ESG Seminar - Cost Strategy (Secret Formula of Zara)

The Executive Study Group (ESG) seminar in Jun 2014 was “Cost Strategy – The Secret Formula behind Zara’s Cost Challenges” which was held by the ESG, Asia Pacific Institute for Strategy Limited (APISL) and the Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks Corp (HKSTPC) on 27 Jun 2014. I would like to summarize the seminar for sharing below.

In the beginning, Dr. Mark Lee (Research Director, APISL) introduced the content of seminar included "The Rise of a Legend”, “Industry Benchmarking”, “Secret Formulas behind Cost Challenges”, “Misconception about Core Competence”, “Strategic-Fit”, “Consistency and Reinforcement”, “Sustainable Competitive Advantages” and “Cross-Industry Sharing”.

Then Dr. Lee briefed how success of Zara in the fashion market. Zara (one brand of Inditex) sales and operating profits grew 25% per year over the period from 2000 to 2012. He quoted Pablo Isla (CEO, Inditex) statement “When you have a global presence, you have plenty of opportunities to open stores.”

After that Dr. Lee analyzed the top five sales apparel brands’ operation efficiency and found that Zara (Inditex) had 11 Inventory Turn!

Dr. Mark Lee started to explain the Zara secret formulas below.
i) Large Design Team
Zara employed around 200 designers and developed 12,000 different every year. Those designers tapped into Inditex’s sourcing specialists. (Professional segmentation) Store managers kept close track of shifts in consumer preference (Feedback from Sales) Their innovation didn’t follow seasonal collections.

ii) In-House Manufacturing
Zara maintained manufacturing capability for time-sensitive pieces; other less time-sensitive pieces were outsourced. They investment in machines assets to buy time.

iii) Global Supplier Network
Zara had 1,398 suppliers around the world but they reserved 85% of its in-house factories’ production capacity for in-season adjustments. Even though products sourced to Asia were estimated to be 20% cheaper to produce locally, time is much important than cost!

iv) Centralized Warehouse in Spain
All the brands followed the same central distribution center model (Efficiency!) and delivery the product within 24hr in Europe and 48hr anywhere else in the world.

v) Stores for Advertising
Zara had 1,925 stores and each store averaged 11,238 square feet. They didn’t budget for media advertisement but window displays were crucial for attracting customers. Those displays were updated every three weeks!

vi) Frequent Re-ordering
Store manager would select ~800 designs from the 2000 offered and feedback weekly to the design department on customer opinion. There were three store managers in the store separated into Men, Women and Child product lines. Centralized pricing cost was determined by adding the shipping cost to the market price in Spain.

vii) Regional Pricing Policy
They used shipping cost model so that the Japan price is 45% higher than the Spain. However, they didn’t afraid parallel import (水貨) because of time-sensitive collection. Since limited stock and most of pieces were full-price sales, so less discount would be employed.

viii) E-Commerce Synergy
Zara invested in e-commerce comparatively small than others but they only considered synergy between online and offline. It was because Zara shop was not for transaction but for customer experience.

Per Pablo Isla statement below, I only think one word “SPEED”! Everything Zara done is tailored to getting the latest styles into its stores fast.

I found interested in the coming topic “Misconception about Core Competence”. Dr. Lee said that you didn’t rely on core competence totally. It might be same core competences as everyone else in your industry and easier to be copied.

After that Dr. Lee introduced “Strategic-Fit” and he translated into Chinese term as “環環緊扣,相輔相成。”. It means that the whole matters more than any individual part and have synergy value when many parts together. Therefore, it is difficult to identify one or two core competences but the whole system. Nevertheless, their competitors are difficult to copy parts but the whole system.

Dr. Lee explained the sustainable competitive advantages that the simpler the business model is, the more difficult the business model is copied. He quoted different examples included vetch, Tai Hing and also quoted Gap statement below.

Before the cross-Industry sharing, Dr. Lee gave us an exercise to find out two most and one least impressive functions of Zara. And then group discussion was performed.

