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PolyU secures HK$18.2 million funding from Health and Medical Research Fund to conduct eight studies on COVID-19

11 Aug 2020

Research & Innovation Faculty of Health and Social Sciences

(From left) Professor David Ho-keung SHUM, Dean of Faculty of Health and Social Sciences of PolyU, Professor Alexander WAI, Deputy President and Provost of PolyU and Professor Shea-ping YIP, Head of Department of Health Technology and Informatics shared the details of the eight studies on COVID-19.

The project “A low-cost handheld device for decentralised detection of SARS-CoV-2 and host response in COVID-19 patients: Development and evaluation” which led by Professor Shea-ping YIP, Head of Department of Health Technology and Informatics, aims to achieve rapid screening of patients in whom COVID-19 infection is suspected.

The project “A low-cost handheld device for decentralised detection of SARS-CoV-2 and host response in COVID-19 patients: Development and evaluation” which led by Professor Shea-ping YIP, Head of Department of Health Technology and Informatics, aims to achieve rapid screening of patients in whom COVID-19 infection is suspected.


The Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) has secured over HK$18 million funding from the Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF) of the Food and Health Bureau (FHB), to commence eight research studies on COVID-19. These projects cover a wide range of disciplines including health technology, biomedical sciences, healthcare, rehabilitation as well as social sciences. PolyU hopes that research teams from different fields can contribute their expertise to supporting the local community in the fight against COVID-19 and to facilitating formulation of pandemic control measures, thus helping to protect the health of the general public.

Since the outbreak of the pandemic, PolyU has been facing unprecedented challenges in our teaching, but our concerted determination to overcome these has not diminished our efforts in research.




Professor Alexander WAI

Deputy President and Provost of PolyU

The Research Council, chaired by the Secretary for Food and Health, earlier approved the second batch of funding of HK$59 million, to support 23 research projects steered by local universities. Among these 23 projects, eight are led by PolyU researchers from the Faculty of Health and Social Sciences, representing over 30% of the total funding and of the total number of projects in the second batch. The project that received the most funding is a follow-up study on rehabilitation management of COVID-19 survivors, securing more than HK$4.47 million. These eight research studies are expected to last from one to two years.

Ir Professor Alexander WAI, Deputy President and Provost of PolyU, said, “Since the outbreak of the pandemic, PolyU has been facing unprecedented challenges in our teaching, but our concerted determination to overcome these has not diminished our efforts in research. Since February, we have developed a rapid automated diagnostic system to detect COVID-19, designed a face shield for general use, and conducted various studies related to the pandemic. On behalf of PolyU, I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to FHB for taking more health technology and social sciences topics into consideration when granting the second batch of funding under the HMRF, allowing PolyU to conduct research projects on COVID-19 as commissioned by FHB. We will continue to carry out more forward-looking studies and to keep up our efforts in research.”

Professor Kwok-yin WONG, Interim Vice President (Research and Innovation) of PolyU, said, “The COVID-19 pandemic has lasted for months and has had tremendous impact on global public health, as well as the economy and livelihood of people. Here at PolyU, we hope to utilise our expertise to render support to the community during this difficult time. We are honoured to have eight projects funded by the HMRF and sincerely hope that our researchers can make good use of their research capabilities to support the fight against COVID-19.”

Professor David Ho-keung SHUM, Dean of Faculty of Health and Social Sciences also remarked, “COVID-19 has affected people’s psychological well-being, as well as their physical health. Over the years, our faculty has been providing the best education for social and health care professionals. In the face of this challenging time, our faculty, together with our researchers, students and graduates of various disciplines, are working together to address the healthcare and social needs of the community. We are pleased to be able to contribute our strengths to move our society forward.”

The HMRF supports studies and projects initiated by individual investigators as well as those commissioned by the Food and Health Bureau to build research capacity, fill knowledge gaps, support policy formulation, address specific issues, assess needs and threats, conduct health promotion, and more.

PolyU’s eight new projects funded by the HMRF are as follows, with details are listed in the Appendix.

 

Project title Project in charge Funding amount (HKD)
3R rehabilitation management of COVID-19 survivors using centre-based and online-based approaches Professor Siu-ngor FU
Associate Head, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences
$4,470,546
Whole-genome sequencing of COVID-19 cases in Hong Kong: development of a geophylogenetic database and characterisation of SARS-CoV-2 variants circulating in the community Dr Gilman Kit-hang SIU
Associate Professor, Department of Health Technology and Informatics
$2,998,100
AI-empowered chest X-ray and CT quantitative analysis for COVID-19 patient management Professor Jing CAI
Professor, Department of Health Technology and Informatics
$2,769,000
A low-cost handheld device for decentralised detection of SARS-CoV-2 and host response in COVID-19 patients: development and evaluation Professor Shea-ping YIP
Head of Department and Professor, Department of Health Technology and Informatics
$2,716,484
Characterisation of the distribution of aerosols released from drainage ventilating pipe of public housing buildings Dr Polly Hang-mei LEUNG
Associate Head and Associate Professor, Department of Health Technology and Informatics
$2,138,800
Psychological trauma and unsafe behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic: a mixed method study of people’s emotion, knowledge, attitude and behaviour Professor David Ho-keung SHUM
Yeung Tsang Wing Yee and Tsang Wing Hing Professor in Neuropsychology, Chair Professor of Neuropsychology and Dean of Faculty of Health and Social Sciences
$1,408,810
Blended Gaming COVID-19 Training System (BGCTS) with WHO guidelines for staff in residential care Dr Angela Yee-man LEUNG
Associate Professor, School of Nursing Deputy Director of WHO Collaborating Centre for Community Health Services
$1,212,432
Public compliance with disease prevention and public health measures to control COVID-19 Dr Elsie Chau-wai YAN
Associate Professor, Department of Applied Social Sciences
$1,127,120
Total Amount
$18,841,292

 

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