Taipei. June 18, 2009. SCBA honors the life and achievement of Professor Ray J. Wu, Liberty Hyde Bailey Professor of Molecular Biology and Genetics, Cornell University, who passed away on February 10, 2008, with a Ray J. Wu Memorial Legacy lecuture. Dr. Wu came to United States in 1948, following the footsteps of his father, Professor Hsien Wu, who was considered by many "the father of biochemistry" in modern China and the founding Chair of the Department of Biochemistry at the Peking Union Medical College in Beijing. In addition to his excellent scientific achievements, Professor Ray Wu founded the China-United States Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Examination and Application (CUSBEA) Program in 1982, which recruited over 400 elite Chinese students to Universities all over USA for graduate education. The CUSBEA program had produced over 100 faculty members in major universities and numerous COOs, CEOs and CSOs in many biotechnology companies. Dr. Wu was also instrumental in the establishment of the Institute of Molecular Biology and the Institute of BioAgricultural Sciences at the Academia Sinica. Since 1988, his research focused on solving the food problems in the world, using transgenic technology on rice and in establishing drought- and salt-tolerant rice and other crop plants. For his research achievements, he was awarded the prestigious Frank Annunzio Award and the Christopher Columbus Foundation Fellowship.
Professor Xiaodong Wang, theMecGregor Distinguished Professor, University of Texas-Southwestern University, delivered the first Ray J. Wu Memorial Legacy Lecture, entitled "Mitochondrial Pathway for Apoptosis". Dr. Wang was born in 1963 in Wuhan and is a truely success story of the CUSBEA Program, founded by Professor Ray Wu. Through this program, Dr. Wang obtained his Ph.D. in UT-Southwestern and received postdoctoral training in the laboratory of Nobel Laureates, Mike Brown and Joe Goldstein. He is credited with major discoveries in the biochemical pathways in apoptosis. For his work, he was elected as a member of the National Academy of Sciences, USA in 2004 at the tender age of 41, and was honored with the Eli Elly Award in 2000, the Paul Marks Prize in 2001, the Hackerman Award in 2002, and the US$1 million Shaw Prize in Life Science and Medicine in 2006, and the Richard Lounsbery Award in 2007.
Following Professor Wang's lecture, Professor Robert Yu, the SCBA President, presented a brief history of the CUSBEA Program and another more recent program, China-United States Biochemistry Admission (CUSBA) porgram, which Professors Yu and Wu co-founded in 1995 with the support of SCBA. Scientists who have benefited from both CUSBEA and CUSBA Programs had established the Ray Wu Society to promote continuous advancement of sciences, and had recently expanded the Society to the Chinese Biological Investigators Society in 2003.