The Centre for Logistics Technologies and Supply Chain Optimization, CUHK - http://www.logitsco.cuhk.edu.hk/
HKSTP - www.hkstp.org
Information about Asia Pacific Institute for Strategy Limited (APISL) (亞太策略研究所有限公司)


Visit to CityU Apps Lab

Mr. Gallen Leung and Ms. Minky Lau (Incubation Team (Incu-App) members, Hong Kong Science and Technology Park) and I visited to CityU Apps Lab (CAL) on 27 Jun 2014. I would like to thank Prof. XUE Quan (Associate Vice-President (Innovation Advancement and China Office); Deputy Director, CityU Shenzhen Research Institute and Chair Professor of Microwave Engineering, CityU) and Dr. David Ai (Director of Knowledge Transfer, Knowledge Transfer Office, CityU) referral that we recognized Dr. Ray Cheung (Director, CityU Apps Lab) for arranging this visit.

CityU Apps Lab aims to provide a collaborative platform for CityU students to build up creative mobile applications, supported by the CityU Incubator Scheme and Community of Practices CoP - Technology and Creativity Community. This area used for seminar/workshop venue, success cases show room and student Apps related activities.

Before visit their project, we took a group photo for memory.

(Left: CityU Student, Mr. Gallen Leung, Ms. Minky Lau, Dr. Lotto Lai, Mr. Carl Ip (Supervisor/Trainer, CAL), Mr. Van Ting (Deputy Director, CAL), Ms. Cecilia Tang (Development Manager, Development Office), Dr. Ray Cheung (Director, CAL) and Dr. Eric Chan (Education Development Officer, Office of Education Development and Gateway Education))

Then we visited the Cloud Computing Centre and observed some CityU students’ App projects such as CityU Helath Research manipulation robots App.

We took a group photo with all students in CityU Apps Lab group for memory.

After our discussion, we found a high synergy value to cooperate between Science Park Incu-App Program and CityU Apps Lab.

HKSTP Incu-App Program - http://www.hkstp.org/en-US/Services-Programmes/Incubation-Programme/Incu-App/About-Incu-App-Programme.aspx#.U62UX_mSwhA
HKSTP Incu-App Centre - http://www.hkstp.org/en-US/Services-Programmes/Incubation-Programme/Incu-App/Incu-App-Centre.aspx
CityU Apps Lab - http://appslab.ee.cityu.edu.hk/index.html


Service Process Innovation (TRIZ) Seminar

The Service Process Innovation (TRIZ) Seminar (【服務業流程創新TRIZ】研討會) was organized by Hong Kong Productivity Council (HKPC) and supported by Institute of Systematic Innovation, Hong Kong (ISIHK) on 23 Jun 2014. TRIZ usually employed in technical problem for hardware but this seminar introduced TRIZ in service section. The seminar is separated into two parts. The first part introduces Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) and the second part briefs how TRIZ employed into service process.

Before the seminar, Dr. Michael Li and I took a photo for memory. I had arranged ten colleagues to attend MATRIZ Certification Level 1 Training in March 2014 and formed TSC TRIZ Team (3T) in Hong Kong Science Park to implement TRIZ into our laboratories.

The first speaker was Mr. Ken Lam (HKPC) and his topic focus on Quick Response Manufacturing (QRM) which was created by University of Wisconsin-Madison. In the beginning, Mr. Lam introduced the process optimization service in HKPC included Training, Visit, Management, KPI, Lean, TRIZ, etc.

He said only Lean to control the cost was not enough that it should add QRM to increase the speed of response. He pointed mobile market as example and explained the 43% increase of mobile from 2012 to 2013. Moreover, he found that Samsung increased upto 50% but Apple increased only 13%. Why? Mr. Lam said Samsung had launched 12 new model of mobile from Sep 2013 to Feb 2014!

