Posts tagged ‘Ho Yu College’

I visited Ho Yu College in Hong Kong last month. A good mentor Dr. William Mak has been running a great biotechnology education program for the primary and secondary school students, as well as the public there. See an old post about their outreach program in which they fit a whole research lab into custom-built bus! I shared the research program of our laboratory at Purdue University on using zebrafish to screen drugs for vision benefit.

 

I outlined our approach on using simple visual behaviour assays to identify positive effects of drugs. I specifically emphasized on the potential to analyze many of traditional Chinese medicines; the treasure that we have been consuming for generations. Some of these possibilities are outlined in our recent review paper:

Zhang LY, Chong L, Cho J, Liao PC, Shen F, Leung YF. Drug Screening to Treat Early-Onset Eye Diseases: Can Zebrafish Expedite the Discovery? Asia-Pac J Ophthalmol 2012; 1:374-383. [Full text][pdf]

 

The interaction with the students was fantastic. They were very imaginative and eager to ask questions all the time! Their enthusiasm was infectious and is the driving force of scientific progress. That also reminded me of the problem of our education in stifling creativity when students are “educated”, which I wrote in a separate post recently.

This is truly an enjoyable experience and I look forward to visiting them again soon!

Dr. William Mak, a good friend and a great role model, has been devoting his career to improving the biotechnology education for primary and secondary students and teachers over the years. He has established the Hong Kong Biotechnology Education Resource center with Sik Sik Yuen Ho Yu College and built a university-level research laboratory to facilitate the process. He has been working on another interesting project recently – a custom-built coach bus that serves as a mobile laboratory for the community. He made me feel proud to be a Hong Kong scientist.

More information can be found here:
http://www.hkberc.org.hk
http://mobilelab.hoyu.edu.hk

Here are a few pictures of my visit…