LI KA SHING FACULTY OF MEDICINE

http://www.med.hku.hk/index.html

Background
The Medical Faculty of The University of Hong Kong is the oldest faculty in tertiary education in Hong Kong. Its origins go back to 1887, when the Hong Kong College of Medicine for Chinese was founded by the London Missionary Society. Besides training doctors and nurses, the Faculty has always been at the forefront of medical research and development of new clinical services for the benefit of humankind.

Research Activities
The Medical Faculty is the largest faculty in the University with more than 300 full-time teaching staff members, around 270 research staff and 630 research postgraduate students. Academic staff members in the Faculty undertake a wide spectrum of research, ranging from studies in frontier basic medical science to cutting-edge clinical research. With a view to promoting multidisciplinary research, six research centres have been established to bring together researchers in diverse fields under common interest topics and provide for collaborative academic pursuits:

  • Cancer
  • Heart, Brain, Hormone and Healthy Aging
  • Infection and Immunology
  • Influenza Research
  • Public Health
  • Reproduction, Development and Growth

In addition to actively participating in the University’s Strategic Research Themes (SRTs) that are related to these five topics, the Faculty is also involved in the following SRTs:

  • Biomedical Engineering and Nanotechnology
  • Drug
  • Genomics
  • Integrative Biology (emerging SRT)
  • Neuroscience
  • Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (emerging SRT)

The Faculty receives substantial financial support for research activities from various sources in different forms, including research grants, conference grants, and fellowships offered by the Government and other funding agencies, as well as donations made by professional and industrial bodies and individual benefactors. In 2015, the amount of external and internal grants received by our researchers totalled HK$246 million.

Research Postgraduate Programmes
The Faculty shares with other Faculties in the University the common goals of imparting knowledge to students through research. Every department in this Faculty therefore actively participates in the training of research postgraduate students for the MPhil and PhD degrees. While pre-clinical departments conduct and supervise research mainly in laboratories, clinical departments conduct and supervise research both in laboratories and in clinical settings. Research postgraduate students of the Faculty enjoy the benefits of working in state-of-the-art laboratories and technologically advanced core facilities.

The Faculty has been attracting high calibre candidates to enrol in its research postgraduate programmes. The programmes are popular among graduates in medicine and other healthcare professions, as well as graduates in biological, biomedical, and health sciences. Graduates in physical sciences, engineering, computer sciences, and social sciences are also welcome to apply.

Research postgraduate students of the Faculty are encouraged to conduct exchange at renowned overseas institutions as part of their research studies to establish collaborative links and to widen their exposure.

Department of Anaesthesiology

http://www.anaesthesia.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Pharmacology of intravenous anaesthetic drugs:
Pharmacology of new intravenous anaesthetics (particularly propofol, remifentanil dexmedetomidine); patient-controlled and target-controlled infusion; opioid pre and post conditioning; pharmacokinetic variations in various disease states; dose response characteristics; acute pain management; fluid therapy.

Contact Person
Professor M. Irwin
Tel: 2255 3303
Fax: 2855 1654
Email: mgirwin@hku.hk

Pain management:
Pain and pro-inflammatory markers; epigenetics and pain; chemokines and pain; complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS); acute post-operative pain management; chronic and cancer pain management; pain medications and techniques on pain management; effect of pain on patient outcomes.

Dental sedation and pain:
Dental sedation drugs and techniques; safety of intravenous sedation; monitoring depth of sedation; acute post-operative dental pain; chronic orofacial pain.

Contact Person
Dr C.W. Cheung
Tel: 2255 3303
Fax: 2855 1654
Email: cheucw@hku.hk

Perioperative organ protection:
Effects of general anaesthesia and surgery on neurons and cognitive function; perioperative monitoring.

Contact Person
Dr G.T.C. Wong
Tel: 2255 3303
Fax: 2855 1654
Email: gordon@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Dr G.T.C. Wong
Tel: 2255 3303
Fax: 2855 1654
Email: gordon@hku.hk

Department of Clinical Oncology

http://www.oncology.hku.hk/

Major Research Areas
Clinical research:
New radiotherapy techniques including the use of 3-dimensional computer planning systems; stereotactic radiotherapy and conformal radiotherapy; nasopharyngeal carcinoma, especially its relationship with the Epstein Barr virus; multimodality treatment that aims at improving control and minimising side effects; multimodality treatment of gonadal and extragonadal germ cell tumours, colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, breast cancer, and thyroid cancer, and elucidation of related prognostic factors.

Identification of cancer-related genes:
Elucidation of the tumourigenesis process in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), colorectal cancer, esophageal cancer, ovarian cancer, and lung cancer, through characterisation of isolated oncogenes or tumour suppressor genes with recently-developed techniques, such as comparative genomic hybridisation (CGH), tissue microarray, genomic DNA microarray, multi-colour fluorescence in situ hybridisation (mFISH), proteomics, chromosome microdissection, and cDNA subtraction.

Contact Persons
Professor Anne W.M. Lee
Tel: 2255 5050
Fax: 2872 6426
Email: awmlee@hku.hk

Professor D.L.W. Kwong
Tel: 2255 4521
Fax: 2872 6426
Email: dlwkwong@hku.hk

Professor X.Y. Guan
Tel: 3917 9782
Fax: 2816 9126
Email: xyguan@hku.hk

Discovery and validation of candidate genes in nasopharyngeal and esophageal cancers:
Understanding the molecular genetic basis of human cancers through molecular, cytogenetic, and functional approaches; approaches include chromosome and gene transfers, microarray hybridisation, fluorescent in situ hybridization (FISH), microsatellite typing, in vitro cell assays, in vivo animal assays, tissue microarrays; characterisation of genes of interest in cell transformation, cell cycle, motility, invasion, metastasis, and angiogenesis; validation of clinical utility as biomarkers.

Research opportunities for basic, translational, and clinical studies focused on nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) are available for our Area of Excellence programme. These areas include genomic studies on NPC and the Epstein-Barr virus, discovery and use of biomarkers for NPC, translational studies on cancer stem cells/tumour microenvironment, discovery of novel molecularly targeted drugs for treatment, and improved molecular imaging and clinical care of NPC patients.

Contact Person
Professor M.L. Lung
Tel: 3917 9783
Fax: 2872 6426
Email: mlilung@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisors
Professor Anne W.M. Lee
Tel: 2255 5050
Fax: 2872 6426
Email: awmlee@hku.hk

Professor D.L.W. Kwong
Tel: 2255 4521
Fax: 2872 6426
Email: dlwkwong@hku.hk

Professor X.Y. Guan
Tel: 3917 9782
Fax: 2816 9126
Email: xyguan@hku.hk

Department of Diagnostic Radiology

http://www.diaradio.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Molecular imaging, including clinical and pre-clinical Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) in Oncology

Contact Person
Professor P.L. Khong
Email: plkhong@hku.hk

Advanced MRI and other molecular imaging techniques in neurological diseases:

  1. Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases – volumetric MRI, functional MRI, MR perfusion, MR spectroscopy (MRS), Amyloid and Tau PET.
  2. Neuromyelitis optica and multiple sclerosis – Arterial Spin Labelling (ASL), Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI), MRS.
  3. Brain tumours – surrogate markers in anticancer drug trials using Dynamic Contrast Enhanced (DCE) MR perfusion and MRS.
  4. Epilepsy – Volumetric MRI, T1 Rho.
  5. Parkinson’s disease – Susceptibility-weighted Imaging (SWI).

Stroke and cardiovascular imaging:

  1. Stroke imaging – MR/CT perfusion imaging in evaluation of stroke, MRA/CTA in aneurysm screening and intracranial atherosclerosis, DTI in hemorrhagic stroke, stroke imaging database in HKW cluster.
  2. Carotid plaque characterisation – Multimodal MRI.

Head and neck imaging:

  1. Multi-modality imaging – 18F-PET-CT and MRI perfusion/diffusion.

Contact Person
Dr H. Mak
Email: makkf@hku.hk

Molecular and functional imaging in gynaecological and thoracic oncology

  1. Body diffusion weighted MR imaging (DWI MRI) – application in oncology, quantification of diffusion parameters and technique optimisation on 3T MRI.
  2. Thoracic radiology – metabolic imaging in idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and thoracic malignancies based on PET/CT.
  3. Gynaecological oncology imaging – functional assessment of metabolic activity (PET/CT) in gynaecological malignancies and the use of advanced MRI techniques (e.g. DWI, IVIM, DCE-MRI) in disease diagnosis, treatment response assessment and prognosis.
  4. Peritoneal imaging – functional assessment using PET/CT, DWI MRI, chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST) in peritoneal carcinomatosis.

Contact Person
Dr E. Lee
Email: eyplee77@hku.hk

Utilisation of imaging techniques using the latest technology in CT, MRI and PET:

  1. Low dose CT using iterative reconstruction.
  2. Imaging of hepatocellular carcinoma: early detection, cancer characteristics, and response assessment.
  3. Using imaging as a surrogate for cancer treatment response therapy using PET/CT and MRI.
  4. Cardiovascular imaging using CT and MRI.

Contact Person
Dr V. Vardhanabhuti
Email: varv@hku.hk

Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (CMR):

  1. Using T1 and T2 mapping for the assessment of myocardial fibrosis and myocardial oedema:
    • This research is currently focused on three types of patients: (1) childhood cancer survivors who were given anthracycline chemotherapy, (2) tetralogy of Fallot patients and (3) chronic kidney disease patients. Correlation with other CMR measurements and other investigations is being investigated.
  2. Strain analysis for the assessment of cardiac function and comparing this to echocardiography and other CMR parameters.
  3. 4-D flow in tetralogy of Fallot patients and normal volunteers to investigate wall shear stress, blood flow volume and blood flow velocity.
  4. Fast late gadolinium enhancement sequences and their impact on clinical work-flow.

Cardiac computed tomography:
Calcium scoring in rheumatoid arthritis patients with long-term follow-up and correlation with other biomarkers and treatment effects on the progression of calcium in the coronary arteries.

Thoracic imaging:
Cross-sectional study of pleuroparenchymal fibroelastosis (PPFE) on computed tomography

Contact Person
Dr M.Y. Ng
Email: myng2@hku.hk

Gastrointestinal imaging

  1. Hepatocellular carcinoma – enhancement pattern on CT/MRI, tracer uptake in PET/CT and underlying genomic changes.
  2. Oesophageal cancer – using functional imaging as a surrogate marker for treatment response
  3. Colorectal cancer – using CT/MRI and PET/CT as surrogate markers for treatment response.
  4. Small bowel disease – using MRI for imaging small bowel disease.

Contact Person
Dr W.H.K. Chiu
Email: kwhchiu@hku.hk

  1. Magnetic resonance fingerprinting.
  2. Fast magnetic resonance techniques.
  3. MR image reconstruction.
  4. Stroke imaging and other neurological diseases and disorders using advanced MRI techniques, with special focus on diffusion imaging.
  5. Structural brain connectivity.

Contact Person
Dr E.S. Hui
Email: edshui@hku.hk

  1. 2-D/3-D fast MR imaging technique development and reconstruction for fMRI and diffusion weighted/tensor imaging applications (single-shot and multi-shot echo-planar imaging).
  2. Fat quantification using MRI (acquisition and reconstruction developments).
  3. Periodically rotated overlapping parallel lines with enhanced reconstruction echo-planar imaging (Propeller-EPI) acquisition and reconstruction developments.
  4. Artifact reduction of fast MR imaging (Nyquist ghost reduction and geometric distortion correction).

Contact Person
Dr C.H.C. Chang
Email:
hcchang@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Dr H. Mak
Tel: 2255 3307
Fax: 2855 1652
Email: makkf@hku.hk

Department of Family Medicine and Primary Care

http://www.fmpc.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Health-related quality of life (HRQOL):
Validation and standardisation of assessment instruments as outcome measures; quality of life of patients with chronic diseases, application in cost-effectiveness analysis. Cross-cultural validation and adaptation of HRQOL and psychometric measures.

Medical education:
Undergraduate and postgraduate medical education research with a combined qualitative and quantitative approach.

Primary care:
Diagnosis and management of common health problems; mental health and mental health services.

Primary healthcare services research and health equity:
Evaluation of outcome and quality of care, new model of care, multidisciplinary team care and service utilisation, health equity and health for marginalised groups.

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Professor T.P. Lam
Tel: 2518 5657
Fax: 2814 7475
Email: tplam@hku.hk

Department of Medicine

http://www.medic.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Cardiology:
Angiogenesis and cell repair – cell therapy to create new vessels and myocardium in humans and large animals.

Cardiac arrhythmia – innovative energy sources for catheter ablation, transvenous defibrillation and implantable device for treatment of atrial fibrillation; patch clamp study on ionic channels in atrial fibrillation and heart failure related arrhythmogenic potential.

Cardiac pacing – new developments in pacing therapy for treatment of heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia.

Cardiac muscle engineering – gene knock-out study on differentiation of myocytes into cardiac myocytes.

Coronary heart disease – prevention and percutaneous revascularisation of stable ischaemic syndromes; epidemiology and treatment of acute coronary syndromes, and platelet resistance.

Heart failure – hormonal changes and animal models of heart failure; cardiac resynchronisation therapy.

Hypertension – left ventricular hypertrophy regression and salt balance.

