Outstanding Researcher Award 2008
Professor Wing Tat WONG
Department of Chemistry
Professor Wong obtained his BSc in 1986 and MPhil in 1988 from the University of Hong Kong. He was awarded a Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 Scholarship to study his PhD at the University of Cambridge. He returned to HKU as a lecturer in the Chemistry Department in 1991, was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1998, Professor in 2000 and Chair Professor in 2005.
Professor Wong's research interests include metal cluster and nanoparticles, X-ray crystallography, lanthanide chemistry, MRI contract agents and luminescent probes for chemical imaging. In the past 17 years, he has published more than 350 research papers in these areas and has been invited to serve as an editor or editorial board member on nine international leading journals in the field of inorganic chemistry, chemical biology, nanoscience, and structural chemistry. He has written several key review articles in cluster chemistry and contributed two book chapters in Comprehensive Organometallic Chemistry III, the most prestigious compilation in the field. His recent research on lanthanide luminescent materials has had a seminal impact in the field of chemical imaging and has received much attention from many scientists worldwide. His work on MRI contrast agents has generated excellent scientific papers and also carries obvious commercial potential. Three International and US patents have been granted for this work. His paper citation is among the top 1% according to the survey conducted by ISI Essential Science Indicators. His research accomplishment has led him to a degree of Doctor of Science from the University of Cambridge in 2000, an Outstanding Young Researcher Award in 2001, a Croucher Senior Research Fellowship in 2002, and an Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award in 2003.
Professor Wong has successfully trained 30 PhD and four MPhil graduates, many of whom are now working as professors, lecturers, professional chemists or scientific officers in other universities, a government laboratory, a racing laboratory and drug companies. At least five of the PhD graduates are now establishing their own research groups in Hong Kong, China and the US. Professor Wong believes that all the honours and credits he has received are to be shared with his research students as they are the real people doing the job.