University of Leeds alumni excel at prestigious awards in China

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Leeds achievement in China at British Council Study UK Alumni Awards 2023.

Three University of Leeds graduates have been recognised for their inspirational work in China by the British Council Study UK Alumni Awards.

We congratulate Bing Hou (PhD Biomedicine 2015), who won the Science and Sustainability Award for his pioneering work in cancer drug development. 

The success and breadth of alumni work in China is demonstrated by the British Council citing our graduates in three different categories. Other high achievers are Yongjian (Win) Huang, as a finalist for the Business and Innovation Award, and Jimmy Chenchen Xu, shortlisted for the Social Action Award. 


Bing Hou

PhD Biomedicine 2015 
Executive Director of Drug Discovery, Antengene

Woman in dress gives framed award to Bing Hou in suit

Winner Bing Hou receives his Science and Sustainability Award award at a ceremony in Beijing

Bing was one of only 12 UK alumni from across China to win an award at the British Council’s ceremony in Beijing on 9 December. He was recognised for his outstanding achievement and contribution to strengthening ties between the UK and China.

Since leaving Leeds, Bing’s goal has been “to treat patients beyond borders”. He has submitted approximately thirty patent applications in response to unmet medical needs for novel anti-cancer drugs. As an inventor and project leader, he has advanced many drugs into clinical trials which benefit patients globally.

Bing said: “My entire career as a scientist in drug development has benefited from the internationally recognized academic excellence at the University of Leeds.”

As Executive Director of Drug Discovery at Antengene, Bing leads a team of around 30 scientists on the discovery and translational study of innovative anti-cancer drugs. Their current work involves a drug to which cancer patients are responding exceptionally well in trials.

Bing’s latest work examines an antibody that blocks CD24, a cancer causing protein. His team at Antengene have developed the first CD24 in the world to enter the clinical stage.

Bing applies the ‘breaking borders of knowledge’ research approach he learned at the University of Leeds to his work on cancer drug discovery.  

“One of the best parts of studying in a biomedical research lab in the UK is that universities and NHS organizations have extremely strong and valuable partnerships. Obtaining clinical samples for research was far more convenient than any place else in the world,” he said.

Working with the clinical samples in Leeds’ cutting-edge lab, Bing’s group were the first in the world to identify the physiological function of a substance that senses the flow of blood. Their findings were published in Nature and was cited by both a Nobel Prize recipient and the official website of the Nobel Prize. 

Bing’s studies at Leeds were supported by a University of Leeds-China CSC scholarship. The fully funded research scholarships, which cover three years of study, aim to develop talent and strengthen international academic collaborations. 

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Yongjian (Win) Huang 

BSc Computer Science 2005
Assistant Vice President, Guangdong Xuanyuan Network & Technology Co., Ltd. 

Man speaking into a microphone in front of a black background

Finalist Yongjian (Win) Huang giving a speech

Win Huang, who has built many successful companies, was selected as a finalist for the Business and Innovation Award.

While studying in the UK, Win witnessed a vibrant culture of entrepreneurship, saying: “I was introduced to a world where innovation wasn’t just encouraged; it was the norm… I was inspired to dive into the world of startups, not aiming to be the biggest, but to be the best in a focused area.”

Since then, Win has fostered technological start-ups, including a social media company that garnered 0.5 million yuan in angel investments. Win’s involvement in a pioneering Chinese medical diagnostic robot caught the government's eye, resulting in 20 million yuan in funding.

Win’s is passionate about bridging the knowledge gap in AI education. Win designed a curriculum and a guide that spans from foundational vocational knowledge to high-level postgraduate concepts. More than 10 universities across China used Win’s programme. 


Jimmy Chenchen Xu

Communications Studies 2012
Founder, PaiAiSen

headshot of man looking at camera with black background

Jimmy Chenchen Xu, shortlisted for a British Council Study UK Alumni Award

Jimmy was shortlisted for the Social Action Award. With more than ten years of working in education internationally, Jimmy founded his own education company called ‘PaiAiSen’ in China in 2023.

The name of his company pays tribute to his time at Leeds – it is transliterated from our Parkinson building. PaiAiSen bridges the educational gaps for young Chinese talent aiming to study abroad. 

Jimmy started the first unofficial social media account that promoted Chevening Scholarships and benefitted prospective Chevening Scholars on Xiaohongshu. He spotted an untapped demand when viewers asked him questions, so he designed and customized an interview training programme for them.

Jimmy has also built an international network of PhD mentors who support students developing a research proposal. 

He said: “My UK education has not only contributed to my professional achievements but has enabled me to make meaningful contributions to the field of education and to people's lives.”

About the Awards

The Study UK Alumni Awards celebrate the outstanding achievements of the alumni and showcase the impact of UK higher education. Award winners and finalists are leaders in their fields who have used their experience of studying at a UK university to make a positive contribution to their communities, industries and countries. 

The finalists and winners were selected by a panel of independent judges. 

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