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Our Head of Department, and Fellow of Pembroke College, Professor Irene Tracey, has negotiated along with Pembroke College an exciting and innovative clinical neurosciences fellowship scheme in partnership with the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK), funded by the Lee Hysan Foundation.

Dame Lynne Brindley, Master of Pembroke College, and Andrew Seton, former Strategic Development Director (centre) with Vincent Mok (second from right) and CUHK colleagues

This four-year scheme, led by Professor Irene Tracey in Oxford, Pembroke College and Professor Vincent Mok in Hong Kong, brings together two highly regarded world-class institutions. Both share key research strengths in dementia and stroke, advanced neuroimaging, Parkinson's Disease, pain and Motor Neuron Disease. This ground-breaking initiative marks the establishment of a pivotal relationship between CUHK and Oxford through high-quality research collaboration.

This innovative collaboration between departments and Pembroke College is a valuable way for all involved to further their own research, thinking and relationships. My hope is that we will see real impact made in the various areas of study being pursued and additional academic links between Hong Kong and Oxford.
- Professor Irene Tracey


The scheme will see four post-doctoral researchers from CUHK spending two years as part of the Nuffield Department of Clinical Neurosciences in Oxford. They will also benefit from being members of the Senior Common Room at Pembroke, where they can take full advantage of networking opportunities as well as accommodation, dining and library facilities. Their two-year visit will be followed by researchers from NDCN spending two years in Hong Kong.

Dame Lynne Brindley, Master of Pembroke, said: 'The College is very pleased to be involved in this complex and exciting partnership. We are delighted that these talented researchers will benefit from a College experience while in Oxford, and look forward to their engagement in our academic community.'

The fellowship scheme allows each institution to nurture PhD holders (selected through a rigorous interview process) with an excellent track record in relevant clinical neuroscience themes. It will facilitate their development as future world-class leaders in untangling fundamental mechanisms and advancing treatment of neurological diseases.

In the two years that they spend in Oxford, fellows will be expected to submit competitive grants, publish in respected international journals, and make significant advancement with respect to disease mechanisms/risk factors, research methodologies or techniques, diagnostic or prognostic methods, symptomatic or preventive strategies for neurological diseases. The results will be expected to change guidelines in the management of disease and/or influence governments' health-related policies.

The first students in the scheme are:

  • Cindy Leng starting in 2019 with Peter Rothwell
  • Idy Ho starting in October 2018 with Irene Tracey
  • Yaping Liu starting in October 2018 with Michele Hu
  • Stephen Chen starting in December 2018 with Kevin Talbot

Fellowships.jpgYaping Liu (left), who will be studying brain neuroimaging in Parkinson's disease and REM sleep behaviour disorder, said: ‘I am very happy to be part of NDCN with so many smart and nice people. The knowledge and experiences acquired here will be of lifelong benefit.’

Idy Ho (right) said: ‘It is my great honour to be here collaborating with Professor Irene Tracey. I will focus particularly on advanced neuroimaging techniques in pain research during my time in Oxford. I am so excited to work with all people here. I hope we will discover more amazing and inspiring scientific facts together in the coming two years!’

The Lee Hysan Foundation is a private family foundation established in Hong Kong in 1973. For over 40 years the Foundation has actively supported meaningful and impactful charity initiatives in Hong Kong, covering various sectors including education, health and social welfare. CUHK will provide a matching grant of HK 1 million per fellow.