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HKBU researchers awarded the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) from the Health Bureau


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Three HKBU researchers, Dr Lung Hong Lok from the Department of Chemistry, and Dr Yin Kejing and Dr Eric Zhang from the Department of Computer Science, have been awarded around HK$2.4 million in the latest round of the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) by the Health Bureau to support their health and medical research projects. 

Dr Lung received the fund for his project named “The application of the EBV-encoded nuclear antigen 1-targeting bioprobe in nasopharyngeal carcinoma diagnosis”. He aims to use a bioprobe called L2P4 to help detect Epstein-Barr virus in the plasma samples of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC). NPC is a common cancer in Hong Kong, and is located in the upper part of the throat behind the nose. This novel NPC detection assay may enhance the diagnostic sensitivity of NPC in conjunction with conventional plasma EBV DNA detection, and may also significantly minimise the time for detection and the volume of plasma samples required.

Dr Yin will utilise the fund to support his project entitled “AI models helping combat antibiotic resistance in ICU – personalized decision support for empirical antibiotic therapy”. He will develop and evaluate an advanced AI model that strategically integrates heterogeneous data to support personalised empirical antibiotics therapy decisions in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) to advance antibiotics stewardship and combat antibiotic resistance. The model is estimated to outperform the existing practice in recommending more effective yet less broad-spectrum antibiotics.

Dr Zhang’s awarded research project is “Advancing clinical differentiation between constipation-predominant irritable bowel syndrome and functional constipation using machine learning models”. He strives to develop a data-driven machine-learning model to support clinical differentiation between constipation-predominant Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-C) and functional constipation (FC). The model may further enhance similar models to discriminate between other bowel disorders such as diarrhoea-predominant IBS (IBS-D) and functional dyspepsia (FD).

The main aims of HMRF are to build research capacity, encourage, facilitate and support health and medical research to inform health policies, improve population health, strengthen the health system, enhance healthcare practices, advance standard and quality of care, and promote clinical excellence through evidence-based scientific knowledge in health and medicine. 

The Health Bureau’s endorsement of our research endeavours affirms our research community’s dedication to scholarly excellence and societal contribution. Congratulations to our three remarkable researchers again!