A drone shot of the Yuen Campus in Hong Kong

Provost's Global Faculty Awards

2022-23 Hong Kong PGFA Recipients

Academic Events

Medical & Surgical Decisions in Critically Ill Patients: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

In recent years the central question in medicine has shifted from “What can we do for the patient?” to “What should we do for the patient?”, the latter a question that cannot be answered with medical expertise alone. It requires a broad perspective, and that is what this conference will attempt to express to its attendees as well as the wider medical world. The complexity and diversity of China’s society, along with the radical transformations the country has made in the past half-century, has thrown the care of critically ill patients into a dangerous grey area, making the need for a cross-cultural discussion like this one all the more important.

UChicago faculty leads: Peter Angelos, Department of Surgery (PI); J. Michael Millis, Department of Surgery; Mark Siegler, Department of Medicine
Local partner: Hong Kong Academy of Medicine

The University of Chicago/Hong Kong Breast & Lymphedema Symposium

The incidence of breast cancer continues to increase across the globe, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, where nearly a quarter of all breast cancers are diagnosed. Concurrently, the number of breast cancer survivors is growing, which makes breast cancer related morbidity, such as lymphedema, particularly important. In order to raise awareness of breast cancer and its related morbidity within different cultures, economies, and healthcare systems, as well as improve the management of the quality of life for breast cancer survivors, this project will facilitate a joint 2-day symposium with the faculty of the University of Chicago and the University of Hong Kong and region areas on the topic of breast cancer and lymphedema.

The project will create a crucial opportunity for collaboration amongst breast cancer surgeons, oncologists, radiologists, and reconstructive surgeons from UChicago and the Hong Kong region to facilitate improving cancer detection, reducing morbidity, and improving quality of life for breast cancer patients and survivors. Not only will the symposium facilitate new collaborative relationships across disciplines, professions, and cultures, but it will also offer participants a better understanding of breast cancer diagnosis and management and various reconstructive options and lymphedema procedures.

UChicago faculty lead: David Chang, Department of Surgery
Local partner: The University of Hong Kong

Logistics in the Making of Mobile Worlds

Once a part of military science, logistics – that is, the management of moving people, things, and information – has transformed into a more general condition of globalized mobility politics. Innovation in commodity chain logistics has revolutionized the production and distribution of goods, as well as the organization of labor and infrastructures, but at the same time, logistical failures have sparked various political and economic crises. Logistical successes and failures alike highlight the grave importance of logistics in shaping global flows and interdependence. As such, “Logistics in the Making of Mobile Worlds” aims to develop innovative comparative frameworks for understanding the politics and pragmatics of mobility in the 21st century through a multi-year collaborative project.

The proposed research program extends the project for a third phase, which will feature conferences and field schools in Chicago and Seoul, South Korea. Seoul offers an ideal venue in the Asia-Pacific region through which to ground new comparative dimensions in the global study of mobility and logistics. The contemporary East Asian logistics revolution intertwines with geopolitics, information technology, and economic develop in unique ways, and the third phase of our project will contribute to a deeper understanding of these reciprocal relationships that unfold across these domains. Through a combination of relatively private activities and public-facing ones, the program will develop a conceptual field inquiry vis-à-vis contemporary mobility and logistics and establish strategies and practices for promoting new research collaborations.

UChicago faculty lead: Julie Y. Chu, Department of Anthropology (PI); Jennifer Cole, Department of Comparative Human Development
Local partner: Korea Foundation for Advanced Studies

Workshop on the International Study of the Divergent Organ Donation Models

Studies have shown that organ transplants not only save the lives of patients but also reduce substantial healthcare costs. Still, the shortage of organs for transplantation remains a global crisis, so governments around the globe have developed different incentive systems to attempt to mitigate this growing problem. To investigate international models of organ donation and determine the best all-around incentive model, specifically for Hong Kong, Dr. Michael Millis and his fellow practitioners and scholars have been conducting data collection in the countries with the most unique incentive systems, namely the U.S., Iran, and mainland China. Focusing on three models – liberalism, compensational, and familism – the team strives to offer the Hong Kong authority a comprehensive analysis of its best incentive model of organ donations.  

