Professor Yuet-Wai Kan is currently the Louis K Diamond Professor of Hematology at the University of California, San Francisco, USA and he focuses his research on the use of gene and cell therapy to treat sickle cell anemia and thalassemia. Professor Kan was born in Hong Kong, graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong and trained at Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, before going to the United States for further studies.

Professor Kan's contributions led to the innovation of DNA diagnosis and the discovery of human DNA polymorphism that have found wide application in genetics and human diseases. For his work, he has received many national and international awards including the Albert Lasker Clinical Medical Research Award, the Gairdner Foundation International Award and the Shaw Prize. He is the first Chinese elected to the Royal Society, London, and is a Member of the US National Academy of Sciences, Academia Sinica, the Third World Academy of Sciences and the Chinese Academy of Sciences. He has received honorary degrees from the University of Caglieri, Italy, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, The University of Hong Kong and The Open University of Hong Kong.