Contact Person
Professor H.F. Tse
Tel: 2255 4694
Fax: 2818 6304
Email: hftse@hku.hk

Clinical pharmacology – cardiovascular risk factors in the community, including hypertension and the metabolic syndrome. Peptides and cytokines regulating cardiovascular function and inflammation.

Pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics and precision medicine

Improving drug therapy – clinical trials, meta-analysis of clinical trials, developing clinical guidelines, assessing utilisation and cost-effectiveness, and drug safety.

Contact Person
Professor B.M.Y. Cheung
Tel: 2255 4347
Fax: 2818 6474
Email: mycheung@hku.hk

Endocrinology and metabolism:
Molecular genetics and pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, diabetes and diabetic complications; clinical and basic studies on obesity and adipocyte-derived hormones;  adipose tissue browning, immunometabolism; pathogenesis and management of autoimmune thyroid disease; genetics and environmental determinants of osteoporosis.

Contact Person
Professor K.S.L. Lam
Tel: 2255 3348
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: ksllam@hku.hk

Gastroenterology and hepatology:
Functional GI disorders – dyspepsia, gastro-esophageal reflux diseases, non-cardiac chest pain, constipation; gene delivery system and new drug development in treatment of stomach and colon cancer.

Helicobacter pylori – disease pathogenesis, molecular microbiology, carcinogenesis.

Stomach and colon cancer – signal transduction and apoptosis pathways, chemoprevention, clinical trials.

Hepatitis B and C viruses – molecular virology, associated mutations, natural progression and treatment.

Chronic liver diseases – serology and biomarkers, disease profile of alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, primary biliary cholangitis, autoimmune hepatitis, Wilson’s disease and drug-related liver injury

Contact Persons
Professor W.K. Leung (for Gastroenterology)
Tel: 2255 3348
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: waikleung@hku.hk

ProfessorM.F. Yuen (for Hepatology)
Tel: 2255 4477
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: mfyuen@hku.hk

Geriatrics:
Dementia – early detection of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), genetic studies in familial Alzheimer’s diseases and late onset AD, biochemical bio-markers in the diagnosis of AD, the roles of sex hormones and growth hormone in AD, use of neuropsychological tests and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in mild cognitive impairment and AD.

Contact Person
Professor L.W. Chu
Tel: 2255 3315
Fax: 2974 1171
Email: lwchu@hku.hk

Haematology:
Clinical protocols for treatment of leukaemia and lymphomas; detection of minimal residual disease and molecular mechanisms in haematologic malignancy; clinical protocols for bone marrow transplantation; infective and neoplastic complications of bone marrow transplantation; molecular genetics of haematological malignancies; basic research in pathogenesis of blood cancers; normal and leukaemic haematopoietic stem cell study using NOD/SCID mice; embryonic haematopoiesis and gene regulation studies in zebrafish.

Contact Person
Professor Y.L. Kwong
Tel: 2255 5859
Fax: 2974 1165
Email: ylkwong@hku.hk

Molecular medicine:
Development of novel diagnostic techniques (including non-invasive prenatal diagnosis and pre-implantation diagnosis) for common genetic diseases, such as thalassemias, haemophilias, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy and Huntington’s disease; genome-wide scan with microsatellite markers for linkage of new disease genes; development of DNA microarray technology to diagnose and elucidate the molecular pathology of genetic diseases and cancers.

Contact Person
Professor Y.L. Kwong
Tel: 2255 5859
Fax: 2974 1165
Email: ylkwong@hku.hk

Nephrology:
Immunological and molecular pathogenic mechanisms in glomerular and tubulointerstitial diseases, with special focus on lupus nephritis, diabetic nephropathy, inflammation and fibrosis. Translational studies on mesothelial cell biology, peritoneal inflammation and fibrosis, and clinical outcomes in peritoneal dialysis.

Contact Person
Professor D.T.M. Chan
Tel: 2255 4542
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: dtmchan@hku.hk

Neurology:
Parkinson’s disease – pathogenesis and treatment with focus on the role of mitochondrial dysfunction LRRK2 mutations, and autophagy in modifying progression of disease.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: discovery of novel biomarkers and neuroimaging markers.

Contact Person
Professor S.L. Ho
Tel: 2255 3315
Fax: 2974 1171
Email: slho@hku.hk

Stroke and cerebrovascular disease: experimental neuroprotection studies using in vivo and in vitro stroke models; clinical stroke research on advanced neuroimaging, novel therapies and biomarkers.
Functional neuroimaging using functional MRI and high resolution EEG in healthy subjects and patients.

Contact Person
Professor R.T.F. Cheung
Tel: 2255 4049
Fax: 2818 6474
Email: rtcheung@hku.hk

Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation – clinical, neuroradiological, in vitro and in vivo studies relating to autoimmune and immune mediated neurological disorders including neuromyelitis optica, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune encephalitis, myasthenia gravis and paraneoplastic neurological disorders; as well as neuroinflammation in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) and development of novel therapies with anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties in AD by cell and animal models.

Intracerebral haemorrhage with specific focus on hemorrhagic transformation of cerebral infarctions, intracerebral haemorrhage complicating therapy with anticoagulants and anti-platelet agents.

Contact Person
Dr K.H. Chan
Tel: 2255 3315
Fax: 2974 1171
Email: koonho@hku.hk

Stroke: epidemiology, blood pressure management, small vessel disease, cognitive impairment, neuroimaging, biomarkers, psychosocial aspects, health economics. 

Contact Person
Dr Gary K.K. Lau
Tel: 2255 3315
Fax: 2974 1171
Email: gkklau@hku.hk

Respiratory medicine:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchiectasis – mechanisms of neutrophil recruitment; role of transforming growth factor-beta(1) (TGF-beta(1)); airways remodelling.

Lung cancer – molecular genetics; cytotoxic chemotherapy, immunotherapy and biologic therapy for advanced non-small cell carcinoma; circulating tumor markers; environmental risk factor and genes interaction in pathogenesis.

Obstructive sleep apnoea – cardiometabolic aspects of OSA;mechanisms of vascular homeostasis; interactions of OSA and obesity on cardiometabolic pathogenesis using intermittent hypoxia exposure animal and cell culture models.

Biomarkers of lung cancer, COPD and lung function, bronchial epithelial injury and stem cell regeneration.

Contact Person
Professor M.S.M. Ip
Tel: 2255 4605
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: msmip@hku.hk

Rheumatology:
Systemic lupus erythematosus

  1. Immunopathogenesis including the role of dendritic cells and the cytokine / chemokine networks
  2. Derivation of clinical disease assessment tools
  3. Clinical and socio-economic outcomes

Rheumatoid arthritis

  1. Clinical and socio-economic outcomes
  2. Understanding the role of biologics in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Spondyloarthritis - Derivation of clinical and radiological assessment tools 

Immunology - The function of C-type lectin receptors on immune cells

Contact Person
Professor C.S. Lau
Tel: 2255 3356
Fax: 2818 6474
Email: cslau@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisors
Professor Y.L. Kwong
Tel: 2255 5859
Fax: 2974 1165
Email: ylkwong@hku.hk

Professor M.S.M. Ip
Tel: 2255 4250
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: msmip@hku.hk

Department of Microbiology

http://www.microbiology.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Novel and emerging antibiotic resistance:
Antibiotic resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae, enterococci, Staphylococcus aureus, Gram negative, non-fermentors, and enterobacteriaceae, including epidemiology and genomics of resistant bacteria, resistant gene ecology, mechanisms of resistance, clinical relevance, novel methods for diagnosis of difficult-to-detect resistance and evaluation of new antibiotics; novel or emerging beta-lactamases in Gram negative bacteria.

Contact Person
Dr P.L. Ho
Tel: 2255 4193
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: plho@hku.hk

Novel and emerging infectious diseases, and microbial genomics:
Discovery and genomic characterisation of novel and emerging pathogens and pathogenic forms, including coronaviruses, influenza viruses and other novel viruses and bacteria, through a range of molecular techniques, immunological techniques, animal models, and bioinformatics tools, to gain new insights in microbial genomics, and potential diagnostic, therapeutic and vaccine targets.

Contact Persons
Professor K.Y. Yuen
Tel: 2255 4892
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: kyyuen@hku.hk

Professor P.C.Y. Woo
Tel: 2255 4715
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: pcywoo@hku.hk

Professor S.K.P. Lau
Tel: 2255 4620
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: skplau@hku.hk

Dr J.F.W. Chan
Tel: 2255 4897
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: jfwchan@hku.hk

Dr H. Tse
Tel: 2255 4822
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: htse@hku.hk

Dr S.S.Y. Wong
Tel: 2255 4714
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: samsonsy@hku.hk

Influenza and Epstein-Barr viruses (EBV):
Research interests including the following areas:

  1. Identification and characterisation of viral host adaptation markers and host restriction mechanisms for cross species transmission of influenza A viruses.
  2. Development of universal influenza vaccines for seasonal and pandemic influenza.
  3. Novel antiviral and vaccination strategies against influenza viruses.
  4. Characterisation of functions of EBV IncRNAs in associated tumours.

Contact Persons
Dr H.L. Chen
Tel: 3917 9941
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: hlchen@hku.hk

Dr K.K.W. To
Tel: 2255 3902
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: kelvinto@hku.hk

Microbial pathogenesis:
Molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis of enteric pathogens, including Vibrio cholerae and E. coli O157:H7, in relation to public health and environmental hazards; drug resistance mechanism and pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1).

Contact Person
Dr W.C. Yam
Tel: 2255 4821
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: wcyam@hku.hk

Molecular studies of emerging pathogens:
Application of chemical genetics and conventional genetic approaches (including cloning, site-directed deletions) to dissect microbial pathogenesis and identify microbial targets of important diagnostic and therapeutic value. Determination of the structures and functions of identified microbial targets using bioinfomatics, molecular modelling, NMR spectroscopy, x-ray crystallography and other biophysical methods. Development of computational and experimental methods for efficient drug screening and design.

Contact Persons
Dr R.Y.T. Kao
Tel: 3917 9707
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: rytkao@hku.hk

Dr K.H.Sze
Tel: 3917 9023
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: khsze@hku.hk

Dr M.L. YEUNG
Tel: 2255 4818
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: pmlyeung@hku.hk

Molecular mechanism of innate immunity:
Investigation on host-pathogen interaction, specifically the host antiviral responses. Molecular mechanism of the host defence signalling pathway in the context of influenza A virus (IAV), Epstein-barr virus (EBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

Contact Person
Dr R.K.H. Kok
Tel: 39179093
Fax: 39179095
Email: khkok@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Professor S.K.P. Lau
Tel: 2255 4620
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: skplau@hku.hk

Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

http://www.obsgyn.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Oncology:
Tumour markers in gynaecological cancers; oncogenes in gynaecological malignancies; tumour suppressor genes and virus in cervical and vulva cancer; chemosensitivity and drug resistance in gynaecological cancers; management of gynaecological malignancies; study of epigenetics factors in gynaecological cancer development; study of mitochondrial DNA mutations in gynaecological cancers; psychosocial intervention in patients with gynaecological cancers; quality of life of patients receiving chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

Reproduction:
Use of hormone replacement therapy (HRT) in Hong Kong Chinese women; menopause and hormone replacement therapy; effects of Chinese Herbs for menopause on cognitive function and mood of Chinese women; oestrogen and implantation; assisted reproduction; fertilisation; interaction between embryo/sperm and reproductive tract; endometrial receptivity; spermatogenesis; placental development; transgenic mice; stem cells; role of microRNA in reproduction; medical abortion and contraception.

Maternal-fetal medicine:
Epidemiology of gestational diabetes mellitus in Chinese patients; dietary manipulation in the treatment of diabetes in pregnancy; predictors of preterm delivery; group B Streptococcus screening; ultrasonographic assessment of pregnancies at risk of alpha thalassaemia major; early intrauterine physiological changes of Hb Bart’s disease; biochemical and ultrasound screening for fetal Down’s syndrome; hematopoietic stem cell culture from umbilical cord blood; 3-dimensional ultrasound for fetal anomalies and growth; use of 3-dimensional/4-dimensional ultrasound in prenatal diagnosis; expression of granulin-epithelin precursor during pregnancy; fetal DNA/RNA in maternal serum.

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Professor W.S.B. Yeung
Tel: 2255 3405
Fax: 2855 0947
Email: wsbyeung@hku.hk

Department of Ophthalmology

http://www.eyeinst.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Diabetic retinopathy screening
Glaucoma surgery

  • Surgical options for primary angle-closures.
  • Augmentation and modification of trabeculectomy.
  • Minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries.
  • Glaucoma medications compliance issues.

Contact Person
Dr J.C.H. Chan
Tel: 3962 1405
Email: jonochan@hku.hk

Neuroregeneration in the retina of neurodegenerative diseases:

  • Electrical stimulation effect in traumatic optic neuropathy, glaucoma and retinitis pigmentosa.
  • Immune modulation on retinal ganglion cell survival in traumatic optic neuropathy and glaucoma.
  • Optogenetic therapy in retinal degenerative diseases.
  • Continuous monitoring of retinal function using wireless apparatus.

