Newsletter No. 135

2 No. 135 19th November 1998 CUHK Newsletter Mr. Chow Kwen-lim Chairman and President of Chow Sang Sang Holdings International Limited, Mr. Chow Kwen-lim is a leader in the Hong Kong jewellery industry. Emphasizing innovation and diversification, his company is the first local company to expand its business on the mainland. Mr. Chow has held important positions in local trade organizations and been hugely influential to the development of the jewellery industry of Hong Kong. M r. Chow has been active in community service, particularly in the development of trade and education in Hong Kong and on the mainland. He is a veteran member of the Community Chest, Po Leung Kuk, Caritas Hong Kong, and the Lok Sin Tong Benevolent Society. In his capacity as Sham Shui Po District Board member and president of numerous district and kai fong associations, Mr. Chow has made significant contribution to district development, in recognition of which lie was invited to serve as a Hong Kong District Affairs Adviser, and was made a Justice of the Peace and a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. Mr. Chow's efforts at promoting economic and educational developments in mainland China, particularly in his hometown of Shunde, have been significant. He is a delegate of the Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference of Shunde in Guangdong Province and an Honorary Citizen of Shunde, Foshan, and Chengle. He is also honorary professor and a member of the University Council of Fudan University in Shanghai. Similarly in Hong Kong, he is a member of the Board of Trustees of New Asia College at The Chinese University. He has made generous donations towards student affairs and student welfare at the University over the years, not to mention setting up scholarships for mainland students and supporting the college language education programmes. He is a voting member of The University of Hong Kong Foundation of Educational Development and Research. Dr. Fong Yun-wah Chairman of the Hip Shing Hong Group of Companies and Managing Director of Kam Wah Investment Company Limited, Dr. Fong Yun-wah is a prominent entrepreneur and philanthropist in the local community. Dr. Fong has been highly supportive of educational causes all his life. Through the Fong Shu Fook Tong Foundation and the Fong's Family Foundation, Dr. Fong annually sets aside a portion of his business earnings to support education, social welfare, and charity work both in Hong Kong and on the mainland. He has also devoted much time and effort to the promotion of academic exchange between mainland China and Hong Kong, and the support of leadership training programmes for talented students from the mainland. In recognition of his outstanding contributions, Dr. Fong was selected as one of the Ten Champions in Charity of China in 1997. Dr. Fong's contributions in culture, education, and social welfare are recognized worldwide. He is an Honorary Citizen of Dongguan and Heyuan in Guangdong Province, the cities of Plain in Georgia and Corpus Christi in Texas in the United States, and the city of Winnipeg in Canada. A n asteroid is named after him by the International Asteroid/ Comet Naming Committee. He has been made honorary professor/consultant to many universities on the mainland and awarded honorary doctorates by Hong Kong Baptist University as well as universities abroad. Dr. Fong is a Justice of the Peace and a Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire. His remarkable achievements have also won him the Award for Outstanding Contribution in Education from Peking University earlier this year. Dr. Fong and his family have maintained very close ties with The Chinese University which has benefited greatly from their generous support over several decades. The Fong Shu Chuen Building, named after the late father of Dr. Fong, and Fong Yun Wah Hall are purpose-built facilities on campus to accommodate the University's Chinese Language Centre. Dr. Fong has been a member of the Board of Trustees of United College since 1966. All Linked up by Terr i tory-wide Cyber Campus H ong Ko ng Cyber Campus, an Internet campus linking up universities, secondary and primary schools, and kindergartens in Hong Kong, was launched on 30th October. The p r o j e ct is the j o i n t e f f o rt o f eight l o c al t e r t i a ry institutions to promote information technology education in H o ng K o n g and to enhance links between academic institutions. W i th a total funding o f HK$18.9 m i l l i on f r om the University Grants Committee ( UGC) and the Quality Education Fund, Cyber Campus w i l l provide n e t wo rk resources and technical support to students, teachers, and schools, encourage interaction among institutions, and foster the distribution o f information and educational materials. Officiating at the launching ceremony were Mr. Joseph Wong, Secretary for Education and Manpower, Mrs. Helen Yu, D i r e c t or o f Ed u c a t i