Newsletter No. 404

10 No. 404, 4.10.2012 药物有何引人入胜之处? 自从上世纪四十年代盘尼西林面世开始,药物在延长全球人口平均寿命方面举足轻重。服药竟可退 热止咳,令小时候的我觉得很神奇。但我当时根本没有想过念药剂学,我想做的是艺术家,但父亲 劝我做别的。科学有种内蕴的创意,就像艺术一样。有些科学家退休后转投艺术,未必是偶然。我 以前闲暇时喜欢制作彩绘玻璃,玩黑房摄影,现在则把创意投入阅读,思索新科技将怎样带领我 们。 怎样会在美国修读药剂学? 我在皇仁书院念中学,本想碰运气敲港大医科的门,不过,念完中六那年,父母却把我送到美国。由 于在美国念医科须先有本科学位,我就选了药剂学。在药剂学院的第二年,教授觉得我在有机化学 方面有天分,把我带到研究之路,就此没有回头。 你曾是南加州大学的眼科教授,可以谈一下眼科药物吗? 我领导了一个由美国国家卫生研究院资助的研究,改善眼科药物疗效,历时二十多年。眼睛是最典 型的矛盾体,你可以接触它,但注入的药物,被它吸收的不会超过百分之一,其余可能会进入血管, 由此造成药物安全的问题,在孩童和老人身上尤其堪虞。年纪大了,黄斑部病变的机会随之增加。 有效的药物是有的,但要靠每隔一或两个月直接注射进眼部,舒 缓或停止视力退化的速度。这个程序带有风险,对病人也非常 不便。很明显,当前急务是发明一种非介入的方法把挽留视 力的药物传输给病人。 你希望药剂学院在教学、研究和学术连系等方面怎 样发展? 现时,每位教学人员的教学与行政负荷是相当高的。由于 教员人数将因应学额倍增而上升,学院将抓紧机会,提升 研究表现。我们的长远目标是成为亚洲地区的临床试验中 心,类似美国国家卫生研究院的那一种。但这不能单 靠我们自己成事,必须协同姊妹院校的网络。 我希望学院持续担当领导角色,改进香港药剂专 业和医疗保健的水平。我们的临床药剂学硕士 课程办得非常成功,最新推出的药物制造及品 质学理学硕士课程,将有助提高香港的制药水 准。 身为药品专家,会否特别在意人们如何服 用处方药物? 不正确用药、或滥用药物,不知不觉形成 了一股席卷全球的趋势。目前,医疗保健 体系负担过重,只得给长期病患者处 方足够三四个月用的大量药物, 药物不良反应便是这样导致 的。身为柏金逊症病人,我 受惠于香港的医疗保健系 统,也正好能指出制度中 药物安全的漏洞,药剂师 正是最有资格去填补这 漏洞的。 谈谈你设计的药剂学 院院徽吧。 药剂学是科学为本的学 科,院徽掌握了这个主 题,蕴含把科学转化为安 全、有效和可负担的药物 之意。蓝色缎带代表学 院,绿色代表师生和校 友,两者形成双螺旋状, 恰好是数学中代表无限 的符号。 请扫描QR码阅读全文版 Scan the QR code for the full version Photos of Professor Lee in this issue are by Keith Hiro What’s so fascinating about drugs? Drugs have played a pivotal role in the impressive rise in life expectancy worldwide beginning with the introduction of penicillin in the 1940s. As a kid, I was fascinated by how medicine made my fever and coughing magically go away. But pharmacy wasn’t on my radar screen then. My dream was to become an artist, but my dad convinced me otherwise. There’s an innate creativity in science, as there is in art. It may not be a coincidence that some scientists turn to art in their retirement. I used to make stained glass and do darkroom photography in my spare time. Now I indulge my creative side by reading and pondering about where the new technologies would lead us. How did you get into pharmacy in the US? I was a student at Queen’s College on my way to try my luck at pursuing medicine at HKU. Instead my parents sent me to America after I finished Lower Form 6. Since an undergraduate degree was an admission requirement for medical school in the US, I selected pharmacy. During my second year in pharmacy school, my aptitude for organic chemistry caught the attention of my professor, who introduced me to the world of research. There was no turning back. You were also professor of ophthalmology at the University of Southern California. Could you tell us a little about drugs for the eyes? I led an NIH-funded research programme in optimizing ocular drug therapeutics for more than two decades. The eye is a perfect example of paradox. It is accessible, yet it does not allow more than 1% of the instilled dose to be absorbed. The remainder may find its way into the bloodstream, thereby posing a drug safety concern. This is especially relevant for children and seniors. As we age, the risk of developing age-related macular degeneration increases. Nevertheless, potent medicine is available but only by direct injection into the eye, either monthly or bimonthly, to slow down or halt the deterioration in vision. This is a risky procedure that probably is inconvenient to the patient. Clearly, a non-invasive way for administering vision-saving medicine into patients’ eyes is urgently needed. How would you like to see the school develop in terms of teaching, research and academic links? Currently, the teaching and administrative load of our teaching staff per capita is relatively high. In anticipation of the increase in staff with a rise in student quota, the school should seize this opportunity to raise its research profile. It should be so bold as to champion the cause of establishing a regional clinical trial centre for Asia, akin to the NIH Clinical Center. We cannot do this alone. We must engage our network of sister institutions. I like to see our school continue its leadership role in improving the standard of pharmacy practice, and, in turn, health care, in Hong Kong. Our Master of Clinical Pharmacy Programme has been very successful. Our brand-new Master of Science Programme in Pharmaceutical Manufacturing and Quality has the capacity of lifting the quality standard of pharmaceuticals manufactured in Hong Kong. Does being an expert in pharmaceuticals make you particularly sensitive to how people use prescription drugs? There’s a silent epidemic of prescription drug misuse or abuse worldwide. Our over-burdened health care system has tried to cope with the avalanche of patients by providing those with chronic diseases lots of pills for as long as three to four months. This is a recipe for adverse drug events. As a beneficiary of the Hong Kong health care system by way of my Parkinson’s disease, I can pinpoint the gaps in drug safety that pharmacists are most qualified to fill. You designed the logo of the School of Pharmacy. Tell us about it. Pharmacy is a science-based profession. The logo captures this theme, which drives the translation of scientific advances into safe, efficacious, and affordable medicine. The blue ribbon represents the school, the green its students, staff and alumni. Together the two arms trace out the shape of a double helix, which happens to be the mathematical symbol for infinity. Prof. Vincent H.L. Lee Director, School of Pharmacy 李汉良教授 药剂学院院长

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