In 2005, the University celebrated the inauguration of the first 8 Endowed Professorships,
a milestone in the University's history.
To date, a total of 120 Endowed Professorships have been established.
Dr Wilson K L Wong  & Mrs Amelia Wong

Wilson and Amelia Wong Professorship in Plant Biotechnology

"With combined interest in engineering and agriculture, we aspire to improve the use of technology in crop production with our support of this Endowed Professorship in Plant Biotechnology, which is essential to ensure the supply of food, fiber and fuel for a sustainable future. "

Dr Wilson K L Wong 
Mrs Amelia Wong

Chye Mee-Len

Chye Mee-Len

Appointed in 2011

The School of Biological Sciences (SBS) was formed in 2007 by merging three biological departments, namely, Botany, Ecology & Biodiversity and Zoology, within the Faculty of Science. Ground-breaking research in the richly diverse field of biological sciences at SBS has attracted global attention and received international recognition, while its staff and students have won many prestigious awards. The Wilson and Amelia Wong Professorship in Plant Biotechnology represents the inaugural Endowed Professorship to SBS.

Professor Chye Mee-Len is an expert on plant lipid metabolism whose work has made significant contributions to the field, and which has the potential to drive improvements in agriculture and phytoremediation - the process of using plants to remove pollutants from the environment. Her applied research has yielded three patents in the United States, two in mainland China and one in Taiwan.

The achievements of Professor Chye’s laboratory have been made largely through the characterization of a complete new family of six acyl-CoA-binding proteins (ACBPs) which transfer lipids in the model plant, Arabidopsis. Some ACBPs were found to have the ability to confer tolerance to freezing conditions, or oxidative, pathogen or heavy metal-related stress, through the manipulation of cellular lipids.

Professor Chye completed her PhD at the University of Melbourne and received postdoctoral training in plant molecular biology at the Rockefeller University (New York) and the Institute of Molecular and Cell Biology (Singapore). She joined HKU in 1993, and soon helped to raise the profile of the University and her specialism on the global stage. She was appointed as a Consultant in 1994 to the Biotechnology Research Centre of the Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences, and as Country Representative for Hong Kong (1995-1997) by the International Society for Plant Molecular Biology. She has been an invited speaker at many international meetings including the Gordon Research Conference and is the current Chair of the Asian Symposium on Plant Lipids.

Professor Chye’s work has been supported by the Research Grants Council and the Plant & Agricultural Biotechnology Area of Excellence. She was the recipient of an Edward Clarence Dyason Universitas 21 Fellowship 2004/05, an Outstanding Researcher Award 2006/07 and a Croucher Senior Research Fellowship 2007/08. Her research findings have been published in highly regarded Plant Sciences SCI journals.

An editor of Planta and a Review Editor of Frontiers in Plant Physiology, Professor Chye is also on the editorial boards of several other specialist journals. She has reviewed grant proposals for the National Science Foundation (USA) and refereed manuscripts for numerous SCI journals.

In the spirit of “knowledge transfer to the community”, Professor Chye has given courses on genetically-modified foods to public health inspectors, has taken part in public expos and presented talks to local schools. Professor Chye’s other services to The University of Hong Kong include being Associate Dean (Graduate School), a member on the University Research Committee and Chair of the Committee of Research and Conference Grants.