This extension, comprising of a 2-day workshop, will build upon the existing international collaboration and further engage with medical professionals in East Asia in order to integrate the merits and advantages of each model to propose a group of incentive measures for motivating organ donations in Hong Kong that is practically effective, ethically justifiable, and politically legitimate. The team will invite research team members from Chicago, Iran, and China who have conducted interviews on their organ donation incentives, as well as medical professionals in the regions who can offer observations based on their clinical experiences, to compare organ donation models and provide policy recommendations to the Hong Kong authority.

UChicago faculty lead: J. Michael Millis, Department of Surgery
Local partners: City University of Hong Kong; The University of Hong Kong

The Future of China's Past

This conference will focus on the future of early China studies, taking advantage of a happy convergence of an excellent cohort of young Western scholars currently working in the greater Hong Kong Bay Area (several of whom were trained at the University of Chicago) to bring them together with another group of extraordinarily talented young scholars working in China to share their research and to develop contacts for the next generation of early China scholarship. The conference will focus around an ongoing initiative to produce English translations of sizable corpus of Warring States (4th c. BCE) manuscripts in partnership with Tsinghua University.

UChicago faculty lead: Edward Shaughnessy, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations
Local partners: Beijing Normal University-Hong Kong Baptist University United International College (UIC); Hong Kong Baptist University; Tsinghua University

Exploratory Trips

The Transpacific: Mapping Artistic Exchanges between Asia and the Americas

The Smart Museum of Art at the University of Chicago is developing a major exhibition, The Transpacific: Mapping Artistic Exchanges between Asia and the Americas, opening Fall 2024. The exhibition uses the Pacific Ocean as a point of departure to explore how different types and moments of exchange produced new artistic forms as artists and intellectuals traversed the Pacific.

This exploratory trip to Hong Kong and Southeast Asia will introduce and garner enthusiasm for the Transpacific project, discuss the possibilities inherent in collaborative formats, and establish an intentional model of partnership and active working relationship with various art museums and institutes in the region.

UChicago faculty leads: Orianna Cacchione (PI), Wu Hung, Claudia Brittenham, Department of Art History
Local partners: Asia Art Archive, M+ Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art and Design; National Gallery Singapore; Factory Contemporary Arts Centre

Increasing Chicago-Indonesia Open Cloud Research and Other Engagements

While large cloud platforms had already existed in developed countries in Southeast Asia since 2010, it was not until very recently that they became accessible in Indonesia. Just in the last two years, Amazon and Google built cloud datacenters in Indonesia, sparking new interests amongst Indonesian computer scientists to contribute globally to open large-scale cloud systems research. With this project, Professor Gunawi Haryadi will visit eight top computer science departments in Indonesia and perform the following two-day activities: brainstorming sessions with the faculty on potential collaboration between Indonesian and Chicago systems researchers, a live seminar to faculty and students to advance their knowledge of today’s large-scale cloud systems research, and a short hackathon to trains students on using and deploying open cloud software, producing meaningful graphical results, and packaging the experiments for sharing and repeatability.

This will serve as the first step to increase the capacity of Indonesian faculty and student researchers in this area to be able to collaborate with scientists around the globe, which will be crucial to ensure equal opportunities for Indonesia to contribute globally in the context of open cloud research. The project will also attract, train, and educate Indonesian researchers to dive into large-scale open cloud research and cultivate new research engagements between UChicago and the top Indonesian computer science departments.

