Science and Con-science: the cultural life of science

16 Sep 2020

11:00 a.m. – 12:50 p.m. (GMT+08:00)

Prof. GUO Yike

Vice-President (Research & Development) and Professor in Department of Computer Science, HKBU

Professor Yi-Ke Guo, a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering (FREng), was appointed as the Vice-President (Research and Development) of Hong Kong Baptist University on 1 January 2020. Prof Guo is Professor of Computing Science in the Department of Computing at Imperial College London since 2020. Before joining Hong Kong Baptist University, Prof Guo was the founding Director of the Data Science Institute at Imperial College since 2014, which is one of the six Imperial College Global Challenge Institutes. He is also a Member of Academia Europaea (MAE), Fellow of British Computer Society.   

Prof Guo’s main research interests lie in the field of machine learning and large-scale data management and he has contributed to numerous major research projects. He is now the investigator of several major data science projects in UK and Europe including the €47M project of Idea-Fast in digital biomarker discovery for neurodegenerative diseases.

Professor Guo has published over 250 articles. He won the “Most Innovative Data Intensive Application Award” at the Supercomputing 2002 conference for Discovery Net, the Bio-IT World “Best Practices Award” for U-BIOPRED in 2014, and the “Best Open Source Software Award” from ACM SIGMM in 2017.

Life and Living: A Scientific Informed Balance

Abstract: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, governments have taken non-pharmaceutical intervention measures. Common measures include travel restriction, school and non-essential business closure and social distancing, mask wearing as well as early isolation of confirmed patients. All these measures have impacts on reducing the virus transmission but also on disturbing people’s daily life and causing damages to the economy. Striking a balance between the safety of life and quality of living is critical to improving people’s well-being in the pandemic period.  Such a balance should be made with scientific evidence and prediction. In this talk, I present some of our research activities in this area. We demonstrate that scientific research with humanity in mind can help in forming intervention policies to balance life and living.

Full profile

Prof. Yi NING

Professor and Executive Director, Meinian Public Health Research Institute, Peking University

Dr. Yi Ning is a Professor and Executive Director of Peking University Meinian Public Health Research Institute, and Chief Science Officer and Vice Presidents of Meinian OneHealth Group. He received Doctor of Science in Nutrition, Master of Public Health in Epidemiology and medical degree in Preventive Medicine from Harvard University, the University of Washington and Peking University, respectively. He used to be a Senior Fellow (the highest academic Ladder) and Head of Epidemiology at GlaxoSmithKline, a Tenure-Track Assistant Professor of Virginia Commonwealth University, and a medical officer of China Ministry of Health. He developed innovative drug discovery methods using real world data, developed assessment methods for adolescent weight loss evaluation, and designed multiple phases II, III and IV studies and big data projects. Currently he is a PI for a national key project: Cloud platform for health examination. With the diverse experience, he continued to develop expertise in evidence-based medicine for preventive medicine, clinical nutrition, and pharmacoepidemiology. 

Act now with a vision for the future

This presentation will review the Covid-19 outbreak and control in Wuhan, Northeast, Beijing and Xinjiang, and further discuss how to improve responses to the Covid-19 epidemic in future. 

Prof. Daqing MA

MA, Professor of Anaesthesia, Imperial College London

Professor Daqing Ma, MD, PhD, FRCA, is Full Professor of Anaesthesia, BOC Chair, Macintosh Professor, Director of Biomedical Master Research Course (APMIC stream) and Head of Anaesthesia Research of the Division of Anaesthetics, Pain Medicine & Intensive Care, Department of Surgery & Cancer, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, and Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

He has more than 300 publications (H index 60; Total citations about 13,600) of peer reviewed original articles, reviews and book chapters (e.g. Lancet, PNAS, Annals of Neurology, Annals of Surgery, BMJ, JASN, Kidney International, The FASEB Journal, Critical Care Medicine, BJA, Anesthesiology and etc.) covering research fields of Anesthesiology, Pharmacology, Neuroscience, Neurology and Nephrology, and three international patents. His main research interests are organoprotection including kidney transplant, postoperative cognitive dysfunction, Cancer and Pain. Professor Ma’s research has being supported with the grants from MRC, Alzheimer’s Society-Bupa Foundation, BJA/RCoA, AAGBI, Westminster Medical School Research Trust, Action Medical Research and SPARKS, UK, European Society of Anesthesiology and EU COST Action, Brussels. His research has been recognized by public media including BBC and the news paper of Daily Mail, Telegraph and Times. He has been invited to deliver lectures to the international conferences worldwide by average 15 times/year for the last ten years.

