Partnering up for the Benefit of Mankind

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A QS Showcase message from Professor Timothy W Tong, president of The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

“Through close collaboration with the community, business and industry, PolyU adds practical value and significance to the innovations we developed. This is also a core element of the university’s mission.”
Professor Timothy W Tong

In the 80 years of PolyU’s proud history, the university has placed strong emphasis on education as well as research innovation. Many of our innovative ideas have been put into practice and our research excellence has brought impacts to almost every aspect of people’s lives.

To this end, PolyU has been partnering extensively with business, industries, universities and organisations both locally and internationally. These prosperous partnerships have given significant meanings to the university’s research findings and innovations while generating far-reaching impact.

One strategic focus area of PolyU research is human-centred innovation. With our unique trans-disciplinary approach, our genetic research is being applied to healthcare for saving lives. Our scientists have also developed intelligent systems for the benefits of mankind.

PolyU researchers have long been working on anti-cancer drugs. Researchers have found that arginase kills drug-resistant cancers, and have developed a new drug known as BCT-100 that could provide a cure for liver and other cancers, leading to the first ever Investigational New Drug status granted by the US Food and Drug Administration to Hong Kong.

In 2015, another team of researchers made effort in discovering an inhibitor derived from a natural nutrient found in fruits and vegetables, especially parsley and celery, that can prevent cancer cells from rejecting drugs. The inhibitor for reversing cancer drug resistance, Apigenin Flavonoid Dimer, is 10 times more potency and three times the safety level of the best inhibitor on the market. This patented technology has been licensed to Kinex Pharmaceuticals, a global oncology specialist company, to develop oral cancer drug for future clinical trials. This remarkable progress will definitely bring new hope to patients and their families.

Another collaboration breakthrough in the healthcare sector is the development of the Transcatheter Aortic Valve Implantation Simulation Model jointly with Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Hong Kong. Accommodating life-sized, 3D printed blood vessels and aortic valves based on patients’ computed tomography images, this model can imitate human circulation in terms of fluid flow and temperature in aortic valve repair. The model also comes with a built-in rotatable camera and a screen for displaying real-time black-and-white images. This innovation brings good news to patients and doctors alike, having obvious advantages in clinical training and better surgical planning for shorter operation time and better healthcare quality.

PolyU is an aspiring university. Leveraging on the university’s strengths in various disciplines and working closely with collaborators at home and abroad, PolyU is committed to contributing even more significantly to the world in the decades ahead.

Professor Timothy W Tong has been president of PolyU since 2009. Prior to this, he was dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science at The George Washington University in the US. He received his BS degree in mechanical engineering from Oregon State University (OSU) and his MS and PhD in the same discipline from the University of California at Berkeley. Being an expert in the field of heat transfer, Professor Tong has been actively involved in addressing issues connected to energy use and sustainable development. He has published over 80 technical articles and edited seven conference proceedings. He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Hong Kong Academy of Engineering Sciences and the International Thermal Conductivity Conference. He was inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Engineers and the Engineering Hall of Fame by the College of Engineering of OSU in 2001 and 2010 respectively.