Wing Tat Lee winners announced

)Boston)–Four faculty from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) are recipients of the 2019 Wing Tat Lee awards, funded to establish cooperative research programs between BUSM and Chinese universities, with particular emphasis on those in Hong Kong, while further deepening the friendship and mutual understanding between these institutions.

David H. Farb, PhD, professor and chair, department of pharmacology & experimental therapeutics and director of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Program in BioMolecular Pharmacology, will study alongside Yunlong Bai, PhD, professor of pharmacology and deputy dean of the College of Pharmacy at Harbin Medical University, to develop new technologies for the discovery of memory enhancers. This will be done through a brain-machine interface approach using silicon probes to record neural signals in the hippocampus of experimental models to probe mechanism of memory. Farb received his PhD from Brandeis University.

Zhen Y. Jian, PhD, associate professor of pharmacology, will study the role of neutrophil elastase, a protease uniquely produced in white blood cells neutrophils, in the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. The project will test the effect of inhibition of the protease on lipid metabolism and inflammation in the liver of diet-induced obese experimental models in collaboration with Chunhong Huang, PhD, at Nachang University School of Basic Medicine. Jiang received his PhD from University College London, UK.

Tat Fong Ng, PhD, director of the Ophthalmology Wet Lab and research assistant professor of ophthalmology, along with Liu Yang, MD, PhD, vice president of Peking University First Hospital and chair of ophthalmology, will co-organize an ophthalmology symposium in Beijing. The symposium will provide a venue for ophthalmologists and scientists to meet in person to exchange ideas and establish collaborations in both clinical and basic scientific research. In addition, visits to Peking University Third Hospital, Tongren Hospital of Capital Medical University and Peking Union Medical College Hospital will extend the collaboration of BUSM faculties to the major hospitals in Beijing. Ng received his PhD in anatomy from the University of Hong Kong.

Andrew W. Taylor, PhD, associate dean of research, professor of ophthalmology, with Ruibing Wang, PhD, assistant professor, Institute of Chinese Medical Sciences, University of Macao, will study topical applications of uniquely designed nanoparticles to deliver therapeutic drugs into the eye. Delivery of drugs into the eye must overcome several physical tissue barriers. Nanoparticle technology holds the possibility of crossing these barriers and delivering vision saving medications as drops applied to the surface of the eye. Demonstrating that nanoparticles can deliver drugs into the eye will help accelerate the translation of nanoparticles into clinical use for ocular diseases. Taylor received his PhD from The Ohio State University.

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