Other example in different industries were also discussed. For Textile Industry, ZARA employed “Fast Fashion” strategy and launch new style every two week! For Food Industry, 85oC launched 2 to 3 new food per month. Speed response strategy employed in “Product / Service Development” and “Service / Production Process Response” were based on QRM. There are four concept included “Manufacturing Critical-path Time (MCT)”, “Rethink of Organization Structure”, “Understanding and Exploiting System Dynamics” and “Company-wide Implementation”

For organization rethinking, the following diagram compared the different between traditional organization and QRM organization.

Finally, Mr. Lam introduced a company named Quirky and it created a platform to collect creative idea. Once verified and product made, the idea submitter would be shared the benefit.

Dr. Michael Li (President, ISIHK) was the second speaker and his presentation was mainly on employing TRIZ in service process. Firstly, Dr. Li demonstrated different cases for service innovation included Hospital improvement for reducing infection, cleaning, beer fill cup, etc. Then he said “Innovation is Problem Solving!” There were separated into two innovations and problems that were Supply Chain and Market.

After that Dr. Li explained the reason to study Innovation Methodology was to increase the success rate. Everything is possible and you need to overcome your mind barrier. TRIZ Five concepts included Function Analysis, Contradiction, Ideal, Resource and Technology Trend, and 40 Inventive Principles were mentioned. (For more details, please see reference.)

Dr. Li briefed how to use the Contradiction Table to identify possible Inventive Principles that the problem to be solved. One example about food industry hygiene mask was valuable and value-added.

Dr. Li stated AWI Work improvement rule in five steps that were “Understanding the function”, “Trimming the unnecessary part”, “Solving the contradiction”, “Using the resource” and “Creating the innovation program”.

Finally, Dr. Li concluded Innovation using life words and I selected some of sentence for sharing.
i) Innovations don’t be fear Mistakes! Otherwise, no innovation spaces exist.
ii) Every difficulty is an opportunity for learning and improving.
iii) If you haven’t try fail, you haven’t made a concerted effort.
iv) “Done” is better than “Knew”.

ISIHK - https://sites.google.com/site/iofsihk/our-mission
MA TRIZ Certification Level 1 Training 2014 - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2014/03/ma-triz-certification-level-1-training.html
Seminar on Introduction to TRIZ - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2011/12/seminar-on-introduction-to-triz.html


ASQ InfVoices – The Professional Society’s Organization Excellence Journey

The topic of ASQ Influential Voices in June was initiated by Bill Troy (CEO of ASQ) and named “The Organization Excellence Journey – and ASQ”. Let’s welcome to ASQ’s new CEO – Bill Troy and congratulate ASQ awarded the Excellence level of achievement for the 2014 Wisconsin Forward Award (which is the state-level equivalent of the Malcom Baldrge National Quality Award in the U.S.). Since many quality awards in Hong Kong are reference to Malcom Baldrge National Quality Award, I would like to introduce Hong Kong Awards for Industry (HKIA) - Productivity and Quality and review the activities of Hong Kong Society for Quality (HKSQ) based on this award.

Hong Kong Awards for Industry (HKIA) (formerly named Governor’s Award for Industry) was initiated in 1989 by the Hong Kong Government. It was organized by a committee that was chaired by the Director-General of Trade and Industry with membership drawn from trade and industrial organizations and industrial support bodies in Hong Kong. It is the first award scheme in Hong Kong. Two of the most important awards in the scheme were the productivity category and the quality category which were merged since 2005. The award is based on Malcom Baldrge National Quality Award but modified the rating on criteria so as to fit the local situation.

The Domains/Items of each criterion are shown as following table and total score is 1000.

I try to review HKSQ management based on these criteria below.

1. Leadership & Strategic Planning
HKSQ has strategic meeting after AGM per year. It aims to set the direction and activities on the coming years. We have HKSQ exco meeting to monitor the activities deployment monthly.

2. Customer and Market Focus
We will select the most modern concern theory/practice on quality management into our strategic plan to provide seminars, workshops, and visits to our members. Each time, we will collect participants’ feedback through on-site survey for further activities arrangement.