Contact Person
Dr K. Chiu
Tel: 2831 5356
Email: datwai@hku.hk

Glaucoma:

  • Prevention of glaucoma progression with new treatment modalities and lifestyle modification.
  • Collagen cross-linking – its clinical application in glaucoma-related diseases and others.
  • Enhancement of disease detection and monitoring.

Contact Person
Dr B.N.K. Choy
Tel: 2255 5632 / 3962 1405
Email: bnkchoy@hku.hk

Glaucoma:

  • Treatment of acute and chronic angle closure glaucoma.
  • Risk factors and neuroprotection in normal-tension glaucoma.

Contact Person
Professor J.S.M. Lai
Tel: 3962 1413
Email: laism@hku.hk

Neuroprotection in eye and brain diseases:

  • Retinal and cerebral ischaemia – biology and therapeutics.
  • Ocular angiogenesis – disease, mechanism and therapeutics.
  • Diabetic retinopathy – mechanism and therapeutics.
  • Bioengineering – intraocular drug delivery.
  • Development of novel molecular and cellular therapeutic approaches.

Contact Person
Dr A.C.Y. Lo
Tel: 2831 5363
Email: amylo@hku.hk

Anterior segment:

  • Refractive cataract surgery.
  • Corneal collagen cross-linking – effect on corneal biomechanical properties and clinical applications.
  • Diagnosis and treatment of ocular surface disorders.
  • Myopia progression. 

Contact Person
Dr A.L.K. Ng
Tel: 2255 5632 / 3962 1405
Email: nlk008@hku.hk

(1) Anterior segment:

  • Epidemiology and novel treatment methods in dry eye disease.
  • In-vitro modelling of dry eye disease.
  • Pathophysiology and treatment of corneal neuropathy.
  • Treatment of sight-threatening ocular surface disease.

(2) Retinal neuroprotection:

  • Transcorneal electrical stimulation as a neuroprotective strategy in retinal disease.
  • In-vitro modelling of the effect of retinal electrical stimulation.

Contact Person
Dr K.C. Shih
Tel: 2255 5632 / 3962 1405
Email: kcshih@hku.hk

Glaucoma and neuroprotection:

  • Continuous intraocular pressure measurement.
  • Normal tension glaucoma risk factors.
  • Neuroprotection and optic nerve regeneration.

Ophthalmic public health:

  • Spectrum and prevalence of eye diseases of Osteogenic imperfecta subjects.
  • Acceptance and impact of patient decision aid in open glaucoma patients.

Contact Person
Dr J.W.H. Shum
Tel: 2255 5632 / 3962 1405
Email: jenni101@hku.hk

Laboratory basic research:

  • The use of an animal model to investigate the dosing and fluence effect on choroidal vasculature.

Posterior segment:

  • Optical Coherence Tomography Angiography imaging of the retina and choroid and its application in ophthalmic epidemiological studies.
  • The use of photodynamic therapy in the treatment of macular degeneration.

Ophthalmic epidemiology:

  • The prevalence of common eye diseases in Hong Kong.
  • The risk factor profile of common eye diseases in Hong Kong.
  • Correlation of retinal changes and systemic diseases using multimodal imaging of the eye.

Contact Person
Dr I.Y.H. Wong
Tel: 2255 5632 / 3962 1405
Email: wongyhi@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Dr A.C.Y. Lo
Tel: 2831 5363
Fax: 2817 0491
Email: amylo@hku.hk

Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology

http://www.ortho.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Orthopaedic biomechanics:
Biomechanics of bone and joint; biomechanical analysis of lumbar interbody fusion, new artificial intervertebral disc design and shape memory alloy in spine surgery. Finger fracture fixations, flexor tendon injuries and sports injuries biomechanics; biomechanics of total hip replacement; fixation implant design and development; biomechanical evaluation of biomaterials; cell biomechanics and micro/ nano-biomechanics.

Molecular biology and cellular physiology:
Animal models of musculoskeletal disorders; experimental scoliosis; genetics of degenerative disc disease and osteoarthritis; gene functions in articular and intervertebral joints; proteoglycan metabolism in skeletal tissues. Bone healing and fracture repair; genetic profiles of bone tumours and cell-biomaterial interfacial biology.

Regenerative medicine:
Developing disease-modifying agents for treating joint degeneration; programming stem cells or progenitors for joint regeneration; role of fibrosis and its control in tissue repair and mesenchymal stem cell-based therapies.

Orthopaedic biomaterials and musculoskeletal tissue engineering:
Biomaterials for clinical applications; bio-mimetic and 3D bio-printing; design of new orthopaedic implants; novel bone substitutes and micro- or nano-biomaterials; bioactive bone cement development.

Clinical neurophysiology and neural engineering in orthopaedics: 
Neurophysiological detection, neuroimaging, and neurorehabilitation in orthopaedics and spinal disorders; bioelectrical engineering and biomedical devices in orthopaedics.

Clinical, translational, and evidence-based orthopaedics:
Large-scale population-based and epidemiological studies; risk factor assessment; novel imaging; biomarker hunting; “omics” modelling and analyses; data capturing and complex statistics; personalised orthopaedics; clinical patient and surgeon outcome studies.

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Professor W.W. Lu
Tel: 3917 9593
Fax: 2818 5210
Email: wwlu@hku.hk / rmcyuen@hku.hk

Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

http://paed.hku.hk/menu

Major Research Areas
Cancer biology:

  • Interaction between cancer cells and microenvironment.
  • Clinical studies on childhood neurogenic tumour (brain tumour, neuroblastoma).

Stem cell biology:

  • Biology and application of human mesenchymal stem cells.
  • Clinical studies on haemopoietic stem cells transplantation.

Traditional Chinese medicine immunology:

  • Effects of purified novel herbal extracts polysaccharides on human immune and cancer cells, including β-glucans.

Clinical study on thalassaemia and iron overload.

Contact Person
Professor G.C.F Chan
Tel: 2255 4481
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: gcfchan@hku.hk

Epstein-Barr virus biology and translational research:

  • Dr Chiang’s lab focuses on the understanding of host-virus interactions in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and on the elucidation of pathogenic mechanisms of EBV in lymphoid and epithelial cancers.
  • Research programmes include the following:
    1. Role of T cell and NK cell immune responses in the control of EBV in patients with infectious mononucleosis, post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders and EBV-associated haemophagocytic syndrome.
    2. Next generation sequencing of EBV genomes in nasopharyngeal carcinoma biopsies and saliva of NPC patients and population carriers.
    3. Action of histone deacetylase inhibitors and novel organic compounds in the activation of lytic cycle of EBV in cancers.

Contact Person
Dr A.K.S. Chiang
Tel: 2255 4091
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: chiangak@hku.hk

Immunology:

  • Cord blood dendritic cell and T cell development; mannose-binding lectin; single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and short tandem repeats (STRs) in immunological and infectious diseases; vaccines study disease; epidemiology of allergic diseases.
  • Immune responses to respiratory pathogens, such as human and avian flu, SARS-CoV, RSV/hMPV and mycobacteria.
  • Roles of mannose binding lectin in infection and immunity.
  • Lupus pathogenesis – how tolerance is breached.

Contact Person
Professor Y.L. Lau
Tel: 2255 4481
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: lauylung@hku.hk

Viral immunology:
Innate and adaptive immune responses to viral infections, such as influenza viruses and the Epstein-Barr virus in both human and mouse models including humanised mice.

Transplantation immunology:

  • Biology of human regulatory T cells and their application in transplantation, autoimmune diseases.
  • Viral infection and solid organ transplantation.

Contact Person
Dr W.L. Yang
Tel: 3917 9357
Fax: 2819 8142
Email: yangwl@hku.hk

Molecular basis of mammalian development and genetic diseases:

  • The molecular control of development and how abnormalities in this process lead to diseases.
  • Current projects on genes that affect chromatin structure and therefore the expression of other genes in neurons and neuroblastoma cells.

Contact Person
Dr S.Y. Chan
Tel: 3917 9352
Fax: 2816 6974
Email: sychan@hku.hk

Human genetics and bioinformatics:
Molecular diagnoses of monogenic diseases; population genetics; genetic studies of complex diseases (for students with a background in medicine or biological sciences): we use cutting-edge tools in genetics and genomics to uncover genes involved in various human diseases.

Integrative genomics, systems biology and bioinformatics (for students with computation or statistics background): we focus on analyses of large amounts of genetics and genomics data to gain biological insights. Please also see paed.hku.hk/genome.

Contact Persons
Dr W.L. Yang
Tel: 3917 9357
Fax: 28198142
Email: yangwl@hku.hk

Dr Brian H.Y. Chung
Tel: 2255 4208
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: bhychung@hku.hk

Human molecular genetics:
Molecular genetics of sexual differentiation disorders, neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes mellitus and growth disorders.

Paediatric epidemiology and biostatistics:
Child health issues, including growth, obesity, asthma and clinical trials.

Growth and endocrine disorders:
Growth and follow-up studies in normal and small for gestational age babies; nutrition, lipids and growth; childhood diabetes and its complications; long-term health consequences of growth impairment in early life.

Neural injuries and degeneration:
Molecular and cellular mechanisms involved in hypoxic-ischaemic and hyperbilirubinaemic neural injuries, and motor neuron degeneration and regeneration; with emphasis on studying differential gene expressions, and adopting genetic manipulations to explore and test novel therapeutic strategies for the stated disorders.

Contact Person
Dr P.T. Cheung
Tel: 2255 4485
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: ptcheung@hku.hk

Paediatric cardiovascular research:

  • Clinical translation and applications of novel echocardiographic imaging technologies.
  • Cardiac and vascular mechanics in paediatric and adult congenital heart disease, iron overload and chemotherapy toxicity.
  • Circulating biomarkers in congenital heart disease.
  • Long-term clinical outcomes of paediatric congenital heart patients.
  • Kawasaki disease: genetics and vascular health.
  • Stem cell research in congenital heart disease.

Contact Person
Professor Y.F. Cheung
Tel: 2255 4091
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: xfcheung@hku.hk

Infectious diseases:

  • Disease burden and epidemiology of respiratory viruses in children.
  • Epidemiology, clinical manifestation and immune responses of influenza infection in children.
  • Influenza vaccine effectiveness

Contact Person
Dr S.S.S. Chiu
Tel: 2255 4485
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: ssschiu@hku.hk

Biology of blood stem cells:

  • Haematopoietic stem cells and haematopoietic growth factors, especially on megakaryocytopoiesis and thrombopoietin.
  • Adult stem cells and their applications.

Contact Person
Professor G.C.F. Chan
Tel: 2255 4481
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: gcfchan@hku.hk

Clinical genetics and genomics:

  • Medical application of whole-genome technologies: Using cutting-edge technologies including copy number variants arrays, whole exome/genome sequencing and DNA methylation array, we identify novel variants/genes involved in the pathogenesis of human diseases. Current projects include:
    • Clinical genetics and genetic counselling: disease burden, clinical manifestations and natural history of genetic syndromes; discourse analysis in genetic counselling in different clinical settings including prenatal diagnosis, preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
    • Epigenetics: we study various common and rare disorders in which epigenetics or imprinting is implicated in the pathogenesis.

Contact Person
Dr Brian H.Y. Chung
Tel: 2255 4482
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: bhychung@hku.hk

Host defence and immune regulation:

  • Molecular mechanisms of susceptibility to bacterial and fungal infections in primary immunodeficiency disorders.
  • Inflammasomes: immunopathogenesis in monogenic autoinflammatory syndromes, systemic lupus erythematosis and infectious diseases.
  • Autophagy as a mechanism of host defence and immune regulation in infectious disease and autoinflammatory disorders.

Contact Person
Dr P.P.W. Lee
Tel: 2255 4482
Fax: 2855 1523
E-mail: ppwlee@hku.hk

Departmental Requirements
Candidates may be required to sit a qualifying examination before admission. There is a strong emphasis on publication and presentation of research findings.

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisors
Professor G.C.F. Chan
Tel: 2255 4481
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: gcfchan@hku.hk

Professor W.W. Tu
Tel: 3917 9357
Fax: 2819 8142
Email: wwtu@hku.hk

Department of Pathology

http://www.patho.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Gynaecological malignancies:
Molecular genetics in diseases of the female genital tract including cancers of the ovary, endometrium and cervix as well as gestational trophoblastic disease. Genetic and signalling pathway studies on carcinogenesis, cancer stem cells, metastasis and chemosensitivity are some of the research topics.

Contact Person
Professor A.N.Y. Cheung
Tel: 2255 4876
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: anycheun@pathology.hku.hk

Gynaecological pathology:
Molecular mechanisms of the development and progression of uterine and ovarian cancers and correlation with clinical features and patient outcomes. This valuable information will serve as a foundation for the development of targeted therapy and personalised medicine.

Contact Person
Dr P.P.C. Ip
Tel: 2255 4732
Fax: 2872 5197

Email: philipip@pathology.hku.hk

Molecular genetics and epigenetics of breast cancer in the Chinese population:
Our main research interest is focused on elucidating the molecular mechanisms leading to the development of endocrine- and chemo-resistance in breast cancer. This includes the study of candidate alternatively spliced variant and the regulation of translation by eukaryotic initiation factors.

Contact Person
Professor U.S. Khoo
Tel: 2255 4410
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: uskhoo@pathology.hku.hk

Molecular genetics in malignancies of the colon and stomach.

