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Training the next generation of scientists to resolve local and global challenges

2020 World Science Day for Peace and Development : Science for and with Society

November 10 marks the World Science Day for Peace and Development, a global initiative launched by UNESCO aiming at highlighting the important role of science in society.

Celebrating science for and with society resonates more than ever for the HKU-Pasteur Research Pole in the current pandemic context. 2020 marks the 20th anniversary of the laboratory, 20 years of dedication to science and to research to fight emerging infectious diseases.

Science for societyConducting research to address pressing global challenges: the crucial expertise in coronaviruses research of the HKU-Pasteur Research Pole

Monitoring closely the emergence of novel viruses is one of the laboratory’s primary missions. Since the SARS outbreak in 2003, HKU-Pasteur researchers have conducted an extensive work on coronaviruses, such as SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and other coronaviruses. Prof. Malik Peiris, Honorary Director, and Prof. Leo Poon, Co-Director, have both played a key role in the discovery that a novel coronavirus was the cause of SARS, and on understanding its pathogenesis, detection and control mode.

This has paved the way for further research by the pole on coronaviruses, with renewed major discoveries with the emerging MERS virus in 2012. This significant background research on coronaviruses has given the lab a deeper understanding of the challenge world scientists are now facing, and helps accelerate vaccine development and identify effective drugs.

This crisis underlines the crucial need of international scientific collaborations. HKU-Pasteur own position reflects the benefits stemming from such collaborations. Since the beginning of the outbreak, HKU-Pasteur research teams have leveraged on the Institut Pasteur International Network. The additional value brought by the network has notably enabled the Pole to conduct an impactful project on serological assays with the Institut Pasteur de Tunis.

Science with society HKU-Pasteur Research Pole as a platform for international courses at the local and international level

Following Louis Pasteur belief that “Science knows no country because knowledge belongs to humanity”, HKU-Pasteur Research Pole has been committed since its inception to promote scientific education and training. The Pole has developed three major international courses on Virology, Immunology and Cell-Biology, as well as a number of courses, international workshops and summer courses.

Supported by the Pasteur Foundation Asia, HKU-Pasteur courses promote the fundamental Pasteurian values that science belongs to mankind and can be shared with altruism, that is why we believe in setting low registrations fees to bring together students coming from countries with markedly different resources. They are open to local, regional and international students and cover a wide variety of aspects to give all the necessary tools to young scientists.

Those courses offer an advanced teaching program with specialized and diverse master classes to train the next generation of scientists. With practical sessions in an informal setting, those courses promote team-work and strong interactions between students and faculty.

To celebrate World Science Day for Peace and Development, join us on our Facebook page and Instagram account to have a look at the testimonies from our students in the coming weeks!

Happy Science day to all scientists, science teachers, students, and curious minds willing to support society through science and make science better with the help of the community!


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