Faculties/Departments/Centres/Institutes

LI KA SHING FACULTY OF MEDICINE

http://www.med.hku.hk

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 310 full-time teaching staff members, 245 research staff and 677 research postgraduate students.  The Faculty comprises 14 Departments and 4 Schools.  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.  The research themes in which they are actively participating include the following:

  • Ageing
  • Biomedical Engineering and Nanotechnology
  • Cancer
  • Development and Reproduction
  • Drug
  • Food
  • Genomics
  • Infection and Immunology
  • Integrative Biology
  • Neuroscience
  • Public Health
  • Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine

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 2017, the amount of external and internal grants received by our researchers totalled HK$293.24 million.

Research Postgraduate Programmes
The Faculty shares with other Faculties in the University the common goal 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 attracts 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
Professor C.W. Cheung
Tel: 2255 3303
Fax: 2855 1654
Email:
cheucw@hku.hk

Anaesthesia and the brain
Effects of general anaesthesia and surgery on cognitive function; post-operative cognitive dysfunction and delirium; perioperative organ protection; 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 A.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 hybridisation (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 A.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.radiology.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:

  • Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative diseases – volumetric MRI, functional MRI, MR perfusion, MR spectroscopy (MRS), amyloid and tau PET, susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI), chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST), artificial intelligence in dementia diagnosis.
  • Demyelinating diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, neuromyelitis optica and multiple sclerosis – arterial spin labelling (ASL), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), MRS.
  • Brain tumours – surrogate markers in anticancer drug trials using dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) MR perfusion and MRS.
  • Epilepsy – volumetric MRI, T1 Rho, MRI/PET.

Stroke and cardiovascular imaging:

  • Stroke imaging – MR perfusion (ASL) imaging in evaluation of stroke, MR vessel wall imaging in aneurysm, vasculitis and intracranial atherosclerosis, blood-brain-barrier imaging in haemorrhagic stroke, stroke imaging database in Hong Kong West Cluster of the Hospital Authority.
  • Carotid plaque characterisation – multimodal MRI.

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

Molecular and functional imaging in gynae-oncology, bridging the imaging-pathological translation:

  • Body diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DW-MRI) – application in oncology, quantification of diffusion parameters and technique optimisation on 3T MRI.
  • DW-MRI quantification beyond mono-exponential model.
  • 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.
  • Peritoneal imaging – qualitative and quantitative molecular and functional assessments in peritoneal carcinomatosis.

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

Early clinical translatability of advanced imaging techniques leveraging emerging technologies and complex computational methods:

  • Using imaging for early detection, cancer characteristics, and response assessment.
    • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
    • Hepatocellular carcinoma
    • Prostate cancer
  • Low dose CT using iterative reconstruction.
  • Cardiovascular imaging using CT and MRI.
  • Quantitative radiomics and radiogenomics.
  • Image processing, big data, machine learning and use of artificial intelligence.

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

Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (CMR):

  • Stress cardiac magnetic resonance in (i) asymptomatic high risk diabetics and (ii) coronary microvascular disease.
  • 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.
  • CMR feature tracking for prognosis and diagnosis of diastolic dysfunction in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and comparing this to catheter pressure measurements, echocardiography and CMR tagging.

Cardiac computed tomography:
Calcium scoring in marathon runners on the progression of calcium in the coronary arteries.

Thoracic imaging:
Lung cancer screening and correlation with cancer genetics.

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

Gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary imaging:

  • Using advanced imaging techniques including functional parameters and radiomics in cross-section imaging and PET for the assessment and prediction of treatment response in:
    • Hepatocellular carcinoma
    • Esophageal cancer
    • Colorectal cancer
  • Exploring the relationship between radiotracer uptake and underlying metabolism and genomic changes in hepatocellular carcinoma in human and mice models.
  • Application of big data and machine learning in gastrointestinal and hepatobiliary cancers.
  • Development of advanced imaging techniques in small bowel pathology including inflammatory bowel disease.

