Area of Excellence
Chinese Medicine Research and Further Development
Professor Ping-Chung Leung
University Grants Committee – Areas of Excellence Scheme
HKUST, PolyU, CityU
In 2001, the project “Chinese Medicine Research and Further Development”, led by the Institute of Chinese Medicine of CUHK, was selected as an “Area of Excellence” by the University Grants Committee (UGC) and was awarded HK$25 million for research and development. This is a 5-year project targeting at areas where western medicine has no optimal solution, including viral infection, chronic disorder, degenerative disease, allergy and preventive therapy.
In 2007, the UGC has awarded a sustained funding for 3 years to the project for further development. Two priority projects on “diabetic foot ulcer” and “cardiovascular tonic” are to be further studied.
Researches on Chinese medicine as the alternative remedies complementary to conventional modern medicine have drawn increasing attention. Reports on anecdotal observations or pure laboratory-based studies on Chinese medicines are numerous.However, none of the studies has attempted to integrate the laboratory and clinical investigation of Chinese medicine. Example on objective evaluation of the therapeutical application of Chinese medicine remains lacking. To develop the Chinese medicine which is complex in nature into a modern science and art of healing, and to bring Chinese medicine into the international market, a comprehensive efficacy driven approach aiming at safety, quality control and objective proof of efficacy is necessary.
A unique three-prong efficacy-driven approach is adopted for the research on Chinese medicine as the alternative adjuvant remedies to difficult areas in clinical practice. The unique approach emphasizes on the objective clinical proof of efficacy, while in parallel, understanding the mechanisms of action, quality control and safe applications. A vast inter-institutional collaboration is thus established with the participation of clinicians, biologists, biochemists, pharmacologists, pharmacists and chemists. The project features the integration of laboratory investigation and evidence-based clinical trial leading to a remarkable example of an objective evaluation of the therapeutical application of the Chinese medicine.