Nominated by the Hong Kong SAR Government's Trade and Industry Department, Prof Nancy Ip, Dean of Science, was recently honored as a 'Women Innovator' at the APEC's Women and the Economy Summit. With only two nominees selected from each economy, this prestigious award aims to honor women who have made a significant impact in their industry. This high-powered international event was hosted by the US State Department from September 13 to 16 in San Francisco. The importance of the occasion was highlighted by the attendance of the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who delivered the keynote address. It also attracted the participation of other high-profile international leaders such as the former UK First Lady Cherie Blair.
Prof Ip was recognized for her outstanding achievements in molecular neuroscience research, specifically on how nerve cells communicate in the brain and the identification of novel neurotrophic factors, which are proteins that promote the survival, development, and maintenance of brain cells. Her work has made significant contributions in the global effort towards understanding and treating neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases.
An exemplar figure for women in science, Prof Ip is an inspiration to all women who are drawn to a career in science, a pursuit, which in her words, offers "great intellectual excitement". A passionate educator and researcher, she has one word of advice to her academic sisters who wish to follow in her footsteps: "Perseverance".