Professor Jun Yu receives China’s most prestigious honour in the field of engineering science and technology

Professor Jun Yu, Choh-Ming Li Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics and Assistant Dean of CUHK’s Faculty of Medicine received the 14th Guanghua Engineering Science and Technology Award from the Chinese Academy of Engineering for her distinguished achievements in and contribution to gastrointestinal cancer studies. The biennial award is regarded as the most prestigious award in Chinese engineering science and technology and engineering management.

Professor Yu is an expert in gastroenterology research. She joined the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics at CU Medicine in 2005, and is currently the Directors of the Institute of Digestive Disease, the State Key Laboratory of Digestive Disease and the Research Laboratory of the Institute of Digestive Disease. Over the years, she has been responsible for new findings regarding gastrointestinal cancers in relation to the genomic and epigenomic molecular mechanisms, and gut microbiota, as well as basic and translational research in cancer biomarkers and cancer therapy.

Professor Yu said, ‘I am very honoured to receive this prestigious award from the Chinese Academy of Engineering, which is a demonstration of the country’s recognition of Hong Kong researchers. Gastric, colon and liver cancers are of high prevalence and are common cancer killers. I have been committed to research into tumours in the digestive system and am devoted to translating the research findings into clinical application. Doing scientific research is a never-ending journey and the Guanghua Engineering Science and Technology Award is just the start of it. I plan to use the award money to promote academic exchange at home and abroad.’

Professor Yu’s research has far-reaching implications for understanding the pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of gastric cancer, colon cancer and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. In recognition of her work, Professor Yu has received numerous honours and awards including the Croucher Senior Research Fellowship in 2016; the American Gastroenterology Association Council Oncology Research Mentor Award, which she was the first Asian and first woman outside the US to receive; and the WuXi PharmaTech Life Science and Chemistry Award in 2017.

In 2019, she was the only Chinese person to be on the Top 10 People in Global Gut Microbiome Research. In 2021, she received the Chinese Medical Women Association (CMWA) Wuzhou Women Science & Technology Award – Research Innovation Award for Preclinical Medicine. On top of these, Professor Yu has also received plenty of national awards since 2012, including The State Natural Science Award (2016, 2020); The State Science and Technological Progress Award (2012); The State Science and Technological Progress Award (Natural Science and Innovation Team) (2016); and three first-class awards from the Ministry of Education. To date, Professor Yu has more than 500 peer-reviewed publications (178 papers IF>10, 86 papers IF>20).

The Guanghua Engineering Science and Technology Award has been presented to Chinese engineering science and technology experts, and scientists every two years since 1996 to commend their important contributions and outstanding achievements in the fields of engineering science and technology and engineering management. The jury composed of people from nine professional fields in the Chinese Academy of Engineering from mainland China and members from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan selected 39 awardees from 340 nominees this year.

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