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Two of Our School Members Receiving Awards for Outstanding Academic and Research Performance

Warmest congratulations to Dr. Lirong CAO, and Dr. Cindy TIAN, on receiving awards for their outstanding academic and research performance. Dr. Lirong CAO, is currently our current Postdoctoral Fellow. She graduated from our M.Sc. in Epidemiology and Biostatistics programme in 2018, and completed her PhD in Public Health at our School in 2022. Dr. Cindy TIAN is also a graduate of our Master of Public Health programme in 2017 and our PhD in Public Health programme in 2023.

Dr. Cao recevied the CUHK Young Scholars Thesis Award 2022 for her thesis entitled “The Prediction of Vaccine Effectiveness by Viral Genome Sequence Analysis”. The Young Scholars Thesis Award was introduced in 1993 to recognize the outstanding doctoral theses written by research doctoral graduates from each Faculty in CUHK. She develops the first of the kind methodology framework to enable prediction of population-level vaccine protection with virus genome information. This method helps solve the long-term challenge in vaccinology of early estimation of immune protection before vaccination or infection. It can be used to timely evaluate vaccine effectiveness against emerging variants, design and optimize vaccine antigen, and inform vaccination strategy and policy making. The research findings have been published in the renowned journal Nature Medicine, and attracted global and local attention from scientists, policy leaders and vaccine manufacturers. Dr. Cao was supervised by Prof. Maggie Wang during her PhD studies at our School.

Dr. Tian has received The Reaching Out Award 2022/23 provided by the HKSAR Government Scholarship Fund to take part in the World Literacy Summit 2023 in Oxford. She delivered an oral presentation entitled “Understanding Critical Health Literacy: a Scoping Review and Thematic Analysis” to let the participants know that critical health literacy (CHL) is crucial in the current information era. CHL determines individuals’ abilities to assess the quality of health-related information and gain better control over life events. Her study expanded the previous conceptual framework of CHL and identified its three main domains (critical appraisal of information, understanding social determinants of health, and actions to address social determinants of health) through a scoping review and thematic analysis. During her PhD studies, she was co-supervised by Prof. Eliza Wong, Prof. Phoenix Mo, and Prof. Dong Dong.

Hearty congratulations to Dr. Cao and Dr. Tian, and we wish them a bright and green future ahead!

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