Contact Person
Professor S.Y. Leung
Tel: 2255 4401
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: suetyi@hku.hk

Characterisation of molecular mechanisms and signalling pathways in cancers.

Contact Person
Dr R.C.L. Lo
Tel: 2255 4858
Fax: 2218 5243
Email: reginalo@pathology.hku.hk

Molecular genetic and functional analyses of novel genes and important cellular pathways in liver cancer:
One of this laboratory’s research focuses is on the identification of tumour suppressor genes. We have previously characterised genes that may play important roles in the formation of liver cancer. We are continuing to characterise these novel tumour suppressor genes both genetically and functionally and to delineate their interacting partners and mechanisms. Characterisation of important cell signalling pathways is a major challenge in liver cancer research. We are characterising major oncogenic signalling pathways in liver cancer. We will also investigate the cooperation and crosstalk of this pathway with other critical genes and pathways.

Contact Person
Professor I.O.L. Ng
Tel: 2255 3967
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: iolng@hku.hk

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC): Pathogenetic roles of viruses in NPC and other infectious diseases of the respiratory tract.

Contact Person
Professor J.M. Nicholls
Tel: 2255 4883
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: nicholls@pathology.hku.hk

Malignant lymphoma:
Molecular pathogenic mechanisms of malignant lymphoma

Contact Person
Dr R.K.H. Au-Yeung
Tel: 2255 5659
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: rex.auyeung@hku.hk

Genetics and epigenetics of liver cancer:
Liver cancer is one of the most common malignancies worldwide and is particularly prevalent in Asia and Hong Kong. Our research focuses on studying the molecular mechanisms and implications of the genetic alterations (mutation, chromosomal gain/deletion) and epigenetic abnormalities (DNA methylation, histone modifications) in liver cancer and on deciphering novel tumour suppressor genes/microRNAs being inactivated by these genetic/epigenetic alterations.

Contact Person
Dr J.C.M. Wong
Tel: 3917 9656
Fax: 2819 5375
Email: jackwong@pathology.hku.hk

Molecular genetics of lung cancers:
The purpose of the studies is to identify cancer gene candidates and evaluate their clinical significance. Such information would be important for the development of new therapeutic approaches for lung cancer patients. The cancer gene candidates are analysed for mutations and expression profile changes as well as abnormalities in signalling pathways using clinical cancer samples. The functional effects on cell growth, senescence and other cancer-related processes are studied using transfection systems. Their clinical relevance is evaluated by studying their relation with patients’ clinical parameters, such as smoking history, gender, tumour stage and patient outcome.

Contact Person
Dr M.P. Wong
Tel: 2255 4861
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: mwpik@.hku.hk

Molecular mechanistic study of liver cancer:
Our research focuses on elucidating the functions and signalling pathways of focal adhesion molecules. These molecules are closely associated with liver cancer, and their deregulation contributes to the acquired aggressiveness of cancer cells. Our study has answered fundamental questions about the subcellular localisation, intracellular translocation and binding activity of these molecules as well as having unveiled the molecular basis that underlies liver cancer progression and metastasis. Our work also aims at providing insights into the development of new therapeutic approaches.

Contact Person
Dr J.W.P. Yam
Tel: 2255 4864
Fax: 2218 5212
Email: judyyam@pathology.hku.hk

Functional characterisation of novel tumour driver genes in gastrointestinal tract cancer.

Contact Person
Dr H.H.N. Yan
Tel: 2255 4557
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: yanhelen@hku.hk

Inherited haematological diseases:
Phenotypic and genotypic studies of inherited haematological disorders, in particular red cell disorders including thalassaemias and haemoglobinopathies, membrane and enzyme defects.

Contact Person
Dr J.C.C. So
Tel: 2255 4570
Fax: 2871 7565
Email: scc@pathology.hku.hk

Immunology:
Lymphocyte development and its dysregulation in autoimmune disease – We are interested in studying lymphocyte development and its dysregulation during the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. Using animal models for human rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, we are developing novel strategies for the treatment of autoimmune disorders.

Contact Person
Professor L.W. Lu
Tel: 2255 4870
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: liweilu@hku.hk

Immunology:
Immune regulation in systemic autoimmunity and tumour immunology. In brief, we study the cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying systemic autoimmune and inflammatory disorders. Based on our findings, we try to understand how the immune system is normally regulated, why dysregulation of which may cause diseases, and whether and how the so-called “self-reactivity” (autoimmune responses) can be effectively redirected, immunologically or molecularly, against tumours (i.e. the “altered self”).

  1. Immune regulation in systemic autoimmunity: Our studies focus on the roles of dendritic cells (DC), effector and regulatory T and B cells, and different cytokines of pro- versus anti-inflammatory nature, in systemic autoimmune (lupus, RA) and inflammatory (IBD) disorders.
  2. DC-based immunotherapies against liver and skin cancers: Findings from our studies above in autoimmune mechanisms have also offered some crucial new insights into our understanding of immunity against tumours, i.e. as to why the most effective way to enhance host immunity against cancer is by targeting the negative arm of immune regulation. In this direction, we aim to develop a novel, tailor-made and functionally conditioned stem cell-derived DC-based vaccine for cancer treatment.

Contact Person
Dr F.P. Huang
Tel: 2831 5496
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: fphuang@hku.hk

Chemical pathology:
Our main research interests are focused on (1) the elucidation of the molecular basis of inherited human diseases through the identification of disease-causing genes, (2) the development of molecular diagnostics through the identification of the mutation spectrum of disease-causing genes, and (3) next generation sequencing-based and microarray-based diagnosis of human genetic diseases.

Contact Person
Professor C.W. Lam
Tel: 2255 5655
Fax: 2855 9915
Email: ching-wanlam@pathology.hku.hk

Forensic medicine/pathology:
Forensic pathology; patterns of injury in homicides in Hong Kong; patterns of injury and their prevention in traffic fatalities; craniofacial measurements and their use in human identification and recognition; medico-social aspects of victim care; injury patterns in homicides.

Contact Person
Dr P.S.L. Beh
Tel: 2255 4863
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: philipbeh@pathology.hku.hk

Molecular biology of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC):
Our research focuses on two emerging aspects in HCC biology –

  • Tumour microenvironment in HCC: solid tumours are made up of malignant and other non-malignant cell types (stromal cells). Solid tumours are also embedded in a remodelled extracellular matrix (ECM). We are studying the molecular mechanisms by which these cellular and non-cellular components of the microenvironment promote cancer growth and metastasis.
  • Metabolic reprogramming in HCC: how the metabolic machineries are reprogrammed during the formation of HCC is largely unknown. Our group is investigating the signalling pathways that rewire the metabolic programmes in HCC, identify novel functions of metabolic.

Contact Person
Dr C.C.L. Wong
Tel: 2255 5077
Fax: 2218 5222
Email: carmencl@pathology.hku.hk

Departmental Requirements
Presentation of research seminar before the submission of thesis: MPhil (once), 3-year and 4-year PhD programme (twice).
Attendance of at least 70% of departmental seminars held during the course of studies.

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Dr J.W.P. Yam
Tel: 2255 4882
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: postgrad@pathology.hku.hk

Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy

http://www.pharma.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Cardiovascular and respiratory research:

  • Examination of the signalling pathways involved in the regulation of vascular tone under physiological and pathological situations, including characterisation of hormonal influence and elucidation of potential therapeutic compounds.
  • Mechanistic study of the vascular actions of clinically used drugs, such as those for lipid-lowering and antiretroviral, of health supplements, such as vitamin D and milk casein, and of natural products, such as flavonoids and herbal medicine.
  • Investigation of the role of ion channels in the function of vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells.
  • Examination of the physiology and pharmacology of nucleoside transporters and drug transporters in the cardiovascular system.
  • Comprehensive study of prostaglandins and their receptors in the role of vascular and adipose tissue inflammation with the focus on prostaglandin E receptor (EP4) in atherosclerosis, abdominal aortic aneurysm and obesity.
  • Study of the telomeric protein, repressor activator protein 1 (Rap 1) in vascular function and lipid metabolism.
  • Study of cellular processes underlying the development of chronic airway diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and obstructive sleep apnoea, and the elucidation of potential therapeutic agents.
  • Mechanistic study of cellular effects of mesenchymal stem cells in the prevention and management of chronic airway diseases.

Contact Person
Dr S.W.S. Leung
Fax: 2817 0859
Email: pharma@hku.hk

Aging and related diseases – mechanisms and therapeutic targets:

  • Fundamental mechanistic study of sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) including investigation of its therapeutic potentials in ageing-related diseases.
  • Drug development and evaluation of adipokines (e.g. adiponectin and lipocalin-2) and “omics” biomarkers in obesity-related cardio-metabolic diseases and cancer.
  • Integrative study of the role of Toll-like receptors in metabolic diseases and their cardiovascular complications.
  • Study of immuno-metabolism with a focus on metabolic function of Toll-like receptor mediated by cell signalling events.
  • Gut microbiota in the evolutionary development of Toll-like receptor pathways.

Contact Person
Dr Y. Wang
Fax: 2817 0859
Email: pharma@hku.hk

Drug delivery and translational research:

  • Nanoparticle formulation of hydrophobic drugs.
  • Particle engineering for improving inhaled drug powder delivery.
  • Intranasal and inhalation delivery of nucleic acids (e.g. DNA vaccine, siRNA), proteins and peptides against infectious diseases (e.g. tuberculosis, influenza).
  • Investigation of antimicrobial peptides as a new class of antibacterial agents.

Contact Person
Dr J.K.W. Lam
Fax: 2817 0859
Email: pharma@hku.hk

Pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoeconomics, pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics, and targeted therapies:

  • Development of new research methodologies to advance safe medication practice and pharmacoepidemiological research.
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness and safety of medications used in the elderly, children, pregnancy and other special patient groups.
  • Evaluation of traditional Chinese medicines with respect to toxicology, teratology and concomitant use with conventional Western therapies.
  • Pharmacoeconomics of pharmacotherapy in chronic illness and public health interventions – analyses of oral anticoagulants and vaccinations using the willingness-to-pay concept, decision-analytic models and budget impact models.
  • Precision medicine of musculoskeletal traits and thyroid disorders.
  • Pharmacogenomics of serious drug-related adverse events.

Contact Person
Dr C.L. Cheung
Fax: 2817 0859
Email: pharma@hku.hk

Clinical trials and practice-based research:

  • Design of interventional clinical trials to compare the effectiveness and safety of drugs used in the emergency setting for sedation, epilepsy and pain control.
  • Clinical and pharmacy practice-based research to characterise drug-related problems and pharmacists’ clinical interventions.
  • Assessment of the appropriateness of medications in the older population.

Contact Person
Dr E.W. Chan
Fax: 2817 0859
Email: pharma@hku.hk

Departmental Requirement
Participation in the journal club and presentation of research seminars at least once a year.

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Dr Y. Wang
Fax: 2817 0859
Email: pharma@hku.hk

Department of Psychiatry

http://www.psychiatry.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Behavioural genetics / statistical genetics /bioinformatics:
Development of statistical, computational and bioinformatic methods and tools for genetic studies of human diseases; application of modern genetic and genomic technologies to unravel the genetic basis of mental disorders and behavioural traits; collaborations with colleagues from other departments to study the genetics of other complex and mono-genetic disorders. 

Contact Persons
Professor P.C. Sham
Email: pcsham@hku.hk

Dr S.S. Cherny
Email: cherny@hku.hk

Dr Miaoxin Li
Email: mxli@hku.hk

Cognitive psychopathology:
Elucidation of abnormal psychological processes with cognitive science and neuropsychology methods – evolution of psychotic symptoms, illness awareness, executive function, attention impairments, motor system dysfunction, semantic memory impairments, social cognition, reward learning, eye gazing, characterisation of neurocognitive impairments in various psychiatric conditions; development of new assessment paradigms; use of neurocognitive markers in prognostic and intervention prediction; prospect of cognitive remediation; neurocomputational modelling: use of information technology and computer models in the study of thought processes and their disturbances. Brain imaging technology (MRI and fMRI) are required to study the various neurocognitive processes.

Social cognitive neuroscience of mental symptoms:
Detailed studies of individual psychopathology, such as reference idea, hallucination, insight, etc., from both phenomenology and cognitive neuroscience perspectives. Focus will also be put on the biological underpinning of each of the psychopathological phenomena with the use of various technologies, such as Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI).

Psychosocial basis of mental symptoms:
Detailed studies of how environmental, psychosocial, and familial factors could influence the onset of psychosis, as well as the pathway to care, individual and family reaction to psychosis and intervention response. Relevant data and perspectives would help inform the next generation of interventional approaches.

Course and outcomes of psychotic disorders:
Characteristics of longitudinal progression and outcomes of psychotic disorder; prodromal stage of the illness, predictors of outcomes including relapse, treatment resistance and transition of prodromal state to first episode psychosis; subjective aspects of psychosis integration of illness experience including recovery, quality of life, care-givers’ experience and stigmatisation; suicide prevention; side effects of psychopharmacological intervention and potential effectiveness of interventions; study of interaction of environmental stress and genetics on the course of illness.

