Macau University of Science and TechnologyA hub for research excellence in Greater China

A hub for research excellence in Greater China

Among the top 20 universities in Greater China, Macau University of Science and Technology is pioneering research in several fields across its laboratories and research centres

As the largest multidisciplinary university in Macau and among the top 20 universities in Greater China, the Macau University of Science and Technology (MUST) is committed to its dual role of equipping students with a solid theoretical foundation and practical excellence in their chosen fields. 

Since its founding in 2000, MUST has expanded rapidly and now boasts 10 faculties offering a wide range of courses, including social sciences, law, management, business, medicine, pharmacy, tourism, art, communication and languages. Scientific research is another key focus for the institution, with MUST owning two state key laboratories (SKLs), five partner research bases and a joint laboratory with the Ministry of Education of China.

Much of MUST’s most pioneering scientific work takes place at its SKLs, one of which is the State Key Lab of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine. Founded in January 2011, this was the first SKL established in Macau and remains the only SKL in the country specialising in the field of traditional Chinese medicine. The laboratory aims to become a research base for advanced international standards, innovative research and intellectual property rights. 

The lab brings together and cultivates talent in Chinese medicine while developing high-level international academic exchange and cooperation. The SKL of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine focuses on developing cutting-edge multidisciplinary technologies while establishing open scientific and technological platforms and innovative pharmaceutical research.

The SKL of Quality Research in Chinese Medicine pays special attention to the integration of novel technologies in multidisciplinary fields, focusing on two specific research areas: quality research of traditional Chinese medicine and new drug development. The four areas of research focused on at the lab are the chemical characterisation of traditional Chinese medicine, quality study of high-value Chinese herbal medicine, standardisation and application of anticancer and anti-inflammatory Chinese medicines, and novel Chinese medicines to treat neurodegenerative and metabolic disorders. 

The second of the two SKLs owned by MUST is the SKL of Lunar and Planetary Sciences. This lab was established in October 2018 as the first SKL for astronomy and planetary sciences in China. This particular SKL developed from the former Lunar and Planetary Science Laboratory, a joint laboratory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences’ (CAS) Key Laboratory of Lunar and Deep Space Exploration, the first offshore co-laboratory of the CAS. 

The laboratory began participating in the Chinese Lunar Exploration Project in 2005 through data analysis and scientific research, making MUST the earliest participant from the Hong Kong and Macau region. The overall goals of this SKL are threefold: to develop the laboratory into a planetary science research centre with international impact; to construct a high-standard international academic exchange and cooperation hub; and to participate in major national deep space exploration projects. The lab also provides scientific support, fosters top-class planetary science talent for the nation and hosts a truly international research team. 

In addition, the Data Centre for Science and Application of Macau Satellites was established in March 2022, becoming the first satellite data management organisation established in Macau. The centre is connected to the Macau Science 1 satellite project, with the satellite scheduled to launch at the end of 2022. This will be the first and, so far, only scientific exploration satellite using near-equatorial orbit to monitor the geomagnetic field and space environment of
the South Atlantic Anomaly.

 Another focal point for scientific research at MUST is the National Observation and Research Station of Coastal Ecological Environments in Macau. The research station was formally launched by the Ministry of Science and Technology in October 2021, becoming the first and only national observation and research station outside mainland China with an observation platform for coastal ecology. 

The facility was built under the patronage and guidance of MUST and, through its establishment, will foster collaboration between Tsinghua University, Peking University, the CAS, and the China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, among other institutions. The station will focus on scientific observation, joint research and talent training.

The national observation and research station will greatly enhance MUST’s research capabilities in the areas of multipollutant synergistic control, regional synergistic management and ecological restoration. Research fields studied at the station are not only related to coastal environments, however, but touch on other areas, from genomics to sewage treatment engineering design, water eutrophication management, and intelligent forecasting of storm surges and extreme weather disasters. 

The station provides strong support for the low-carbon economy, green development and ecological civilisation building in the Greater Bay Area. It is indicative of the pioneering research and long-term ambitions that can be found across the laboratories and research centres at MUST.

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