o n, M r . I r v i n g K o o Ye e - y i n, c h a i r man o f the Q u a l i ty E d u c a t i on F u n d S t e e r i ng Committee, and M r. Nigel J. French, Secretary-General o f the UGC. The p r o j e ct is led by Prof. Wo ng Po - c h oi o f the University's Department o f Information Engineering, who is also founder o f the Ho ng K o ng School Net. Cyber Campus w i l l provide e-mail and web-accounts to students and teachers, newsgroups for subject discussions, software tools, and databases of educational resources. Over 500,000 university professors, p r i ma ry and secondary teachers, and students w i l l be able to participate i n discussions on the Internet. Prof. Wong Po-choi (left) and Mr. Joseph Wong CUHK Forms Accounting League wi th Mainland and Taiwan Counterparts T he U n i v e r s i t y 's S c h o o l o f A c c o u n t a n cy has f o r m ed an academic alliance w i th the accounting departments o f Peking Un i v e r s i t y, N a t i o n al T a i w an U n i v e r s i t y, and F u d a n U n i v e r s i t y to p r o m o t e accounting education and research in ma i n l a nd China, H o n g K o n g, and Taiwan. T he e c o n om i es o f the three r e g i o n s h a v e b e c o me c l o s e l y integrated since the economic reform and the adoption o f the open door policy by mainland China. However, Ho ng K o ng and Taiwan investors as well as those from overseas are facing immense difficulties wh en w o r k i ng w i th mainland companies because o f the d i s c r e p a n c i es i n a c c o u n t i ng standards, discrepancies wh i ch also generate a lot of business disputes and problems. Entitled the Dragon League, the alliance is set up w i t h the purpose o f enhancing cooperation and co- o r d i n a t i o n a m o n g a c c o u n t i n g p r o f e s s i o n a ls and a c a d em i cs i n ma i n l a nd China, H o n g K o n g, and Taiwan to examine these issues and suggest solutions. A t the inaugural ceremony o f the D r a g o n L e a g u e h e l d o n 6 t h N o v e m b e r , c h a i r p e r s o ns o f the accountancy departments o f the four universities discussed recent developments in the accountancy field in the three regions. It was f o l l owed by a research f o r um w i t h the topic 'The Role o f F i n a n c i al A c c o u n t i ng and Re p o r t i ng i n the De v e l o pme nt o f Ca p i t al Ma r k e t: M a i n l a n d, H o n g Ko ng and Taiwan Experience'. Genetic Eye Disease Research Recruits Subjects T he Department of Ophthalmology and V i s u al Sciences has been researching on genetic eye diseases for two years. Earlier this year, a Genetic Eye C l i n ic was established at the Prince o f Wales Hospital offering eye e x a m i n a t i o n , t r e a t m e n t , a n d counselling to patients w i t h genetic e ye d i s e a s es a nd t h e i r f a m i l y members. F r om these patients, over 1,000 b l o od specimens have been collected w i t h their p r i or consent. These were analysed using advanced t e c h n i q u es o f mo l e c u l ar b i o l o gy including polymerase chain reactions and D N A sequencing. Genetic eye diseases under study include: 1. Aged-related maculardegeneration — the l e a d i ng cause o f blindness among the elderly in the West; 2. Primary open angle glaucoma — glaucoma being the leading cause o f blindness in Hong Kong; 3. H i gh myopia (over 600 degrees); 4. Co n g e n i t al h y p e r t r o p hy o f the r e t i n al p i gme nt e p i t h e l i um in p a t i e n t s w i t h f a m i l i a l adenomatous polyposis; 5. A n t e r i or segment dysgenesis i n c l u d i n g a n i r i d i a , P e t e r 's anomaly and Reiger's syndrome; 6. L e b e r ' s h e r e d i t a r y o p t i c neuropathy; 7. Retinitis pigmentosa; 8. Stargardt's disease; and 9. Diabetic retinopathy. The research is directed by Prof. Dennis S.C. L am with Prof. Calvin C. P. Pang taking charge o f the laboratory investigations. T i ll now, four disease- causing gene mutations that have not been reported in the w o r l d medical literature have been identified. Some that have been previously reported to occur among Caucasian and Japanese patients have also been found. The research team expects to obtain a sizeable volume of important genetic data in the coming one to two years and the results w i l l shed light o n t h e m e c h a n i s m s o f t h e pathogenesis o f genetic eye diseases. The research is also o f i mme n se i mp o r t a n ce to patients and t h e ir f a m i l y . B y d e t e c t i ng carriers o f d i s e a s e - c a u s i ng gene mu t a t i o n s, certain eye diseases may be prevented by the m i t i g a t i on o f environmental risk factors. Patients and at-risk individuals interested in p a r t i c i p a t i ng in the research can refer to the above list and contact the department at 2645 0568, f a x 2 6 4 8 3 8 5 6 , o r e - m a i l Glaucoma results from abnormally high pressure inside the eyeball which damages the optic nerve and causes visual field defect and visual loss