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

  • Brain connectivity.
  • Stroke imaging and other neurological diseases and disorders using advanced MRI techniques, with special focus on diffusion imaging.
  • Magnetic resonance fingerprinting.
  • Fast magnetic resonance techniques.
  • Magnetic resonance image reconstruction.

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

Developments of advanced MRI acquisition and reconstruction techniques:

  • 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).
  • Fat quantification using MRI (acquisition and reconstruction developments).
  • Periodically rotated overlapping parallel lines with enhanced reconstruction echo-planar imaging (Propeller-EPI) acquisition and reconstruction developments.
  • Artifact reduction of fast MR imaging (Nyquist ghost reduction and geometric distortion correction).
  • Reduction of motion artifact in abdominal imaging.
  • Motion tracking using external device / MR pulse sequence.
  • Image reconstruction of hybrid PET/MRI data.

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 Patient Reported Outcome Measures; clinical application of HRQOL outcome measures; quality of life of patients with chronic diseases, measurement of health preference (utility); and application of HRQOL outcomes in cost-effectiveness analysis.

Medical education:
Undergraduate and postgraduate medical education research with a combined qualitative and quantitative approach with specific interests in the following areas:

  • Student and doctor wellbeing.
  • Pedagogical innovation.
  • Continuing medical education for primary care doctors.
  • Core competencies in family medicine and primary care.

Primary care services and health equity:
Evaluation of outcome and quality of care of primary care through big data analysis; effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of new model of chronic disease care, diagnosis and management of common health problems; use of antibiotics; health equity and health for marginalised groups; sexual health and HIV.

Mental Health:
Epidemiology, diagnosis and management of common mental health problems; and evaluation of mental health services.

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

Cardiovascular risk factors in the community, including hypertension and the metabolic syndrome.

Pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics and precision medicine.

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

Biologics and biosimilars – efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness.

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.C.B. Tan
Tel: 2255 3348
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: kcbtan@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

Professor M.F. Yuen (for Hepatology)
Tel: 2255 4477
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: mfyuen@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

Infectious diseases:
Influenza – rapid diagnostics, vaccination and antiviral treatment (mouse models and clinical trials).

Pneumococcal disease – rapid diagnostics and vaccination (clinical trials).

Respiratory viruses – parainfluenza virus, metapneumovirus, rhinovirus, coronavirus, adenovirus (clinical presentation and antiviral treatment in mouse models and clinical trials).

Multiple drug resistance organisms – infection control and treatment.

Contact Person
Professor I.F.N. Hung
Tel: 2255 4049
Fax: 2818 6474
Email: ivanhung@hku.hk

Nephrology:
Molecular and immunological pathogenic mechanisms of renal inflammation and fibrosis in glomerular and tubulointerstitial diseases, with special focus on lupus nephritis.

Translational studies on peritoneal mesothelial cell biology focusing on inflammation and fibrosis of peritoneal membrane in the context of peritoneal dialysis.

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

Cellular and molecular mechanisms of proteinuric tubulointerstital disease, diabetic kidney disease and IgA nephropathy.

Stem cell and regenerative medicine in diabetic and non-diabetic models of kidney disease
Integrative medicine in diabetic kidney disease, clinical and basic.

Contact Person
Professor S.C.W. Tang
Tel: 2255 3879
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: scwtang@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

Experimental stroke models; neuroimaging of stroke; biomarkers for stroke; high resolution EEG; functional brain mapping.

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 haemorrhagic 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 and clinical studies in primary and secondary prevention of stroke.

Use of novel neuroimaging techniques in understanding the mechanisms and prognosis of stroke and cerebral small vessel disease.

Use of biomarkers, proteomics and metabolomics in understanding the mechanisms and prognosis of stroke and cerebral small vessel disease.

Cognitive impairment and psychosocial impact of stroke.

