College Initiatives

Distinguished Visiting Scholar 2023-24 – Professor Andrew T Chan

United College has invited Professor Andrew T Chan, Daniel K Podolsky Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, as the Distinguished Visiting Scholar in 2023-2024. Professor Chan visited United College in late February to early March 2024 and hosted two public lectures and one night talk activity during his visit. The visitation was sponsored by the United College Endowment Fund.

Professor Andrew T Chan is a gastroenterologist. Apart from being the Daniel K Podolsky Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School, he is also the Chief of the Clinical and Translational Epidemiology Unit at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Through contributions ranging from clinical trials to population epidemiology, Professor Chan’s research focuses on the role of aspirin, diet, lifestyle, and screening for prevention and treatment of gastrointestinal cancers through molecular approaches linked with epidemiologic data.

In the first public lecture on “Aspirin and Prevention of Cancer” on 26 February 2024. Professor Chan shared the function aspirin reduces the risk of colorectal cancer, while new trial data shows the importance of considering age and timing of intervention. He also highlighted the future of cancer prevention is not focusing “one-size-fits-all” method, but rather treating the patient at the right time.

In the second public lecture on “Diet, the Gut Microbiome, and Human Health” on 29 February 2024, Professor Chan illustrated the significance of the human gut microbiome, which is regarded as an “internalised microbial organ”. He addressed the role of diet on the gut microbiome and its influence on human health with a focus on metabolism.

Professor Chan’s insightful sharing benefited hundreds of audiences.

Professor Stephen H S Wong (far right), College Head, Professor Helen M L Meng (far left), Chariperson of DVS Committee, presented souvenirs to Professor Chan (2nd left) and the nominator, Professor Martin C S Wong (2nd right).

Apart from the two public lectures, a Night Talk was also held on 28 February 2024, allowing students to have a casual chat with Professor Chan. The topic of the talk was “Finding your mentor”. By sharing his own experience, Professor Chan encouraged students to seek advice from mentors while pursuing their dreams.

Professor Chan shared the significance of mentors in his life at the night talk.

The College would like to express sincere gratitude to Professor Chan for his insightful sharing throughout various activities.