Open main menu

Rocky S. Tuan (Chinese: 段崇智) is a scientist and engineer, currently the vice-chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong, where he served as Distinguished Visiting Professor and Director of the Institute for Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine prior to taking up the vice-chancellorship,.[1] Previously he was on the faculty at the University of Pittsburgh, where he held a number of roles: Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. Professor of Sports Medicine and the Executive Vice Chair of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, and a professor in the Department of Bioengineering. He was the director of the Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering and the Center for Military Medicine Research, and an associate director of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.

Rocky S. Tuan
8th Vice-Chancellor and President of the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Assumed office
1 January 2018
ChancellorCarrie Lam
Preceded byJoseph Sung
Personal details
BornBritish Hong Kong
Spouse(s)Cecilia Lo
Alma materBerea College (B.S.), Rockefeller University (Ph.D.)
Scientific career
FieldsTissue engineering
InstitutionsUniversity of Pittsburgh (2009-17)
ThesisCalcium Binding Protein of Chick Chorioallantoic Membrane
Doctoral advisorZanvil Cohn

Tuan's research efforts focus on bioengineering applied to the musculoskeletal system.[2][3][4][5]



Born in Hong Kong to Republic of China Army veterans, Tuan completed primary and secondary educations at St. Joseph's Anglo-Chinese School, and then attended briefly the Queen's College without sitting for the matriculation examination. He received his bachelor's degree from Berea College in Kentucky in 1972. He received his Ph.D. from Rockefeller University in New York City in 1977, supervised by Zanvil Cohn. He then began as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School, first with Melvin J. Glimcher and later with Jerome Gross.[2]

Academic careerEdit

Tuan began his independent research career in 1980 when he joined the Department of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania. In 1988 he moved to Thomas Jefferson University, where he held joint appointments in the departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. He served as the Director of Orthopaedic Research and Vice Chair of the department, and later took on the role of academic director of the institution's MD-PhD joint degree program. He also worked to develop a Ph.D. program in Cell and Tissue Engineering, launched in 1997 and noted at the first such program in the US.[2]

In 2001 Tuan left Jefferson to take an intramural research position at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases (NIAMD), one of the United States National Institutes of Health, where he became chief of the newly established Cartilage Biology and Orthopaedics Branch.[2][6] Eight years later, he and his wife, fellow NIH scientist Cecilia Lo, were recruited to the University of Pittsburgh,[7] where Tuan joined the departments of orthopaedic surgery and bioengineering and became the founding director of the newly established Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering.[2] He was appointed the Arthur J. Rooney, Sr. Professor of Sports Medicine in 2010. Two years later, he assumed the directorship of the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Military Medicine Research and associate directorship of the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine.[5]

Tuan is a founding editor-in-chief of the scientific journal Stem Cell Research & Therapy[2][8] and the editor of Birth Defects Research Part C: Embryo Today.[2][9] He and Lo co-edited a three-volume book titled Developmental Biology Protocols.[10][11][12]

In 2017, Tuan was appointed as the eighth vice-chancellor and president of the Chinese University of Hong Kong in his native city. He took up the post in January 2018.[1]


Tuan's research group focuses on bioengineering and tissue regeneration as applied to the musculoskeletal system, with an interest in translational research. Tuan's group has expertise in the study of adult stem cells and in the development of the musculoskeletal system.[2] Among their efforts is a research project aimed at using 3D printing technology to restore function of joints damaged by diseases such as osteoarthritis,[13] and work funded in 2016 to study model systems on the International Space Station.[14]

Awards and honorsEdit

External linksEdit


  1. ^ a b "Professor Rocky S. Tuan Appointed the Eighth Vice-Chancellor and President of CUHK". Chinese University of Hong Kong. 25 July 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g h "Rocky S. Tuan, Ph.D." McGowan Institute. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  3. ^ "Rocky S. Tuan". Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering, University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  4. ^ "Rocky Tuan". Molecular Genetics and Developmental Biology Program, University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 12 May 2017.
  5. ^ a b c d "Rocky S. Tuan, Ph.D." Department of Pathology, University of Pittsburgh. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  6. ^ "NIH Record-11/27/2001--Tuan Named Chief of NIAMS Branch". Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  7. ^ Heinrichs, Allison M. (2009-04-22). "Husband-wife team leaves NIH to start new medical centers at Pitt". Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  8. ^ "Stem Cell Research & Therapy Editorial Board". Stem Cell Research & Therapy. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  9. ^ "Editorial Board". Birth Defects Research Part C: Embryo Today: Reviews. doi:10.1002/(ISSN)1542-9768.
  10. ^ Tuan, Rocky S.; Lo, Cecilia W. (2000). Developmental Biology Protocols : Volume I. Humana Press. ISBN 9780896038523. OCLC 756436545.
  11. ^ S., Tuan, Rocky; W., Lo, Cecilia (2000). Developmental biology protocols. Volume II. Humana Press. ISBN 9780896038530. OCLC 170934659.
  12. ^ S., Tuan, Rocky; W., Lo, Cecilia (2000). Developmental biology protocols. Volume III. Humana Press. ISBN 9780896038547. OCLC 44764383.
  13. ^ Sowa, Frank (2014-06-21). "Pitt's 3D bioprinting technology combats osteoarthritis - NEXTpittsburgh". NEXTpittsburgh. Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  14. ^ "Pitt Researchers to Study Bone Loss in Space". Retrieved 2017-05-17.
  15. ^ "Rocky Tuan, Ph.D." American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  16. ^ "Marshall R. Urist, MD Award". Orthopedic Research Society. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  17. ^ "Awardees 1997-2016" (PDF). Carnegie Science Center. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
  18. ^ "Past Awardees". Society for Biomaterials. Retrieved 17 May 2017.
Academic offices
Preceded by
Joseph Sung
Vice-Chancellor of the Chinese University of Hong Kong
Since 2018