Psychological intervention for psychotic disorders:
Develop and evaluate specific intervention modalities targeting on different aspects of the needs of patients – improving functional outcome, symptom management, management of side effects of medication, and reduce conversion of prodromal state. Potential interventions include physical exercises, life coaching, specific cognitive behavioural therapy, psychoeducational group therapy, phase-specific case management in early intervention of psychosis, Omega-3 treatment, mindfulness training, and cognitive remediation.

Early intervention for psychosis:
Impact of early detection and early intervention for psychosis; identification of risk syndromes in Hong Kong; epidemiology of psychotic like symptoms; prediction of conversion to psychosis; intervention at prodromal level; case work for early psychosis; health economics of early intervention systems; public awareness and information campaigns in early psychosis.

Contact Persons
Professor E.Y.H. Chen
Email: eyhchen@hku.hk

Dr K.W. Chan
Email: kwsherry@hku.hk

Dr W.C. Chang
Email: changwc@hku.hk

Dr H.M. Lee
Email: edwinlhm@hku.hk

Dr Christy L.M. Hui
Email: christy@lmhui.com

Geriatric neuropsychiatry:
Dementia is a highly debilitating condition afflicting a significant number of the elderly population. It carries profound medical and socioeconomic burdens for society. Current treatment options have provided only limited success. Projects focus on (1) earlier detection of cognitive decline, (2) pharmacotherapy of dementing disorders, (3) prevention of cognitive deterioration, (4) psychiatric manifestations of dementia, and (5) pathogenesis of cognitive impairment. Positions in either laboratory scientific or clinical research will be offered to qualified candidates.

Contact Person
Dr W.C. Chan
Email: waicchan@hku.hk

Sleep and mood disorders:
Epidemiology, clinical presentation, etiology, and treatment of major sleep and mood disorders. Special interest in insomnia, bipolar disorder, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) and stepped care for insomnia, traditional Chinese medicine in sleep and mood disorders.

Contact Person
Dr K.F. Chung
Email: kfchung@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Dr K.F. Chung
Email: kfchung@hku.hk

Department of Surgery

http://www.surgery.hku.hk/postgraduate_studies.php

Major Research Areas
Basic surgical science:
Oncology – cancer genetics; gene therapy; global gene expression profiling in human diseases by micro-array analysis; cancer proteomics; cancer biomarkers; novel therapeutics; cancer stem cells; patients’ specific induced pluripotent stem cells.

Development – developmental genetics; molecular mechanism and signalling in development; conditional knockout mouse model.

Immunology – transplantation immunology; cell adhesion molecules; leukocyte activation and migration; immune response to hepatitis.

Contact Person
Dr V.C.H. Lui
Tel: 3917 9607
Fax: 2819 9621
Email: vchlui@hku.hk

Breast cancer and surgery:
Laboratory projects – circulating biomarker discovery for breast cancer diagnosis and prognosis – molecular basis of microRNAs in breast cancer development and ovarian cancer; molecular risk panel study in Chinese breast cancer patients; ; functional study to evaluate mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes; an investigation into the presence of the human papilloma virus in breast cancer specimens from Hong Kong patients.
Clinical and laboratory projects – BRCA1/2 mutation carriers in Asia.

Clinical Studies – New techniques in minimal invasive breast surgery; Ductoscopy based removal of intraductal tumor. Partial breast radiation; Epidemiological and outcomes study of breast cancer patients including neoadjuvant therapy; Oncological – over 18 on-going oncological clinical trials running in the division.

Public Health: Prospective population based case-control study on risk association factors of breast cancer

Psychosocial – BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genetic testing of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer among Hong Kong Chinese; a longitudinal study on its decisional considerations, psychosocial impact, behavioural impact, and implications to immediate and long-term clinical and psychological management; public perception and awareness on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer; a pioneer study on apprehension between individuals with different levels of genetic cancer risk.

Contact Person
Dr A. Kwong
Tel: 2255 4773
Fax: 2817 2291
Email: avakwong@hku.hk

Cardiothoracic surgery:
Clinical projects – analysis of long-term results of CABG in patients with diabetes mellitus; multivariate analysis of mortality and morbidity in redo valvular replacement, multivalent off-pump coronary bypass surgery, infective endocarditis and aortic aneurysm surgery; analysis of long-term survival in congenital cardiac surgery, such as the Fontan operation, arterial switch operation and adolescent tetralogy of Fallot; analysis of relationship between subarterial ventricular septal defect and aortic valve prolapse: determination of timing of surgical correction; correlation of intraoperative cerebral blood flow doppler assessment and postoperative psychoneurological dysfunction.

Clinical audit system using the Dendrite Clinical System (conjoint project with Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Cardiothoracic Centres); short-term and long-term outcome of acute aortic dissection; aortic root replacement surgery – both valve sparing or replacing technique; complex aortic root surgery and thoracoabdominal aortic surgery – innovations and end organs protection especially cardiac and brain; complex neonatal cardiac surgery – innovations in blood preserving bypass technology and end organs protection especially cardiac and brain; minimal invasive cardiac surgery – especially in ASD, VSD, AVSD, heart valves surgery, mini thoracotomy versus robotic approach; complex valve repair surgery – mitral, tricuspid, aortic and pulmonary valves both in adult and paediatric patients; latest technology, surgical techniques and new biocompatible material for valve reconstruction; heart and lung transplantations with the latest surgical techniques, organ preservation and improvement of short- and long-term outcomes and number of successful transplantations.

Contact Person
Dr W.K. Au
Tel: 2255 5877 / 2255 5876
Fax: 2553 3436
Email: auwkt@ha.org.hk

Colorectal surgery:
Clinical projects – laparoscopic and robotic rectal resection; MRI and PET CT scan in assessing response to chemoradiation; preoperative chemoradiation and short course radiation for rectal cancer; novel techniques in laparoscopic colorectal resection; laparoscopic colorectal resection for obstructing cancer; surgical site infection; transanal endoscopic operation; advanced colonoscopic techniques; natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery; quality of life in colorectal cancer; comparison of mesh in open hernia repair; laparoscopic hernia repair in elective and emergency situations; hereditary colorectal cancer; treatment of haemorrhoids.

Laboratory projects – development of novel techniques in minimally invasive surgery; stress response following natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery; stem cells in colon cancer; molecular study in metastatic colorectal cancer.

Contact Person
Professor W.L. Law
Tel: 2255 4763 / 2255 4764
Fax: 2872 8425
Email: lawwl@hku.hk

Endocrine surgery:
Clinical projects – parathyroid autotransplantation: clinical and molecular studies; risk group analysis in thyroid carcinoma.

Laboratory projects – oncogene expression in thyroid and endocrine tumours; rapid PTH assay in parathyroid surgery; ret-protooncogene expression in papillary carcinoma of thyroid; genetic study of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes; proteomics of PTC.

Contact Person
Dr B.H.H. Lang
Tel: 2255 4232
Fax: 2817 2291
Email: blang@hku.hk

Esophageal surgery:
Clinical projects – preoperative chemoradiation for treatment of esophageal cancer; chemoradiation as definitive palliative treatment for esophageal cancer; intraluminal brachytherapy for treatment of esophageal cancer; metallic stenting for esophageal cancer; thoracoscopic esophageal resection for esophageal and hypopharyngeal cancer; minimal access surgery for achalasia; swallowing disorders: manometry; gastroesophageal reflux disease in the Chinese population; quality of life in patients with esophageal cancer; endoscopic ultrasound in staging of esophageal cancer.

Laboratory projects – molecular genetics of esophageal cancer; proteomic biomarkers.

Contact Person
Professor S. Law
Tel: 2255 4774
Fax: 2819 4221
Email: slaw@hku.hk

Gastroduodenal surgery:
Clinical projects – foreign body ingestion; ulcer disease and related complications (e.g. laparoscopic surgery, therapeutic endoscopy for bleeding, management of perforated ulcer); helicobacter pylori infection; gastric tumours (adenocarcinoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumour, lymphoma); morbid obesity; upper gastrointestinal endoscopy; endoscopic therapy; small bowel endoscopy; endoscopic ultrasonography; laparoscopic and robotic upper gastrointestinal surgery.

Laboratory projects – ulcer diseases (e.g. growth factors, ulcerogenesis); gastric adenocarcinoma (e.g. molecular genetics, novel therapeutic approaches); gastric stromal tumour (e.g. molecular genetics).

Contact Person
Professor K.M. Chu
Tel: 2255 4637
Fax: 2819 4221
Email: chukm@hku.hk

Head and neck surgery:
Clinical projects – reconstructive options after major resections in the head and neck region; whole organ histological section to study patterns of tumour extension; nutritional study for patients undergoing major head and neck surgery; effects of radiotherapy on free tissue transferred with microvascular technique; nasopharyngeal cancer; hearing problems.

Contact Person
Dr J.Y.W. Chan
Tel: 2255 4583
Fax: 2818 4407

Hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery:
Clinical projects – hepatocellular carcinoma: randomised controlled trials including non-operative treatment, surgical techniques and adjuvant therapy after hepatic resection; liver transplantation: clinical application of living related liver transplant in adults; biliary pancreatitis, acute cholangitis, intrahepatic stones, malignant biliary obstruction; endoscopic and laparoscopic ultrasonography.

Laboratory projects – liver cancer and liver transplantation; molecular biology, cancer and transplant immunology, virology (hepatitis), molecular imaging, stem cell.

Contact Person
Professor K. Man
Tel: 3917 9646
Email: kwanman@hku.hk

Neurosurgery:
Translational research in neuro-oncology – epigenomics, proteomics and chemoresistance of malignant glioma; neuro-regenerative treatment for traumatic brain and spinal cord injury.
Clinical research in brain tumour pathology, epidemiology and management.

Contact Person
Dr G.K.K. Leung
Tel: 2255 3368, 2255 3773
Fax: 2818 4350
Email: gilberto@hku.hk

Otorhinolaryngology (ear, nose and throat):
Clinical projects - Acoustic rhinomanometry in children; turbinectomy for hypertrophic inferior turbinate; orbital decompression for thyrotoxicosis; cochlea implant for children; otoacoustic emission for screening of high-risk newborn babies; dizziness and balance problems.

Contact Person
Dr W.K. Ho
Tel: 2255 4589
Fax: 2818 4407
Email: wkho@hku.hk

Paediatric surgery:
Clinical projects – minimal invasive surgery; Hirschsprung’s disease; biliary atresia and choledochal cyst; childhood cancers.

Laboratory projects – developmental and stem cell biology; modelling human disease by patient’s specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC); molecular genetics of Hirschsprung’s disease and related neural crest disorders; cellular mechanisms involved in VACTERL association; cancer stem cells; transplantation immunology.

Contact Person
Professor P.K.H. Tam
Tel: 2255 4850 / 2255 3536
Fax: 2817 3155
Email: paultam@hku.hk

Plastic and reconstructive surgery:
Clinical projects – the regenerative effect of mesenchymal stem cells in radiation damaged tissue; the reconstructive role of fat grafting

Contact Person
Dr G.K.H. Li
Tel: 22554394
Fax: 28193780
Email: georgeli@hku.hk

Urology:
Clinical projects – clinical and research project on prostate cancer treatment, minimal invasive and robotic urology service and clinical research, surgical treatment of male infertility; various treatment options for erectile dysfunction; medical and surgical treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia; drug trials for urological diseases.

Laboratory project – molecular study of bladder cancer.

Contact Person
Dr M.K. Yiu
Tel: 2255 3023
Fax: 2872 8425
Email: yiumk2@ha.org.hk

Vascular disease and surgery:
Clinical projects – prospective study correlating demographic and biochemical risk factors and the severity and degree of progression and the long-term natural history of atherosclerosis in patients with peripheral arterial diseases; study, using ultrasonography, of the prevalence and the risks of deep-vein thrombosis in the Chinese population; computer-assisted carotid plaque morphology; progression of aortic dissection; computer-assisted analysis of aortic stent graft remodelling and migration.

Laboratory projects – study of the molecular basis, aortic dissection and cellular signalling involved in the pathogenesis of abdominal aortic aneurysms; expression of different cellular receptors and the modulators of extracellular matrix protein in human aneurismal aortic wall.

Contact Person
Professor S.W.K. Cheng
Tel: 2255 4962
Fax: 2855 4961
Email: wkcheng@hku.hk

Departmental Requirements
Students are required to attend and present at departmental research meetings and research laboratory meetings.

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Dr V.C.H. Lui
Tel: 3917 9607
Fax: 2819 9621
Email: vchlui@hku.hk

School of Biomedical Sciences

http://www.sbms.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Adhesion signalling and invadosome regulation:
The research focuses on direct visualisation of signal transduction and molecular reorganisation at integrin-mediated cell adhesion sites. Focal adhesion, podosome, and invadopodia are multi-molecular adhesion machineries that the cell uses to adhere onto extracellular ligands and initiate downstream signalling. In particular, metastatic cancer cells form invadopodia at the cell-matrix interface and invade through the tissue. Integrin and integrin-associated molecules have been identified as therapeutic targets to inhibit cancer cell invasion. Cross talk between integrin and other membrane kinase plays critical roles in cell migration and invasion. A combination of advanced fluorescence microscopy and molecular/cell biology techniques will be utilised to decipher the adhesion-signalling network and suppress the formation of cancer invadosome.  

Contact Person:
Dr C.H. Yu
Tel: 3917 9205
Fax: 28170857
Email: chyu1@hku.hk

Bioinformatics:
Computational analyses of biological sequences, structures and processes; method development.