Contact Person
Dr G.K.K. Lau
Tel: 2255 4249
Fax: 2872 5828
Email: gkklau@hku.hk

Respiratory medicine:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchiectasis – mechanisms of neutrophil recruitment; role of transforming growth factor, TGF-beta; bronchial epithelial injury airways remodelling; biomarker and stem cell regeneration.

Lung cancer – molecular genetics; circulating tumour markers; environmental risk factor and genes interaction in pathogenesis; novel therapeutics in lung cancer; screening of lung cancer.

Obstructive sleep apnoea – cardiometabolic aspects of OSA; intermittent hypoxia exposure animal and cell culture models.

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

Rheumatology:
Systemic lupus erythematosus

  • Immunopathogenesis including the role of the cytokine / chemokine networks.
  • Derivation of clinical disease assessment tools.
  • Clinical and socio-economic outcomes.

Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Clinical and socio-economic outcomes.
  • Understanding the role of biologics in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis.
  • Roles of therapeutic drug monitoring of biologic agents in rheumatoid arthritis.

Spondyloarthritis

  • Derivation of clinical and radiological assessment tools.
  • Comorbidities of spondyloarthritis

Immunology

  • The function of C-type lectin receptors on immune cells
  • Innate immunity and immune-dysregulation in SLE pathogenesis.

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:

  • One-Health approach for investigation of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
  • Genomic investigation of resistant bacteria from humans and animals.
  • Metagenomic investigation of resistome in humans and animals.
  • Application of machine learning and artificial intelligence in AMR investigation.
  • AMR in Streptococcus pneumoniae, enterococci, Staphylococcus aureus, Gram negative, non-fermentors, and Enterobacteriaceae.
  • Clinical relevance of AMR.
  • Rapid methods for diagnosis of emerging resistance mechanisms.
  • Evaluation of new antibiotics.

Contact Person
Dr P.L. Ho
Tel: 2255 2580
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: plho@hku.hk

Novel diagnostics, antimicrobials, and vaccines for emerging infectious diseases:
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 2400
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: kyyuen@hku.hk

Professor P.C.Y. Woo
Tel: 2255 2409
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: pcywoo@hku.hk

Professor S.K.P. Lau
Tel: 2255 2408
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: skplau@hku.hk

Dr J.F.W. Chan
Tel: 2255 2407
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: jfwchan@hku.hk

Dr S. Sridhar
Tel: 2255 2396

Fax: 2855 1241
Email: sid8998@hku.hk

Dr S.S.Y. Wong
Tel: 2255 2404
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: samsonsy@hku.hk

Influenza viruses:

  • Identification and characterisation of viral host adaptation markers and host restriction mechanisms for cross-species transmission of influenza A viruses.
  • Development of novel vaccine system for seasonal and pandemic influenza, and other emerging respiratory viral pathogens.

Novel antiviral and vaccination strategies against influenza viruses.

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

Dr K.K.W. To
Tel: 2255 2406
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, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance 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: 3917 9093
Fax: 3917 9095
Email: khkok@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Dr. R.K.H. Kok
Tel: 3917 9093
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: khkok@hku.hk

AIDS Institute

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

Major Research Areas

  • HIV/AIDS mucosal vaccine and pathogenesis.
  • Targeting dendritic cells – PD1-based vaccine for the functional cure of HIV infection.
  • Engineering of recombinant neutralising monoclonal antibodies against HIV/AIDS.
  • Understanding the evolution of the HIV epidemic in Hong Kong and in the region.
  • Elimination and cure of tumour by active vaccination and oncolytic virus.

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 influenza A virus (IAV) and HIV infection.

Contact Person
Dr R.K.H. Kok
Tel: 3917 9093
Fax: 3917 9095
Email: khkok@hku.hk

  • HIV immune evasion by suppressing host B cell and T cell response.
  • Vaccine design and innate immune response in shaping potent T cell immunity.
  • Immunopathology of SARS-CoV infection.

