Keynote Speakers & Honorary Speakers

(By last name in alphabetical order)

Dr David Chung

Dr David Chung Wai-keung JP (Chinese: 鍾偉強) is currently the Under Secretary for Innovation and Technology of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region since 1 March 2016. Prior to appointed to the position, Dr Chung worked as Chief Technology Officer (2011 - 2016) and Head of IT Office (2008 – 2010) at Hong Kong Cyberport Management Company Limited. He was also a winner of the “China Top 5 CIO Award” in 2013. Dr Chung holds a Bachelor of Science (Engineering) in Computer Science from Imperial College London, a Postgraduate Diploma in Business Management from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, a Master of Business Administration from the Open University of Hong Kong and a Doctorate in Engineering Management from City University of Hong Kong.
Professor Peretz Lavie

President Peretz Lavie received his formal training in Sleep research and Sleep medicine at the University of Florida and at the University of California San Diego, and was a visiting professor at Harvard University in Boston. In 1975 he joined the Faculty of Medicine at the Technion – Israel Institute of Technology, where he founded the Sleep Research Laboratory and the Center for Sleep Medicine. He was the Dean of Medicine (1993-1999) and Vice President for Resource Development and External Relations (2001-2008) and in 2009 was elected for a 4-year term as the President of the Technion and in 2013 was re-elected for 4 more years. Professor Peretz Lavie is considered one of the founders of sleep medicine. He published more than 400 scientific articles and eight books in the field of sleep research and sleep disorders. His book “The Enchanted World of Sleep” has been translated into 15 languages. His research has won many prizes, including the Elkeles Prize from the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael for the best medical scientist (2001), the University of Pisa Sleep Award to Best Sleep Researcher in Europe (2004), the American Society of Sleep Research William Gruen Prize for innovative research (2006), and the EMET prize in medicine (2006), the most prestigious prize for academic achievements in Israel. He was the founder and co-founder of 5 companies that develop and produce medical devices for sleep medicine and cardiology and provide diagnostic services.
Professor Dennis Lo

Dennis Lo is the Director of the Li Ka Shing Institute of Health Sciences, the Li Ka Shing Professor of Medicine and Professor of Chemical Pathology of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He is also the Associate Dean (Research) of the Faculty of Medicine of CUHK. Dennis Lo received his Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Cambridge and the Doctor of Medicine and Doctor of Philosophy degrees from the University of Oxford.

Following his training at Oxford, he was appointed as the University Lecturer in Clinical Biochemistry and Honorary Consultant Chemical Pathologist at the John Radcliffe Hospital, the teaching hospital of the University of Oxford Clinical School. He was also a Fellow at Green College, Oxford.

Dennis Lo returned to Hong Kong in 1997. In the same year, he discovered the presence of fetal DNA in maternal plasma. His group has since remained at the forefront of this field. His group was the first to report the presence of cell-free fetal RNA and fetal epigenetic markers in maternal plasma and pioneered the use of such markers for noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. Dennis Lo and his colleagues were also the first to show that cell-free fetal nucleic acids in maternal plasma could be used for the noninvasive prenatal diagnosis of fetal trisomy 21 and had devised multiple solutions for this hitherto difficult diagnostic problem, including methods based on plasma RNA-SNP allelic ratios, plasma epigenetic markers, digital PCR and massively parallel DNA sequencing. With the use of massively parallel sequencing and the development of novel bioinformatics strategies, Dennis Lo's group succeeded at deciphering a genome-wide genetic map of the fetus through the analysis of the small amounts of fragmented DNA floating in the blood of pregnant women. This scientific achievement lays the foundation for developing non-invasive prenatal diagnostic tests for multiple genetic diseases in a non-invasive way.
In the area of cancer detection, Dennis Lo has pioneered a number of approaches to cancer liquid biopsy, especially for the detection of nasopharyngeal carcinoma and genomewide approaches for screening multiple types of cancer.