3. Innovation & Creativity
HKSQ is planning to form sub-committee for Innovation in order to promote the transformation from Quality to Innovation.

4. Excellence Management & Improvement System
HKSQ has administration handbook to manage our routine activities such as budget for visit, promotion, etc. In AGM, performance review will be showed in the Chairman Report. For Knowledge Management, we will collect and post our guest speakers’ presentation into HKSQ website for sharing.

5. Resources Management
HR management is based on our HKSQ executive committee members; co-opt members and oversea representatives system. All above members are HKSQ voluntary staff. Facilities & Assets are virtually such as website, domain, email, mail box, … etc. Our strategic partners are HKSQ Corporate members (by invitation only).

6. Business Results
HKSQ has very good customer value results based on activities survey feedback. Moreover, our finance performance is very healthful and we keep the low membership fee (only HK$150 per year) and maintained more than 300 individual members. Actually, we have positive financial result because of our lean organization approach (i.e. no fix premises and no full time staff). Our activities are focus on contributing to society such as annual student project competition, World Quality Month activities, Chinese Quality Forum and Asia Network for Quality (ANQ) Congress.

7. Productivity & Quality Improvement Projects
The first project I would like to select is ANQ Congress 2012 which co-organized by HKSQ, CAQ & HKUST. HKSQ is chaired the organization committee and implemented the congress.

When an organization gets things right, it will be successful at every level. When things go wrong, it will have disastrous consequences of the bottom line, and more importantly the organization and brand image will suffer too. Thus, “Striving for Excellence through Product and Service Quality” as the theme of ANQ Congress 2012, has become a strategic issue in Asian economies for this decade.

The second project selected is HKSQ Company Based Student Project Competition.
(http://www.hksq.org/company_based_competition.htm )

The brief history is show as follows:
Hong Kong Society for Quality (HKSQ) Company Based Student Project Competition offers an opportunity for students to work on an actual industrial case and propose resolution. This allows them to gain experience of resolving an industrial problem. The previous program named "The Quality Management Student Project Competition" which sponsored by Bridgeport Prise in the UK from 1994 to 2000. Then HKSQ recognizes the value of continuing the meaningful event as a vehicle to further the interest of final year undergraduates in quality management and to emphasize its importance and relevance to local industry. Until 2005, HKSQ has changed the competition style from final year project to company based project to enhance student's industrial experience.

The student project competition offers Eligibility: University students in Industrial, Manufacturing, Quality or related disciplines. (Included HKU, CUHK, HKUST, PolyU and CityU). Each University can nominate a maximum of two teams with three to four students in a team, and one staff to provide coaching.
The sponsor company list is shown as follows:
2014 Competition-Woodley Agri-Service Company Limited, and Green Technology Consortium
2013 Competition-Techtronic Industries Co. Ltd.
2012 Competition-Vital-Health Livestock Development Limited
2011 Competition-TDK-EPC HK Ltd. (CA Plant)
2010 Competition-Techworld Industries Ltd
2009 Competition-SMT Ltd.
2008 Competition-ENW Electronics Ltd.
2007 Competition-Manufacturing Modes International Limited
2006 Competition-SAE Magnetics (Hong Kong) Ltd
2005 Competition-Holmes Group (Dongguan Factories: Esteem and Raider)

A View from the Q - http://asq.org/blog/
HKSQ - http://www.hksq.org/
Hong Kong Awards for Industry (HKIA) - http://www.hkindustryaward.org/


Distinguished Entrepreneur Series: Recipes for Success

The Distinguished Entrepreneur Series – Serial Entrepreneurs: Recipes for Success featured by MIT Enterprise Forum Hong Kong (MITEF) and Hong Kong Science and Technology Parks (HKSTP) on 20 Jun 2014 in Charles K. Kao Auditorium at Hong Kong Science Park. CityU Business & Industrial Club (CUBIC) was one of supporting organizations. MIT Enterprise Forum Hong Kong (MITEF) is a chapter within the MIT Enterprise Forum network, the global voice of entrepreneurship.

