HKBU presents Cheung On Tak International Award for Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Medicine to German Chinese medicine scholar Professor Gerhard Franz
28 Mar 2018
The School of Chinese Medicine (SCM) presented last Friday (23 March) the Fourth Cheung On Tak International Award for Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Medicine to Professor Gerhard Franz, Chairman of Herbal Medicine Committee, German Pharmacopoeia, and Chair Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Chemistry and Pharmacy, University of Regensburg, in recognition of his tremendous contribution to research related to analysis, quality control and standardisation of European medicinal plants as well as building an optimal link for the ongoing progress and modernisation of traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) research in China.
Professor Gerhard Franz has over 45 years of teaching experience in the field of pharmacy education in Germany, Switzerland, France, China and so forth. His research focus includes analysis, quality control and standardisation of European medicinal plants. He was appointed a Member of the German Governmental Commission E, the first group of experts with the task of elaborating official monographs on the safety and efficacy of herbal drugs utilised in Europe. Under his guidance, the TCM work programme of the European Pharmacopeia Commission elaborated 70 TCM herbal drug monographs. The monographs have become the legal basis for TCM practitioners in all member states of the European Union. It serves as an optimal link to the ongoing progress and modernisation of TCM research in China.
Professor Franz was appointed member of the International Advisory Board for Hong Kong Chinese Materia Medica Standards in 2008 where he is still active, acting as a link to the European Pharmacopoeia. His efforts to modernise TCM herbal drugs have been well documented in more than 280 SCI papers. Professor Franz has conducted many editorial activities in highly respected international journals, such as the World Journal of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Journal of Traditional and Kampo Medicine, and Planta Medica. Over the years, he received various awards for his remarkable academic accomplishments, including the Silver Medal from “Academie Française de Pharmacie”, and an Honorary Membership of the Good Practice in TCM Research Association. He also received the Annual Award from the World Federation of Chinese Medicine Societies, Qihuang International Award from the China Association of Chinese Medicine, and the Lesmüller Medaille from the ABDA - Federal Union of German Associations of Pharmacists.
At the Award Winner’s Lecture following the ceremony, Professor Franz gave a talk entitled “Internationalisation of Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Global Challenge”. He said the elaborating and implementing of quality monographs for the European Pharmacopoeia (Ph Eur) over the past decade arose from the need of European patients for safe access to Chinese Materia Medica. However, the existing quality standards of the Chinese Pharmacopoeia (Ch P) could not be directly adopted, due to significant differences between the legal requirements of Ph Eur and Ch P. Consequently, an experimental re-examination and, in some cases, introduction of new analytical methods have to be applied to pre-existing Ch P TCM herbal drug monographs prior to acceptance by the Ph Eur Commission before implementation in all European Union member states.
Professor Franz explained that in addition to the unambiguous identification of the herbal drug materials, the quantification of chemically defined marker substances in many TCM samples is still a major issue which cannot be easily resolved. Consequently, continuous cooperation with specialists of Ch P is essential in that they could assist in the provision of authenticated herbal drug materials and in the elaboration of new monographs. Therefore, collaboration with the Chinese State Administration of TCM is of utmost importance.
The biennial Cheung On Tak International Award for Outstanding Contribution to Chinese Medicine was launched by HKBU in 2011 to recognise scientists and scholars who have made outstanding contributions to the internationalisation of Chinese medicine or breakthroughs in Chinese medicine research for the purpose of fostering the development of Chinese medicine and promoting its modernisation and internationalisation.