approaches
for the promotion of healthy aging through synergistic interaction
and inter-laboratory collaboration. Up till now, it has attracted
well over 60 clinicians and basic scientist investigators from
various departments in the University and Queen Mary Hospital,
and more members and staff will be recruited to foster research
in this area.
Gathering the existing strengths of different professional disciplines within the Medical Faculty and making use of the state-of-the-art facilities available at its Genome Research Centre, MRI Centre and SCY Cardiovascular Research and Training Laboratory, the Centre will strive to develop HKU as a leader in healthy aging research within the Asian Pacific Region. Together with partners in the biotechnology industry and private health care sector, we should be well positioned to improve the quality of life and productivity of our aging population.
Professor KSL Lam