02 Sep 2013
HKUST Research Teams Led by Prof Nancy Ip and Prof Benzhong Tang Awarded Major 973 Program Grants
Two research projects led by Prof Nancy Ip, Dean of Science, Director of State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience, The Morningside Professor of Life Science, and Prof Benzhong Tang, Stephen Kam Chuen Cheong Professor of Science at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) have been incorporated into the National Basic Research Program, better known as 973 Program, and awarded grants of over RMB 30 million respectively.

Animated by the strong national support given to HKUST research projects, President Prof Tony F Chan said, "HKUST has been achieving significant breakthroughs in research and innovation. As a core part of our strategic plan to strengthen our mainland presence, the University is proactive in driving collaborations with Mainland-based key research, academic institutes and enterprises. With their respective focuses on neurological development and disease mechanisms, polymer chemistry and advanced functional materials, Prof Ip and Prof Tang's research discoveries are concrete examples of first-rate international scholarship. The endorsement of 973 Program should give strong impetus for even greater research breakthroughs and amplify their coverage and influences. We are grateful for the recognition from the Ministry of Science and Technology through the 973 Program. Our research outcomes should play a major part in advancing the country's science and technology development."

The following summarizes the HKUST projects awarded for 973 Program:

"Elucidating the Molecular Mechanisms Underlying the Pathogenesis of Alzheimer's Disease" By Prof Nancy Ip, Dean of Science, Director of State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience and The Morningside Professor of Life Science

The research team aims to discover new signaling mechanisms underlying synapse development and plasticity, which are mediated by various families of proteins such as cell surface receptors, cell adhesion molecules, and synaptic scaffold proteins, and investigate whether abnormalities in these signaling pathways contribute to Alzheimer's disease. The team will also elucidate the molecular basis of neurodegeneration in Alzheimer's disease by identifying protein kinase substrates that are deregulated upon disease progression. Further, with the application of genomics and proteomics, the team also aims to identify new biomarkers and molecular targets using clinical samples from Alzheimer's disease patients. The research undertaken in this collaborative effort will advance our knowledge of Alzheimer's disease and facilitate the development of better diagnostic tools while providing novel insights for developing effective therapies for Alzheimer's disease.