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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 Cheung King-ho and Dr Zhong Lidan from the School of Chinese Medicine and Dr Fung Wai Tung, Ada from the Faculty of Social Sciences, have been awarded the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) by the Health Bureau to support their health and medical research projects. The three projects secure approximately HK$4 million in total. 

Dr Cheung’s awarded research project is titled “Investigate the therapeutic potential of targeting TRPM7 by carvacrol to mitigate Alzheimer’s disease-associated neuroinflammation”. Dr Cheung is a locally trained scientist whose research focuses on ion channels’ structure or function and their roles in disease pathogenesis, particularly in Alzheimer's disease and Parkinson's disease. His work has been published in several top-ranked journals including Autophagy, Neuron, Cell, PNAS and Science Signaling

The fund received by Dr Zhong will be used for supporting her project entitled “Electro-acupuncture for long-COVID neuropsychiatric symptoms: a prospective, randomized sham-controlled, double-blinded clinical trial”. With 20 years of experience in clinical service, over 10 years of experience in clinical management and research with more than 90 SCI papers, Dr Zhong’s fields of expertise include Chinese Medicine in Gynaecology, Chinese Medicine in Autoimmune Disorders and Chinese Medicine in Gastroenterology.

Dr Fung received the fund for her project named “Effect of a six-week integrated attention training program on the cognitive functions of older adults with co-occurring anxiety symptoms and subjective cognitive complaints”. Her research expertise is in early detection and intervention of cognitive decline and neurocognitive disorders, brain health promotion, dementia risk reduction and determinants of healthy ageing. In 2019, she developed a web-based computerised “Hong Kong – Vigilance and Memory Test” (HK-VMT), which helped detect early subtle cognitive decline in older people. This Test was funded by Innovation and Technology Fund for Better Living (ITFBL). Since late 2021, over 900 people aged 60 or above from various District Elderly Community Centres have been benefited by this online screening platform. The project has laid the foundation to support cognitive health and lifestyle modification from mid- through later-life.

The main aims of HMRF are to build research capacity, to 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 to promote clinical excellence through evidence-based scientific knowledge in health and medicine. 

The recognition from the Health Bureau towards the awarded research projects is indeed a great encouragement for HKBU researchers and academic staff to continue to strive for research excellence, with the aim of contributing to the academic community and society.