In recognition of his work, Dennis Lo has been the recipient of numerous awards, including the King Faisal International Prize in Medicine in 2014 and the Future Science Prize - Life Science Prize in 2016. He was elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2011, as a Foreign Associate of the US National Academy of Sciences in 2013 and as a Founding Member of the Academy of Sciences of Hong Kong in 2015.
Professor Harvey Lodish

Dr Lodish received his A.B. degree Summa Cum Laude in Chemistry and Mathematics from Kenyon College in 1962 and his Ph.D. degree in genetics from the Rockefeller University in 1966. Following two years of postdoctoral research at the M.R.C. Laboratory of Molecular Biology with Drs. Sydney Brenner and Francis Crick, he joined the faculty of the MIT Department of Biology. He was promoted to Professor in 1976, and in 1983 was appointed Founding Member of the new Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research. In 1999 he also became Professor of Biological Engineering in the new MIT Department of Biological Engineering. He was elected a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1986, a member of the National Academy of Sciences in 1987, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1999. He is a member of the Board of Trustees of Boston Children's Hospital, where he chairs the Board Research Committee. He is also the lead author of the textbook Molecular Cell Biology; the seventh edition was published in April 2012. During the 2004 calendar year he served as President of the American Society for Cell Biology. Dr. Lodish was a founder and scientific advisory board member of several biotech companies including Genzyme, Inc. and Millennium Pharmaceuticals. Since 2007 he has been the Founding Chair of the Scientific Advisory Board of the Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, the group charged with oversight of the state's 10- year $1 billion investment in the life sciences. Over 170 MD, PhD, and MD/PhD students and fellows have trained in his laboratory; two of his trainees have received the Nobel Prize and six have been elected to the US National Academy of Sciences or the Institutes of Medicine.
Professor Wei Shyy

Professor Wei Shyy assumed the presidency of HKUST on 1 September 2018.He first joined HKUST in August 2010 as Provost and Chair Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering.

Prior to joining HKUST, Professor Shyy was Clarence L. “Kelly” Johnson Collegiate Professor and Chairman of the Department of Aerospace Engineering of the University of Michigan.

Professor Shyy obtained his BS degree from Tsing-Hua University, Taiwan, and his MSE and PhD degrees in Aerospace Engineering from University of Michigan. Professor Shyy has supervised and hosted many PhD students as well as postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars.
He is the author or a co-author of five books and numerous journal and conference articles dealing with computational and modeling techniques involving fluid flow and its associated design optimization issues, biological and low Reynolds number aerodynamics, energy and propulsion, and a broad range of topics related to aerial and space flight vehicles. He was the Principal Investigator of several multi-institutional research projects, funded by the US government and industries, on future space transport, bio-inspired flight, and computational aeronautical science. He is General Editor of the Cambridge Aerospace Book Series published by the Cambridge University Press, Co-Editor-in Chief of Encyclopedia of Aerospace Engineering, a major reference work published by Wiley-Blackwell.

Professor Shyy is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). He has received awards for his research and professional contributions, including the AIAA 2003 Pendray Aerospace Literature Award, the ASME 2005 Heat Transfer Memorial Award, and the Engineers’ Council (Sherman Oaks, CA) 2009 Distinguished Educator Award. As an alumnus, his accomplishments were also recognized by Tsing-Hua University, Taiwan and the University of Michigan. His professional views have been quoted in various news media, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Associated Press, the USA Today, the Christian Science Monitor, the New Scientist, the US News & World Report, and SCMP.

As an academic leader, Professor Shyy has consistently advocated broadening educational scope and approach, advancing research and knowledge transfer to help address global challenges. He is committed to promoting university’s societal engagement and independent, entrepreneurial spirit. He has also led efforts in fostering diverse and inclusive campus cultures to better reflect and support the university’s overall mission. Motivated by his appreciation of the intrinsic beauty of natural flyers, Professor Shyy is an avid bird photographer. Some of his photos are compiled in an eBook, entitled "Flight InSight".
Dr Tieniu Tan

Dr Tieniu Tan received MSc and PhD degrees in electronic engineering from Imperial College London, U.K in 1986 and 1989 respectively, and received BSc degree in electronic engineering from Xi'an Jiaotong University, China in 1986. He joined the Department of Computer Science, The University of Reading, UK, in 1989, where he worked as a Research Fellow, Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer. He returned to China in 1998 to join the National Laboratory of Pattern Recognition (NLPR), CAS Institute of Automation as a full professor. He was the Director General of the Institute from 2000-2007, Director of the NLPR from 1998-2013, Deputy Secretary-General of the Chinese Academy of Sciences from 2007-2015 and Vice President of the Chinese Academy of Sciences from 2015-2016. He is currently Deputy Director of Liaison Office of the Central People's Government in the Hong Kong S.A.R and the director of NLPR.