The Forum invited four panel speakers as follows: (From Left)
1) Simon Squibb (CEO, Nest Investments) who is Angel investor, founder of multi award-winning creative agency. (Hong Kong)
2) Jacob Hsu (CEO, Symbio) who is Investor, YGL of WEF, CEO of global product development and R&D service company. (Silicon Valley, USA)
3) Peng T. Ong (Director, Banean Holdings) who is Investor, Entrepreneurs, executive role in numerous multi-national corporations. (Singapore)
4) Chuck Cheng (CEO, AppoTech) who is an entrepreneur in technology (HK and Silicon Valley), numerous entrepreneurship award winners. (Hong Kong)

After introduced by the panelist themselves, Q&A session was performed about 1.5hr. I would like to summarize some points below for sharing.

Simon said Hong Kong is special that you can access the world in spot. He said Hong Kong had a lot of capital. Silicon valley is a mindset but not the place. Then he concerned company culture. For large company, their culture was focus on operation efficiency but not innovation.

Jacob Hsu told us that Entrepreneur concerned more on “How much they make the impact to the world” rather than “How much money they earn”. Moreover, he pointed out three factors included Passion (e.g. keep going), Resource (e.g. Capital) and Adaptability (e.g. Real time to Market / Change Business Model).

Peng T. Ong said that VC would consider the heart of Entrepreneur. He also said Entrepreneur didn’t act as employee but look forward the future.

Chuck Cheng told the advantages in Hong Kong included IP protection and door to China. Then he said the most important of entrepreneur was the TEAM! You needed to find the right partner.

Other Definition of Entrepreneur:
- People change the world in some ways and make the life different (By Peng T. Ong)
- Make something different and prove by himself (By Chuck Cheng)

At the end, I met Dr. David Ai (Director of Knowledge Transfer, Knowledge Transfer Office, CityU) and took a photo for memory.

HKSTP - http://www.hkstp.org
MITEF HK - http://www.mitefhk.org/
CUBIC - http://www6.cityu.edu.hk/kto/index.aspx?id=PG-1200038


HKSQ Dinner with John Hunter (Deming Institute)

Hong Kong Quality Assurance Agency (HKQAA) and The W. Edwards Deming Institute co-organized 2.5 day seminar named “The Deming Management Method for Owners and Executives” from 12th to 14th Jun 2014 for HKQAA 25th Anniversary Management Guru Seminar Series. We are honor to invite Mr. John Hunter (Senior Facilitator, The W. Edwards Deming Institute; President, Curious Cat Ltd.) to have dinner in City University of Hong Kong on 15 June 2014.

We went into the restaurant and took a photo from memory.
(Right: Minda Chiang (Hon. Secretary, HKSQ), Peter Fung (Vice Chairman, HKSQ), John Hunter and I (Former Chairman, HKSQ))

John was one of 12 people worldwide selected by the W. Edwards Deming Istitute to reconfigure Dr. Deming’s famous “Four Day Seminar” into the 2.5 day seminar “Out of the Crisis”. We knew each other through ASQ Influential Voices, John’s blogs and LinkedIn. After knowing him to have business trip in Hong Kong, we organized such meeting with HKSQ exco members for sharing John’s quality management experience in Deming’s way.

During the dinner, we discussed about Dr. Deming (Quality Guru), Dr. Russell Ackoff (American Organizational Theorist) and Taiichi Ohno (大野耐一) (father of the Toyota Production System)

After the discussion, I presented HKSQ the 25th Anniversary Year Book and souvenir to John.

We took a group photo with John Hunter and all HKSQ exco members who participated the dinner.
(Left: Dr. Albert Tsang (Former Chairman), Dr. Aaron Tong (Former Chairman), Ms. Minda Chiang (Hon. Secretary), Mr. John Hunter (HKSQ Guest), Dr. Lotto Lai (Former Chairman), and Mr. Peter Fung (Vice-chairman))

One surprise thing is Dr. Aaron Tong who attended Dr. Deming’s course in 1987!

