CityU to award five leaders with honorary doctoral degrees

Craig Francis

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City University of Hong Kong (CityU) will confer honorary doctoral degrees on Dr Simon Ip Sik-on, Professor Justin Lin Yifu, Professor Susumu Tonegawa, Professor Wong Chi-huey and Professor Zhang Jie in recognition of their significant contribution to education and the well-being of society. The award ceremony will be held in November 2009 during the University’s Congregation.


Dr Simon Ip, solicitor, Notary Public and former Chairman and Senior Partner of Johnson Stokes & Master (now Mayer Brown JSM), will receive an Honorary Doctor of Laws. Dr Ip has been a staunch supporter of legal education in Hong Kong and mainland China in his capacity as Honorary Lecturer in the Department of Professional Legal Education of the University of Hong Kong, Honorary Research Fellow of the Faculty of Law of Tsinghua University and Co-Chairman of the International Advisory Board of the School of Law of CityU. Dr Ip’s tireless contribution to society is also reflected in his membership of the Advisory Committee on Post-Service Employment of Civil Servants, Exchange Fund Advisory Committee and AIDS Foundation Advisory Board. He is a member of the Board of Stewards of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, President of Hong Kong Equestrian Federation and served as a Legislative Councillor (1991-1995) and was President of the Law Society of Hong Kong (1987-1989).


Professor Justin Lin will receive an Honorary Doctor of Social Science. Professor Lin is the World Bank’s Chief Economist and Senior Vice President. Among his many public roles in China, Professor Lin has served as a deputy of the National People’s Congress and Vice Chairman of the All-China Federation of Industry and Commerce. He has also served on several national and international committees, leading groups and councils on development policy, technology and environment, including the United Nations Millennium Project Task Force on Hunger, the Eminent Persons Group of the Asian Development Bank and the National Committee on United States-China Relations. His expertise has earned him many coveted awards, including the highest honour for economists in China, the Sun Yefang Prize, in 1993 and 2001.


Japanese scientist and Nobel Prize winner Professor Susumu Tonegawa will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science. The 1987 recipient of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine earned the award for his discovery of the genetic principle for generation of antibody diversity. Although he won the Nobel Prize for his work in immunology, Professor Tonegawa is a molecular biologist by training who has turned his attention to the molecular and cellular basis of memory formation. He has worked at the Basel Institute for Immunology in Basel, Switzerland, where he performed his landmark immunology experiments. At the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he founded and directed what is now called the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory. He has been awarded the Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize from Columbia University, is a member of the Scientific Board of Governors at The Scripps Research Institute and is currently Director of the RIKEN-MIT Centre for Neural Circuit Genetics at MIT.


Professor Wong Chi-huey will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science. Professor Wong’s impressive scientific credentials are evident in his ascension to President of the Academia Sinica, Taiwan. He is author or co-author of more than 600 publications, 60 patents and four books, all related to enzyme catalysis and chemical biology. His pioneering work on programmable chemical and enzymatic synthesis of complex carbohydrates has provided a powerful platform to tackle important problems in the immune system, bacterial and viral infections, and cancer metastasis and has demonstrated its significance in drug discovery. Professor Wong is a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences and has claimed many prestigious awards, including this year’s Taiwan National Science Council Science Professional Gold Medal.


Physicist Professor Zhang Jie will receive an Honorary Doctor of Science. The president of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, an expert in x-ray lasers, high field and laser-plasma physics, was elected as an Academician of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 2003, Member of German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina in 2007 and Fellow of Third World Academy of Sciences (TWAS) last year. Professor Zhang has claimed a litany of prestigious awards, including the 2007 TWAS Prize in Physics, CAS 2007 Outstanding Science and Technology Achievement Prize and the Chinese State Council’s Natural Sciences Prize in 2006. Before taking helm of Shanghai Jiao Tong University, he was Director General of the Bureau of Basic Sciences, CAS (2003-2006), Deputy Director of the Institute of Physics, CAS (1998-2003), and Director of the Laboratory of Optical Physics, CAS (2003-2009).


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