Contact Persons
Dr L.W.T. Cheung
Tel: 3917 6908
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: lydiacwt@hku.hk

Dr A.S.L. Wong
Tel: 3917 9208
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: aslw@hku.hk

Dr Y.Q. Song
Tel: 3917 9245
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: songy@hku.hk

Cancer:
Cancer cell biology; intracellular signalling of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes; cancer cell invasion and motility; telomere dynamics, telomerase and cell immortalisation; DNA damage and genomic instability; tumour metabolism and micro environment; cancer immunology and inflammation; cancer stem cells; molecular genetics of nasopharyngeal carcinoma and esophageal carcinoma; Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and viral carcinogenesis; cancer epigenetics and molecular pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma; translational cancer medicine; precision cancer medicine; physiology and pharmacology of natural and synthetic small- and macro-molecules on normal and cancerous tissue growth.

Contact Persons
Dr A. Cheung
Tel: 3917 9293
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: lmcheung@hku.hk

Dr L.W.T. Cheung
Tel: 3917 6908
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: lydiacwt@hku.hk

Dr Y.P. Ching
Tel:3917 9434
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: ypching@hku.hk

Dr M.S.Y. Huen
Tel: 3917 6868
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: huen.michael@hku.hk

Professor D.Y. Jin
Tel: 3917 9491
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: dyjin@hku.hk

Dr S. Ma
Tel: 3917 9238
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: stefma@hku.hk

Dr S.Y.W. Shiu
Tel: 3917 9261
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: sywshiu@hku.hk

Dr A.C.M. Tsang
Tel: 3917 9177
Fax: 28170857
Email: annatsan@hku.hk

Professor G.S.W. Tsao
Tel: 3917 9227
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: gswtsao@hku.hk

Dr C.H. Yu
Tel: 3917 9205
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: chyu1@hku.hk

Cardiovascular physiology:
Neural and endocrine control of the cardiovascular system; cardioprotection of preconditioning and sex hormones; control of blood flow in skeletal muscle, nose and salivary glands; cardiovascular responses to acute hypoxia; cardiovascular molecular and cellular biology

Contact Persons
Dr H. Ballard
Tel: 3917 9232
Fax: 2855 9730

Email: ballard@hku.hk

Professor K.R. Boheler
Tel: 2831 5405
Email: bohelerk@hku.hk

Cellular signalling and stress biology:
Biochemical basis of cell signalling; cellular response to endoplasmic reticulum stress and oxidative stress; unfolded protein response; protein post-translational modifications; protein degradation; physiological responses to hypoxia and ischaemia

Contact Persons
Professor D. Chan
Tel: 3917 9482
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: chand@hku.hk

Professor K.S.E. Cheah
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kathycheah@hku.hk

Dr Y.P. Ching
Tel: 3917 9434
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: ypching@hku.hk

Dr M.L. Fung
Tel: 3917 9234
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: fungml@hku.hk

Dr B. Gao
Tel: 3917 6809
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: gaobo@hku.hk

Dr M.S.Y. Huen
Tel: 3917 6868
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: huen.michael@hku.hk

Professor D.Y. Jin
Tel: 3917 9491
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: dyjin@hku.hk

Dr N.S. Wong
Tel: 3917 9142
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: nswong@hku.hk

Dr K.M. Yao
Tel: 3917 9275
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kmyao@hku.hk

Chemical biology:
Structural, functional and chemical approaches to probing molecular interactions and networks to elucidate the mechanisms of disease and therapeutic treatments.

Contact Person
Dr J.A. Tanner
Tel: 3917 9472
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jatanner@hku.hk

Clinical anatomy and anatomy education:
The research interest on clinical anatomy focuses on the study of human anatomy in relation to clinical practice: clinical procedures, minimal invasive surgeries, anatomical variations, radiological anatomy, functional anatomy, etc.
The research interest on anatomy education focuses on the teaching and learning of anatomy and non-discipline related skills.

Contact Person
Dr L.K. Chan
Tel: 3917 9077
Fax: 28162293
Email: lapki@hku.hk

DNA damage response and genome stability:
This research aims to understand how mammalian cells cope with genotoxic stress via evolutionarily conserved mechanisms including cell cycle checkpoint control and DNA repair. DNA is constantly challenged by a variety of mutagenic agents, underscoring the need for an efficient system to protect genome integrity, which is pivotal for faithful inheritance of our genetic materials. This system, collectively termed “The DNA Damage Response”, not only has been implicated as an anti-cancer barrier during early human tumourigenesis, but also is functionally coupled to diverse cellular processes, the dysregulations of which contribute to human conditions including aging-associated diseases and neurodegenerative disorders. Basic molecular and cell biology techniques will be used to address how the components of the DNA Damage Response are connected and how they sense and transmit DNA damage signals to orchestrate appropriate cellular protocols that, in concert, promote cell survival.

Contact Person
Dr M.S.Y. Huen
Tel: 3917 6868
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: huen.michael@hku.hk

Functional and developmental genomics:
Determination and analysis of gene function by gene targeting (‘knock-out’) technology in mice; studying perturbations in developmental processes and their impact on genes and gene function by comparative analyses of transcriptomes, proteomes and epigenomes. Specific areas include craniofacial and heart development, formation of the sensory organs and the skeleton, premature aging processes, diabetic neuropathy, retinopathy, hypertension, stroke, and neurodegeneration and regeneration.

Contact Persons
Professor D. Chan
Tel: 3917 9482
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: chand@hku.hk

Professor K.S.E. Cheah
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kathycheah@hku.hk

Dr M.C.H. Cheung
Tel: 3917 6867
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: mcheung9@hku.hk

Professor S.K. Chung
Tel: 3917 9172
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: skchung@hku.hk

Dr B. Gao
Tel: 3917 6809
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: gaobo@hku.hk

Professor M.H. Sham
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: mhsham@hku.hk

Dr Y.M.E. Wong
Tel: 3917 9477
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: elainewg@hku.hk

Professor Z.J. Zhou
Tel: 3917 9542
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: zhongjun@hku.hk

Functional proteomics:
Generation and comparative analysis of proteomes using 2-D MS/MS or ICAT LC-MS/MS; proteomic changes associated with cellular changes in health and disease using in vitro and in vivo approaches.

Contact Persons
Professor D. Chan
Tel: 3917 9482
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: chand@hku.hk

Professor K.S.E. Cheah
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kathycheah@hku.hk

Dr J.A. Tanner
Tel: 3917 9472
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jatanner@hku.hk

Glycobiology of cell-matrix interactions:
Nerve repair and regeneration in glycosaminoglycan-modified environments; stem cell mechanobiology; glycosaminoglycan intervention of respiratory tract inflammation.

Contact Person
Professor D.K.Y. Shum
Tel: 3917 9171
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: shumdkhk@hku.hk

Human molecular genetics:
Human genetic analysis and characterisation of predisposing genes for common diseases, such as degenerative disc disease, Alzheimer’s disease, nasopharyngeal carcinoma and others; identifying genetic modifiers for congenital heart disease using mouse models; use of cell and animal models to understand molecular mechanisms of diseases.

Contact Persons
Professor D. Chan
Tel: 3917 9482
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: chand@hku.hk

Professor K.S.E. Cheah
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kathycheah@hku.hk

Dr B. Gao
Tel: 3917 6809
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: gaobo@hku.hk

Dr Y.Q. Song
Tel: 3917 9245
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: songy@hku.hk

Dr A.S.L. Wong
Tel: 3917 9208
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: aslw@hku.hk

Molecular biology of the extracellular matrix:
Regulation of chondrocyte differentiation and gene expression; identification of extracellular signals, transcription factors and their target genes important for osteochondro progenitors and cartilage formation; genetic factors for the regulation of bone growth and healing; transgenic mouse models of inherited connective tissue disease in humans; regulation of matrix assembly in cartilage and bone.

Contact Persons
Professor D. Chan
Tel: 3917 9482
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: chand@hku.hk

Professor K.S.E. Cheah
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kathycheah@hku.hk

Molecular developmental biology:
Genes involved in early mammalian development, tissue regeneration and skeletal development; analysis of regulation of Hox homeobox and Sox gene expression and function; inner ear, pancreatic β-cell, neural crest and heart development. Technology platforms include mouse genetics and chick embryo injection.

Contact Persons:
Professor K.S.E. Cheah
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kathycheah@hku.hk

Dr M.C.H. Cheung
Tel: 3917 6867
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: mcheung9@hku.hk

Dr R.K. Ng
Tel: 3917 9541
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: raykitng@hku.hk

Professor M.H. Sham
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: mhsham@hku.hk

Dr K.M. Yao
Tel: 3917 9275
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kmyao@hku.hk

Molecular mechanisms of intracellular transportation and diseases:
Characterisation of the functions of intracellular transportation of proteins and organelles in neurons, melanocytes and chondrocytes; studies of the relationship between intracellular transportation and Alzheimer’s disease; cytoskeletal dynamics in neuronal motility

Contact Persons
Dr C.W. Lee
Tel: 3917 9202
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: chiwai.lee@hku.hk

Professor J.D. Huang
Tel: 3917 6810
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jdhuang@hku.hk

Molecular medicine:
The research focuses on the signalling pathways of inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis in the liver. These main events could lead to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), fibrosis and cancer. Understanding these underlying events would allow us to develop therapeutic targets against critical signalling pathways that regulate the progression of NAFLD. Another aspect of the research focuses on the role of cyclooxygenase (COX) and inflammasomes in liver injury. The COX gene and inflammasomes play a critical role in the inflammatory diseases of the liver through its mediation in the production of prostaglandins and cytokines, respectively.

Contact Person
Dr G.L. Tipoe
Tel: 3917 9185
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: tgeorge@hku.hk

Molecular virology:
Coronaviruses; influenza A viruses; human oncogenic viruses including the Epstein-Barr virus and hepatitis B virus; molecular mechanisms of innate antiviral immunity; virus-cell interaction; antiviral aptamers; viral helicases; viral vectors; viral genome editing by CRISPR/Cas9; viral microRNAs.

Contact Persons
Dr C.P. Chan
Tel: 3917 6812
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: chancp10@hku.hk

Professor J.D. Huang
Tel: 3917 6810
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jdhuang@hku.hk

Professor D.Y. Jin
Tel: 3917 9491
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: dyjin@hku.hk

Dr J.A. Tanner
Tel: 3917 9472
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jatanner@hku.hk

Behavioural, cellular and molecular neuroscience:
Molecular control of the development and regeneration of the nervous system; nerve cell membrane functions; synaptic development and plasticity; neuron migration; neural coding of spatial navigation; role of proteoglycans in neuronal growth and regeneration; hearing and balance defects; neural regeneration after trauma; neuroprotection of dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s disease; motor system in normal subjects and patients with motor disorder; pathogenesis of muscular dystrophy; deep brain stimulation in neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases

Contact Persons
Professor Y.S. Chan
Tel: 3917 9163
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: yschan@hku.hk

Dr C.S.W. Lai
Tel: 3917 9266
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: coraswl@hku.hk

Dr K.O. Lai
Tel: 3917 9521
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: laiko@hku.hk

Dr C.W. Lee
Tel: 3917 9202
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: chiwai.lee@hku.hk

Dr L.W. Lim
Tel: 3917 6830
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: limlw@hku.hk

Professor D.K.Y. Shum
Tel: 3917 9171
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: shumdkhk@hku.hk

Dr A.S.L. Wong
Tel: 3917 9208
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: aslw@hku.hk

Neurodegeneration:
Investigation of molecular signalling pathways leading to apoptosis, autophagy, synaptic degeneration, and dysfunction of axonal transport in neurodegenerative disorders (including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, motor neuron disease, and multiple sclerosis); neuroinflammation and neuroimmunology; molecular and cellular mechanisms in the differentiation of endogenous neural stem cells after spinal cord injury; search for cure for paralysis associated with spinal cord injury and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, mechanisms of neurotrophic factors and cell adhesion molecules in promoting neuronal survival and axonal outgrowth after neural injury, molecular mechanisms differentiation of stem cells in aging and damaged CNS injury, both the first and secondary degeneration of neurons in disease conditions, such as spinal cord injury, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and the elucidation of the factors that influence the survival of these neurons and dissection of cellular mechanisms by which these changes occur; stem cells in Parkinson’s disease and depression.

Contact Persons
Dr R.C.C. Chang
Tel: 3917 9127
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: rccchang@hku.hk

Professor S.K. Chung
Tel: 3917 9172
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: skchung@hku.hk

Professor W.T. Wu
Tel: 3917 9187
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: wtwu@hku.hk

Recombineering – mechanisms and applications:
Development of technologies for functional genomic studies and gene therapy; understanding of the mechanism underlying single strand oligonucleotide mediated homologous recombination.

Contact Person
Professor J.D. Huang
Tel: 3917 6810
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jdhuang@hku.hk

Stem cell biology:
Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells; patient-derived iPS cells for disease modelling and therapy; neural stem cells; neural crest cells; mesenchymal stem cells; stem cell self-renewal in cancer and aging and epigenetic reprogramming in stem cells; derivation of new neurons and Schwann cells from bone marrow cells;.

