Although the Faculty of Science was not formally established until 1939, basic science subjects have been taught at the University since it first admitted students in1912. Since then, the Faculty has grown into one of the largest at the University, comprising eight departments in all.
Today it enjoys an excellent reputation for research, both in Hong Kong and throughout the wider Asian region. Its long history of excellence in basic research, across a wide range of areas, has been complemented, in recent years, by an increased emphasis on applied and strategic research.
Chemistry lured Professor Dan Yang to its Department in 1993. Currently Chair Professor of Chemistry she received her BSc degree from Fudan University, in Shanghai in 1985. Thanks to the US-China Chemistry Graduate Programme, she obtained her Master degree from Columbia University, in 1988, under the guidance of Professor Ronald Breslow.
Professor Yang went on to gain her PhD from Princeton, in 1991 in Professor Daniel Kahne's group and, in the same year, won a postdoctoral fellowship award from the Cancer Research Institute, in New York, to support her two-year research in Professor Stuart Schreiber's group at Harvard.
Here at The University of Hong Kong, Professor Yang's research interests range from synthetic organic chemistry to chemical biology, with particular focus on developing novel, efficient, and environmentally-friendly methods for synthesizing drugs, and using both natural products and synthetic compounds to probe the signal transduction processes in biological systems.
Her award-winning research has won her international recognition in the form of the Mr. and Mrs. Sun Chan Memorial Award in Organic Chemistry, which she received in 2000, and shared with an MIT professor, and the 2001 Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation's Unrestricted Grants in Synthetic Organic Chemistry. Other recipients of this prestigious award include professors at the Universities of Columbia, Harvard, MIT, Yale, Caltech and Stanford. Although Professor Yang's awards are too numerous to mention in their entirety here she was the recipient of the Croucher Senior Research Fellowship Award in 2001, the National Outstanding Young Scholar Award, from the National Natural Science Foundation of China in 2003, the Eli Lilly Asian Scientific Excellence Award in 2006, and the Novartis Chemistry Lectureship for 2007-2008.