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Awards and Achievements

Congratulations to our research postgraduate students who have been recognised for their outstanding academic and research performance, creative endeavours or contributions to the broader community!

Youde HKU Students Awarded Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowships 

The Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowships is a highly competitive fellowship scheme that aims at encouraging and assisting full-time postgraduate students in Hong Kong. Each year, only three postgraduate students are awarded. This year, two HKU PhD students received fellowships: Man Hei Chang Jeffrey from the Department of Geography (left) and Kwun Nam Chan from the Department of Psychiatry (right).

Kwun Nam’s research evaluates the premature mortality and physical health disparities of people with severe mental disorders including schizophrenia and bipolar disorder via the use of medical-record databases of public hospitals in Hong Kong. “I am really honoured to be awarded the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fellowship,” Kwun Nam said. “This fellowship has served as a strong recognition of my research work, and also provided me an extra motivation to work hard on the current project as well as for my further pursuing of other psychiatric big data topics after graduation to improve the physical health of people with mental disorders.”

Jeffrey’s research mainly focuses on the synergy between community participation and scientific atmospheric modelling in urban climate and air pollution studies. He said, “The award affirmed my endeavour in working with multidisciplinary approaches to solve the global grand challenges. It keeps me motivated to continue with my recent research and entrepreneurial development. It also supported my recent collaboration with the Japan Meteorological Agency Meteorological Research Institute for Asia-Pacific urban climate research studies.”

WangChemistry Students Win the China “Internet+” College Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition

PhD students Wanying Wang and Tian Zeng supervised by Dr Edmund Tse, Department of Chemistry, partnered with other students from different universities to form a team named EC Innovation and won the bronze prize of the 8th China International "Internet +" College Students Innovation and Entrepreneurship Competition. 

The team aims to solve environmental problems through innovative electrocatalytic technology. Their project aims to lower toxin levels in municipal and sanitary waste as well as alleviating unorthodox ecological strains through the development of a resource-neutral catalytic fluidic device. Through the development of an electrochemical fluidic-based (EC Flow) reactor, they aim to eliminate toxic nitrogen oxides from wastewater, thereby directly contributing to water quality improvement and local marine environment remediation. 

Their goal is to remove waste that is harmful to the environment and utilise cost-effective non-precious metal catalysts to transform waste into reusable commodities. Through the environmentally friendly electrocatalysis technology, their hope to close the artificial nitrogen cycle and reach carbon neutrality.

GBCCAwardHKU Med Student Receives Young Investigator Award in Global Breast Cancer Conference 2023

Shihang Hu, a PhD student in the Department of Surgery and supervised by Professor Ava Kwong and Dr Sze Keong Tey, was awarded the Young Investigator Award in the Global Breast Cancer Conference (GBCC) 2023. The conference was hosted by the Korean Breast Cancer Society and supported by the Korea Breast Cancer Foundation. It is now one of the biggest breast cancer conferences in Asia. This year, the theme of GBCC “Go Beyond Cure of Breast Cancer” focussed on the quality of life of the patients other than the treatment.

Hu’s research project is dedicated to deciphering the involvement of various adipose tissues in the tumour microenvironment of breast cancer, which possibly impact the safety and recurrence of breast cancer patients who underwent breast conserving therapy with autologous fat transplantation. The awarded abstract, titled “Brown adipocyte facilitates breast cancer invasiveness via cell fusion”, elucidated that brown adipose tissue has a stronger promoting effect on breast cancer in different types of adipose tissue through potential cell fusion process. The finding has revealed a close relationship between breast cancer and adipose tissues. The study also provides preliminary insights to address safety concerns of autologous fat transplantation in breast cancer patients. In future, clinical study will be designed to delineate the association of adipose tissues and breast cancer, which will improve the treatment outcome of breast conserving therapy in patients.

Hongyang_LuoEarth Sciences Student Receives Newkirk Fellowship from NCAR 

Hongyang Luo, a first-year PhD student from the Department of Earth Sciences (DES), has received a prestigious Newkirk Fellowship offered by the High Altitude Observatory (HAO) at the National Center of Atmospheric Research (NCAR), USA, where he will spend nine months in total within the next three years working on cutting-edge research projects related to solar-terrestrial physics. 

The Newkirk Fellowship is one of the most selective fellowship schemes for graduate students visiting NCAR, and it is named in honour of Gordon A. Newkirk Jr., astrophysicist, creator of the HAO white-light coronagraph and a former HAO director. Hongyang will work with world-leading theoretical and computation solar physicists at NCAR/HAO on projects related to his PhD thesis, focusing on the modelling of space plasma systems. Newkirk Fellows have access to state-of-the-art observational and computational facilities at NCAR for their thesis work. 

Fitting well with HAO’s research focus, Hongyang has recently developed a set of novel numerical tools through the collaboration with Dr Binzheng Zhang from DES and Professor John Lyon at Dartmouth College, New Hampshire, USA. In his future visits to NCAR/HAO, Hongyang plans to apply his novel tools to the most difficult solar problems such as solar eruption processes under the guidance and support of HAO’s world-leading solar physicist Dr Yuhong Fan.

Sixing_ChenPhD Student Receives Honourable Mention in Research Paper Competition

Sixing Chen, a PhD candidate in China Studies, has received an Honourable Mention award in the 2022 Lingnan Culture Studies Research Paper Competition. Her award-winning article titled “From voice to text: Renavigation of dialect and missionaries’ Cantonese language books in late Qing China" explores the frequent language contact in Cantonese-speaking areas in the nineteenth century by reviewing the Cantonese-English language books compiled by Protestant missionaries. It demonstrates that Cantonese played an important role in constructing regional identity during a critical historical moment of cultural collision between South China and the modern Western world. 

Sixing’s broader research interests include the Sino-West Cultural Exchange in late imperial and modern China, the History of Chinese Christianity, Lingnan Cultural Studies and Cantonese Literature.  She has published book reviews in prominent academic journals including Chinese Studies in History and Frontiers of History in China regarding the Chinese language reform in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Sixing has also recently received a grant from the East and Inner Asia Council of the Association for Asian Studies to conduct archival research in overseas libraries and has contributed to the curation of the Modern Literature Exhibition Hall of the Guangdong Literature Museum.