Contact Persons
Professor K.R. Boheler
Tel: 2831 5405
Fax: 3017 5508
Email: bohelerk@hku.hk

Professor D. Chan
Tel: 3917 9482
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: chand@hku.hk

Professor Y.S. Chan
Tel: 3917 9163
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: yschan@hku.hk

Professor K.S.E. Cheah
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kathycheah@hku.hk

Dr B. Gao
Tel: 3917 6809
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: gaobo@hku.hk

Dr R.K. Ng
Tel: 3917 9541
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: raykitng@hku.hk

Professor M.H. Sham
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: mhsham@hku.hk

Professor D.K.Y. Shum
Tel: 3917 9171
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: shumdkhk@hku.hk

Professor Z.J. Zhou
Tel: 3917 9542
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: zhongjun@hku.hk

Structural biology:
Development of crystallographic methods; structural/functional studies of proteins by NMR and X-ray crystallography.

Contact Persons
Professor Q. Hao
Tel: 3917 9194
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: qhao@hku.hk

Dr C.M. Qian
Tel: 3917 6820
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: cmqian@hku.hk

Structure and function of cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator

Contact Person
Dr J.H. Chen
Tel: 3917 9512
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: jeng-haur-chen@hku.hk

Synthetic biology:
Design and fabrication of artificial biological circuits to control pattern formation and stem cell self-renewal/differentiation.

Contact Persons
Professor J.D. Huang
Tel: 3917 6810
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jdhuang@hku.hk

Dr A.S.L. Wong
Tel: 3917 9208
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: aslw@hku.hk

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM):
Effect of various types of TCM on neuroprotection against neuroregeneration of central nervous system (CNS) neurons (including eye and spinal cord neurons); the role of TCM in the regulation of tumour inflammation and metabolism; mechanisms and anti-tumour effects of TCM, mechanisms of antioxidant properties of herbs on protection of the liver from carbon tetrachloride toxicity and chronic liver injury; studies of Chinese herbs that promote blood flow and/or enhance immune response in the treatment of glaucoma, stroke and spinal cord trauma.

Contact Persons
Dr R.C.C. Chang
Tel: 3917 9127
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: rccchang@hku.hk

Dr A. Cheung
Tel: 3917 9293
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: lmcheung@hku.hk

Professor S.K. Chung
Tel: 3917 9172
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: skchung@hku.hk

Dr G.L. Tipoe
Tel: 3917 9185
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: tgeorge@hku.hk

Professor G.S.W. Tsao
Tel: 3917 9227
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: gswtsao@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Professor Q. Hao
Tel: 3917 9194
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: qhao@hku.hk

School of Chinese Medicine

http://www.scm.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Discover molecular mechanisms of inflammatory and fibrotic diseases and develop therapeutic approaches for these diseases:
Our ongoing projects include (1) explore the functional role of genes, proteins and signaling pathways, and immune regulations in kidney diseases and diabetes mellitus; (2) develop therapeutic approaches (gene therapy, Chinese medicine, and active compounds) to prevent and treat kidney diseases and diabetes; (3) evaluate effectiveness and safety of Chinese medicine in treating inflammatory and fibrotic disease via the evidenced based approaches (clinical trials and systematic review).

Contact Person
Dr H.Y. Chen
Tel: 3917 6413
Fax: 2872 5476
Email: haiyong@hku.hk

Research and development of Chinese herbal medicine for the prevention and treatment of breast cancer:
The study will develop multidisciplinary approaches to evaluate the efficacy and potential mechanism of Chinese herbal medicine in the prevention and treatment of the recurrence and metastasis of breast cancer. The major research directions include (1) seeking and developing herbal formulae, herbs and active compounds for preventing or reducing recurrence and metastasis of breast cancer, and exploring the molecular mechanisms; (2) developing Chinese medicine to improve the effectiveness and decrease the side effects of chemotherapy drugs, including basic and clinical research; and (3) developing nanoparticles of traditional Chinese medicine and exploring the advantages of combination drugs for the treatment of breast cancer.

Contact Person
Dr J.P. Chen
Tel: 3917 6479
Fax: 2872 5476
Email: abchen@hku.hk

Therapeutic principle of Chinese medicinal herbs for cancer, diabetic, hepatic and renal diseases:
The research will concentrate on the clinical trial and experimental study (cell and animal models) of Chinese medicinal herbs for cancer, diabetic, hepatic and renal diseases by using recently developed techniques in clinical study, molecular biology and immunology.

Pharmacology and toxicology of Chinese medicinal herbs:
The research will focus on the following topics: standardisation and quality control of Chinese medicinal herbs; pharmacological screening and safety evaluation of Chinese medicinal herbs; pharmacological action and its mechanism in Chinese medicinal herbs. The mid- and long-term plans of this research programme include the use of advanced technologies of omics and multiple disciplinary methodologies to analyse the Chinese herbal extract or phytocompound-responsive genes or protein expression profiles in terms of cancer, diabetic, hepatic and renal diseases. All these activities will lead to drug discovery for cancer, and liver, diabetic, hepatic and renal diseases.

Contact Person
Dr Y. Feng
Tel: 3917 6482
Fax: 2872 5476
Email: yfeng@hku.hk

Using an evidence-based approach to evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of Chinese medicine and acupuncture on pain and related disorders.

Verify the effectiveness and mechanism of acupuncture and Chinese medicine using rigorous scientific design; conduct translational research that bridges basic science, clinical trials, and “real world” acupuncture and Chinese medicine clinical practice; examine the efficacy of acupuncture and Chinese medicine for the treatment of pain conditions, e.g. low back pain, post-operative pain, chronic pain, cancer pain, neuropathic pain, osteoarthritis, frozen shoulder, etc., and psychiatric disorders, e.g. depression, anxiety, and insomnia; develop research methodology related to acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine.

Contact Person
Professor L.X. Lao
Tel: 3917 6476
Fax: 2872 5476
E-mail: lxlao1@hku.hk

Development of molecular targets for drug discovery to promote recovery of neurological functions in ischemic stroke:
The study will develop multidisciplinary approaches to explore molecular targets of neural stem cells and screen active ingredients of Chinese herbal medicine targeting on the molecular targets for stimulating neurogeneration and improving recovery of neurological functions. This is an international collaboration project that involves multidisciplinary scientists from mainland China, the USA and Hong Kong. The major research activities include (1) exploring the molecular mechanisms of promoting proliferation and differentiation of neural stem cells; (2) seeking active compounds for promoting neurogenesis; (3) pharmacokinetic and pharmacological studies of the active compounds; and (4) quality control for herbal medicine.

The molecular basis of disruption of the blood brain barrier and brain damage and development of herbal medicine for neuroprotection in ischemic stroke:
The study will apply molecular biological approaches and functional brain imaging technologies to evaluate the molecular mechanisms of the breakdown of the blood brain barrier in ischaemic stroke. The study will mainly focus on the roles of plasma membrane signal molecules in modulating neural oxidative injury and blood brain barrier permeability in ischaemic brain in vivo and hypoxic neurons in vitro. The molecular targets will be used to seek active ingredients from Chinese herbal medicine for the prevention and treatment of the breakdown of the blood brain barrier. This is an international collaboration project that involves multidisciplinary scientists from the USA and Hong Kong.

Clinical study on developing novel precise medicine approaches for using Chinese medicine approaches to detect cardiovascular function and their clinical implications:
This study will develop novel Pulse Diagnostic Instruments and other approaches and methods for assessing cardiovascular functions and investigate the basis of syndrome differentiations in cardiovascular diseases. Students will join a dynamic group and interact intensively with Chinese medicine experts, cardiologists, electronic engineers and computer scientists and conduct clinical investigations. Qualifications of a Chinese Medicinal License or a Western Medicine Practice License is an essential requirement.

Contact Person
Professor J.G. Shen
Tel: 3917 6429
Fax: 2872 5476
Email: shenjg@hku.hk

  1. Screening bioactive components of Chinese medicines for Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson’s disease by use of technologies including genomics and proteomic analysis.
  2. Molecular mechanisms study of Chinese medicines and their formulation to alleviate cigarette-induced pulmonary inflammation.
  3. Methodology study of the quality and security analysis on Chinese medicines (QSACM). The research will focus on novel scientific methodology explorations including molecular biology and chemistry technology.

Contact Person
Dr Y.B. Zhang
Tel: 3917 6481
Fax: 2872 5476
Email: ybzhang@hku.hk

  1. Systems biology of ovarian ageing.
  2. Drug discovery and mechanistic study of Chinese medicine formula, bioactive compounds and protein therapeutics for menopause and cancer.
  3. Quality control of Chinese medicine using chemical, molecular and proteomics approaches.

The study utilises multi-disciplinary knowledge to evaluate the pharmacological action and action mechanisms of Chinese medicine and its bioactive principles for treating menopause and cancer.

Research approaches: (1) network pharmacology; (2) quality control study at chemical and molecular levels; (3) isolation and purification of bioactive components; (4) screening of bioactive components; (5) elucidation of their molecular mechanisms using proteomics and microRNA profiling; and (6) for protein therapeutics only: cloning and expression of target pharmaceutical recombinant of Chinese medicinal proteins.

Contact Person
Dr S.C.W. Sze
Tel: 3917 6430
Fax: 2872 5476
Email: stephens@hku.hk

Basic and clinical studies on the use of Chinese medicine and acupuncture in the treatment of major neurological and psychiatric disorders:

  1. Develop clinical trials to evaluate effectiveness and safety of Chinese medicine, acupuncture, and other non-pharmacological therapies in the management of major neurological and psychiatric disorders.
  2. Investigate neuropsychopharmacological effects of natural compounds and traditional Chinese medicine formulae with the employment of behavioural, biochemical, molecular, and neuroimaging approaches for anxiety, mood, and psychotic disorders.
  3. Explore neural mechanisms of acupuncture effects.

Contact Person
Professor Z.J. Zhang
Tel: 3917 0445
Fax: 2872 5476
Email: zhangzj@hku.hk

Molecular characterisation of anti-inflammatory and restorative Chinese medicines towards novel therapies for cardiovascular and neurological diseases:

Our research focuses on the bioactivity-guided identification of the active compounds for the regulation of the genes, protein targets and signalling pathways within the context of cardiovascular and neurological diseases. Our experimental strategies involve integrative genomic, proteomic and cell signalling technologies. Our ongoing projects include (1) the regulation of neurogenesis and neuronal repair by novel neurotrophic compounds; (2) the efficacy and potency of herbal compounds in the treatment of comorbid pain and depression; and (3) the regulation of macrophage polarisation as a novel strategy for the treatment of myocardial infarction and ischaemic stroke. Our studies are important to dissect the coordinated actions of several active compounds from traditional Chinese medicines in drug discovery. Thus, our long-term goal is to develop novel chemically defined and mechanism specific multi-component medicines.

Contact Person
Dr J. Rong
Tel: 3917 6537
Fax: 2872 5476
Email: jrong@hku.hk

Acupuncture for psychosomatic diseases:
The study will evaluate the effectiveness and safety of acupuncture for psychosomatic diseases, especially for depression, anxiety and drug addiction, and explore the neuropsychology mechanism underlying acupuncture for psychosomatic diseases with multi-disciplinary and non-invaded methods, such as fMRI and NIRS (near infrared spectroscopy).

Self-stimulation at foot meridians for hypertension and diabetes:
The study will evaluate the efficacy and safety of self-stimulation at foot meridians for hypertension and diabetes, and explore the mechanism of self-stimulation at foot meridians effecting on hypertension and diabetes patients.

Contact Person
Dr J.M. Wu
Tel: (852) 3917 6447
Fax: (852) 2872 5476
E-mail: wujunmei@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Professor J.G. Shen
Tel: 3917 6429
Fax: 2872 5476
Email: shenjg@hku.hk

School of Nursing

http://nursing.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Chronic illness prevention and care:

(1) Smoking cessation and tobacco control:
Our research team has conducted the largest number of randomised controlled trials and other intervention studies on smoking cessation in this region, with high impact publications internationally and policy impacts locally and regionally. We have been appointed as World Health Organisation temporary advisors or short-term consultants more than 10 times. We focus on non-pharmacological and brief interventions which are most cost effective and most affordable. We have trained more than 1,000 healthcare professionals and motivated more to help smokers quit. Our evaluation studies of tobacco control measures in Hong Kong can serve as successful examples for mainland China and elsewhere.

(2) Health impact and prevention of violence:
Our research focuses on the identification of family violence and the adverse impact of violence and abuse on survivors’ physical and mental health, as demonstrated by self-reports (e.g. chronic pain, depressive symptoms, post-traumatic stress symptoms), imaging (e.g. functional MRI), and biomarkers (e.g. telomerase activity). We have also developed and implemented a research programme on primary, secondary, and tertiary prevention of family violence over the last two decades, with impact on global and local policy, practice, education and research.

(3) Maternal and child health:
The Maternal and Child Health research programme is focused on research that can identify health risk factors among women, children and families to promote their health and well-being. Investigators are conducting interdisciplinary, public health research using a life course approach that integrates theories and knowledge from nursing, public health, psychology and biological sciences to identify and respond to the early antecedents of adverse health outcomes. This research is establishing the evidence base to prevent or ameliorate the health conditions including infectious disease in infancy, infant nutrition, childhood obesity, paediatric cancer, scoliosis, postnatal depression, parental stress and coping, and family violence.

