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 119 Endowed Professorships have been established.
Chi-Li Pao Foundation

Chi-Li Pao Foundation Professorship in Psychiatry

"In continuing our family’s tradition of contributing to the well-being of society through various means, we are truly humbled to play our part.  It is a blessing to be bestowed with the ability to help others in need. 

This professorship is established in hope to further facilitate research in psychiatry, which could undoubtedly touch the lives of many in need of expert help through improving the effectiveness of and innovation in treatment for those suffering from debilitating psychological disorders.

Chi-Li Pao Foundation
Eric Y H Chen

Eric Y H Chen

Appointed in 2017
Psychosis, where the human mind enters into a pathological state, is a symptom of a number of mental illnesses rather than a medical condition in its own right and occurs when the brain’s system of engaging with reality fails.  Psychosis affects about 2.5 percent of the population, which equates to roughly 200,000 people in Hong Kong. While there is growing awareness of the illness, many do not seek help as they may not realise that they have a mental disorder.  Proactive early intervention for psychosis is one of the most significant modern paradigm shifts in the treatment of mental disorders. The successful outcomes of the Early Assessment Service for Young People with Psychosis (EASY) early intervention programme in Hong Kong have been demonstrated by long-term follow-up studies that show lasting improvements in functioning and reduction of suicide rates.

Professor Eric Y H Chen is Head of the Department of Psychiatry at The University Hong Kong (HKU). He is also the President of the Hong Kong College of Psychiatrists. After studying medicine at Oxford and Edinburgh universities, he trained in psychiatry at Nottingham and then continued his senior training at Cambridge, working with the top scientists at the Cambridge University Department of Psychiatry and the Medical Research Council Applied Psychology Unit. There he developed his research interest in the cognitive neuroscience approach to psychopathology, in particular schizophrenia and psychosis, and has been working on understanding how the human mind enters this pathological state, and how best to help sufferers.

In Hong Kong, he embarked on a number of longitudinal studies on psychotic disorders, and led the development of the internationally recognised EASY early intervention programme. With this service, Professor Chen and his research team are mapping the clinical pathways in the initial critical years following the onset of psychosis. The study provided important information for better clinical decision making for patients, and the value of maintenance treatment following first-episode psychosis.

Data from his team have been published in over 250 academic papers and book chapters, appearing in leading international journals such as the British Medical Journal, the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA Internal Medicine, and Nature. Professor Chen has also published two books on psychosis and his contributions in the field of Early Intervention for Psychosis led to him receiving the prestigious Richard Wyatt Award (2014) from the International Early Psychosis Association.

Professor Chen has served as Vice-President of the International Early Psychosis Association and on the Board of Directors of the prestigious Schizophrenia International Research Society. He also founded the Asian Network for Early Psychosis. In addition to serving as a Council member of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine and on the HKSAR Government Advisory Committee on Rehabilitation, he founded the non-profit Hong Kong Schizophrenia Research Society and the Hong Kong Early Psychosis Fund to serve patients with psychotic disorders and to promote research, public awareness, and service.

Professor Chen is an Associate Editor of Early Interventions in Psychiatry, and an Editorial Board member of Schizophrenia Bulletin and Schizophrenia Research. He has also served as the Chief Editor of the East Asian Archives of Psychiatry. In professional education, he founded the highly successful Master degree course in Psychological Medicine at HKU.