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24 Dec 2019

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University Affairs

Biomedical scientist wins Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award

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On December 15, numerous world-renowned scientists gathered at the 5th Fudan Science and Innovation Forum & 4th Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award Ceremony in Shanghai.


This year, the Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award goes to Yuk Ming Dennis Lo, a professor of Chemical Pathology of the Chinese University of Hong Kong and founding member of the Hong Kong Academy of Sciences. 


Lo is best known for his remarkable contributions to Non-Invasive Prenatal Testing (NIPT) benefiting millions of mothers and newborns. His discovery that the cell-free fetal DNA is present in maternal blood was revolutionary. NIPT as a new diagnostic field emerged from his work is now used to detect multiple aneuploidies and single gene diseases. Lo’s current research focus is detecting circulating tumor DNA, making possible cancer diagnosis in pre-symptomatic patients and laying the foundation for an entire new generation of research on liquid biopsy.


Chairman of the prize committee and laureate of the Nobel Prize in physics Prof. Samuel Chao Chung Ting announced the winner. President of Fudan University Prof. Xu Ningsheng and the Chief Compliance Officer of Zhongzhi Enterprise Group Liu Fuhua presented the certificate of honor and trophy to the winner. 


In his remarks, President Xu said sci-tech innovation influences our society and accelerates our economic and social development by revolutionizing production process and upgrading industrial structures, and biomedicine, also as the theme featuring this year’s Award, is such a pillar industry. Xu highlighted efforts should be made to unleash technological power and transform it into the driving forces behind industrial and social progress, with the comprehensive sci-tech ethics standard developed to support technological development in terms of theories and policies.


Xu added the establishment of Zhangjiang Fudan International Innovation Center, with the launch of the “International Human Phenome Project”, the International Innovation Center for Micro-Nano Electronics and Quantum, and the International Innovation Center for Brain Science and Brain-Inspired Intelligence, demonstrates Fudan’s constant efforts in boosting Shanghai’s transformation into a sci-tech innovation hub with global influence and in striving to become a world’s leading university. This Award also forges a worldwide platform gathering global sci-tech pioneers, who will lead us to a bright future. 


Mr. Liu Fuhua said this Award facilitates the global collaboration in the sci-tech field and Zhongzhi would continue to cooperate with Fudan and other world’s leading universities in promoting the university-industry research in the cutting-edge fields, thus integrating the technological results with the industrial development.


The Award recipient Prof. Lo addressed his findings “From Non-invasive Prenatal Testing to Cancer Screening, and Beyond” to the audience at the ceremony.


Michael Levitt, laureate of the Nobel Prize in chemistry, member of the National Academy of Sciences and lifetime tenured professor at Stanford University, delivered a keynote speech under the title “A Wonderful Life in Science”.


Wu Guanghui, CAE Academician, Vice President of COMAC and Chief Designer of the Large Passenger Jet C919, made a speech on China’s aviation industry and large aircraft manufacturing at the forum. The speech is entitled “The Path to China-Developed Large Passenger Plane”. 


Fudan Science and Innovation Forum has been hosted by Fudan University, organized by Fudan Institute for Advanced Study, and sponsored by Zhongzhi Enterprise Group since 2015. The forum aims to forge a platform for pioneers in science and innovation to share ideas on a global scale and to grasp the trend of cutting-edge innovation worldwide. In addition, the forum strives to inspire the general public, especially the youths, to innovate and create an enabling atmosphere for “mass entrepreneurship and innovation”, contributing wisdom to transforming Shanghai into a science and technology innovation center with world influence. The three-day forum consists of one main forum and four sub-forums, focusing on biomedicine, innovation and entrepreneurship, data science, and artificial intelligence respectively. The forum was attended by more than 400 guests from academia, business and political circles around the world.


The Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award was jointly founded by Fudan University and Zhongzhi Enterprise Group in 2015 to give recognition to the scientists who have made fundamental and remarkable achievements in the fields of biomedicine, physics and mathematics. This year’s Award, including a prize of 3 million RMB, has been announced this September. It’s the second time the Award has been granted to the biomedical scientists. 


Notably, the Fudan-Zhongzhi Science Award 2016 was presented to James P. Allison and Tasuku Honjo, who shared the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2018 “for their discovery of cancer therapy by inhibition of negative immune regulation”. In September 2017, the Award was shared by the pioneers of LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) Rainer Weiss, Kip S. Thorne and Barry C. Barish, who were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 2017 one month later.


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