(4) Quality of life:
The development of health-related quality of life dates back to the 1960s. Since then, the measurement of health-related quality of life has made a major impact on the evaluation of healthcare and medical interventions. Our research focuses on ensuring measurement tools for health-related quality of life are adequately assessed before they are used in practice. This includes the development of assessment methods (e.g. modification of Cronbach’s alpha when there are inconsistent responses), and cultural adaptation of tools (e.g. SF-12, PedsQLTM, and FLIC), with immense application in research and practice.

(5) Psycho-oncology:
Our research focuses on the development, implementation and evaluation of psychological interventions for childhood cancer and survivors with the aim of enhancing their quality of life. We also examine how children cope with cancer, which is an essential prerequisite for the design of effective psychological interventions to help them ease the burden of cancer treatment. Additionally, we explore the risk perceptions, the behaviour and attitudes related to smoking of current smoking cancer patients, which is crucial for the design of an effective smoking cessation intervention that can help them achieve smoking abstinence and a lower level of relapse.

(6) Elderly health promotion:
Our research focuses on elderly health promotion through the primary, secondary and tertiary preventions. Primary preventions include reduction of illnesses through healthy lifestyle, such as increasing physical activity and reduction of salt intake. Secondary preventions include early detection of chronic illnesses, such as screening for diabetes and dementia in a community setting. Tertiary preventions include self-management of chronic illnesses. We are actively involved in interdisciplinary collaborations with other professionals such as doctors, psychiatrists, physiotherapists, pharmacists, social workers, and psychologists. With advancements in information technology, we also apply information technology (e.g. mobile Apps) in health promotion programmes.

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Dr D.Y.T. Fong
Tel: 3917 6645
Fax: 2872 6079
Email: dytfong@hku.hk

School of Public Health

http://sph.hku.hk

Major Research Areas

(1) Influenza and other infections of public health significance:
Hong Kong, a densely populated city, is an epicentre for pandemic influenza emergence. The city provides an ideal location to study influenza ecology, transmission, public health interventions, and other emerging viral pathogens, for example the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus. Our integrated multidisciplinary research programme includes internationally recognised expertise supported by the best laboratory, and field resources. Our research programme has four foci:

  • Ecology and the origin of pandemic and zoonotic influenza and other important emerging viruses:
    • Explore ecological factors favouring interspecies transmission and the drivers of the emergence of pandemic influenza and other emerging viruses.
    • Conduct animal influenza (e.g. H5N1 and H7N9) and other emerging virus surveillance to understand virus evolution and zoonotic events.
    • Integrate viral genetic information with viral functionality to identify critical molecular signatures to facilitate identification of field isolates.

  • Efficient public health interventions for the control of influenza and other emerging viruses:
    • Transmission control within communities.
    • Interventions to control influenza epidemics.
    • Epidemiology and control of influenza viruses.
    • Novel “universal” vaccine strategies for influenza.

  • Influenza and other emerging virus pathogenesis:
    • Viral and host factors related to virus pathogenesis, replication and virus-host interactions.
    • Viral tropism.
    • Innate and adaptive host immune responses.
    • Viral determinants of interspecies transmissions.
    • Acute lung injury and novel therapeutic options.

  • Modes of influenza virus transmission and transmission dynamics:
    • Large community-based studies of aerosol transmission.
    • Experimental transmission using animal models.
    • Aero-biological studies on airborne particles and virus viability.
    • Contact tracing within different population subgroups.
    • Seroepidemiological studies to parameterise mathematical models of influenza transmission dynamics.

Researchers

  • Professor Leung, Gabriel Matthew (epidemiology and public health)
  • Professor Peiris, Joseph Sriyal Malik (pathogenesis, immunity, transmission, ecology and epidemiology)
  • Professor Bruzzone, Roberto (cell biology of host-pathogen interactions)
  • Professor Fielding, Richard (risk perception and behavioural health)
  • Professor Guan, Yi (ecology, evolution, transmission and pathogenesis)
  • Professor Cowling, Benjamin John (epidemiology and transmission dynamics)
  • Professor Poon, Lit Man Leo (virology, pathogenesis and diagnostics)
  • Dr Chan, Chi Wai Michael (virus-host interaction and pathogenesis)
  • Dr Lam, Tsan Yuk Tommy (ecology, evolution, epidemiology and bioinformatics)
  • Dr Lau, Ho Yin Eric (epidemiology and surveillance)
  • Dr Tam, Yat Hung (infectious disease epidemiology)
  • Dr Wu, Tsz Kei Joseph (epidemiology, modelling and transmission dynamics)
  • Dr Yen, Hui Ling (pathogenesis and transmission)
  • Dr Zhu, Huachen Maria (ecology, evolution and pathogenesis)

(2) Non-communicable diseases in global health:
South East Asia, and Hong Kong specifically, provides a contextually specific setting from which to gain a better understanding of non-communicable chronic diseases in global health. Disease patterns in Hong Kong challenge received wisdom about traditional cardiovascular and diabetes disease risk factors. Hong Kong is a sentinel for other South East Asian populations currently experiencing rapid economic development and globalisation. Our research programme has eight foci:

  • Advanced epidemiology and statistical research methods:
    • Applied to four active cohorts spanning the life course to confirm or refute empirically driven hypotheses in a unique setting.
    • Emphasising innovative theoretical methods and models for population health (Mendelian randomisation, instrumental variable analysis, mathematical modelling of health services utilisation, neural networks, partial least squares, latent growth modelling and clinical decision analysis).

  • Causes of and interventions for non-communicable diseases prevention and treatment:
    • Childhood experiences, growth patterns, body composition.
    • Family dynamics, and lifestyle choices.
    • Air pollution and climate change.
    • The microbiome.
    • Social disparities.
    • Smoking, alcohol and nutrition.

  • Evaluation of population level screening policies:
    • Cost effectiveness of cancer screening programmes.
    • Cost effectiveness of vaccine programmes.

  • Incidence, prevalence and identification of risk factors for non-communicable diseases:
    • The role of hormones.
    • Population risk perception.
    • Health behaviours.
    • Socio-economic patterning of non-communicable diseases in South East Asian populations.
    • Drivers of long-term trends.

  • Non-communicable disease impact on local and regional health service utilisation and health policy:
    • Economic costs of service provision.
    • Role of manpower planning and inter-professional work in service delivery models.
    • Financial models for healthcare service delivery and their impact on health in Hong Kong and in China.
    • Political-economic, social and personal factors.

  • Physical activity and health:
    • Exercise physiology including respiratory control.
      1. Performance assessment and measurement.
      2. Physical activity and exercise in special populations.
    • Sport, exercise and health psychology.
    • Physiological response to exercise and inactivity.

  • Skill learning and expert performance:
    • Motor learning and performance.
      1. Perception and performance in expert and novice populations.
    • Movement rehabilitation.

  • Psycho-oncology:
    • Health behaviours and the impact of response, adaption and coping strategies.
    • Predictors of psycho-social adjustment.
    • Doctor-patient communication and decision-making.

Researchers

  • Professor Leung, Gabriel Matthew (health policy, lifestyle and life course epidemiology)
  • Professor Lam, Tai Hing (lifestyle and life course epidemiology and tobacco control)
  • Professor Fielding, Richard (behavioural health and psycho-oncology)
  • Dr Chan, King Chung Derwin (health, sport and exercise psychology)
  • Dr Fong, Siu Ming Shirley (exercise and health in special populations)
  • Dr Ho, Sai Yin Daniel (adolescent health)
  • Dr Johnston, Janice Mary (health services research)
  • Dr Lam, Wing Tak Wendy (behavioural health and psycho-oncology)
  • Dr Leung, Yue Yan June (lifestyle and lifecourse epidemiology)
  • Dr Macfarlane, Duncan James (exercise physiology and measurement)
  • Dr Ni, Yuxuan Michael (lifestyle and lifecourse epidemiology and psychiatric epidemiology)
  • Dr Pang, Hei Man Herbert (bioinformatics and cancer biostatistics)
  • Dr Schooling, Catherine Mary (lifestyle and lifecourse epidemiology)
  • Dr Tian, Linwei (environmental epidemiology)
  • Dr Wong, Wai Lung Thomson (motor learning in special populations)

Departmental Requirements

  1. Four to eight postgraduate courses as specified by the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee.
  2. Bi-annual seminar presentation on research progress.
  3. Bi-annual written progress reports.
  4. Active participation in the weekly journal club and annual scientific retreat.
  5. Regular attendance at research seminars and active participation in extra-departmental courses, workshops, symposia and conferences.

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Dr J.M. Johnston
Tel:3917 9108
Fax:2855 9528

Email: jjohnsto@hku.hk

OTHER UNITS

Note: Research Postgraduate Students will register under the teaching departments according to the supervisors instead of the following units.

AIDS Institute

http://www.med.hku.hk/aidsinst

Major Research Areas

  • HIV/AIDS vaccine and pathogenesis.
  • AIDS mucosal vaccine for the prevention of HIV sexual transmission.
  • Antigen targeting to dendritic cells as a novel AIDS vaccine design.
  • Engineering of recombinant neutralising monoclonal antibodies against HIV/AIDS.
  • Novel immunotherapy for the cure of HIV infection.
  • Mechanisms underlying HIV pathogenesis with focus on immune regulatory pathways.
  • HIV latency in cytomegalovirus infected human stem cells.
  • New drug discovery and small molecule microbicide for HIV prevention.
  • Understanding the evolution of the HIV epidemic in Hong Kong and in the region.
  • Elimination and cure of tumour by active vaccination.
  • Vaccine research for other infectious diseases and drug abuse.

Contact Person
Professor Z. Chen
Tel: 3917 9831
Email: zchenai@hku.hk

Molecular mechanism of innate immunity:
Investigation on host-pathogen interaction, specifically the host antiviral responses. Molecular mechanism of the host defence signalling pathway in the context of influenza A virus (IAV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

Contact Person
Dr R.K.H. Kok
Tel: 39179093
Fax: 39179095
Email: khkok@hku.hk

Centre for Genomic Sciences

http://cgs.hku.hk/portal/

Major Research Areas
Genomics:
Functional and structural characterisation of the genome; elucidation of genomic, epigenetic and transcriptional regulatory networks and their role in disease; identification of genomic loci important for disease aetiology, disease diagnosis, disease susceptibility, or clinical outcome; biomarker discovery; comparative genomics; meta-genomics, drug-genome interaction.

Statistical genetics and bioinformatics:
Population genetics; statistical methods for genetic studies on diseases; algorithms for sequence analysis; functional pathway and network modelling; systems biology; genetic analysis software development

Contact Person
Professor P.C. Sham
Tel: 2831 5500
Fax: 2818 5653
Email: pcsham@hku.hk

HKU-Pasteur Research Pole

http://www.hkupasteur.hku.hk

The main research area at the HKU-Pasteur Research Pole is the cell biology of viral infections to understand the molecular mechanisms governing interactions between viruses and host cells in relationship to pathogenicity and transmission.

Major Research Areas

  • Virus-host cells interactions.
  • Mapping molecular determinants that enable transmission and replication of animal influenza viruses in humans.
  • Identification of molecular determinants of influenza virus pathogenesis.
  • Identification of host factors contributing to virus assembly and budding.
  • System biology of host responses to influenza infection.
  • Innate immunity viral infection.

Contact Persons
Professor R. Bruzzone
Tel: 2831 5522
Email: bruzzone@hku.hk

Dr S. Doak
Tel: 3917 9949
Email: sophiev@hku.hk

Dr S. Lee
Tel: 2831 5529
Email: suki@hku.hk

Dr C. Mok
Tel: 2831 5527
Email: ch02mkp@hku.hk

Dr S. Sanyal
Tel: 2831 5524
Email: sanyal@hku.hk

Bau Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education (BIMHSE)

http://www.imhse.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Pedagogy:
This theme focuses on both the theoretical and instructional bases of teaching and learning, such as PBL, e-learning, teaching large groups and facilitating small groups.

Curriculum design and development:
This theme focuses on (1) the formal, informal and hidden curriculum, (2) curriculum development and evaluation, and (3) humanities, professionalism, interprofessional learning, language education, anatomy education, etc.

Assessment and evaluation:
This theme focuses on (1) assessing learning, (2) evaluating teaching, and (3) quality assurance.

Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Dr L.K. Chan
Tel: 3917 9077
Fax: 2816 2293
Email: lapki@hku.hk

Molecular Chinese Medicine Laboratory

http://www.med.hku.hk/mcmlab

Major Research Areas
Natural product chemistry and cell signalling:

  • Mechanisms underlying the biological effects of medicinal herbs.
  • Development of a technology platform (high throughout and high content analysis) for natural products and traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) research.
  • Drug discovery – applying a combination of molecular techniques for the purification and identification of bioactive molecules in medicinal herbs.
  • Isolation and structure elucidation of biologically active components with therapeutic interest from TCM.
  • Biology of interferon and cytokines in microbial infections – signalling pathways and gene regulation (e.g., HIV, Mycobacterium and other pathogens).

Contact Persons
Dr C.B. Li
Tel: 3917 9863
Email: jamesli@hku.hk

Dr L.H. Yang
Tel: 2589 0538
Email: cindyy@hku.hk