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New Hong Kong University of Science and Technology undergraduate program in bioengineering will expose students to an exciting world of discovery using diverse cutting-edge technologies

New Hong Kong University of Science and Technology undergraduate program in bioengineering will expose students to an exciting world of discovery using diverse cutting-edge technologies

The School of Engineering of the Hong
Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) recently
announced
that it will be launching a new undergraduate program in
Bioengineering that offers students the opportunity to conduct their research
in leading overseas universities. The program will simultaneously create and nurture
leaders in biomedical technology and big data in support of the Hong Kong
government’s focused effort to spearhead the development of these fields.

HKUST’s bioengineering program aims to educate
the next generation of bioengineers. Drawing upon the university’s strength in
science and engineering, the program is conceived to prepare students for
career opportunities in local and regional industries in pharmaceuticals and
biomedical devices, biosensors, healthcare analytics, biotechnology and
healthcare products, and to help stimulate and nurture innovative minds to
tackle challenging bioengineering research initiatives in a very competitive
global environment.

Prof Ying Chau, Associate Professor and
Undergraduate Program Coordinator in the Department of Chemical and Biological
Engineering
, stated that The Bioengineering Program has adopted a molecular-level
perspective to tackle healthcare issues.”

The proposed bioengineering program is
well-aligned with the mission and vision of HKUST. That is, to advance learning
and knowledge through teaching and research in science, technology, and engineering, and to assist in the economic
and social development of Hong Kong and China. In fact, a bioengineering UG
program had been in the works since as early as 2007
and was originally proposed in the Academic Development Plan of HKUST for the
2009-2012 triennium. With the current socio-economic and technological trends
locally and globally, HKUST has deemed the time ripe to launch the program.

The Bioengineering Program will be
developed and taught by a number of rising stars in bioengineering research who
are at the forefront of innovation and research. Its objectives can be summarized broadly as follows:

i.     To provide a holistic learning
experience for students to ensure that they graduate with a good balance of
engineering knowledge and professional skills, a desire to pursue lifelong
learning, and a commitment to solving societal problems; and

ii.    To enable graduates to be
successful in their chosen career path, whether in the practice of
bioengineering, in advanced studies in related fields, or in other professions
that demand a strong engineering training.

Prof Ying Chau said, “We take tremendous
pride in offering this Bioengineering Program, as we are putting students on
the cutting edge of engineering research, and preparing them for significant
contributions to mankind.”

Prof Angela Wu, Assistant Professor in the
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, is designing microfluidic
devices that can capture and manipulate cells for different purposes including
single-cell genomic analysis. While each microfluidic device can be used to
investigate cells from a variety of organisms including bacteria, animals, and
plants, one of Prof Wu’s main research focuses is studying tumour initiation in
human beings, with the goal of understanding and preventing cancer.

Prof Terence Wong, Assistant Professor in
the same Department, is developing a novel microscope that can determine
whether any cancer cells remain in a cancer patient after an initial resection
within minutes. This is a tremendous improvement on the current pathological
procedures, which typically take as much as a week, resulting in some cases in
the need of performing a second surgery to remove the remaining cancer cells.

Both Prof Wu and Prof Wong are making a
significant difference to human health.

The Bioengineering Program will be launched
in the Fall Semester in 2018. Students have to register for the HKUST
Engineering program (JUPAS catalog no.: JS5200) within the JUPAS program
choices modification period (July 12-14) in order to get into the major.

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