Research Achievements of HKMU Scholars

Office of Research Affairs and Knowledge Transfer Knowledge Transfer Research Achievements of HKMU Scholars

Research Achievements

Unveiling the crucial role of activating transcription factor 3 in abdominal aortic aneurysm to provide potential prognostic and therapeutic targets for patients

Prof. Jack Tang, together with a team of researchers, investigated the underlying mechanism by which activating transcription factor 3 (ATF3) contributes to the development and progression of abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA). The research outcomes suggest that a lack of ATF3 in vascular smooth muscle cells of the blood vessel would increase the risk of AAA formation and blood vessel rupture. This study reveals the previously unrecognised role of ATF3 in AAA development and progression. ATF3 has the potential to be used as a new target for developing new therapies to treat AAA, and as a marker to predict the progression and outcomes of AAA.

A novel soil-plant system amendment method to reduce antibiotic resistance genes in soil

Dr Livia Pan examined the optimal nutrient levels and the best proportion of sewage sludge (SL), Chinese medicinal herbal residues (CMHR), and biochar (BC) to be used as a novel soil amendment. The amended soils with SL-CMHR-BC had a lower level of antibiotics and corresponding antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) in soils and crop tissues compared with the control soils without adding the soil amendment. This soil amendment method can help reduce the ecological risks of antibiotics and ARGs and mitigate their potential adverse effects on human health through the food chain.

Long-term study unveiling the adverse outcomes associated with oral corticosteroids use by patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

Prof. Gary Tse and his team discovered that chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) patients who used oral corticosteroids (OCS) faced a significantly higher risk of developing multiple adverse outcomes. This study emphasises the need to increase awareness about the adverse effects associated with OCS use in COPD patients. It also highlights the need to identify appropriate treatments to manage and minimise the risk of COPD exacerbation, thereby reducing patient exposure to OCS.

Harnessing bilingualism to enhance the language development of autistic children

Dr Emily Ge investigated the impact of English exposure on the language development of autistic Cantonese-speaking children in Hong Kong. The findings reveal that exposure to two typologically different languages does not hinder the language development of bilingual autistic children; instead, it enhances their comprehension and production of focus. These findings suggest the advantage of creating rich bilingual environments for children, and having bilingual elements in training programmes for bilingual autistic children.

Cutting-edge microfluidics device for monitoring co-digestion of food waste and sewage sludge to generate renewable energy

Dr Chen Jianlin and his team constructed a microfluidics device to monitor the metabolic activity of food waste and sewage sludge anaerobic co-digestion. The device enables the mitigation of potential issues arising from scenarios like sudden or significant changes in the feedstock or operating conditions of the anaerobic digestion system, thereby improving the overall efficiency of the system.