Contact Person
Dr L. Liu
Tel: 3917 9094
Fax: 3917 9095
Email: liuli71@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Professor S.K.P. Lau
Tel: 2255 2408
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 HRT; 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.ophthalmology.hku.hk

Major Research Areas

  • Diabetic retinopathy screening.
  • Improving outcome of glaucoma interventions:
    • Augmentation and modification of trabeculectomy
    • Minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries
    • Effect of long-term glaucoma medications on subsequent glaucoma surgery
  • Cataract surgery:
    • Patient experience
    • Outcome measurements and improvements

Contact Person
Dr J.C.H. Chan
Tel: 2518 1430 / 3962 1405
Email:
jonochan@hku.hk

Oculoplastic and reconstructive surgery:

  • Thyroid eye disease – impact, complications and therapeutics.
  • Orbital inflammatory disorders.
  • Treatment of eyelid disorders.

Contact Person
Dr J.J.C. Cheung
Tel: 2518 1430 / 3962 1405
Email: janicejc@hku.hk

Neuroprotection and regeneration in models of retinal neurodegeneration:

  • Trans-scleral electrical stimulation in traumatic optic neuropathy, retinal ischaemia reperfusion injury, and chronic glaucoma models in rats/rabbits.
  • Immune modulatory effects of the traditional Chinese medicine Lycium barbarum in Alzheimer’s disease-related vision loss.
  • Mesenchymal stem cell-mediated rescue in mitochondrial dysfunction-related retinal ganglion cell degeneration in glaucoma models in rats/rabbits.
  • Photobiomodulation of retinal ganglion cell survival in rabbit retinal ischaemia reperfusion injury.
  • Continuous monitoring of electroretinogram using a wireless apparatus.

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

Glaucoma:

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

Myopia control

Contact Person
Dr B.N.K. Choy
Tel: 2518 1430 / 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: 2518 1430 / 3962 1413
Email: laism@hku.hk

Surgical and medical retina:

  • Age-related macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy, retinal vascular disease.
  • Paediatric retinal diseases.
  • Retinopathy of prematurity.
  • Medical education.

Contact Person
Professor W.C. Lam
Tel: 2518 1430 / 3962 1405
Email: waichlam@hku.hk

Protecting eye and brain:

  • Protecting the developing retina – ocular angiogenesis, retinopathy of prematurity, oxygen-induced retinopathy.
  • Protecting the ageing retina – retinal ischaemia/reperfusion injury, diabetic retinopathy.
  • Protecting the brain – cerebral ischaemia/reperfusion injury, stroke.
  • Bioengineering – cell-based and optogenetics-controlled drug delivery.
  • Development of novel molecular and cellular therapeutic approaches for ocular and cerebral diseases.

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

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.

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: 2518 1430 / 3962 1405
Email: kcshih@hku.hk

Glaucoma and anterior segment diseases:

  • Minimally invasive glaucoma surgeries.
  • Novel glaucoma treatment modalities.
  • Neuroprotection for glaucoma.
  • OCT imaging analysis with artificial intelligence.

Ophthalmic translational research:

  • Ophthalmic drug delivery systems.
  • Retinal imaging for neurodegenerative diseases.

Contact Person
Dr J.K.W. Wong
Tel: 2518 1430 / 3962 1405
Email: jwongkw@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Dr A.C.Y. Lo
Tel: 2831 5363
Fax: 2817 0491

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 3-D 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

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:

  • Our 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:
    • 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.
    • Next generation sequencing of EBV genomes in nasopharyngeal carcinoma biopsies and saliva of NPC patients and population carriers.
    • Action of histone deacetylase inhibitors and novel organic compounds in the activation of the 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
Professor W.W. Tu
Tel: 3917 9357
Fax: 2819 8142
Email: wwtu@hku.hk

Molecular basis of mammalian development and genetic diseases:

  • 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: 2819 8142
Email: yangwl@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. 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

Community child health:

  • Public health research on child health.
  • Early child development, community child development service and early intervention.
  • Approaches to promote child development and prevent developmental-behavioural problems in children.
  • Child maltreatment, childhood injuries and safeguarding children.
  • Mental health in children and adolescents.

