The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) received an HK$100 million donation from the Lo Kwee Seong Foundation in support of the University’s frontier research in life science, according to a press release.
The donation will not only allow HKUST to purchase a state-of-the-art cryo-electron microscope (cryo-EM) – a technology that has recently revolutionized the field of structural biology, it also helps the University establish an endowment fund named the “Lo Kwee-Seong Research Fund”. The fund will be used to nurture research talent.
In appreciation of the Foundation’s benevolent support, the University named the laboratory section of its Academic Building “Lo Kwee-Seong Building”, where the Cryo-EM machine will be housed.
A donation presentation ceremony was held today in gratitude for the generous donation made by the Foundation. Officiating guests included Dr. Peter LO Tak-shing, Chairman of Lo Kwee Seong Foundation; Mr. Winston LO Yau-lai, Ms. Myrna LO Mo-ching, Mrs. Irene CHAN Lo Mo-lin, and Ms. Yvonne LO Mo-ling, who are Trustees of Lo Kwee Seong Foundation; Mr. Andrew LIAO Cheung-Sing, Council Chairman of HKUST and Prof. Wei SHYY, HKUST President. Other senior management of the University also attended the ceremony.
The Foundation was pleased to be building a close partnership with HKUST – a leader in scientific research, according to leadership who also said that the university’s researchers will make good use of the new infrastructure, leading to breakthroughs and discoveries beneficial to mankind as a whole.
It was noted that the University’s first Lo Kwee Seong endowment fund seeks to promote international collaboration among researchers at graduate and postgraduate levels by enabling the university to continue to break new grounds by harnessing the power of technology.
The founder of the foundation started his business with the singular goal of making nutritious, tasty plant-based beverages that would lead to improvements in public health. With this vision and conviction, the company has worked tirelessly with different partners to foster nutrition knowledge and education in our communities.
Thus, the company and its related foundation were honoured to call HKUST, a leading university with global acclaim, to be a partner.
The inaugurating leaders expressed gratitude towards the founder’s creativity, perseverance and courage had inspired many which have led HKUST to strive to achieve a similar mission – to advance knowledge and assist in the economic and social development of Hong Kong with innovation, technology, and a can-do attitude.
With the gift, HKUST will be able to elevate the calibre of its research output and foster intellectual collaboration among Hong Kong and overseas researchers.
The partnership between the Foundation and HKUST began in 2001, and since then a lab and several scholarships have been established. Moreover, valuable equipment has been acquired to further our effort in frontier science research.
This donation was the most significant milestone to date in the University’s 17-year partnership. It will be used to establish many more multi-disciplinary, cross-institution collaborations and interactions to take place and result in many exciting scientific discoveries.
The fund will support HKUST in fostering research talent development by attracting overseas talents and encouraging local students to develop a research career through the granting of scholarships. Part of the fund will also be used to support interdisciplinary research exchanges through the hosting of international conferences at HKUST.
Meanwhile, the new cryo-EM machine is expected to commence service by early 2019. This powerful instrument allows scientists to study biological molecules and complex cellular processes in the highest resolution, which is fundamental for the understanding of the mechanism behind many diseases and disorders, as well as the development of new treatments.
An HKUST research team, for example, has recently made a ground-breaking discovery on DNA’s replication mechanism with this novel technology.