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My teaching 

Mission statement

“Science is much more than a body of knowledge. Science invites us to let the facts in, even when they don’t conform to our preconceptions. It counsels us to carry alternative hypotheses in our heads and see which ones best match the facts. It urges on us a fine balance between no-holds-barred openness to new ideas, however heretical, and the most rigorous skeptical scrutiny of everything - new ideas and established wisdom. We need wide appreciation of this kind of thinking. It works. It’s an essential tool for a democracy in an age of change. Our task is not just to train more scientists but also to deepen public understanding of science.”

Carl Sagan



To equip young people with a scientific education is to prepare them for an informed life in a world where science is becoming increasingly essential for a global citizen. My mission is to stimulate students to appreciate the intricacy and complexity of organisms, and to integrate this knowledge to the world around us. At all times, students are reminded to connect science to issues of human interests. In all my courses, students will examine social, ethical and environmental issues relevant to biology in the 21st century.


After a century in which physical sciences and engineering have dominated public attention, many of the most challenging issues in the 21st century are biology-related: dealing with emergent diseases, feeding the increasing world population, generating energy from biological sources, creating better environment for sustainable growth. Biology is on the verge of answering some of the most fundamental questions of our existence: How do organisms grow and develop? To what extent can and should we manipulate biology for our purposes? 


My career objective is to cultivate my students to develop a “scientific worldview”, as verbalised by Carl Sagan in his classical 1990 article “Why we need to understand science” (see left). I strive to inspire, using various realms of biology as examples, the students to examine and evaluate fundamental questions of life by using an evidence-based approach.


I initiated, co-designed and direct an innovative undergraduate programme called “Global Research Enrichment and Technopreneurship (GREAT). This 4-year programme aims to nurture students who are interested in pursuing a career in scientific research or starting business ventures that involve the use of new scientific discoveries and innovative technologies. I was the winner of the CityU innovative e-learning award in 2020 and was shortlisted for the CityU Teaching Excellence Award in 2021. My approach to teaching was featured in the following TED talk (

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