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.
Dr Ron Zimmern

Sir Robert Kotewall Professorship in Public Health

“Public health is often a neglected subject in academic medical circles. It is therefore a great testament to the foresight of the Medical Faculty that it should have included Public Health as one of its eight strategic research areas. 

The endowment for the Sir Robert Kotewall Professorship will add to the already significant research strengths of the Department and will in particular allow greater understanding of the genetic and molecular determinants of health and disease and their interaction with environmental factors” 

Dr Ron Zimmern

Lam Tai-Hing

Lam Tai-Hing

Appointed in 2008

The Department of Community Medicine has a long history of tobacco control, advocacy and related research achieving global recognition for its lobbying against second hand smoke and air pollution. In recognition to the importance of public health since the SARS epidemic, the University of Hong Kong established the School of Public Health in 2004, and Professor Lam is the Interim Director of the Public Health Research Centre and Convenor of the University Strategic Research Theme in Public Health.

Professor Lam, who studied for his MBBS degree at the University of Hong Kong’s Faculty of Medicine, has worked at the Department of Community Medicine since graduating in 1975. Now Chair and Head of Department since 2000, he is a well-known public health educator, researcher and advocate specialising in tobacco and other lifestyle related diseases.

Professor Lam’s main research areas include family, occupational and environmental health, adolescent health, chronic non-communicable diseases and infectious diseases with a major focus on tobacco and other lifestyle related diseases. In particular, he has been investigating smoking prevalence in children and second-hand or passive smoking.

He is a well-known media personality as part of the department’s efforts to raise more public awareness by publicising its major findings on the problems of smoking and other public health issues. As an expert in this field he also contributes to tobacco control internationally through his consultancy for the World Health Organisation. He has organised new smoking cessation research, training and services, including counselling and nicotine replacement therapy in Hong Kong and China Mainland.

As a public health scientist and advocate, Professor Lam made substantial contributions to the Smoking (Public Health) Ordinance (Amendments) resulting in the banning of smoking in restaurants and many public places that came into effect on January 1, 2007. He is Vice-Chairman of Hong Kong Council on Smoking and Health. In 1998, for promoting the concept of tobacco-free societies, the WHO awarded Professor Lam a Commemorative Certificate and Medal for his achievements. In 2000, he was awarded the China Tobacco Control Award.

Professor Lam is heading a new project on family health and well being, with funding of about $100 million from the Hong Kong Jockey Club for the first 3 years. This will be a unique research platform with a cohort of 20,000 households in Hong Kong. He has published more than 300 papers in international peer reviewed journals. He is a member of the Advisory Council on AIDS and he chairs an Expert Working Group on Cancer Screening and Prevention under the Cancer Co-ordinating Committee. He was President of the Hong Kong College of Community Medicine from 1997 to 2001. He received three awards from the University of Hong Kong: (1) University Teaching Fellow 1999-2000, (2) Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award 2000-01 and (3) Outstanding Researcher Award 2001-2, and three awards from the Health Bureau of the Hong Kong Government: (1) Outstanding Health Promotion Project 2006, (2) Excellent Research Award 2007 and (3) Distinguished Service Award 2007. He has been Justice of Peace since 2005.