Nobel Laureates at CityU’s Forums
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The 5th HK Tech Forum focused on quantum physics and complex systems.

Nobel Laureates and Eminent Scholars shared insights into Quantum Physics and Metabolism at CityU’s 5th and 6th HK Tech Forum

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The flagship HK Tech Forum series was initiated by Professor Way Kuo, President of City University of Hong Kong (CityU), and hosted by the Hong Kong Institute for Advanced Study (HKIAS), CityU. Under the theme “Empowering Society for a Better Future”, the series serves as a dynamic platform for discussing innovative strategies and approaches to major challenges in science and technology. The 5th and the 6th forums concluded the 2022 inaugural series, attracting leading academic and industry researchers from around the world to share their insights on quantum physics and complex systems; as well as metabolism in health and disease on 7-9 and 15-16 December respectively.

Both forums opened with a warm welcome remark extended by President Kuo, noting that the forums provided an opportunity for some of the brightest researchers and most eminent scholars from academia to industry to discuss their investigations and share their critical views on the respective topics.

The 5th forum, Forum on Quantum Physics and Complex Systems, provided an exceptional multidisciplinary, cross-pollination arena for world-leading scientists to discuss complex systems, including spin glasses, neural networks, proteins, and related problems.

 “This forum brings together leading scholars from around the world, as well as young and active researchers, to tackle challenging issues from four perspectives: Quantum Materials; Soft Matter and Complex Systems; Quantum Information; and Quantum Beam Applications,” said Professor Wang Xunli at the Opening Ceremony, HKIAS Executive Director, Head of Physics and Co-Chair of the Forum. Other Co-Chairs included Professor Bao Wei, Professor Jeff Ou Zheyu and Professor Ren Yang, all Chair Professors at CityU.

Professor Anton Zeilinger, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics 2022, delivered a greeting message at the Physics Forum.

Professor Anton Zeilinger, Nobel Laureate in Physics 2022 and Professor Emeritus at University of Vienna, said in his greeting message he was glad that “Hong Kong is starting and accelerating research on quantum systems in greater depth. Universities are doing this by looking into the microscopic domains of quantum and materials phenomena. They are investigating not just the fundamentals, but also practical applications of this science, which is a very promising avenue”. 

Professor Giorgio Parisi, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics 2021, gave a featured talk at the Physics Forum.

Professor Giorgio Parisi, Nobel Laureate in Physics 2021 and Professor Emeritus at Rome University La Sapienza, gave a featured talk on “Replica Symmetry Breaking and Applications”, in which he explained his work on spin glasses, in particular the replica symmetry-breaking solution he devised in order to calculate the partition function of these magnetic analogues of glass.

The Physics Forum also featured five keynote talks by renowned scholars. Professor Chen Hesheng, HKIAS Senior Fellow and Academician of Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS), introduced the China Spallation Neutron Source, a multidisciplinary platform for neutron scattering research located in Dongguan, close to Hong Kong. Professor Jia Jinfeng, Chair Professor at Southern University of Science and Technology, discussed topological superconductors by proximity effects. Professor Sidney R. Nagel, Stein-Freiler Distinguished Service Professor at University of Chicago, explored memory in a glassy landscape. Professor Franco Nori, RIKEN Chief Scientist at Theoretical Quantum Physics Laboratory, talked about “Quantum Optics with Giant Atoms: Decoherence-Free Interaction between Giant Atoms in Waveguide Quantum Electrodynamics”. Professor Christian Schroer, Leading Scientist at Deutsches Elektronen-Synchrotron (DESY), reported advances in synchrotron X-ray scattering techniques.

The 6th HK Tech Forum focused on metabolism in health and disease.

The 6th forum, Forum on Metabolism in Health and Disease, focused on revealing how various signalling pathways in the metabolism of oxygen, glucose, lipids, proteins and other nutrients offer a better understanding of human physiology and diseases. Professor Michael Yang Mengsu, CityU Vice-President (Research & Technology) and Professor Huang Yu, Head of Biomedical Sciences were the Co-Chairs of the Forum.

Professor Gregg Semenza, Nobel Prize Laureate in Physiology or Medicine 2019, gave a featured talk at the Metabolism Forum.

The Metabolism Forum began with a featured talk by Professor Gregg Semenza, Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine 2019 and Professor at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. His topic was “Regulation of Metabolism by Hypoxia-Inducible Factors”, in which the mechanisms and consequences of homeostatic responses mediated by the hypoxia-inducible factors that modulate tumour metabolism were discussed.

Other world-leading scholars were invited to give keynote talks on metabolism related issues. Professor Li Peng, President of Zhengzhou University and Academician of CAS, discussed the regulation of lipid droplet fusion and storage. Professor Rao Zihe, Professor at Tsinghua University and Academician of CAS, helped the audience understand SARS-CoV-2 replication and transcription from structures. Professor Song Baoliang, Vice President of Wuhan University and Academician of CAS, discussed nutritional regulation of cholesterol metabolism. Professor Xiao Ruiping, Dean of College of Future Technology, Peking University, explored the role of MG53 in cardiometabolic disease. Professor Yan Nieng, Founding President of Shenzhen Medical Academy of Research and Translation, focused on structural and mechanistic investigations of voltage-gated sodium channels.

The HK Tech Forum brings together award-winning scientists and is an excellent vehicle for letting the world know more about CityU’s exciting research achievements. A total of six forums have been held in 2022, and there are plans to expand the series into 2023 and beyond.