FHB’s Health Research Symposium highlights implementation of evidence-based research in COVID-19 era and other global health challenges (with photo)


      The biennial Health Research Symposium, organised by the Food and Health Bureau (FHB), was held today (November 23). With the theme of “Implementing evidence-based research in the era of COVID-19 and other global health challenges”, the Symposium also commemorated the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF).

     At the opening ceremony of the Symposium, the Secretary for Food and Health, Professor Sophia Chan, stated that the HMRF successfully consolidated the different fundings on health and medical research by the Government over the past 30 years. It is an important milestone for its establishment of 10 years.

     Professor Chan said, “Over the past 30 years, the FHB, through the HMRF and its former funds, has taken the lead in supporting health-related research. The HMRF is uniquely positioned as the only local funding platform bridging the gap between benchtop research and clinical translation research findings. Its effectiveness derives from its collaborative support to locally based researchers and scientists from academia, frontline medical professionals from all disciplines and non-governmental organisations. Advancing health science can improve health services, and enhance people’s health and quality of life.”
     ​The FHB and the HMRF have rapidly approved over $500 million to support 67 COVID-19 research studies since April 2020.  Many of these studies apply cutting-edge technologies to fill the knowledge gaps from bench to bedside to the community and to better prepare Hong Kong for the recovery stage of the COVID-19 pandemic.
     The hybrid Symposium was attended by over 800 medical and healthcare practitioners, academics, researchers, representatives from the community and the Government. Four renowned international experts: Professor Chris Butler, Professor Paul Glasziou, Professor Per Nilsen and Professor Steven Riley delivered keynote lectures on controlling the COVID-19 pandemic and implementing research findings in clinical practice. They also exchanged views with the audience online.
     Moreover, 20 leading local project teams from a variety of health-related disciplines shared their experiences and outcomes of their projects on combating COVID-19 and preparedness for the next pandemic, and implementing research findings in clinical practice and primary healthcare. Four recipients of the Research Fellowship Scheme also shared their experience of training and how they have applied their new skills in the public healthcare setting. Nearly 200 projects funded by the HMRF, which set a benchmark to foster evidence-based interventions with a view to improving the health of the population, were showcased at the Symposium via an electronic poster exhibition. 
     To recognise the excellent research efforts on COVID-19 and celebrate the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the HMRF, two categories of special awards were presented at today’s Symposium. A full list of awardees is stated below:   
Outstanding Project Team on COVID-19 Research Awards
Professor Benjamin John Cowling
Professor Ng Siew-chien
Professor Leo Poon Lit-man
Dr Gilman Siu Kit-hang
Professor Zhang Tong
The 10th HMRF Anniversary Awards
(a) Breakthrough Research
Professor Alfred Cheng Sze-lok
Professor Richard Choy Kwong-wai 
Professor Jin Dong-yan
(b) Public Health, Clinical and Health Services Research
Professor Cindy Lam Lo-kuen
Dr Wendy Lam Wing-tak
Professor Vincent Mok Chung-tong
(c) Health Promotion
Professor Lam Tai-hing
Professor Albert Lee
Professor Vivian Lee Wing-yan
Professor Agnes Tiwari Fung-yee
     In addition, 10 awards were presented to researchers in recognition of their outstanding contributions to health and medical research, and health promotion. The list of awardees is as follows: 
Excellent Research Awards
Professor Richard Choy Kwong-wai
Professor Ava Kwong
Professor Wallace Lau Chak-sing
Dr Li Miaoxin
Professor Winnie Mak Wing-sze
Professor Ng Ho-keung
The Most Promising Young Researcher Awards
Dr Cheung Ching-lung
Dr Li Miaoxin
Excellent Health Promotion Project Awards
Ms Vicky Chung Wai-yin
Professor Angela Leung Yee-man