The Theme-based Research Scheme (TRS), launched in 2010 by the Research Grants Council, aims to focus academic research efforts of the UGC-funded institutions on themes of strategic importance to the long-term development of Hong Kong, namely Promoting Good Health, Developing a Sustainable Environment and Enhancing Hong Kong's Strategic Position as a Regional and International Business Centre. In the three rounds of TRS, HKU has been awarded 6 of the 14 funded projects as co-ordinating institution, and has participated in a further 5 co-ordinated by other local institutions.
Promoting Good Health
Cell-based Heart Regeneration
This project aims to address major gaps in using human pluripotent stem cells to bioengineer human heart tissues for translating into cell-based therapies for heart diseases and other applications. Significant advances in the field are anticipated, including the development of bio-artificial engineered human heart tissue constructs that are functionally viable, immunocompatible and durable after transplantation to achieve long-lasting beneficial outcomes.
Project Co-ordinator: Professor R.A. Li, Department of Medicine (email@example.com)
Personalized Medicine for Cardiovascular Diseases: From Genomic Testing and Biomarkers to Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Platform
Expertise and strength in clinical and genetic research—based on the team’s existing large clinic and population-based databases, biomarker discovery and development, and human stem cell platform—is combined in this project to develop a novel approach to “Personalized Medicine” for diagnosing and treating dyslipidemia, a major risk factor for cardiovascular diseases in the local Chinese population.
Project Co-ordinator: Professor H.F. Tse, Department of Medicine (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Functional Analyses of How Genomic Variation Affects Personal Risk for Degenerative Skeletal Disorders
This project aims to define the functional attributes of the genetic factors associated with intervertebral disc disease (IDD) and address how genomic variation contributes to the risk, onset, severity and progression of the disease. Expected long-term applications include prediction of total personal risk for IDD that will improve prevention and management of the disease, and design of improved cell-based therapies to protect healthy discs from degeneration and retard or reverse the degenerative process.
Project Co-ordinator: Professor K.S.E. Cheah, Department of Biochemistry (email@example.com)
Developing a Sustainable Environment
Challenges in Organic Photo-Voltaics and Light Emitting Diodes—A Concerted Multi-Disciplinary and Multi-Institutional Effort
This project aims to address energy issues for the development of a sustainable environment. It focuses on organic photovoltaics (OPVs) for solar energy conversion to generate alternative sources of clean renewable energy, and organic light emitting diodes (OLEDs), which are recognized as a viable candidate for developing and implementing a more efficient solid-state lighting system.
Project Co-ordinator: Professor V.W.W. Yam, Department of Chemistry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Sustainable Lighting Technology: From Devices to Systems
With continuous development of light emitting diode (LED) devices, LED application in public lighting is still at a bottleneck that lies in the “system” aspects, e.g. short product lifetime and failure to meet luminous flux output. This project proposes a sustainable lighting technology that involves the search for a novel “general LED system theory for non-identical LED devices” which can lead to new LED systems with high efficiency, luminous efficacy, long lifetime and high percentage of recyclable materials.
Project Co-ordinator: Professor S.Y.R. Hui, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (email@example.com)
Enhancing Hong Kong's Strategic Position as a Regional and International Business Centre
Enhancing Hong Kong’s Future as a Leading International Financial Centre
This project seeks to provide independent academic analysis of Hong Kong’s role as an international financial centre, both to enhance competitiveness and reduce the risk of crisis, encompassing four central questions on regulation, corporate governance, Mainland liberalisation and international competitiveness. Major outputs include reports addressing the mandate of Basic Law Article 109 and the development of a general framework/theory to understand financial centre evolution and development.
Project Co-ordinator: Professor D.W. Arner, Department of Law (firstname.lastname@example.org)