Hong Kong’s two medical universities have received a substantial £11.5 million for 26 COVID-19 clinical studies. The University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine (HKU Med) and the Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Medicine (CU Medicine) both will share the funds to conduct the research. Both of these institutions have been important critical voices in global public health policy discussions.
To be used over the next two years, the investigators will focus on the development of vaccine and antiviral candidates, as well as research into how the city has overall kept on top of controlling the virus. Hong Kong hasn’t recorded any new infections since as of April 29, 2020 for four straight days and the schools will soon reopen at least some of their classes. The funds were just in time as unfortunately a severe economic downturn, caused by the pandemic, will impact most research centers—many universities may have to face budget cuts.
The First Study
Days after the announcement CU Medicine announced the first study which will center on the recruitment of 3,000 members of the public for an investigation into “hidden” SARS-CoV-2 infections.
Drilling Down into the Novel Coronavirus
In a recent Times Higher Education interview, CU Medicine dean Francis Chan reported that “with the additional funding, we will embark on new projects that will help deepen our understanding of this novel virus and improve clinical guidelines in the various specialties most affected by this pandemic.”
About the Universities
University of Hong Kong Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine was established in 1911 and is the older of the two prominent academic medical centers in Hong Kong. Coupled with Chinese University of Hong Kong Faculty of Medicine (CU Medicine), the two make up the only two tertiary institutions offering medical and pharmacy education and research in the city.