Ex-vice chancellor of CUHK heads to sunnier pastures

Top News | Cissy So 12 Aug 2020

Former Chinese University vice chancellor Joseph Sung Jao-yiu will join Nanyang Technological University of Singapore as dean of its medical school and senior vice president in April.

"I have to bid farewell to my friends in academia," the SARS hero wrote to his friends on social media yesterday, adding he is not going to be a "competitor."

Instead, he went on, he hopes "my move can help to bring Hong Kong and Singapore closer in academic collaborations."

Nanyang said Sung, 60, will be the new dean of its Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine and will be appointed the university's senior vice president (health and life sciences), taking responsibility for the integration of NTU-wide activities in health, medicine and life sciences.

Sung will also be appointed to the faculty rank of distinguished university professor, the highest rank at NTU, which is bestowed upon faculty members with extraordinary scholarly achievements that typically span multiple disciplines.

He will succeed James Best, dean of LKCMedicine, who will retire after almost seven years.

Best said he looked forward to passing the mantle to Sung next year.

"Professor Sung has an outstanding leadership record in medical research and higher education," Best said. "His distinguished international career has earned him respect and accolades as a visionary academic leader."

He added: "I have every confidence that Prof Sung will consolidate the strengths of our young medical school and set LKCMedicine further on our mission for excellence in teaching and research."

Sung was unanimously recommended after a global search by a committee led by Lim Chuan Poh, chairman of the university's governing board and a member of Nanyang board of trustees.

"LKCMedicine is at a point of its development that is ready for the next stage of growth and in a way that is synergistic with NTU and the wider health-care and research community in Singapore," Lim said.

"Prof Sung is well positioned to take the school forward to redefine medicine and transform health care."

Sung wrote on social media about his excitement at the "great opportunity to help develop a young medical school and coordinate life science research in a vibrant university, a top institute not only in Asia, but also in the global league."

He wrote that artificial intelligence and health care is his vision and passion. Sung also took the opportunity to thank his colleagues in Hong Kong.

"Hong Kong has a world-renowned team of health-care workers who are praised for their high professional standard, selfless service and resilient attitude. You have led us through many crises, including SARS in 2003, and I am sure the current Covid-19 pandemic," he said.

He said his family is staying in the SAR because "Hong Kong is my sweet home forever!"

Sung is an internationally renowned clinician-scientist and academic leader.

He has received high recognition for his research in gastroenterology, teaching and leadership, as well as substantial grants for his varied research work on a variety of health-care concerns - from the prevention and early diagnosis of gastric disorders and cancers to SARS and infectious diseases.

cissy.so@singtaonewscorp.com

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