Contact Person
Dr P. Ip
Tel: 2255 4090
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: patricip@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 B.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

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

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

Dr W.L. Yang
Tel: (852) 2831 5077
Fax: (852) 2819 8142
Email: yangwl@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 2657
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: anycheun@pathology.hku.hk

Gynaecological pathology:
Our research focuses on the molecular mechanisms of the development and progression of female reproductive tract malignancies.  Our projects focus on molecular biomarkers for diagnosis and therapy, including immunotherapy.  We have close collaborations with local gynaecological oncologists and international gynaecological pathologists.

Contact Person
Dr P.P.C. Ip
Tel: 2255 2686
Fax: 2872 5197

Email: philipip@pathology.hku.hk

Molecular oncology, pathology and genetics of breast cancer:
Our research interest focuses on investigating the underlying molecular mechanisms contributing towards drug resistance in the treatment of breast cancer.  This includes cancer genetics, biomarker identification and the development of novel targeted therapies.

Contact Person
Professor U.S. Khoo
Tel: 2255 2659
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: uskhoo@pathology.hku.hk

Genomics, genetics and precision cancer medicine in colon and stomach cancers:
Generation of 3D organoid culture model of stomach and colon cancer; large scale multi-omics profiling and drug testing to identify biomarkers that predict drug response; identification and characterisation of novel cancer driver genes and pathways; CRISPR-Cas9 genome editing for functional genomic study; discovery of new drug targets, new biomarkers, and new pathways of cancer development with therapeutic implications.

Contact Person
Professor S.Y. Leung
Tel: 2255 2698
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 2688
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 2664
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 2684
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 2687
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 of liver carcinogenesis, with major research areas including genetic alterations (mutation, chromosomal gain/deletion), epigenetic abnormalities (DNA methylation, histone modifications, and chromatin remodelling) and non-coding RNA deregulation (microRNA and IncRNA) in liver cancer.  We also employ next-generation sequencing and CRISPR genome editing technologies for deciphering the functional cancer genome and epigenome.

Contact Person
Dr J.C.M. Wong
Tel: 3917 9656
Fax: 2819 5375
Email: jackwong@pathology.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 2681
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  2680
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: yanhelen@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 2656
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: liweilu@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 2685
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: philipbeh@pathology.hku.hk

Molecular biology of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC):
Tumour microenvironment in HCC: Solid tumours are made up of malignant and other non-malignant cell types (immune cells and other 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.  We are particularly interested in the mechanisms which facilitate the formation of immune suppressive microenvironment in HCC.

  • Metabolic reprogramming in HCC: How the metabolic machineries are reprogrammed during the formation of HCC is largely unknown.  Our group investigates the signalling pathways that rewire the metabolic programmes in HCC.

Translational studies in HCC:
We are interested in the identification of novel therapeutic targets in HCC and in understanding the molecular basis of cancer cells that influences the response of immune therapies.

Contact Person
Dr C.C.L. Wong
Tel: 2255 2689
Fax: 2218 5222
Email: carmencl@pathology.hku.hk

Therapeutic targets and molecular mechanisms of acute leukaemia:
Acute leukaemia is a highly aggressive disease with a rapidly fatal outcome if left untreated. Despite the recent advance in chemotherapeutic regimen and haemopoietic stem cell transplant, a substantial number of patients still die from the disease including young patients. Our research mainly aims to identify drug targets, develop novel therapeutic strategies for acute leukaemia and characterise the underlying molecular mechanisms. Our work, together with collaborating clinical departments, paves the way to future clinical trials so as to improve the treatment outcome of this highly fatal human disease.

Contact Person
Dr A.C.F. Sin
Tel: 2255 3171/2255 3163
Fax: 2817 7565
Email: scf185@pathology.hku.hk

Biochemical and functional characterisation of cancer-related genes in liver cancer.

