Newsletter No. 426

10 No. 426, 4.11.2013 高浩博士 内外全科医学士课程四年级 伦敦大学学院神经科学哲学博士 神经科学有什么吸引你? 纯粹出于好奇心。人脑是复杂的,让我们能够感知世界, 有思考和意志力。这些功能背后的物理基础和科学机理 到底是什么?科学家在这范畴的认知仍相当有限,我很 渴望知道当中奥秘。而神经科学特别之处,是它运用许 多量化的科学方法,如数学、物理等来研究生物医学,这 是我非常感兴趣的。 你先完成博士学位,然后才接受医科临床训练,历 程与本地医科生不大相同。为何有此决定? 这次序是参考美国普遍的医学与哲学博士课程,首两年 是临床前期,中段修读博士学位,最后两年为临床实习。 我想趁年纪尚轻发展解决问题的能力。医学院的教育 需要我们掌握许多知识,但这些知识是根据什么而得出 的?这正是科学探究的范畴。在医学院,我们没有时间兼 顾这方面,但我却很想学习科研方法,所以在修读医学 科学增插学士学位课程后,向医学院取了四年假期,攻 读博士学位,并进行了一年博士后研究。 可有考虑这样抉择的风险? 当时有许多人劝我说,念博士、做研究,没有一定成功 的。但我没想那么多,只要我坚持的便会去实践。把目标 定得高,自然要冒险。抵达英国后,我与导师商议研究题 目,没有人知道会否成功,但导师是一位很有雄心的人, 我亦是,都渴望在科学领域里接受更多挑战。 这样一路走来,最大的收获是什么? 我增广了见识,学到不要为科研设下界线。当地政府、院 校和实验室都愿意为重大的研究课题投资。只要发掘到 重要和有趣的科研问题,即使缺乏相关技术,亦不会构 成障碍,他们会自行开发所需的新技术。如果将来我有自 己的实验室,我也会效法。另一令我印象深刻的是彼邦 的人才。我加入的实验室最初只有四人,其中一位是肿瘤 科医生,但他也是电脑程式高手。我亦遇到两位分别修 读机械工程和土木工程的同事,因为对大脑研究感兴趣 而转科,他们把工程学的方法套用于神经科学,并发扬 光大。当地科研人员以兴趣为先,不会被个人能力或现有 知识框架所局限,因此,他们的跨学科研究特别多。 你很崇拜何大一博士,有什么原因吗? 1996年,何大一教授当选《时代杂志》封面人物,表彰 他在研究爱滋病病毒复制和感染机制的工作,以及他所 提出的鸡尾酒疗法的成效。我那时刚移居香港,读小学 三年级,在新环境里我需要一个偶像,一个奋斗目标或方 向。我从新闻见到他,很渴望长大后也有所成就。因此, 我从小立志,我的事业要对社会有贡献和承担。 将来有何计划? 先完成临床学习,尽力学得好一些,对未来的病人负责。 我会与其他教授保持合作关系,参与研究和出席学术会 议,令自己不会和科研脱节。到完成实习后,除了行医, 我亦希望建立自己的实验室,继续脑神经的研究。 Dr. Ko Ho MB ChB, Year 4 PhD in Neuroscience, University College London What attracted you to neuroscience? I chose it primarily out of curiosity. The brain is a complex organ. It enables us to perceive, think and to have will power. But what are the physical basis and scientific mechanisms that support the brain’s function? Scientists know very little. I wanted to unlock these secrets. The study of neuroscience is special because it uses many quantitative approaches in mathematics and physics to analyse biomedical issues, and I was keenly interested in applying these methods. You finished doctoral studies before undertaking clinical training, unlike most local medical students. Why? I reprioritized my studies using as reference the Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy (MD PhD) programme in the US in which students would spend two years in pre-clinical studies before pursuing a doctorate, and then receive clinical training in the last two years. I wished to model my studies on the programme to develop my problem-solving skills at a younger age. Medical school requires students to be knowledgeable. But little attention is paid to the origin of medical doctrines. They are, in fact, derived from scientific research. As an undergraduate student, I didn’t have time to explore that. But I was eager to find out what’s in the scientific research. So, after I finished the Intercalated Degree Programme in Medical Sciences degree, I applied for leave for four years from the Faculty of Medicine. I studied for a PhD and completed one-year post-doctorate research training. Were you aware of the underlying risks of your decision? I was often told that there’s no guarantee of success in research and PhD studies. But I didn’t worry that much. I am a persistent person and I’ll strive to realize what I want. We need to bear the risks if we aim high. After I arrived in the UK, I discussed my research topic with my supervisor. No one knows if it was feasible, or what it would lead to. My supervisor was a very ambitious person, and so was I. We both long to be challenged. What was the greatest reward of your decision? My horizons were broadened, and I learned that we mustn’t create boundaries in scientific research. In the UK, government departments, educational institutions and laboratories are willing to invest in research that is significant. If the topic is important and interesting, they’ll develop new technologies tailored for it even if they lack the necessary technology for conducting experiments. I would do the same if I had my own lab one day. Another thing that impressed me was the talent. When I joined my supervisor’s lab, there were only four members. One was an oncologist with superb computer programming skills. The other two colleagues were former mechanical engineering and civil engineering students who changed their specializations due to their immense interest in the human brain. They applied engineering methods on neuroscience research and got encouraging results. In the eyes of UK researchers, interest ranks first. Inadequacy in one’s ability and lack of knowledge won’t hinder them. Hence they have a lot of inter-disciplinary research projects. You are a fan of Dr. David Ho. Why? Dr. David Ho was TIME ‘Man of the Year’ in 1996. His efforts at investigating the mechanisms of HIV replication and transmission, and his invention of ‘cocktail therapy’ were lauded worldwide. I moved to Hong Kong in the same year. As a Primary 3 student in a new environment, I needed an icon, a purpose in life, and a clear object to guide myself. I came across his name on TV and in the newspapers, and I too wanted to be successful just like him. I made up my mind to pursue a career that would allow me to contribute to society. What are your future plans? The first task is to complete my clinical training. I must learn well since I’ll need to take care of my patients in future. I’ll keep in contact with professors, take part in lab work and attend academic conferences to keep up with advancement in research. After I complete my houseman training, I wish to start my own lab and continue my neuroscience research.

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