CityU co-organises cross-border forum with French institutions to explore the “One Health” concept
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City University of Hong Kong (CityU), Campus France Hong Kong, and the Consulate General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, along with three leading French higher-education institutions, namely ISC Paris; Nantes-Atlantic National College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering; Centrale Nantes; and biotech company, InvivoGen, jointly organised a cross-border online event, titled One Health @ CityU x France, bringing together professionals from various areas of expertise to discuss biotechnology and the contribution of veterinary medicine and engineering to the “One Health” approach in two panel discussions.
The event, which was held on 17 September, was attended by more than 250 world-class scholars, and current and prospective students from universities and other educational institutions from over 27 countries or regions.
In his opening remarks, Professor Way Kuo, CityU President, mentioned that the concept of One Health is the new interpretation of the traditional Chinese wisdom of "the unity of man and the universe". In the age of globalisation, the world increasingly recognises the complex and close interconnections between humans, animals and the environment and that to best protect ourselves from disease outbreaks, it is imperative for experts and scholars to coordinate future initiatives using the One Health approach.
CityU was the first university in Hong Kong to introduce and practice the concept of One Health and is committed to promoting and engaging in related interdisciplinary teaching and research activities to promote the health of humans, animals and the environment. “CityU took the lead to establish the Jockey Club College of Veterinary Medicine and Life Sciences, with the aim of realising the concept of One Health to promote sustainable development and research on the coexistence of humans, animals and the environment,” said President Kuo.
Mr Alexandre Giorgini, Consul General of France in Hong Kong and Macau, said that the event built upon the longstanding relationship between CityU and France. Since 2005, 30 France-Hong Kong Distinguished Lectures by eminent French scientists and Nobel laureates have been organised, in addition to 30 academic exchanges between CityU and France. Mr Giorgini was one of the guest speakers in the University’s Dialogue Series with Consuls General in November 2020.
The participants in the panel discussion on the topic The Potential of Biotechnology in Tackling Global Challenges were:
- Dr Sean Yuan Hsiang-Yu, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, CityU;
- Dr Christian-Eric Mauffré, CEO of Ceido, Head of MSc Health Industry Management Representative at ISC Paris; and
- Dr Li Xiaobing, Chief Business Officer, InvivoGen.
The moderator was Dr Rebecca Chin Yuet-ming, Assistant Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, CityU. The discussion covered the role of biotechnology in tackling upcoming global challenges and the latest trends that have emerged, such as biotechnology’s connection to AI and Big Data.
The participants in the panel discussion on the topic The Contributions of Veterinary Medicine & Engineering to the “One Health” Approach were:
- Professor Sophie St-Hilaire, of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health, CityU;
- Mr Laurent Perret, Associate Professor, City and Urban Environment Master’s Programme, Centrale Nantes; and
- Ms Laëtitia Schmidt, Masters Director from the Nantes-Atlantic National College of Veterinary Medicine, Food Science and Engineering.
The moderator was Professor Olivier Sparagano, of the Department of Infectious Diseases and Public Health, CityU. The discussion outlined how veterinary medicine and engineering could contribute to the “One Health, One Medicine” approach to tackle environmental and societal challenges, such as food safety and emerging infectious diseases. The discussions also explored career paths for students interested in getting involved in these pressing topics.