He was elected to be a Fellow of Royal College of Anaesthetists (FRCA) in 2014. He is a Board Member of British Journal of Anaesthesia and a Council Member of Anaesthetic Research Society (UK). He is an Academic Editor of PLoS One and Scientific Reports. He is also an expert panel member of French Evaluation Agency for Research and Higher Eduction (AERES), France. He is a regular overseas consultant of Chinese Society of Anaesthesiology. He was President of Chinese Life Scientists Society of UK and Vice-President and General Secretary of the Association of British Chinese Professors.

“Long term” outcomes of COVID-19: Molecular mechanisms and implications

Abstract: The wide spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) has led to a pandemic of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The S spike protein of SARS-CoV-2 binds with angiotensin converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) as a functional “receptor” and then enters into host cells to replicate and damage host cells/organs. ACE2 plays a pivotal role in the inflammation and its downregulation may aggravate COVID-19 via the renin-angiotensin system, including promoting pathological changes in lung injury and involving in inflammatory and fibrotic responses. Severe cases of COVID-19 patients often developed acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiple organ dysfunction/failure with high mortality which may be closely related to hyper-proinflammatory status called “cytokine storm”. My lecture aims to summarize the current evidence and understanding of the underlying mechanisms of multi-organ injury or failure development of COVID-19 patients driven by the SARS-CoV-2 binding to ACE2 induced biological cascades. 

Full profile

Prof. Joseph WU

Professor of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, University of Hong Kong

Joseph Wu is a professor in the School of Public Health at The University of Hong Kong. He specializes in mathematical modelling and data science of communicable diseases and cancer. His research aims are: (i) to develop useful analytics and strategies for disease control and prevention; and (ii) to translate his research findings into public health policy and practice for improving global health. He is a Fellow of the UK’s Faculty of Public Health, a member of the WHO Advisory Committee on Immunization and Vaccines-related Implementation Research (IVIR-AC), and a member of the Technical Working Group for the WHO Public Health Research Agenda for Influenza. He is a member of the MIT SOLVE Challenge Leadership Group and an SME advisor of MIT Innovation Node.

In his research on communicable diseases, Prof Wu focuses on preparedness and response against high-threat communicable diseases including pandemic influenza, MERS, Ebola, yellow fever, hand-foot-and-mouth diseases, etc. During the 2009 influenza pandemic, his research was instrumental in the Hong Kong government’s pandemic risk assessment and implementation of mitigation measures including school closure and vaccination. During the emergence of avian influenza A/H7N9 in 2013, his research characterized the zoonotic source (namely, live poultry markets) and clinical severity of human A/H7N9 infections. During the 2014 MERS outbreak in Seoul, his research provided real-time characterization of the epidemiology of MERS. During the 2015-16 yellow fever outbreak in Angola, his research provided the evidence base for the WHO to implement dose-fractionation of yellow fever vaccines in its emergency vaccination campaign in Angola. In 2018, his research provided the health economic evaluation for the Hong Kong government to implement routine 9-valent HPV vaccination for schoolgirls. In 2020, his research provided the first nowcast and forecast of the spread of COVID-19 in China and indicated the potential risk of global pandemic.

In his research on cancer, Prof Wu focuses on developing innovative methods for cancer prevention. He is currently working on (i) optimizing the use of HPV testing in cervical cancer screening; (ii) characterizing the epidemiology of colorectal cancer using data from routine fecal immunochemical testing programs; and (iii) evaluating the cost-effectiveness of risk-based mammography screening for breast cancer prevention.  

Prof Wu obtained a BS in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1999 and a PhD in Operations Research from MIT in 2003.

Facilitators and barriers to pandemic control in the Information Age

Abstract: We will briefly discuss how the ubiquity of digital information and technology has both strengthened and hindered our ability to control a pandemic.

Full profile

The opinions expressed by the speakers represent their own views, and do not reflect HKBU’s position.


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