SCM scholars clinch five awards at Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions

23 April 2024

The innovative research projects of SCM scholars shone at the 49th Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions held from 17 to 21 April, clinching a total of five awards including two Silver Medals and three Bronze Medals. The encouraging results exemplify the international recognition of Chinese medicine-related research and scientific achievements of SCM.

The award-winning research projects included:

Silver Medal

“MTOR-independent activator of TFEB for autophagy enhancement and uses thereof”  by Professor Li Min, Executive Associate Dean of Chinese Medicine and Ma Pak Leung Endowed Professor in Innovative Neuromedicine

The research team discovered a composition comprising an autophagy enhancement compound and small molecules. By activating a specific gene called TFEB, this composition promotes autophagy and the creation of lysosomes that helps prevent the accumulation of toxic protein aggregates associated with neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and Huntington’s diseases. The compound has a simple chemical structure which directly binds to and activates TFEB without inhibiting the MTOR signalling pathway, which reduces the potential complications associated with MTOR inhibition.

“Quality control marker for use in authentication of edible bird’s nest” by Professor Simon Han Quanbin, Professor of Teaching and Research Division (CMTR)

The research team has developed a series of peptide markers in the hydrolysates of the edible bird’s nest (EBN). This method not only enables qualitative and quantitative authentication of EBN and its related products, but also provides a unique capability to differentiate between white EBN, which is more commonly used, and the less expensive grass EBN materials. This breakthrough significantly contributes to the overall authentication process, ensuring the genuineness of EBN in the market.

Bronze Medal

“Health products for anti-fibrosis” by Professor Zhang Hongjie, Associate Dean (Teaching and Learning) of Chinese Medicine and Director of CMTR

The research team has studied compounds called dihydro-resveratrol (DR2)-type stilbenoids as anti-fibrotic agents. These compounds show prospects in managing health conditions related to fibrosis, such as pulmonary fibrosis, liver cirrhosis, and skin aging, and have the potential to alleviate lung injury caused by acute pancreatitis, protecting the structure of the lungs in such cases. Additionally, DR2-type stilbenoids have a promising role in addressing organ damage caused by activated stellate cells, which is crucial in the initiation of fibrosis upon activation.

“Tongue HealthChecker - method, device and computer system for tongue imaging” by Dr. Zhang Shiping, Associate Professor CMTR

The research team’s objective is to integrate traditional Chinese medicine diagnostic methods with modern technology, providing individuals with the ability to monitor their own health status conveniently. The mobile app allows users to capture images of their tongue coating and send them to a server for analysis and remote evaluation of their tongue condition, from a Chinese medicine perspective. This app serves as a valuable self-monitoring tool, empowering users to potentially prevent or detect illnesses at an early stage.

 “Diagnostic kits and prebiotics products for irritable bowel syndrome and metabolic syndrome” by Dr. Zhai Lixiang, Assistant Professor of Centre for Chinese Herbal Medicine Drug Development

The gut microbiota-based diagnostic kits for diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and metabolic syndrome can help to identify potential risks of metabolic diseases including insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes. The research team has developed prebiotics formulated with Chinese medicine to support the growth of beneficial gut bacteria and regulate imbalances in the gut. This is particularly beneficial for individuals with IBS and metabolic syndrome.

SCM scholars are committed to conducting impactful research and translating research outcomes into practical applications for the improvement of human well-being. The School extends our heartfelt congratulations to the five SCM awardees and to the other four awardees from HKBU.

Please click here for more details.

20240420_P1 20240420_P1

SCM scholars clinch five awards at Geneva International Exhibition of Inventions