Chemical Biology and Medicinal Chemistry, K.H. Lee, News
Grayson Mendenhall
September 25, 2019

Kuo-Hsiung Lee, Ph.D., during a meeting with Kaohsiung Medical University at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy on Sept. 23, 2019. Photo by Jenna Miller / UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy

For nearly 50 years, Kuo-Hsiung Lee, Ph.D., has connected the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy to his beloved alma mater of Kaohsiung Medical University (KMU) in Taiwan.

Through the years, more than a dozen visiting scholars from the medical university have collaborated with Lee in his lab in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

“I love this school and Chapel Hill,” Lee said. “I hope to make both countries strong scientifically.”

On Sept. 23, 2019, Lee continued to advance the collaboration by hosting members of Kaohsiung Medical University at the UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy for a campus tour and briefing with Interim Dean Dhiren Thakker.

Of those in attendance included KMU’s Chin-Chung Wu, associate vice president of research and development. Wu participated as a visiting scholar in Lee’s Chapel Hill-based lab in 2003.

“It’s my great pleasure to come back to UNC Chapel Hill. I would like to express my thanks to Dr. Lee,” he said.

Visitors from Kaohsiung Medical University in Taiwan meet with UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy leadership on Sept. 23, 2019. Photo by Jenna Miller / UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy

Wu focused his presentation on a high-level overview of KMU. The medical university boasts about 8,000 students and faculty and has 1,095 physicians. The campus is comprised of seven colleges, one center and 14 research centers.

He went on to speak about plant-based medications being developed on campus by first describing the landscape in Taiwan. From the great coral reef and abundance of marine species, to the more than 200 mountaintops standing more than 9,000 feet above sea level, he said, “It’s the perfect place for rich biodiversity.”

KMU highlighted their extensive plant library that features more than 30,000 plants and is home to more than 4,000 plant species.

Lee’s presentation complimented KMU’s and focused on plant-based research regarding anti-cancer compounds, anti-malarial drugs and ancient Chinese medicine.

UNC Eshelman School of Pharmacy Interim Dean Dhiren Thakker echoed praise for Lee and the collaboration he has built.

“On behalf of the UNC Eshleman School of Pharmacy, I want to welcome you to our School. You have built a strong relationship with Dr. Lee’s lab and we want to thank you for this partnership. We are all very proud of what Dr. Lee has accomplished,” Thakker said.

Lee will be traveling to Taiwan in October to continue advancing research projects between the two universities.

“The law of nature is to reward hard work,” Lee added. “Unless you work hard, you’ll never have a chance.”

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