Doctor of Science, honoris causa (2013)
Professor Chen Kaixian is one of China’s leading scientists in medicinal chemistry research. He is widely recognized for his remarkable achievements in computer-aided drug design and in pioneering innovative drug discovery research.
Professor Chen graduated from Fudan University in 1967. He received his MPhil and PhD degrees at the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica (SIMM) and the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS) in 1982 and 1985 respectively. From 1985 to 1988, he conducted postdoctoral research at the Institut de Biologie Physico-Chimique in Paris, France. He joined the SIMM as an Associate Researcher in 1988, later ascending to become researcher and subsequently Director of the SIMM. He was elected an academician of the CAS in 1999.
Professor Chen has committed himself to research in the areas of organic chemistry, medicinal chemistry and drug design for many years. He and his group have developed and improved many methods and techniques for drug design. Employing the theoretical calculation and molecular modelling methods, his group studied the structure-function relationships of biological macromolecules as well as the structure-activity relationships and action mechanism of bioactive small molecules. Focusing on a series of important drug targets, his team has launched a large-scale study involving virtual screening and discovery of lead compounds, facilitating the prediction for and design of the structure of bioactive small molecules. Through these studies, Professor Chen has promoted the interdisciplinary cooperative and integrative research with medicinal chemistry, life sciences, computer and information sciences, contributing to innovative research of new drugs in China.
Professor Chen has been appointed by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) as Principal Scientist of two projects under the National Basic Research Programme (also known as the “973 Programme”). In 2001, he was appointed as a member of Chief Specialists in the MOST Major Project “Innovative Drug and Modernization of Chinese Medicines”. In 2008, he was appointed successively as a member of Chief Specialists and the Deputy Chief Specialist of the National Science and Technology Major Project “Innovative Drug Research and Development”, where he was engaged in organizing and promoting a series of innovative drug research and development. Professor Chen has published more than 200 research papers in important journals in China and overseas. In 2011, he was elected President of the Shanghai Association for Science and Technology.
Professor Chen assumed the presidency of the Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine (SHUTCM) in 2005. Under his able leadership, SHUTCM has made significant progress in both teaching and scientific research. In the China Discipline Ranking evaluations of 2009 and 2012, this research-based university was ranked first in Chinese materia medica and second in Chinese medicine.
Professor Chen also serves a number of important titles in the academic circle, such as President of the Chinese Association of the Integration of Traditional and Western Medicine, Deputy Executive Director of the Chinese Pharmaceutical Association, Deputy Director of the Evaluation Committee of The National Fund for Distinguished Young Scientist, Convener of the Subject Appraisal Group (Pharmaceutical Science) of the Academic Degree Commission of the State Council, Executive Member of the Chinese Pharmacopeia Commission, Deputy Panel Leader of the specialist panel on the research project on fundamental theories of Chinese medicine under the “973 Programme”. He also serves on the editorial boards of a number of renowned journals. Professor Chen serves concurrently as the adjunct professor of various renowned universities in the country. Deploying his expertise and network, Professor Chen has played an instrumental role in the establishment and development of the Zhangjiang Biotech and Pharmaceutical Base, helping to speed up China’s development of innovative drugs.
Professor Chen has always been a close friend and staunch supporter of the School of Chinese Medicine of HKBU. In 2011, he served as Chairman of the Panel of Adjudicators of Cheung On Tak International Award for Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Medicine; in 2012, he was one of the keynote speakers at the Summit on Innovative Drug Discovery in Hong Kong—Charting the Course of Modernization of Chinese Medicines; in October 2013, he was appointed Honorary Professor by the School of Chinese Medicine.
Professor Chen Kaixian is a scientist of great vision and leadership capabilities. He has contributed in significant ways to the development of Chinese medicine as a whole, to scientific research as well as education in Chinese medicine and Chinese materia medica. He has rendered steadfast support to the teaching and research efforts of the School of Chinese Medicine of HKBU.