Volume 7 Issue 7 - February 20, 2009
NCKU President Honored with Lifetime Achievement Award

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Dr. Michael Ming-Chiao Lai (賴明詔), President of National Cheng Kung University, was awarded the 2009 Lifetime Achievement Award by the Society of Chinese Bioscientists in America (SCBA) in recognition of his exceptional achievements on groundbreaking and pioneering nature in molecular virology, especially in hepatitis and coronavirus and their implications in diverse human infectious diseases, cancer and therapeutics. The co-recipient for the Lifetime Achievement Awards is Professor Jean Chen Shih from University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California. Both awardees will be presented with a SCBA Trophy and a US$ 2,000 cash award, approximately NTD 67,000, as well as are invited to present a keynote lecture of their respective fields during the 12th SCBA International Symposium to be held at the Academia Sinica, Taipei, Taiwan, from June 14 to 18, 2009.

Academician Michael M.C. Lai, President of NCKU, earned his Bachelor of Medicine (MB) degree from National Taiwan University and Ph.D. degree in molecular biology at the University of California, Berkeley. He serves as Academician of Academia Sinica, was a former Vice President of Academia Sinica and a Distinguished Professor of the University of Southern California. Currently, he also serves as a member of the Science & Technology Advisory Group of the Executive Yuan. He has published more than 300 papers, been honored with many awards and memberships, including Researcher of Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Academician of Academia Sinica and the Academy of Sciences for the Developing World, Lifetime Achievement Award of University of Southern California, and Science and Engineering Achievement Award of Taiwan-American Foundation.

Dr. Lai is a prestigious virologist. He is interested in understanding the virus-induced demyelination, coronavirus, hepatitis C virus and hepatitis delta virus (HDV). He discovered the first oncogene (src) with his advisor at UC Berkley from his research on the relationship between tumor virus and cancer cells, which opened a new way to oncology research. Afterwards, he discovered more oncogenes, which drew global attention and earned the reputation as “the Father of Coronavirus”. During the outbreak of SARS in 2003, he returned to Taiwan as the leader of SARS research team. He was a leader in the research of hepatitis viruses and serves as editors of internationally well-known scientific journals.

The SCBA Award Committee recognized the awardees for their significant influence on education and training of many current well-established bioscientists in various disciplines, as role models among many young scientists and colleagues and their service to the scientific community and general public. In addition, the committee further identified the significant contributions of both Professors Lai and Shih for their distinguished leadership and service to SCBA and the Chinese scientific communities as former SCBA Presidents.

Through numerous rounds of rigorous evaluation and deliberation, the awardees were selected among many qualified candidates by the Award Committee consisting of former SCBA Award recipients, distinguished scientists and peers. The selections are unanimous and enthusiastically endorsed by the SCBA Council.

SCBA is a non-profit scientific organization founded by several prominent and enthusiastic bioscientists in 1984. Currently, SCBA has more than 2,500 members from various universities, academies, medical institutions, industrial and biotechnology companies. Since its inception, 40 SCBA Chapters have been formed in US, Canada, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Europe.

SCBA‘s aims to promote research in biosciences, advance biological and medical knowledge, improve occupational opportunities of its members, facilitate professional networking among members, and establish a spirit of fraternity and international cooperation.

SCBA has two divisions, one on biopharm and the other on neuroscience.

From NCKU News Center
Tainan, TAIWAN, February, 10, 2009
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