Prof Nancy Y IP
Elected as ASHK Founding Member in 2015
BSc (Simmon); PhD (Harvard); MH; JP; Academician, The Chinese Academy of Sciences; Foreign Associate, US National Academy of Sciences; Fellow, Academy of Sciences for the Developing World; Founding Member, The Hong Kong Academy of Sciences
Vice-President for Research and Development
The Morningside Professor of Life Science
Director, State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology
Prof Nancy Ip is currently the Vice-President for Research and Development, Morningside Professor of Life Science, and Director of the State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). She received her PhD degree in Pharmacology from Harvard Medical School, after which she held the position of Senior Staff Scientist at Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. in New York. Since joining HKUST, she has served as Dean of Science, Director of the Biotechnology Research Institute, and Head of the Department of Biochemistry.
Prof Ip’s major research interests are in neural development and function as well as drug discovery for neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. She is well-known for her seminal discoveries in the biology of neurotrophic factors, which are proteins that promote the survival, development, and maintenance of neurons in the nervous system. She has also made important contributions towards understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying brain development and synaptic plasticity, and their dysregulation in neurological disorders. Using this knowledge, her research team aims to elucidate the pathophysiological mechanisms underlying neurodevelopmental disorders and neurodegenerative diseases, and identify drug leads for these brain disorders from Chinese medicine. Furthermore, she plays a significant role in the development of biotechnology in Hong Kong, and has launched prominent collaborations with major biopharmaceutical companies, thus placing HKUST on the map for cutting-edge R&D in molecular neuroscience.
As a highly accomplished researcher, Prof Ip has published over 250 scientific papers with 17,690 SCI citations, and holds 41 patents. She has received numerous awards and honors including the National Natural Science Awards (China’s highest honor in the natural sciences), the L’OREAL-UNESCO for Women in Science Award (making her the first honoree in the life sciences from China), and the “Chevalier de l'Ordre National du Mérite” (National Order of Merit) by the French Government. She is also the senior editor of the Journal of Neuroscience, and an elected Councillor for two leading global organizations in the fields of neuroscience and pharmacology: the Society for Neuroscience and the CINP (Collegium Internationale Neuro-Psychopharmacologicum). Furthermore, she is a member of the Global Agenda Council on Brain Research of the World Economic Forum.
Along with her research in neuroscience, Prof Ip plays a key role in promoting science and technology in Hong Kong. She is currently member of the Steering Committee of the Innovation and Technology Advisory Body to the Hong Kong SAR Government, the Research Council of the Food and Health Bureau, the Committee of the Research and Development of Chinese Medicine, the Steering Committee of the Hong Kong Scholarship for Excellence Scheme, the Council of the Sir Edward Youde Memorial Fund, and the Advisory Panel of the Science Museum. Additionally, she has served on the Board of Directors of the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corporation, the Hong Kong Applied Science and Technology Research Institute, and the Research Grants Council.