Dr Tan is a Member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (2013), and was elected International Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, UK and Fellow of The World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) in 2014. He is also the Corresponding Member of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences (2016), and Fellow of the IEEE (2004) and IAPR (International Association for Pattern Recognition; 2006). He has been honored as one of the Top Ten Distinguished Young Scholars of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and awarded Chinese Academy of Sciences-Pacific Century Group Distinguished Young Scholars, China Youth Five Four Medal, State Natural Science Award (2004), State Technological Invention Award (2005) and State Scientific and Technological Progress Award (2011).

He has published 14 edited books or monographs and more than 600 research papers in refereed international journals and conferences in the areas of image processing, computer vision and pattern recognition. He holds more than 100 patents. His current research interests include biometrics and information content security.
Dr Raj Thampuran

Dr Raj. Thampuran is currently Special Advisor to A*STAR. He joined A*STAR in 2000 as Head of the Technology Planning Unit. In that portfolio he was involved in the planning and establishment of the framework for Research Councils. From 2002, he held portfolios as Deputy Director of the Electronics, Engineering and Chemicals clusters at various periods. In these capacities, he helped plan, manage and support the capability development efforts of public sector performers in areas identified for technological growth. Concurrently, he managed extramural programmes; developing initiatives and various schemes to support R&D that involves the universities and other institutions of higher learning. Many these schemes continue to support the R&D efforts of the universities today.

He rose to the position of Director in 2004 and was involved in policy and planning matters for the Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC), and the formation of the graduate affairs department looking after the scholarship initiatives for the Council.

In 2006, he was concurrently appointed as Executive Director of the Institute of High Performance Computing, a research organisation of over 200 staff and one of 14 Research Institutes supported by A*STAR, where he spearheaded its R&D portfolio and industry development efforts until June 2010. He was also appointed as Director of Planning and Policy Department of A*STAR in 2008 to help spearhead the efforts to develop the science and technology research blueprint for the Science and Technology 2015 Plan. In this capacity, he was deeply involved in interactions with policy makers and Ministry officials to establish A*STAR’s contributions to the National R&D Framework. He was co-opted to be in the secretariat team of the Economic Strategies Committee, established in 2009, where he helped to develop the findings and recommendations of the panel on Knowledge Capital.

In April 2010, he was appointed as Deputy Executive Director of SERC which was followed, in October 2010, by appointment as Executive Director. He was concurrently appointed as Managing Director of A*STAR in July 2012 and held this position until 2019.

Dr Raj. Thampuran studied in Singapore, UK and the USA, and is a Mechanical Engineer by training with a PhD in Materials Science. He did his postdoctoral work in modelling and simulation and attended the Advanced Management Programme in INSEAD (Fontainebleau). He was a recipient of the National Academic Award in 1998, the Public Administration Medal (Bronze) in 2007 and the Public Administration Medal (Silver) in 2016. He has been appointed as an Adjunct Professor by the Nanyang Technological University (Singapore) in April 2013, and an Adjunct Professor in the Dean’s Office, Faculty of Engineering at the National University of Singapore since December 2013. Dr. Thampuran is married with two children and is an inveterate reader of non-fiction.
Professor Rocky S. Tuan

Professor Rocky S. Tuan assumed office as the eighth Vice-Chancellor and President of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on 1 January 2018. Born and raised in Hong Kong, he pursued further studies in the United States and received his PhD in Life Sciences in 1977 from the Rockefeller University in New York. He is concurrently Lee Quo Wei and Lee Yick Hoi Lun Professor of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at CUHK.

Prior to joining CUHK in 2016 as a Distinguished Visiting Professor and the Founding Director of the Institute for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Professor Tuan was Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) School of Medicine, where he served from 2009 as the Founding Director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering, and as Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. Chair Professor of Sports Medicine and Executive Vice-Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, with a joint appointment as Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. In 2012, Professor Tuan was appointed by Pitt as Associate Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Founding Director of the Center for Military Medicine Research. Beginning in 2010, he has served as Co-Director of the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, a US Department of Defense funded, national, multi-institutional consortium focusing on developing translational regenerative therapies for battlefield injuries.

