The Ministry of Education Frontiers Science Center for Precision Oncology (FSCPO) of the University of Macau (UM) held its first Academic Committee meeting. A number of academicians and research experts from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the US National Academy of Sciences and other prestigious institutions listened to FSCPO’s reports and offered advice to the centre. In addition, during the meeting with UM Rector Yonghua Song, members of the Academic Committee highly praised FSCPO for its outstanding achievements. They emphasised the remarkable and groundbreaking progress the centre has made in cancer research, and its ability to produce high-quality research within just over two years since its establishment.

The conference was held at UM in a hybrid format. Members of the Academic Committee listened to reports on the establishment of research platforms in FSCPO, its operation and management, research output quality, and talent cultivation strategies since its establishment in December 2020. The Academic Committee is made up of Nobel laureate in Chemistry Aaron Ciechanover, Prof. Dennis Lo Yuk Ming, Prof. Li Lanjuan, Prof. Chen Yeguang, Prof. Chen Runsheng, Prof. Zhan Qimin, Prof. Wang Xiao-Fan, Prof. John Mekalanos, Prof. Xu Tian, Prof. Yu Dihua, Prof. Kang Yibin, Prof. Cheng Yung-Chi, as well as UM Chair Professors Wang Yitao, Tang Zikang, and Chuxia Deng.

In his speech, UM Vice Rector Ge Wei said that UM has continuously improved the quality of its faculty, teaching, and research, resulting in notable achievements in promoting regional and international cooperation, research innovation, and industry-academia collaboration, as well as substantial enhancement of its international reputation. He added that it is encouraging to see UM making its debut among the top 200 universities worldwide in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2024. Additionally, 12 subjects offered by the university have entered the top 1 per cent of the Essential Science Indicators (ESI).

Chuxia Deng, dean of UM’s Faculty of Health Sciences and chief scientist of FSCPO, presented a comprehensive report on the progress made by the centre, including the background of its establishment, main research directions, representative academic achievements, formation of the research team, and talent cultivation. He said that on the basis of the solid foundations of UM, FSCPO has carried out in-depth research in four directions, namely the onset and development of cancer, tumour microenvironment and immune regulation, cancer metastasis and drug resistance mechanisms, and efficient drug development and personalised cancer treatment, by making use of the research platforms. The centre aims to improve the accuracy of early diagnosis of cancer and provide cancer patients with high-end, customised, and personalised precision medicine diagnosis, prevention, and treatment options.

During the conclusion section, the Academic Committee members expressed their expectations for FSCPO to continue to strengthen research in areas of advantage. They also emphasised the need to pursue pioneering basic research, particularly through enhanced interdisciplinary collaboration. They also proposed the establishment of joint centres with other institutions and the enhancement of clinical research capabilities to complement basic research, thereby stimulating more interdisciplinary research. Additionally, they suggested incorporating other technologies such as artificial intelligence and big data to enrich the research content.

The first Academic Committee meeting of the Ministry of Education Frontiers Science Center for Precision Oncology of UM

A group photo