When Biology Meets Medicine
‘CUHK’s Biomedical Sciences Programme is really great as I get a real taste of all the different areas such as cancer biology, neuroscience, stem cell research, immunology, etc., which genuinely appealed to me,’ said Romeo Goh from Malaysia, Year 3 student.
Romeo is always very interested in the human aspect of biology and various areas of biomedical sciences because he believes that behind every treatment that improves human health is a story of discovery.
Biomedical research plays a pivotal role in shaping the advancement of modern clinical practice. In view of this, CUHK launched the Biomedical Sciences Programme in 2016 to meet the increasing demand of professionals in the biotech and biopharmaceutical industry, medical and clinical services including genetic and genomic services locally, as well as in Southern China.
Though new to Hong Kong and CUHK, Romeo is happy for what he chose. “Students are given a luxury of choices in the Biomedical Sciences Programme. It has been designed in a ‘stepping stone’ way by providing students with a solid foundation of medical science in the first two years and then allowing them to tailor the course to their particular interests over the next two.”
He went on, ‘We can choose from three concentration areas: biomedical research, strategic management and entrepreneurship, health services and consultation. I am eager to soak up knowledge in the field of biomedical research, particularly neuroscience and stem cell research. The other two concentration areas also comprise exciting courses like management and marketing in pharmaceutical industry, forensic science and histopathology. You can tell the faculties have really thought about the structure and it’s arguably one of the best and most exciting courses CUHK offers.’
Having the major electives arranged into the three concentration areas is the unique feature of the programme which differentiates itself from other local biomedical sciences programme.
Prof. Chan Wai-yee, Director of the School of Biomedical Sciences, remarked, ‘Our curriculum emphasizes practicality and experiential learning, enriched with a bioethics component and courses co-taught by experts in the field or from other Schools/Departments of the Faculty. Students have to take part in experiential learning activities as a graduation requirement. Such a unique range of courses is the first of its kind to be included in a biomedical science‐based undergraduate programme in Hong Kong.’
The programme also adopts small-class teaching so as to maintain a close student and staff relationship. Romeo praised the arrangement, “Tutorials offering highly personalized teaching are what most impress me the most. During the tutorials, the professor might say, ‘I want you to think about all of these things, and come with loads of questions.’ We'll have to find the answers ourselves by doing some extra reading and trying to think in a bigger picture of the subject. It’s really fun because it’s quite informal and we just bounce ideas around with the professors. It’s good to have that discussion, rather than just sitting passively and listening to someone imparting information.”
He is glad to have the many opportunities of learning such as summer biomedical research attachments in CUHK or overseas. ‘I was learning in the lab at The University of British Columbia in the past summer on the molecular impact of maternal aging on oocyte quality, which was fascinating to me.’
Fitting in the local society in CUHK as a non-local student wasn’t as hard as Romeo expected it to be. ‘We built friendship since the orientation camp and the bonding got stronger throughout the programme as we are studying together in small classes. Moreover, working in a collaborative environment with people doing biomedical sciences with me enabled me to work through the problems together and that collaboration really helped me a lot.’
Romeo is leaning towards neuroscience research as the School of Biomedical Sciences is, in his own words, ‘an incredibly rich place that essentially covers a broad range of research areas and it will provide me with a very strong background of biomedical research for my future graduate studies.’
For those who are interested in the Biomedical Sciences Programme and would like to study in CUHK, ‘the style of teaching will suit them. They’re going to have a great time and a lot of fun here!’ said Romeo.
Published: Summer 2017
Last Updated: Summer 2018