Facing the World with Humility and Confidence: An Interview with Academician Yiting Li

Professor Yiting Li of NTU’s Department of Economics was elected as an Academician of Academia Sinica in July, 2022. Looking back at her academic career, she found to her surprise that “the word I use the most is ‘fortunate.’” She once read an article that mentioned life is a U-bend, and the “happiness curve” of life hits rock bottom at around the age of 46. “After that, the only way to go is up.” She always says the value of money is based on the “self-fulfilling prophecy,” so she is welcoming the moment of her self-fulfillment with gratitude, grace, and ease.

Passing the Baton: Presidential Handover

National Taiwan University held the 13th Presidential Handover Ceremony on January 7 with the Ministry of Education (MOE)’s Political Deputy Minister of Education Mon-Chi Lio presenting the letter of appointment to Professor Wen-Chang Chen, the new President and the outgoing President Chung-Ming Kuan handing over the presidential seal. With enthusiastic guests from all walks of life filling the hall, the historic yet heartwarming ceremony was punctuated with frequent bursts of applause and laughter.


European Tour: Recruiting Semiconductor Talents and Promoting Partnerships

Then Vice President for Academic Affairs Professor Shih-Torng Ding, Vice President for International Affairs Professor Hsiao-Wei Yuan, and Associate Vice President for International Affairs Professor Jiun-Haw Lee led representatives from National Cheng Kung University, National Tsing Hua University, National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University, and National Sun Yat-sen University to promote the MOFA Taiwan Semiconductor Scholarship Program, recruit semiconductor talents, and advance partnerships in Central and Eastern Europe last winter.

Partnering with the World’s Most Innovative University

Based in the United States, Minerva University is known as one of the most innovative institutions of higher education in the world. The vision began with fundraising for the Minerva Project in 2012, and the university welcomed its first class of students in 2014. Subverting the accepted norms and standards of higher education, Minerva aims to cultivate wise thinkers who can make critical decisions for the world. Minerva has been a high-profile university since its inception, and was named the world’s most innovative university by the 2022 World’s University with Real Impact (WURI) report.

Strengthening the Ties: Visits of the Czech Delegation and the Ministry of National Education of Poland

Last Autumn, a delegation of 14 academics and officials led by Senator Jiří Drahoš, Chairperson of the Czech Senate’s Committee on Education, Science, Culture, Human Rights and Petitions, visited NTU to explore cooperation opportunities and deepen bilateral ties. The delegation includes leaders in education, science, and culture, including Eva Zažímalová, President of the Czech Academy of Sciences, Radka Wildová, Deputy Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Jana Havlikova, Deputy Minister for Science, Research and Innovation, and Michal Lukeš, Director of the National Museum.

Industry-Academia Collaboration on Carbon Sequestration with Japan

To accelerate reaching Taiwan’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050, NTU researchers are actively studying carbon negative solutions and striving to harness their findings in the development of industrial technologies—and realize University Social Responsibility (USR). Professor Chung-Ming Kuan, the then President of NTU, led a delegation to Japan in December 2022. As representatives of the newly established Science and Technology Research Institute of DE-Carbonization (STRIDE-C), the NTU Department of Geosciences, the NTU Institute of Oceanography, and National Dong Hwa University, the seven delegates visited Japan CCS Co., Ltd. (JCCS), Japan Agency for Marine-Earth Science and Technology (JAMSTEC), and Kochi University (KU).


Breaks before Synthesis - New Insights into ALT Cancer Therapy

Maintenance of telomere length is closely related to processes of cancers and aging. How do telomeres extend in length? It is well-known that the telomerase enzyme can lengthen telomeres. However, some cancers do not depend on telomerase activity to lengthen their telomeres. Instead, they utilize “Alternative lengthening of Telomeres (ALT),” a mechanism that includes a break-induced replication to extend telomeres and is highly conserved in many eukaryotes. Patients with ALT cancers have a higher mortality rate than those with non-ALT cancers.

New Treatment Strategy for Sepsis

Sepsis is the body’s life-threatening response to infection. It occurs when the body overreacts in a toxic manner, leading to internal tissue and organ damage and even death. One’s immune system usually serves to fight invaders, such as bacteria and viruses; sometimes, however, the immune system turns on itself instead of fighting the “invaders,” inducing a sepsis state. In intensive care patients, sepsis is the single most usual cause of death, despite timely delivery of hemodynamic, metabolic, ventilatory, and renal support.

