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 116 Endowed Professorships have been established.
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Mr George Ho

Jessie Ho Professorship in Neuroscience

“I know that this Endowed Professorship dedicated to the furtherance of research in neuroscience would have been approved with pride and joy by my wife as it will help improve the understanding of the intricacy of the human brain.” 

Mr George Ho

So Kwok-Fai

So Kwok-Fai

Appointed in 2008

Established in 1912, the Department of Anatomy is one of the oldest branches of medicine at The University of Hong Kong. Over the years the department has established a strong reputation of high quality research, recognised nationally and internationally in the areas of neuroscience, cell and cancer biology, reproductive biology, and functional genomics. The team at the Medical Faculty is now fulfilling its mission statement to “be an international centre for cell and morphological sciences”.

Utilising a post-genomic approach, research teams study cell biology and signaling, and investigate novel therapeutic interventions of diseases, including the use of Chinese medicinal herbs.

Professor So, Head of the Department of Anatomy, received his Ph.D. degree at MIT, is a pioneer in the repair and regeneration of the central nervous system. His research is at the frontier of neuro-science and he was the first to show lengthy regeneration of retinal ganglion cells in adult mammals with peripheral nerve grafts. His use of a nano-scale fiber scaffold for brain tissue repair received wide media coverage and was described as one of the top 10 emerging technologies for 2007.

Professor So uses multiple approaches to promote axonal regeneration in the optic nerve and spinal cord. Under his guidance, his team identifies neuro-protective and regenerative factors including trophic factors, herbal extracts, other small molecules, immune responses and environmental manipulation.

His current research is looking into the use of nano technology to repair and regenerate the nervous tissue. In particular, studies are being conducted into damaged nerve cells and what can be done to protect the affected neurons and promote them to regenerate their connections and establish functional returns.

Using advances in nano medicine, including peptides that promote the regeneration of axons and rapidly stop bleeding, Professor So is developing treatments for patients suffering from strokes, trauma and neuro-degenerative diseases. This work is at the frontier of neuro-science and could revolutionise bleeding control.

In recognition of his valuable contribution to science for his ground-breaking research, Professor So was elected as a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 1999. He was the Chairman of the Fellowships and Travel Grants Programme (2001-2007) at the International Brain Research Organization. He is currently Co-Director of the China Spinal Cord Injury Network, and Co-Director of the State Key laboratory of Brain and Cognitive Sciences at HKU.

In 1995 he received the National Award in Natural Science of the National Natural Science Foundation of China. He is the author and co-author of over 190 publications, including 26 chapters and 166 journal articles.

He is Honorary or Visiting Professor to a number of universities in China, including Peking University, Fujian Medical University, and the Institute of Neurosciences of the Fourth Military Medical University in Xian.