HKSQ - www.hksq.org
The W. Edwards Deming Institute - https://www.deming.org/
Curious Cat Ltd. - http://www.curiouscat.com/index.cfm
HKQAA eNewsletter “Deming’s Management Philosophy and Its Synergy with QMS
John Hunter's blog: Curious Cat Management Improvement Blog - http://management.curiouscatblog.net/

John Hunter combines technology with management expertise to improve the performance of organizations. He has served as an IT program manager for the Office of Secretary of Defense Quality Management Office, the White House Military Office and the American Society for Engineering Education. John authored Management Matters: Building Enterprise Capability. He has maintained one of the first and most popular management resources on the internet. His blog is widely recognized as a valuable resource for leaders and managers. Moreover, he manages The W. Edwards Deming Institute Blog and Twitter accounts and has contributed several published articles for the widely viewed Deming Files on the PEX Network.
(More info in http://www.johnhunter.com/)


Meeting with Dr. Mikey Kung in the Innohub

Dr. Mikey Kung (VP, Member of Expert Committee, Crosby Management Consulting) visited Hong Kong in this week. Mr. Simon Tong invited Dr. Kung and I to have a meeting in Smartway’s Innohub.

Then Simon introduced their Systematic Innovation business and discussed any synergy cooperation with Crosby Management Consulting which was under Crosby Management Institute (China).

Since Mikey would visit Hong Kong frequently, I would like to arrange a talk for HKSQ member to understand for Crosby management philosophy such as “Zero Defect”, “Do it Right the First Time” and “Quality is Free”.

We took a group photos for memory.
(Left: Phyllis, Simon, Lionel, Mikey and I)

I like innohub so much not only because of good food and drink, but also creating innovative ideas!

20140530 - Visit to Smartway’s Innohub - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2014/06/visit-to-smartways-innohub.html
20140314 - The 2nd Chinese Quality Forum (華人品質論壇) - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2014/03/the-2nd-chinese-quality-forum.html
20140524 - The Innovation of the China Quality International Summit - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2014/05/the-innovation-of-china-quality.html


PRMIA Seminar on Enterprise Risk Management

The Professional Risk Managers International Association (PRMIA) established in 2002 by a volunteer group of risk industry professionals, PRMIA's mission is to provide a free and open forum for the promotion of sound risk management standards and practices globally. PRMIA and Department of Management Science, City University of Hong Kong co-organized seminar on Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) on 9 Jun 2014.

The first speaker was Dr. Danny Ha (Chairman & Founder, Academy of Professional Certification (APC)) and his presentation topic was “Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) and ISO 31000 for ERM”. Dr. Ha quoted ISACA Newsletter (Vol.11: 21 May 2014) that “ERM” and “Information Security and Privacy Program Efforts” were ranked in top ten items of Internal Audit Priorities for 2014.

Dr. Danny Ha introduced Privacy Impact Assessment (PIA) included Personal Identifiable Information (PII), Personal Health Information (PHI), Personal Financial Information (PFI); and IT Audit. The different between Privacy Audit and IT Audit were discussed and their focus comparison was shown as following table.

There were five reasons that organization undertaken a PIA below.
i) Identifying and managing risks
ii) Avoiding unnecessary costs
iii) Inadequate solutions
iv) Avoiding loss of trust and reputation
v) Meeting and exceeding legal requirements
The cyber risks and cybersecurity were mentioned as following diagram.
Then Dr. Ha quoted Prof. Edward Humphreys (Father of ISMS Standard) that the biggest risks were from IoT, Cloud and Big Data.

