Professor Rocky S. Tuan assumed office as the eighth Vice-Chancellor and President of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) on 1 January 2018. Born and raised in Hong Kong, he pursued further studies in the United States and received his PhD in Life Sciences in 1977 from the Rockefeller University in New York. He is concurrently Lee Quo Wei and Lee Yick Hoi Lun Professor of Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine at CUHK.
Prior to joining CUHK in 2016 as a Distinguished Visiting Professor and the Founding Director of the Institute for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine, Professor Tuan was Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh (Pitt) School of Medicine, where he served from 2009 as the Founding Director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering, and as Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. Chair Professor of Sports Medicine and Executive Vice-Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, with a joint appointment as Professor in the Department of Bioengineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. In 2012, Professor Tuan was appointed by Pitt as Associate Director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine and Founding Director of the Center for Military Medicine Research. Beginning in 2010, he has served as Co-Director of the Armed Forces Institute of Regenerative Medicine, a US Department of Defense funded, national, multi-institutional consortium focusing on developing translational regenerative therapies for battlefield injuries.
Professor Tuan began his academic career in 1980 in the Department of Biology, University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. In 1988, Professor Tuan joined Thomas Jefferson University (Jefferson), Philadelphia, to be the Director of Orthopaedic Research and Professor and Vice-Chairman of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery with a joint professorial appointment in the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. From 1992 to 1995, Professor Tuan was the Academic Director of the MD/PhD programme at Jefferson, and in 1997, he established at Jefferson the first Cell and Tissue Engineering PhD programme in the U.S.A., with the mission of training the next generation of “cross-cultural” biomedical scientists committed to regenerative medicine and the development of functional tissue substitutes. In 2001, Professor Tuan was recruited by the Intramural Research Program of the National Institute of Arthritis, and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMS), National Institutes of Health (NIH), as Chief of the newly created Cartilage Biology and Orthopaedics Branch.
Professor Tuan is an internationally renowned biomedical scientist specializing in musculoskeletal biology and tissue regeneration, whose work covers both basic science and engineering, as well as translational and clinical applications. His research accomplishments are in the areas of cell and developmental biology, stem cells, biomaterials, tissue engineering, regenerative medicine, 3D printing, and tissue chip technologies. He directs a multidisciplinary research programme, focusing on the study of biological activities that are important for the development, growth, function, and health of musculoskeletal tissues, and the translation of this knowledge to develop technologies that will regenerate and/or restore functions to diseased and damaged tissues, particularly those related to trauma, injuries, and aging.
Professor Tuan’s significant contributions have been recognized by the Coventry Award of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons in 1996, the Hap Paul Award of the International Society of Technologies in Arthroplasty in 1997, the Marshall Urist Award for Excellence in Tissue Regeneration Research of the Orthopaedic Research Society in 2004, the Carnegie Science Award in Life Sciences, and the Clemson Award of the Society for Biomaterials in 2016. In 2017, Professor Tuan was elected a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) for his accomplishments in innovation and translational research that bring significant impact on society.
Professor Tuan has authored over 450 research publications and is a Founding Editor of the developmental biology journal Birth Defects Research, and the leading stem cell journal Stem Cell Research and Therapy. Professor Tuan is well acquainted with academic research in Hong Kong, having previously served as a member, then Chairman, of the Biology and Medicine Panel of the Research Grants Council from 2010 to 2016.