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The Division of Life Science offers rigorous postgraduate programs and research opportunities in a range of cutting-edge areas in the field, particularly in neuroscience, structural biology, cell and developmental biology, marine and environmental biology and biotechnology.

We strive to provide an inspirational environment for student learning and for tackling the challenges of modern life science.

Our mission is to sustain and promulgate a reputable academic program in life science by achieving excellence in research and education, and by making significant contributions to biotechnological innovations in regional and international arenas. Currently, the Division has a total of 180 postgraduate students, 120 of whom are PhD students.

The Division is home to the State Key Laboratory of Molecular Neuroscience; a recognition of the standard of work being carried out and of its important contribution to Mainland China’s development. In addition, the Division has a large collection of state-of-the-art equipment and is a major stakeholder in HKUST’s Biosciences Central Research Facility.

The MPhil program provides research training in major areas of life science. It enables students to acquire the knowledge, skills, and experience required for research. Submission and successful defense of a thesis based on original research are required.

Research Focus
Research and development within the Division of Life Science emphasizes the following areas:
-Cellular Regulation and Signaling
-Cancer Biology
-Developmental Biology
-Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience
-Macromolecular Structure and Function
-Marine and Environmental Science
-Biotechnology and Medicinal Biochemistry

Faculty members working in these areas form a coordinated research team. Such coordination takes full advantage of the faculty’s expertise in generating innovative development and productive research. At the same time, it creates a stimulating atmosphere in which students experience the challenge of modern research through direct participation.

Facilities
The Division is excellently equipped for research in a broad range of areas. The Animal Care and Plant Care Facility provides a centralized and modern facility for animals and plants. Centralized state-of-the-art facilities for biochemical and cellular studies are provided by the Biosciences Central Research Facility. The Division also has the following facilities:

Cell Culture
Facilities for the cultivation, maintenance, characterization and cold storage of animal and plant cells.

Molecular and Cellular Biology
Major equipment includes fluorescence-activated cell sorters, automatic DNA sequencers, real-time PCR machines, ultracentrifuges, spectrophotometers and spectrofluorimeters, MALDI-TOF / TOF and LC-MS mass spectrometers, HPLC and FPLC, gamma and liquid scintillation counters.

Modern Microscopy
The Division has an array of state-of-the-art imaging facilities including several fluorescence microscopes, confocal laser scanning microscopes, atomic force microscope, total internal reflection fluorescence microscope, STED and STORM superresolution microscopes.

Marine / Environmental Biology
The University is bordered by an extensive shoreline of various habitats and has a 19-foot outboard-motor boat for near-shore operations and a wet laboratory of circulating sea water. A high-quality marine laboratory has been built on the campus waterfront.

Biomolecular Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometers
Our state-of-the-art NMR facility consists of 500, 750 and 800 MHz NMR spectrometers equipped with cryoprobes for structure-function studies. NMR is used to study structure, dynamics and function of proteins, nucleic acids and other bio-molecules in solution. In addition, NMR can also facilitate drug screening and design.

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