Dr Zhang Ge, Associate Director of the Teaching Division and Deputy Director of the Institute for Advancing Translational Medicine in Bone and Joint Diseases of the School of Chinese Medicine (SCM), won the 2nd Class Award in National Science and Technology Progress under the 2013 Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards (Science and Technology) conferred by the Ministry of Education for his contribution to a joint project entitled “Modernisation Research and Application of Anti-osteoporosis TCM Drugs”.
The award-winning project, a collaborative project between Dr Zhang and his team together with his counterparts at The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Jinan University, was the first multi-centre randomised clinical trial for anti-osteoporosis TCM herbs in the world. The result of the project has been published in the prestigious orthopaedic journal Journal of Bone and Miner Research.
Dr Zhang has been engaged in the selection of suitable TCM herbs for clinical trials for the purpose of developing novel anti-osteoporosis drugs from TCM herbs. As the Chinese medicinal plant Epimedium brevicornum maxim is rich in phytoestrogen flavonoids, Dr Zhang supervised a project on investigating the beneficial effects of Epimedium-derived phytoestrogen flavonoids (EPF) in the prevention of bone loss in postmenopausal women. A total of 100 women who have been undergoing menopause for 10 to 18 years were randomised into an EPF treatment group and a placebo control group for a 24-month clinical study. The results revealed that EPF had substantially decreased the loss of bone density in postmenopausal women in the treatment group.
Dr Zhang said that osteoporosis is one of the common problems for postmenopausal women who are prone to accelerated bone loss due to the acute lowering of estrogen levels. He explained that since estrogen replacement therapy to prevent osteoporosis remains controversial, the HKBU research team is dedicated to developing new drugs from herbs and natural resources which, he believes, is a major trend for future drug discovery.
Dr Zhang Ge wins the 2nd Class Award in National Science and Technology Progress for his joint research project on osteoporosis prevention