Professor Tuan began his academic career in 1980 in the Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In 1988, Professor Tuan joined Thomas Jefferson University (Jefferson), Philadelphia, to be the Director of Orthopaedic Research and Professor and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery with a joint professorial appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. From 1992 to 1995, Professor Tuan was the Academic Director of the MD/PhD programme at Jefferson, and in 1997, he established at Jefferson the first Cell and Tissue Engineering PhD programme in the U.S.A., with the mission of training the next generation of "cross-cultural" biomedical scientists committed to regenerative medicine and the development of functional tissue substitutes. In 2001, Professor Tuan was recruited by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Arthritis, and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), as Chief of the newly created Cartilage Biology and Orthopaedics Branch.

Professor Tuan is an internationally renowned biomedical scientist specializing in musculoskeletal biology and tissue regeneration, whose work covers both basic science and engineering, as well as translational and clinical applications. His research accomplishments are in the areas of cell and developmental biology, stem cells, biomaterials, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, 3D printing, and tissue chip technologies. He directs a multidisciplinary research programme, focusing on the study of biological activities that are important for the development, growth, function, and health of musculoskeletal tissues, and the translation of this knowledge to develop technologies that will regenerate and/or restore functions to diseased and damaged tissues, particularly those related to trauma, injuries, and aging.

Professor Tuan's significant contributions have been recognized by the Coventry Award of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 1996, the Hap Paul Award of the International Society of Technologies in Arthroplasty in 1997, the Marshall Urist Award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration Research of the Orthopaedic Research Society in 2004, the Carnegie Science Award in Life Sciences, and the Clemson Award of the Society for Biomaterials in 2016. In 2017 and 2018, Professor Tuan was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and the Chinese Association of Inventions, respectively, for his accomplishments in innovation and translational research that bring significant impact on society.
Professor Xiang Zhang

Professor Xiang Zhang was appointed the 16th President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong (HKU) on December 15, 2017.
Prior to joining HKU, he was the inaugural Ernest S. Kuh Endowed Chair Professor at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Director of the Nano-scale Science and Engineering Center (SINAM). He has also served as the Director of Materials Science Division at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL).
Professor Zhang is an elected member of the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and of Academia Sinica, a foreign member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the American Physical Society (APS), the Optical Society of America (OSA), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the International Society of Optical Engineering (SPIE).

Professor Zhang received his PhD from UC Berkeley (1996), MS from the University of Minnesota and MS/BS from Nanjing University, China. He was an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University (1996-1999), and associate professor and full professor at UCLA (1999-2004) prior to joining Berkeley's faculty in 2004.

Professor Zhang's current research focuses on materials physics, metamaterials and nano-photonics. He has published over 340 journal papers including 70 publications in Science and Nature family series. He has given over 330 Keynote, Plenary and Invited talks at international conferences and institutions. He was a Co-Chair of the NSF Nano-scale Science and Engineering Annual Grantee Conferences in 2004 and 2005, and has served as Chair of the Academic Advisory Board for the Research Center for Applied Science (RCAS), Academia Sinica.
In 2008, Professor Zhang's research was selected by Time Magazine as one of the "Top Ten Scientific Discoveries of the Year" and "50 Best Inventions of the Year", Discover Magazine's "Top 100 Science Stories" in 2007, and R&D Magazine's top 25 Most Innovative Products of 2006. His research has been frequently featured in international media, including the BBC, CNN, ABC, New York Times, and Wall Street Journal.

Professor Zhang is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award (1997), the SME Dell K. Allen Outstanding Young Engineer Award(1998) and the ONR Young Investigator Award (1999). He was awarded the Chancellor's Professorship by UC Berkeley (2004-2009), named Rohsenow Lecturer at MIT (2009) and William Reynolds Lecturer at Stanford (2012), and in 2017, chosen for the Pearsall Distinguished Lecture at Duke, the Hall Engineering Lecture at Vanderbilt, and the Towers Distinguished Lecture at Michigan Tech. In 2011, he was awarded the Fred Kavli Distinguished Lectureship by the Materials Research Society (MRS), the Miller Professorship by UC Berkeley, and named Distinguished Visiting Scientist (DVS) by the University of Toronto. He was awarded the Fitzroy Medal in 2014, the Charles Russ Richards Memorial Award in 2015, the Max Born Award from the Optical Society of America in 2016, the Julius Springer Prize for Applied Physics in 2016, the Excellence Award in Scientific Leadership in 2016, and the A. C. Eringen Medal from the Society of Engineering Science in 2017.