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 108 Endowed Professorships have been established.
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Dr Simon K Y Lee

Simon K Y Lee Professorship in Gastroenterology

"Whereas the discipline of Medicine is a quest for the betterment of Mankind, I am honoured to be able to support this quest whose legacy lives on in every one of us." 

Dr Simon K Y Lee


Lai Ching-Lung

Lai Ching-Lung

Appointed in 2011

Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) affects about 400 million people worldwide, and is one of the major causes of liver mortality. Through his ground-breaking studies Professor Lai has brought to light new knowledge about the progress of the disease and new forms of treatment.

Since 1971 he has served in the Department of Medicine, which includes the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology – the leading referral centre for related conditions in Hong Kong, and which frequently receives consultations from overseas centres. It operates an inpatient service at Queen Mary Hospital, and provides consultation services to all the hospital’s departments.

A year before joining the Department Professor Lai graduated from HKU as the top student of his year in the medical school. He has been Professor of Medicine and Hepatology (personal chair) since 2003. A renowned expert on CHB, he is among the world’s top 1 percent of scientists.

He pioneered the first trial of interferon in children with CHB, and later spearheaded a series of trials of a new class of antiviral agents, the nucleoside analogues, including lamivudine (licensed in 1998), entecavir (licensed in 2006), and telbivudine (licensed in 2007). All three studies have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine with Professor Lai as the lead author. Entecavir is now regarded as one of the three first-line agents for the treatment of CHB, and has been shown to decrease liver fibrosis with long-term treatment.

Professor Lai was also among the first to conduct vaccination trials to prevent hepatitis B infection. This project has resulted in the longest vaccine follow-up data, showing that the vaccine is still effective after 22 years without booster doses.

Professor Lai has been invited to give many high-profile lectures, among them the prestigious Leon Schiff State-of-the-Art Lecture of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases in 2005. He is the co-editor of two editions of the book “The Hepatitis B Virus”, and has published more than 400 refereed papers and reviews. His most cited paper, “A one-year trial of lamivudine for chronic hepatitis B” has been citied more than 1,180 times.

A committed teacher, Professor Lai has been recognised with the Best Teacher Award and Best Supervisor Award for undergraduate and postgraduate teaching. As an academic leader, he was Chairman of the HKU/QMH Institutional Review Board from 1998 to 2009. Among his other services to the University, he is chairman of the Promotion and Tenure Panel of the Faculty of Engineering and a member of the University Selection and Promotion Committee.

Former Holder(s):

Benjamin C Y Wong

Appointed in 2008

The Division of Gastroenterology of the Department of Medicine is a world-renowned centre of advanced and innovative research. It pioneered the world’s first stomach cancer prevention study using antibiotics and has had a significant impact on the management of stomach cancer worldwide. The division has also made other major contribution to science, in particular in relation to Helicobacter pylori-related diseases, gastro-esophageal reflux disease, and the prevention and screening of stomach and colon cancer.

The Division is the leading referral centre of gastroenterological and hepatological problems in Hong Kong, and frequently receives consultations from overseas centres.

Professor Wong is currently Director of the Simon K Y Lee Digestive Disease Centre and honorary consultant physician of Queen Mary Hospital. He graduated from The University of Hong Kong in 1989 and was awarded MD degree in 2000 and PhD degree in 2005. In 2001, he won the Outstanding Young Researcher Award at HKU and in 2005 he won the Outstanding Researcher Award.

Professor Wong is an internationally recognised leader in the research stomach cancer and gastro-esophageal reflux disease. He is the key force in the development of clinical, basic and translational research as well as clinical services in Gastroenterology at the University and Queen Mary Hospital. He also leads a team of scientists in laboratory research of apoptosis-related genes and gene therapy in gastric and colon cancers.

Through the findings of a long-term ground-breaking study in Fujian he has proven that stomach cancer is now preventable. The research programme discovered that this disease is caused by the Helicobacter pylori bacterium and that as a result of Professor Wong’s findings one third of patients can now be saved. He has launched an awareness campaign and plans to expand the scope of the project.

Professor Wong has published 19 book chapters, 286 original articles and 288 conference proceedings. He is the editor of the Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Associate Editor-in-chief of the Chinese Journal of Gastroenterology and serves as a member of the editorial boards of several international and national journals.

He is currently a member of the Colorectal Cancer Screening Committee of the World Organisation of Digestive Endoscopy (OMED) and the Guideline and Publication Committee of the World Gastroenterological Organisation (WGO-OMGE). Locally he serves as the Vice President of Hong Kong Society of Gastroenterology, and the Chairman of the Research Committee of the Hong Kong Digestive Foundation.

Professor Wong is regularly invited to give plenary lectures at international meetings and has served as visiting professors to Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York, USA, University of Arizona, USA, Sun Yat-sen University in Guangzhou, Guangzhou Medical University, Shanghai Second Medical University, First Military Medical University in Guangzhou, Peking University First Hospital, Capital University of Medical Sciences of Beijing, Xiamen University, Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, Fourth Military Medical University in Xian and Shanghai Jiao Tong University.

Lam Shiu-Kum

Appointed in 2005
Gastroenterology is the branch of medicine that studies, diagnoses and treats diseases and problems of the digestive system, including the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver and intestines. The accomplishments of Professor Lam firmly established the University of Hong Kong as a centre of advanced and innovative research in this area.

Professor Lam, who received his medical degree in 1967 from the University of Hong Kong and became its chair professor in 1984, is one of the world’s leading experts in gastroenterology. He has published nine books, thirty-five book chapters and over 300 papers in international journals.

Professor Lam devoted a life-time of research on peptic ulcer and gastric cancer. His team performed the world’s first double-blind placebocontrolled study to show that peptic ulcer could be cured by eradication of Helicobacter pylori, and the world’s first chemoprevention population study, conducted for ten years in Fujian, China, to show that eradication of this stomach germ could prevent stomach cancer.

For his achievements in medicine and gastroenterology, he was awarded the Officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire in 1997. And in 2002, he delivered the Bockus Lecture and received the Bockus Medal, awarded every four years at the World Congress of Gastroenterology to a scientist in gastroenterology in recognition of the contributions of the highest order that his or her work has to the world.

Professor Lam is regarded as the doyen father of modern gastroenterology in this part of the world. Under his leadership, the Hong Kong Society of Gastroenterology was established in 1982,
the Asian Pacific Association of Gastroenterology was reformed in 1992 to become a modern and democratic organization, and the annual Asian Pacific Digestive Week was founded in 2001.

Professor Lam is the Founding Editor of the Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology, and has served on the editorial board of more than twenty international journals. He was the President of the Asia Pacific Association of Gastroenterology (2000-2004), and is the current Chairman of the Research Advisory Committee of the World Organization of Gastroenterology.

He has also served as a Guest Professor at a number of leading medical institutions in China, including the Department of Medicine of the Beijing Medical College, the Shanghai Second Medical College, Xinjiang Medical University, Memorial Hospital of Sun Yat-Sen University of Medical Sciences and Shanghai Fudan University. Since 1981, Professor Lam has been the Director of the Centre of Alimentary Research & Education (CARE) at the University of Hong Kong. He founded the China Ulcer Research Group, and has served as its Chairman since 1987.

Professor Lam is currently the Vice-Chairman of the Hong Kong Liver Foundation, Trustee of the Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology Foundation, Vice Chairman of the Hong Kong Digestive Foundation, Trustee of Cheng Si Yuan (China-International) Hepatitis Research Foundation, and member of the Board of Hospital Authority.