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Established in 1887

The Faculty of Medicine (formerly known as the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese) is both the first tertiary education institution in Hong Kong and the first local school of medicine.

In 1892

The first two graduates of the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese, Sun Yat-sen and Kong Ying-wah, are granted the qualified diploma of medicine.

In 1893

The Nethersole Hospital provides the first nursing course in Hong Kong.

In 1904

The Alice Memorial Hospital opens, offering the first medical course for midwives.

In 1906

Ho Miu Ling Hospital, named after one of Ho Kai’s sisters, is opened.

In 1907

The College is renamed the Hong Kong College of Medicine.

In 1908

Licentiates of the Hong Kong College of Medicine are recognized to be able to sign death certificates.

In 1910

Foundation Stone of Main Building is Laid by Governor Frederick Lugard on March 16, 1910.

In 1912

The University of Hong Kong is formally opened and the Hong Kong College of Medicine is incorporated within HKU as the first faculty. F. W. Clark becomes the first dean of the Faculty.

In 1913

The Ng Li Hing School of Anatomy is founded at the University of Hong Kong.

In 1914

George Harold Thomas, a former student at the College of Medicine, becomes the first graduate to be conferred the combined degree, Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, from the Faculty of Medicine at HKU.

In 1917

The Ng Li Hing School of Anatomy is extended to accommodate Physiology and is known as the School of Anatomy and Physiology.

In 1919

The School of Tropical Medicine and Pathology is opened on a site adjacent to the School of Anatomy and Physiology.

In 1920

Wang Chung-yik becomes the first Chinese to be appointed to the Chair of Pathology.

In 1922

The Rockefeller Foundation offers to fund chairs in Surgery, Medicine, and Obstetrics and Gynaecology. The Chairs in Medicine and Surgery are established.

In 1923

The Rockefeller-funded chair in obstetrics and gynaecology is established.

In 1932

Phoon Seck-wah becomes the first graduate from the Faculty to be awarded the degree of Master of Surgery.

In 1934

The General Medical Council renews its recognition of the MBBS Degree after a visit by Richard Needham.

In 1935

The School of Surgery, later renamed Digby School of Surgery, is formally opened on 7 January.

In 1937

Queen Mary Hospital is opened to provide clinical teaching, with the exception of obstetrics for HKU medical students.

In 1941

HKU activities are put to a halt. Gordon King, the dean of the Medical Faculty, commands the University emergency hospital to provide medical assistance to both civilians and the military.

In 1946

HKU classes resume. 33 medical students, who completed studies in Free China are conferred the recognized degree by the Hong Kong University Medical Degrees Emergency Committee.

In 1948

The University is officially reopened and new medical undergraduates are admitted again.

In 1952

The first post-war group of 22 students graduate. One outstanding student, David Todd later becomes the first graduate to be appointed as a professor of medicine.

In 1953

The Medical Council of Hong Kong requires all medical students to complete a pre-registration year of internship in hospital after graduation.

In 1956

A. R. Hodgson and F. E. Stock publish a paper on their pioneering anterior approach for the surgical treatment of spinal tuberculosis. The new technique catches worldwide attention and becomes known as the “Hong Kong operation”.

In 1959

The new Pathology Building at Queen Mary Hospital is formally opened.

In 1961

The first student is admitted for a Doctor of Philosophy degree.

In 1964

The first open-heart surgery in Hong Kong is performed by Ong Guan-bee and his team.

In 1965

Li Shu Fan Building of HKU Medical Faculty in Sassoon Road is opened to accommodate preclinical departments.

In 1966

The first phase of a then unnamed building adjoining the Li Shu Fan Building, housing the Medical Library and Faculty offices, is formally opened on Jan 22.

In 1967

The Professorial Block is opened within the Queen Mary Hospital compound to facilitate teaching, administration and research for patient care departments.

In 1969

The first kidney transplant is performed by a surgical team at Queen Mary Hospital.

In 1972

The construction of Patrick Manson Building is completed, which houses Medical Library and Faculty offices.

In 1977

The first successful microsurgical thumb replant in Hong Kong takes place.

In 1979

The Pauline Chan Building is opened on the HKU Medical Campus, and consists of student and staff amenities as well as the Medical Illustration Unit.

In 1982

Rosie Young Tse-tse is appointed as Dean of the Faculty, the first HKU medical graduate for the post.

In 1986

The library at the Li Shu Fan Building is renamed the Lee Hysan Medical Library.

In 1987

Celebrations take place for the centenary of HKU Medical Faculty and of medical education in Hong Kong.


The first bone marrow transplant in Hong Kong takes place.

In 1991

Hong Kong’s first liver transplant is performed by a team at Queen Mary Hospital.

In 1995

The Department of Nursing Studies is established and the Bachelor of Nursing program is launched.

In 1996

A surgical team from HKU carries out the world’s first successful living-related adult liver transplant using the donor’s right lobe.

In 1997

The undergraduate medical curriculum undergoes a major reform, introducing problem-based and system-based learning.

In 1998

The School of Chinese Medicine and the Bachelor of Chinese Medicine program is launched.

In 2002

The new medical campus for the Medical Faculty on Sassoon Road is opened. The new complex with 48,250 square meters is well equipped with facilities for medical education and research.

In 2003

The Department of Microbiology identifies the SARS coronavirus as the primary causative agent for SARS.

In 2004

The Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education is established, providing a regional benchmark and fostering excellence in professional medical education.

In 2005

The State Key Laboratories of Emerging Infectious Diseases and Brain and Cognitive Sciences are established - the first of such located outside mainland China.

In 2006

The liver transplant team from the Department of Surgery receives first-class award in the category of State Scientific and Technology Progress Award.

In 2007

A research project titled “Control of Pandemic and Inter-pandemic influenza”, led by HKU researchers, has been awarded HK$76 million in funding by the University Grants Committee (UGC) in the fourth round of its Areas of Excellence (AoE) scheme. It is the largest funding ever awarded by the UGC under the AoE scheme.

In 2009

The Faculty launches the Bachelor of Pharmacy program.

School of Public Health Inaugurated

The School of Public Health is officially inaugurated in 2009. And following an internal reorganisation in 2012, all substantive functions of the then Department of Community Medicine, Unit for Behavioural Sciences, influenza/public health virology research team (previously part of the Department of Microbiology), and HKU-Pasteur Pole become incorporated into the School.

In 2010

The Faculty ranks No.1 in Asia in the category “Clinical, Preclinical and Health Universities” of the 2010 Times Higher Education World University Rankings.

In 2011

Two health-related projects, "Personalized Medicine for Cardiovascular Diseases: From Genomic Testing and Biomarkers to Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Platform" and "Cell-based Heart Regeneration", led by the Faculty's researchers are funded in the first round of the Research Grants Committee's Theme-based Research Scheme.

In 2012

The Faculty launches the Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences program.

In 2013

New articulation arrangements between Biomedical Sciences of HKU and Veterinary Studies of The University of Edinburgh are introduced, enabling students to acquire two degrees in seven years.

In 2014

The HKU liver transplantation team wins the First Class Award of 2013 Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Awards from the Ministry of Education, China.

In 2015

HKU School of Public Health is designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control.