Public Lecture: Inspired by Lipids

Date: February 28, 2018 (Wednesday)
Time: 5:30 pm (light refreshments from 5 pm)
Venue: Wang Gungwu Theatre, Graduate House, HKU
Medium: English
Speaker: Professor John L Harwood
PhD, DSc, FLSW Cardiff School of Biosciences, Cardiff University, Wales, UK


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  • Public Lecture: Inspired by Lipids


Lipids are major dietary constituents but they also have vital functions for good health and vitality in all living organisms. This lecture will show how crucial insights from basic research have had important applications for medicine, agriculture and the environment. In the presentation, the speaker will give examples of the use of lung surfactant to prevent respiratory disease, the synthesis of the vital essential fatty acid linolenic acid, how organisms survive climate change, the importance of dietary omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids for good health and how we may increase supplies of edible oils in the world. 

About the speaker

Professor John Harwood obtained his BSc and PhD and was later awarded a DSc at the University of Birmingham, U.K. before carrying out post-doctoral research at the University of California, Davis and the University of Leeds. He was appointed lecturer in Cardiff University, U.K., promoted to Reader and then Professor. He has also served as Head of Research, Deputy Director and Director there. Professor Harwood’s research concerns the metabolism and function of acyl lipids. His research spans organisms from microbes through plants to humans and has contributed to our understanding of metabolic pathways and their regulation. It has implications for the environment, agriculture and health. He has over 600 publications, has co-authored four books (including Lipids: Biochemistry, Biotechnology and Health—a classic advanced text) and edited 16 volumes including The Lipid Handbook (impact factor about 11). His research has been recognised by some 25 awards, including the most prestigious for lipid science in the U.S.A., the U.K. and France. He has been elected a Fellow of the American Oil Chemists Society, the International Society for Biotechnology, the Hungarian Academy of Sciences and the Learned Society of Wales.   

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