A Spatial Epidemic Simulation Approach for Combating COVID-19

For early detection of invisible or early disease spreaders, it is crucial to persuade the public to participate in voluntary testing. The effect of this measure, however, may vary and be undermined depending on the public’s awareness of the pandemic and compliance with the quarantine and health guidelines. Prof. Tzai-Hung Wen and Dr. Fei-Ying Kuo of NTU’s Department of Geography conducted geospatial modeling research on the pandemic to assess how the spatial demand for testing kits during different periods of the epidemic could have affected the effectiveness of voluntary COVID-19 screening.

A Large-scale International Genetic Study of Bipolar Disorder in Asian Populations

Bipolar disorder (BP) is a severe multifactorial neuropsychiatric disorder that leads to intense shifts in mood, energy levels, and behavior. BP occurs in 1-2 percent of the general population, yet its genetic architecture remains a mystery. Although the Asian population accounts for nearly 60 percent of the world population, most participants of BP genetic studies are Europeans, only 10 percent of them are Asian. To fill in the missing genetic datasets and learn how genomic variation affects the biological basis of mental disorders, NTU researchers joined A-BIG-NET project to uncover the biological causes and mechanisms of BP among Asians. Their findings may reveal the genetic roots of the disorder and offer insights into the cause and treatment of BP.


Developing Emerging Leaders in Smart Medicine and Health Informatics

The Master’s Program in Smart Medicine and Health Informatics (Smart MHI) was launched by the International College of NTU in 2021. Smart MHI is the third English-instructed interdisciplinary program at NTU. Drawing on NTU’s resources and faculty in Information Communication Technologies (ICT) and healthcare, Taiwan’s two major industrial advantages, Smart MHI is aimed to cultivate outstanding talents proficient in core technologies of smart medicine.

University Social Responsibility for Sustainable Development

“If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” In response to the in-depth discussions on issues related to human survival at the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27), the higher education community in Taiwan is brainstorming how to work cooperatively to advance sustainable development. To this end, a total of 9 public universities, including National Taiwan University, National Taiwan Normal University, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, National Central University, National Chung Hsing University, National Sun Yat-sen University, National Taiwan Ocean University, National Pingtung University of Science and Technology, and National Dong Hwa University established the “Taiwan University Alliance for Sustainable Governance” in late 2022 to actively shoulder the university social responsibility for sustainable development together.


Passing on the Passion for a Half Century: Men’s Tennis Team

“I finally defeated my inner demon in my thirteenth challenge. In the match deciding our advance from the quarter-finals to the semifinals, I scored nearly 20 Deuce and survived at least 10 break points. At that moment, I heard the final obstacle inside me being released. The voice in my head said, I made it,” declared Cheng-Han Yang of the Graduate Institute of Interdisciplinary Legal Studies, now champion of the 2022 NTU Cup.

Vilnius, A Glimpse into Eastern Europe and Russia

The Koo Chen-Fu Memorial Library of the College of Social Sciences held a series of events as part of the book fair Vilnius, a Glimpse into Eastern Europe and Russia at the end of 2022. During the COVID-19 outbreak in Taiwan in 2021, Lithuania donated vaccine to Taiwan and then set up the Lithuanian Trade Representative Office in September 2022. The Russo-Ukrainian War which broke out in the beginning of 2022 has attracted global attention. The book fair offered the opportunity for people here to discover the largely unfamiliar region of Eastern Europe from the perspective of Vilnius, the historical capital of Lithuania, a country that has belonged to different countries due to political and military circumstances over the years. Visitors at the book fair were encouraged to explore Lithuania and its neighboring countries, such as Estonia, Latvia, Belarus, Ukraine, and Russia.

A Night of Discovering the Beauty of Kun Opera

Co-organized by the Office of Student Affairs and the Chien Kuo Foundation for the Arts and Culture, an on-campus Kun Opera performance by the Kun Art Platform delivered a wonderful afternoon and evening to every attendee, at the end of 2022. The event featured two excerpts from Kun operas plus in-depth explanations by Dr. Shih-Pe Wang, then Vice President for Student Affairs and the actors, allowing the NTU faculty members and students in attendance to appreciate the special charm and features of Kun opera.

In Memory of the Father of Public Health with Keio University

The NTU College of Public Health and the Dr. KP Chen Foundation for Preventive Medicine held the “2022 KP Chen Memorial Lecture” last November. The guest speaker, Prof. Masayuki Amagai, Vice President of Keio University, delivered a lecture titled “In memory of Dr. KP Chen: Connecting the past with the future of his alma mater, Keio University.”