Professor Paul Kwong-hang TAM, JP (WYHK ’69)

Professor Paul Kwong-hang Tam, JP; MBBS(HK); ChM(Liv); FRCS(Eng, Edin, Glas, and Ire); FRCPCH; FHKAM (Surgery) is a surgeon, scientist, educator and university leader. He has been Chair of Paediatric Surgery at The University of Hong Kong since 1996 and Li Shu-Pui Professor in Surgery since 2013. He was the Vice-President for Research (2003-2015), Acting President and Vice-Chancellor (February – July 2018) and Provost and Deputy Vice-Chancellor of the University of Hong Kong (2015-March 2019).

Professor Tam graduated from The University of Hong Kong in 1976, and worked in the Department of Surgery until 1986. He was Senior Lecturer at the University of Liverpool in 1986-90, and Reader and Director of Paediatric Surgery at the University of Oxford in 1990-96. Professor Tam has special interests in minimal invasive surgery, genetics and regenerative medicine of birth defects such as Hirschsprung’s disease. He has published 429 articles in internationally refereed journals with 21267 citations and h-index = 48, is ranked amongst the top 1% of most-cited scientists (ESI) and has been awarded grants totaling > US$20m. He serves on many international professional associations and was President of the Pacific Association of Paediatric Surgeons (2008-2009). He also serves on editorial boards of several international journals including the Journal of Pediatric Surgery as the Editor for Asia and member of International Advisory Board for the Lancet Child and Adolescent Health.

He has given invited lectures at BAPS, EUPSA, AAPS, Nature Forum and Days of Molecular Medicine. He has received numerous awards including the BAPS Prize, Lifetime Achievement Award (AAPS) and Honorary Fellowship of the American Surgical Association. He was awarded the 2017 Denis Browne Gold Medal, the highest award of the British Association of Paediatric Surgeons. He was appointed the Lancet’s Series Lead for the Surgical Series of two articles and one comment on Paediatric Surgery published on 9 September 2017. In February 2019, Professor Tam has been named the recipient of the Rehbein Medal for 2020 by the European Paediatric Surgeons’ Association (EUPSA) in recognition of his outstanding contribution to the advancement of paediatric surgery. Professor Tam is the first surgeon in Asia to be presented with this prestigious award and he will receive the award at EUPSA’s Congress held in June 2020 in Vienna, Austria.

He is particularly gratified to have led a number of projects in developing paediatric surgery in less affluent communities especially in China in the past two decades. He has also nurtured a generation of over 2000 paediatric surgeons in China through a training programme with far-reaching impact. He played a key role in bringing Karolinska Institutet, the academic home for the Nobel Prize in Physiology and Medicine, to establish its only footprint outside Sweden in Hong Kong. He is happily married to Amy for 38 years with 2 lovely daughters.