Prof. Fei SUN Named an RGC Research Fellow in 2023/24

Prof. Fei SUN, Associate Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, was selected as one of the 10 awardees in the Hong Kong Research Grants Council’s (RGC) Research Fellow Scheme 2023/24. He is funded with a fellowship grant of around HK$5.2 million over a period of five years to conduct his project on Genetically Programmable Materials for Axon Regeneration.

Prof. Sun is recognized for his groundbreaking research in the development of smart materials and optogenetic tools through the combined use of synthetic biology and protein engineering. His innovative approach has enabled the faithful transfer of functions from the molecular level to the macroscopic material level and led to the discovery of emergent properties in out-of-equilibrium complex systems.

The RGC Research Fellow Scheme aims to provide sustained research support integrated with relief from teaching and administrative duties for outstanding researchers at Associate Professor rank at UGC-funded universities in Hong Kong, with a view to facilitating academics to dedicate their career to research and development as well as to give them the time and resources to nurture and train the next generation of local research talent for Hong Kong. Launched in 2019, this yearly scheme provides 10 places encompassing all academic disciplines in each round.

Prof. Sun said that the relatively long period of the scheme enabled him to explore the unknown areas freely, thereby bringing interesting discoveries and unexpected results. He can also spend more time in the lab working with his students and engage in scholarly discussion with them, which will help nurture more promising young researchers in Hong Kong.

Prof. Sun’s research group has been dedicated to creating functional “living” materials – synthetic materials that possess the hallmark features of life, including growth, self-healing, stimuli-responsiveness, and capability of Darwinian evolution. By adopting the materials synthetic biology approach, the group aims to create smart material scaffolds and superselective growth factors for neuroregeneration. His research has a significant impact on synthetic biology, regenerative medicine, and chemical engineering, from the aspects of both academic breakthroughs and commercial applications.


Source: Prof. SUN Fei Named an RGC Research Fellow in 2023/24 | HKUST School of Engineering

Prof. Fei SUN received the Research Fellow honor from Secretary for Education Dr. Choi Yuk-Lin at the RGC Award Presentation Ceremony 2023/24.
Prof. Fei SUN (second right) and other Research Fellow Scheme awardees were recognized at the RGC Award Presentation Ceremony 2023/24.

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