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.
Mr Chui Wai-Kwan

Chui Fook-Chuen Professorship in Molecular Medicine

"This Endowed Professorship is dedicated to my late father, Mr Chui Fook-Chuen, who founded the Fook Lam Moon Restaurant in 1948. Being the father of two medical doctors, I hope this Endowed Professorship in Molecular Medicine will enhance the understanding and allow the creation of better treatments for all types of illnesses through the advancement of molecular biological research. "

Mr Chui Wai-Kwan

Kwong Yok-Lam

Kwong Yok-Lam

Appointed in 2011

Advances in molecular Medicine in the past decade has enabled major improvements to be made in medical care. Experts at HKU have contributed significantly to medical knowledge in this field, specialising in the development of new molecular diagnostic techniques for common genetic diseases such as haemophilias, thalassemias, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy and Huntington’s disease, as well as different blood cancers including lymphomas and leukaemias.

Professor Kwong Yok-Lam is Chief of the Division of Haematology, Medical Oncology and Bone Marrow Transplantation in the Department of Medicine. His clinical work focuses on the management of blood cancers and his internationally renowned team is widely regarded as a world leader in the treatment of T-cell and natural killer-cell lymphomas, which are neoplasms prevalent in Asian populations.

Professor Kwong’s research centres on the molecular pathogenic pathways and novel treatment approaches to haematological neoplasms. Among his most celebrated achievements to date, he has pioneered, together with the clinical pharmacology team in his department, the development and use of oral arsenic trioxide in the treatment of acute promyelocytic leukaemia and other cancers of the blood.

Developed over a 10-year period, oral arsenic trioxide is the first prescription medication, created entirely in Hong Kong, to gain a patent in the United States, and offers an affordable and accessible alternative to other treatments. The remission rate is almost 100 percent for relapsed acute promyelocytic leukaemia.

Arsenic may have a reputation as a deadly poison, but it has been used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, as well as Western medicine in more recent times. Through meticulous research, Professor Kwong and his team showed that arsenic trioxide could be an effective drug taken orally. and in the correct dosage, it was far safer than the previously used alternative, which was intravenous arsenic trioxide that had serious potential toxicities. Indeed, the treatment has proved so effective that in Hong Kong it has replaced bone marrow transplantation as the standard treatment for patients with acute promyeloctic leukaemia, and is being used in the treatment of other conditions, including myeloma and lymphomas. An international oral arsenic trioxide user group has been established to promote clinical use and research in this field.

In addition to the US patent, Professor Kwong has also secured three provisional patents. He has written four book chapters and has had more than 400 original articles published in international peer-reviewed journals, along with 27 invited reviews. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians in both Edinburgh and Glasgow, a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists in the United Kingdom, and a Fellow of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine in both Medicine and Pathology.

Former Holder(s):

Vivian N Y Chan

Appointed in 2008
Molecular Medicine has been responsible for the major advances in Medicine in the past two decades. As part of the Department of Medicine, the Division of Molecular Medicine specializes in the development of novel diagnostic techniques for common genetic diseases such as thalassemias, haemophilias, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy and Huntington’s disease, including non-invasive prenatal diagnosis and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis.

The Division uses genome-wide scans with micro-satellite markers for linkage of new disease genes and develops DNA microarray technology for the diagnosis of genetic diseases and cancers and the elucidation of their molecular pathologies. It is responsible for the DNA based prenatal diagnosis service of all HA hospitals as well as the pre-implantation genetic diagnosis service. The Division is also conducting advanced work on the screening and early genetic diagnosis of cancer and hopes that this service will be widely adopted throughout Hong Kong.

Professor Chan, who received her doctorate from the University of London in 1973, has been instrumental in establishing DNA technology in Hong Kong and promoting the benefits of related research. Her work clearly demonstrates Molecular Medicine as a key area of research, that embraces many medical specialties.

Professor Chan, who started her career as a clinical biochemist in the Department of Chemical Pathology, St Bartholomew’s Hospital London, is responsible for establishing the first Prenatal Diagnosis Centre in South East Asia in 1982. For her outstanding contribution and commitment to the prevention and control of common genetic diseases she was awarded Honorary Fellowships of the Royal College of Physicians, London and the Hong Kong College of Physicians in 2001.

In addition, Professor Chan holds a number of other honorary appointments around the world including the Haemophilia Testing and Carrier Guidelines Faculty and Thalassemia Control Group at the World Health Organisation, Faculty for Haemophilia Control at the World Federation of Haemophilia as well as being an Expert Group Core member in the Global Burden of Diseases, a joint venture of the World Health Organisation, Harvard School of Public Health and the World Bank.

Locally, she was a member of the Biology & Medicine Panel of the Research Grants Council of the Hong Kong Government between 1995 and 2000 and currently sits on the Hospital Authority’s Central Committee on Clinical Genetics. She has also served in numerous university committees including the Genetic Manipulation Working Group, the steering committee of the Genome Research Centre, Project chairperson for the development of the New Medical Complex and Acting Director of the Institute of Molecular Biology.

Professor Chan has published 180 papers, including peer-reviewed research papers, book chapters and review articles. She has received many invitations as plenary and symposium speaker at international meetings and presented over 100 abstracts at international congresses. She is also guest editor and reviewer for many international journals.