After that Dr. Danny Ha stated ISO 31000 which like an umbrella to cover different management system standards. Most organizations applying ISO 31000 had inherent reason to bring culture of risk in their business life cycle. Finally, Dr. Ha said PIA, privacy audits were not only becoming more common in response to these risks, but were likely to grow. Business system developers must aware privacy and security controls in business systems acquisition and/or application development methodology. Dr. Ha alerted us that WhatsApp / Facebook privacy problems existed and you had better remove your privacy information away from your mobile.

The second speaker was Ms. May Tsue (Company Secretary and Manager of Accounting and Adminstration Department, CNOOC Insurance Limited) and her presentation named “Captive Insurance and How to Control the Risk in the Group”.

Firstly, Ms. Tsue explained Captive Insurance that provider of insurance for customers of parent company. She said “A bona fid insurance (insurance made or done in an honest and sincere way) or reinsurance company owned by a non-insurance company parent and which insures or reinsures the risk of its parent and/or affiliate companies.”

Board of parent company objectives are “Motivate risk management”, “Save money/cost”, “Capture profit and investment”, “Disciplined self-funding”, “High management awareness”, “Transparency” and “Tax environment”. There were five types of Captive included “Single Parent”, “Group”, “Association”, “Rent-a-Captive” and “Risk Retention Group (RRG)”.

Two typical structure of Captive were indirect business and direct business which were shown as following diagrams.

Ms. Tsue briefed captive insurer formed could have 50% tax deduction on Profit Tax, to build wealth and to retain risk. The costs to setup and run captive insurer was showed as follow diagram.

At the end, Prof. Mike K.P. So (Co-Regional Director Hong Kong, PRMIA) gave closing speech.

PRMIA - http://www.prmia.org/
Meeting with Prof. Edward Humphreys (Father of ISMS Standard) - http://qualityalchemist.blogspot.hk/2012/06/meeting-with-prof-edward-humphreys.html


HKU Public Lecture on Gene and Cancer & Stem Cells

The University of Hong Kong Li KaShing Faculty of Medicine, Centre for Genomic Sciences, Department of Medicine, and Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy is organizing a public lecture series - "Genomic Medicine: What is it about". The purpose of this series of public lectures is to enhance people’s awareness, understanding, and interest on genomic medicine in Hong Kong. Minda and I attended the last lecture named “Gene and Cancer & Stem Cells”.

The first speaker was Dr. Jenny Ho (Research Officer, Department of Medicine, HKU) and her topic entitled “Can induced pluripotent stem cells do everything?”

Dr. Ho introduced the collection of cord blood stem cells first and mentioned some successful cases. After that she introduced “Mesenchymal Stem Cells (間充質幹細胞)” and “Autologous Stem Cell Transplantation (自體幹細胞移植)”.

After that Dr. Ho briefed Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPS) (誘導多能性幹細胞) which was discovered by Yamanaka Shin'ya (日本京都大學 山中伸彌) research team since 2006. Yamanaka awarded Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 2012.

The treatment research on cancer was summarized in the following diagram.

The following video showed the recently HKU research on stem cells reformation of heart tissues. You could see the cell motion.

Finally, Dr. Ho summarized different characteristics on different stem cells on the following table.

The second speaker was Dr. Vivian Lui (Assistant Professor, Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, HKU) and her presentation named “Tailor-made Cancer treatment”.

In the beginning, Dr. Lui explained what is cancer and its mechanism. Then she pointed out some reasons could cause cancer such as smoking, drinking, UV, chemical and virus. The two factors caused gene mutations were shown in the following diagram.

Then Dr. Lui introduced the Targeted Therapy (標靶藥). In USA, FDA approved abut 63-65 Targeted Therapy but there are only 23 Targeted Therapy approved in Hong Kong. Different mutation of gene had different communication mechanism that needed different Targeted Therapy. Therefore, batch DNA testing was needed to identify which part of gene was mutated and used to match different Targeted Therapy if exist.

At the end, Dr. Lui concluded that personalized treatment for cancer through DNA testing identification was most effectiveness.

HKU Public Lecture Series - http://www.hkuehealth.org/eng/genomic/index.html


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