Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is gaining ground, with its global market revenue growing at over 5% annually. In 2019, the World Health Organization started to prepare benchmarking documents for TCM training and practice. Locally, Hong Kong’s first Chinese Medicine Hospital will be completed by 2025. The HKSAR Government’s commitment to support the national blueprints for developing a healthy China and five Chinese Medicine (CM) Highlands in the Greater Bay Area will help institutionalise the TCM industry and elevate the discipline to a higher level.


Interdisciplinary expertise to further CM research

Research Centre for Chinese Medicine Innovation

CM has been one of the research foci of PolyU’s Department of Applied Biology and Chemical Technology (ABCT) for more than two decades.


To address the growing needs for TCM research and applications, PolyU established the Research Centre for Chinese Medicine Innovation (RCMI) in 2021. Assembling 60 faculty members from eight departments, RCMI aims to conduct high impact research to provide scientific evidence to elucidate TCM theory for better understanding by the research and medical communities, and the public.

The research centre has identified three directions:

  • Metabolic syndrome (MetS) and liver disease - including re-development of classical and famous TCM formulae; study of TCM efficacy on diabetic retinopathy; and understanding of MetS and liver disease development, beneficial effects of CM in treatment as well as molecular mechanisms

  • Women’s health - including bone and muscle health, cardiovascular health, mood disorder and pain management, and translation of pre-clinical studies to clinical trials

  • Integrative solutions for physical wellness - including recovery of physical and cognitive functions in stroke, efficacy and neurophysiology mechanisms of TCM treatment evaluation, Tai Chi, and online TCM-Based wellness programme

In its first year of operation, RCMI won HK$9 million in grants and ten external projects, undertook 28 internally-funded projects, and contributed to seven affiliated publications. Its interdisciplinary pursuits can be exemplified by its collaborative research with the Research Institute for Smart Ageing on the use of TCM for disease prevention and health promotion for elders, involving scholars from the disciplines of biomedical engineering, rehabilitation science, and applied biology and chemical technology. The Centre has signed a collaborative agreement with Increasepharm (HK) to establish a joint laboratory focusing on osteoporosis, dementia, and ocular diseases. It has also signed an agreement with the Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong to build a clinical research platform for collaborative research and student and staff training.


Professor Wong Man-sau, Director of RCMI and Professor of ABCT

RCMI focuses on translational clinical research, which promotes preventive health and related treatments, the illustration of TCM theory and action mechanisms using modern tools, new drug development, and empirical evidence of TCM practices for its integration into primary care.

~ Professor Wong Man-sau, Director of RCMI and Professor of the Department of Food Science and Nutrition