Professor Joseph J.Y. Sung received his MB BS degree from The University of Hong Kong in 1983, and was conferred a PhD in biomedical sciences by the University of Calgary in 1992, and a MD by CUHK in 1997. Professor Sung holds fellowships from the Royal Colleges of Physicians of Edinburgh, Glasgow, London, Thailand and from the American College of Gastroenterology, the Royal Australian College of Physicians, the American Gastroenterological Association, the Hong Kong College of Physicians and the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine. Professor Joseph J.Y. Sung is concurrently Mok Hing Yiu Professor of Medicine of CUHK, and an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Engineering of the People's Republic of China.
Professor Sung joined the Prince of Wales Hospital, CUHK’s teaching hospital, in 1985 as a Medical Officer. He later joined the Department of Medicine of CUHK as Lecturer in 1992, and was promoted to Professor of Medicine and Therapeutics in 1998. He was the Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics in 1999-2010, Associate Dean (Clinical) of the Faculty of Medicine in 2002-04 and Associate Dean (General Affairs) in 2004-09, and Head of Shaw College in 2008-10. Professor Sung was appointed Mok Hing Yiu Professor of Medicine in 2007 in recognition of his significant contributions to the prevention and early diagnosis of gastroenterology cancers.
As a renowned scientist in gastroenterology, Professor Sung’s research interests include intestinal bleeding, Helicobacter Pylori, peptic ulcer, hepatitis B, and colorectal cancer. Professor Sung and his team proved the relationship between H. pylori and peptic ulcer diseases. They were first in demonstrating that a course of antibiotics lasting a week can cure H. pylori infection and successfully treat peptic ulcers and minimize their relapse. At the same time, Professor Sung and his research team pioneered the use of endoscopic treatment for ulcer bleeding to reduce the need for operative surgery. These research results have a major impact on and have changed the practice of gastroenterology worldwide.
Professor Sung is a world leader in gastroenterological research. He led a group of experts from 15 Asia-Pacific countries to launch colorectal cancer screening research in 2004, and has laid down clear guidelines and promoted colorectal screenings in the region. Because of his work in cancer screening and prevention, Professor Sung was honoured by the Prevent Cancer Foundation of the United States with the Laurel Award in 2008.
Professor Sung has published over 680 full scientific articles in leading journals, including many in The New England Journal of Medicine and the Lancet, both top-notch journals in the field of clinical medicine. He has edited or authored more than 15 books, and also refereed for more than 32 prestigious journals.
His contributions to the advancement of medical sciences and academic development have been recognized with awards such as Outstanding Staff and Team Award (Hospital Authority, 1998), Eminent Scientist of the Year 2003 (The International Research Promotion Council, 2003), the Vice-Chancellor's Exemplary Teaching Award (CUHK, 2003), Silver Bauhinia Star (HKSAR Government, 2004), Cheung Kong Achievement Award (Ministry of Education, The People's Republic of China (PRC) and Li Ka Shing Foundation, 2006), The Most Outstanding Contribution Award (Clinical Therapeutics) (Food and Health Bureau, HKSAR Government, 2007), State Scientific and Technological Progress Award (Second-Class Award, National Office for Science and Technology Awards, PRC, 2008), and the Ho Leung Ho Lee Advancement Prize (The Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation, 2011). He is an Honorary Member of the American Society for Gastrointestinal Endoscopy. In 2009, his seminal lectures on peptic ulcer bleeding won him the Marshall and Warren Lecture Award, the most prestigious award in gastroenterology in the Asia-Pacific region. In the same year, he was also awarded the Endoscopy Award of the German Society of Gastroenterology.
In 2003, Professor Sung led his medical team to fight against SARS and was named “Asian Hero” by the Time magazine in recognition of his outstanding contributions. Underscoring his significant services to the Hong Kong community, Professor Sung was awarded, among others, the Distinguished Award for Fighting SARS (Medical Technology Personnel Category) by RTHK and Ming Pao and the Distinguished Leader Award 2003 (Community and Public Affairs Category) by the Sing Tao Group.