UChicago faculty lead: Haryadi Gunawi, Department of Computer Science
Local partner: Bandung Institute of Technology (ITB); Bogor Agricultural Institute (IPB); Gadjah Mada University (UGM); Petra Christian University; Telkom University; Tenth of November Institute of Technology (ITS); University of Indonesia

Research Projects

Deciphering mechanisms of coronavirus seasonality in Cambodian horseshoe bats

Bats are natural reservoirs for virulent zoonotic viruses that cause higher case fatality rates in humans than any other mammal or bird zoonoses. In Cambodia, bats are often captured and transported for consumption and sale in wet markets, offering abundant opportunities for cross-species transmission and viral recombination, as well as posing threats for future zoonotic spillovers. Still, no rigorous, mechanistic research has explored zoonotic coronaviruses’ (CoV) transmission dynamics in wild horseshoe bat hosts, meaning that our understanding of the seasons of elevated zoonotic risk is necessarily limited.

In this project, Dr. Brook will extend the pre-existing collaboration with Dr. Jessica Manning, a National Institutes of Health (NIH) intramural researcher who runs a clinical laboratory in Cambodia, to decipher the transmission dynamics of CoV in Cambodian horseshoe bats. They will build a mechanistic transmission model of Sarbecovirus dynamics in horseshoe bats to predict peaks in CoV shedding coincident with zoonotic risk, then fit this model to time series data collected from these bats in the wild. Providing new datasets, scientific publications, and expanded quantitative scientific capacity in Cambodia, the project will identify which viruses of zoonotic potential are present in these wild bat hosts and which seasons are most risk-elevated, enabling the forecasting of future periods of peak viral transmission that should be correlated with heightened zoonotic risk. 

UChicago faculty lead: Cara Brook, Department of Ecology and Evolution
Local partner: National Institutes of Health Field Office in Cambodia

Elite Craft Production and Human Sacrifices at the Last Shang Capital: Exploring the Shang King’s Crafts via the IHP Anyang Collection

During the 1930s, the Institute of History and Philology (IHP), Academia Sinica (AS), the first institute to conduct archaeological investigations at Anyang, Henan Province, China, led a historic campaign that uncovered the material remains of a civilization previously only known via histography. With the advancement in the field of archaeology – both in terms of theoretical approaches and analytical techniques – the Anyang data obtained by IHP can be given new significance and renewed interpretations. As such, this project will use a bifurcated and multidisciplinary approach that includes archaeology and the study of ancient DNA to breath new air into the near-century-old data.

The archaeology component of the project will consist of indoor lab work at IHP to study the actual artifacts and fieldnotes from the excavations and produce a full-length site report. The ancient DNA component intends to conduct a genetic analysis of human bones found at Anyang that will answer questions on the genetic identities and group dynamics and mobility of the nearly 400 individuals buried at the site. Ultimately, the above combination will provide invaluable archaeological training for students, local and from UChicago, and lay the foundation for building local ancient DNA facilities and hiring training-related lab personnel at IHP.

UChicago faculty leads: Yung-Ti Li, Department of East Asian Languages and Civilizations (PI); Maanasa Raghavan, Department of Human Genetics
Local partner: Academica Sinica


Crafting Culture: Traditions of Ceramics in East Asia

The definitions of art and craft, as well as those of concept, decoration, and utility, often shift in relation to culture, geography, and history. Informed by regional and economic contexts, attitudes towards these ideas and the relationships between them are ever-changing. This project will explore these trends, particularly focusing on the medium of porcelain.

The project, consisting of two or three overseas trips of three weeks, will provide the opportunity to research the history of porcelain through an immersive experience of meeting with artists, artisans, and curators, and visiting museums and production sites to learn from those working within these fields today. It will allow the author to build on the University’s nascent ceramics program by exploring the birthplace of porcelain in Jingdezhen, as well as its realization in Kyoto, Japan, and Gangjin, Korea. The author will travel throughout these regions, meeting with artists and craftspeople, gallerists, and critics, so as to set the foundation for future and on-going artmaking and teaching. By providing valuable contact, establishing sites for future work-residencies, and allowing for the development of an ongoing dialogue with international artists for the author to share with students and peers at the University, this project ultimately facilitates both artistical and pedagogical development.

UChicago faculty lead: Laura Letinsky, Department of Visual Arts