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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Dr Mok Hing-Yiu

Mok Hing-Yiu Professorship in Respiratory Medicine

"Endowed Professorships will encourage medical teaching, research and development. " 

Dr Mok Hing-Yiu

Mary S M Ip

Mary S M Ip

Appointed in 2009

As a major discipline in a medical school, the Department of Medicine and its history are inseparable from that of the Medical Faculty and The University of Hong Kong. The Department, in helping to maintain the health of Hong Kong’s population over the last 120 years, is also inseparable from the city’s development from a coastal port to an international city. The Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, as one of 13 divisions in the Department of Medicine, has made important contributions in the city’s healthcare with its cutting-edge research.

Professor Mary Ip is Chief of the Division and she is well recognised as a distinguished respiratory specialist. She engages avidly in clinical practice, medical education and research. Her clinical interest and expertise span a range of respiratory afflictions which have special relevance in Hong Kong due to their high local incidence, including sleep apnea, obstructive airways disease, and malignancies.

As Associate Dean in Education in the Medical Faculty for nearly ten years, she not only uncompromisingly led curricular development, but also provided personal attention to many student affairs. In 2004, she initiated the establishment of the Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education as a platform for the advancement of teaching and education in the Faculty.

Professor Ip pioneered research and clinical development in sleep disordered breathing in Hong Kong. As recently as 15 years ago, sleep apnea was little known by doctors or the lay community in Hong Kong, and the condition was thought to be uncommon in Chinese or Asians. With the findings of her community-based study, the first to demonstrate the common occurrence of sleep apnea in Chinese adults in Hong Kong, interest in this field rapidly rose and clinical services became widely available. The findings also awakened interest in this condition among other Asian populations. Her research team has since conducted clinical, translational and basic research with special focus on the cardiometabolic impact of sleep disordered breathing. Her work is internationally recognised, and she has received numerous invitations to deliver lectures at international and regional conferences, and to contribute state-of-art review articles in prestigious journals.

Professor Ip has also led multi-centre studies on paediatric and adult lung function in Hong Kong, the work of which produced the currently used standard reference sets for the local population.

Peer recognition of her role as academic leader in respiratory medicine and sleep medicine is reflected in her previous election and appointments to the posts of Chairman to the Hong Kong Thoracic Society, the Hong Kong Lung Foundation, the Hong Kong Society of Sleep Medicine, Specialty Board in Respiratory Medicine of the Hong Kong College of Physicians and Governor/International Regent of the American College of Chest Physicians (HK & Macau Chapter). She has been invited to various programme committees of international respiratory societies, and is currently the President Elect of the Asia Pacific Society of Respirology, the society which represents the respiratory discipline in the Asia-Pacific region.

Former Holder(s):

Lam Wah-Kit

Appointed in 2007
Over the last 120 years the Department of Medicine has played a crucial role in the health of
Hong Kong’s population through education, clinical treatment and cutting-edge research. Today the Department comprises fourteen divisions. Amongst them are the Division of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.

Professor Lam Wah-kit is Division Chief and Chair of Respiratory medicine. A graduate of the University he is, today, recognised as an international authority on lung cancer which remains the commonest cause of cancer deaths in men and women in Hong Kong. Professor Lam is perhaps best known for identifying the high incidence of adenocarcinoma of the lung, in non-smoking
Chinese women, as a special clinical problem. Adenocarcinoma is a form of carcinoma that originates in glandular tissue.

When Professor Lam reported this problem in the 1980s it drew the attention of the international chest community. He went on to establish a multidisciplinary study group, with experts from the Departments of Pathology, Microbiology, Surgery and Radiology at this University and with the Cardiothoracic Surgical Unit and TB and Chest Units at Grantham Hospital. Together, the team identified the fact that the death rate of female lung cancer patients in Hong Kong is amongst the highest in the world, and that around sixty per cent of patients are non-smokers.

To solve the mystery of such a high incidence of lung cancer in the Hong Kong female population Professor Lam, and his team, studies the effects of passive smoking, incense burning and kerosene stove burning. They also pioneered studies on the effects of tuberculosis scarring and HLA antigens.

Professor Lam’s current research is exploring the role played by protective genes and looking
at whether the loss of that gene confers a higher susceptibility to lung cancer. He is also researching the possibility of targeting gene mutations that are especially common in Chinese with the new group of so-called molecular targeted therapy.

Professor Lam is well recognized locally and internationally. He helped found the Hong Kong
Thoracic Society and was the founding Chairman of the Hong Kong Lung Foundation. He was President of the Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (2002-04), and received the Manuel Albertal Award from the American College of Chest Physicians in 2002 in recognition of his contributions to respiratory medicine. He is currently Vice President of the Hong Kong College of Physicians, and International Advisor for the Royal Colleges of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow.