Professor Jia Wei is currently Acting Dean of School of Chinese Medicine (SCM) and Chair Professor in Chinese Medicine and Systems Biology of SCM, Hong Kong Baptist University. He is also Director of the School's Hong Kong Traditional Chinese Medicine Phenome Research Centre. Professor Jia pursued his postgraduate studies in the U.S. and obtained his Master and Doctorate degrees in Radiopharmaceutical Chemistry at the University of Missouri. At the same time, he received his professional training at the University of Missouri Research Reactor Centre.
Professor Jia has 27 years of experience as a scientist in the medical field with a proven track record of building and operating highly successful interdisciplinary research programmes, such as translational research centres, clinical -omics platforms, and botanical-based drug development laboratories in collegiate and industrial settings. Soon after his graduation, Professor Jia worked as the Radiopharmaceutical Scientist and Director (Technology Development) at BEST Medical International. He then returned to Mainland China, assuming positions of Professor and Executive Vice Dean of the College of Pharmaceutical Science and Biotechnology at Tianjin University; and then Professor and Vice Dean for Research of the School of Pharmacy at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University. Ten years later, he once again relocated to the U.S. and pursued his academic career there. From 2008 to 2013, he was a tenured Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and founding Director of the University's Center for Translational Biomedical Research. Prior to joining HKBU in 2019, Professor Jia was a tenured Professor at the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Associate Director of the University of Hawaii Cancer Centre (a US National Cancer Institute-designated cancer centre).
With a research interest in the areas of metabolomics and biomarker discovery, Professor Jia's work focuses on microbial metabolomics and host-gut microbe metabolic interactions that underlie the development of gastrointestinal diseases and metabolic disorders and the treatment of these conditions using small-molecule drugs and traditional Chinese medicines. Professor Jia and his team currently operate a world-class metabolomics laboratory that quantitatively determines endogenous small-molecule metabolites and trace elements, thereby supporting translational research in cancer biology, drug discovery and traditional Chinese medicine. Under his leadership, his laboratory has developed a number of impactful metabolomics technologies and protocols over the past 17 years. In 2016, his team received second prize of the Natural Science Award from the Shanghai Municipal Government with its research on host-gut microbe metabolic interactions. By December 2019, Professor Jia possessed over 10 international and Chinese patents. His distinguished scholarship has secured more than 20 grants in support of his research projects.
As one of the world's leading figures in metabolism and translational research, Professor Jia is the author of six books and more than 300 scientific papers, some of which were selected as features in globally recognised scientific journals such as Nature. The strong influence of his publications is evidenced by his exceptionally high citation count on Google Scholar of over 21,000. He has been frequently invited to speak at significant international conferences and symposiums around the world. As well as serving on the editorial boards of prominent scientific journals including Molecular Phenomics, Nutrition & Metabolism and World Journal of Gastroenterology, he is an ad hoc reviewer for 16 internationally renowned academic journals including Nature, Cell, etc.
“Chinese medicine has been used for several thousand years in the prevention and treatment of illnesses, making a significant contribution to public health and the world’s medical science. It is still widely practised in the modern world and sheds light on diseases that are difficult to cure at present. Through the establishment of this endowed professorship, it is hoped that more innovative and significant research related to Chinese medicine can be conducted at HKBU. I believe the integration of this ancient wisdom with modern medical science will create notable benefits for humanity.”
Interview with Professor Jia Wei