Contact Person
Dr L.K. Chan
Tel: 3917 9394
Fax: 2819 5375
Email: clkchan@pathology.hku.hk

Genomics and bioinformatics study of liver cancer:
Our research interest is to investigate and understand the molecular mechanism of hepatocarcinogenesis and metastasis of liver cancer. We will perform integrative genomics investigation of liver cancer through the combined use of next-generation sequencing, single-cell genomics, bioinformatics and large-scale screening. Computation analysis tools development will also be undertaken.

Contact Person
Dr D.W.H. Ho
Tel: 3917 9394
Fax: 2819 5375
Email: dwhho@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 2667
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 and natural products.
  • 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.
  • Mechanistic study of the vascular and anti-cancer actions of herbal medicine.
  • 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

Ageing and related diseases – mechanisms and therapeutic targets:

  • Sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) as a therapeutic target for ageing-related diseases.
  • Drug development and evaluation in obesity-related cardio-metabolic diseases and cancer.
  • Applying “omics” approaches for biomarker discovery and developments.
  • 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.
  • Adipocyte fatty acid binding protein as therapeutic target for obesity-related diseases.
  • Identification of novel factors that regulate energy metabolism and have potential therapeutic effects on obesity and its related cardiometabolic complications.

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

Drug delivery and translational research:

  • 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).
  • Cocrystal research for improving drug delivery and manufacturability.
  • Development of consistent and stable nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems for superior therapeutic outcomes.
  • Novel strategies for enhancing drug solubility and stability.
  • Rational design of drug formulations and manufacturing processes by proper statistical software and mathematical modelling.

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
Geriatric psychiatry:
This programme examines risks factors, causes, neuroimaging, biomarkers, mechanisms and novel intervention (such as non-invasive brain stimulation) of geriatric depression and late-life psychosis.  Other topics include the relationship between dementia, geriatric depression and late-life psychosis.

Contact Person
Dr C.P.W. Cheng
Email: chengpsy@hku.hk

Substance Misuse to Psychiatric Disorders (SToP) Program:
This program focuses on early intervention involving both pharmacological and/or non-pharmacological approaches in helping substance misusers; looking into epidemiology on substance misuse and psychiatric co-morbidities, and the prediction of conversions from substance misuse into psychiatric disorders.

Contact Person
Dr A.K.K. Chung
Email: chungkka@hku.hk

Sleep and mood disorders:
This programme focuses on the epidemiology, clinical presentation, etiology, and treatment of sleep and mood disorders. Current projects include the use of cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia in mood disorders and the application of low intensity cognitive behavioural therapy for insomnia.

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

Clinical high-risk state: Prospective investigation and psychosis prediction:
Individuals with clinical high-risk state are associated with markedly elevated risk of developing a full-blown psychotic disorder and functional impairment.  We have adopted a prospective longitudinal follow-up approach, utilising multimodal assessments encompassing clinical, neurocognitive, functional, neuroimaging and blood-based parameters to enhance prediction models for psychosis development.

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

Neuroimaging for psychotic disorders:
Use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to investigate neurophysiological mechanisms of psychopathologies in psychotic disorders. MRI data analysis will be done using Freesurfer and FSL.

Big data analysis:
Use of big data to investigate and analyse psychiatric services in Hong Kong.  Data analysis methods include time-trend analysis and the Cox proportional hazards model.

Contact Person:
Dr E.H.M. Lee
Email: edwinlhm@hku.hk

Neurocognitive markers and relapse prediction in psychosis:
Relapse is a common problem in psychosis, affecting up to 80% of patients within 5 years after illness onset and causing substantial or even irreversible damage.  However, we do not currently have a precise method to predict relapse and to prevent it from happening.  Quantitative markers, such as neurocognitive deficits, have been explored recently but only by a few studies.  Cognitive impairment is at the core of psychotic disorders, and if accurately assessed may provide critical information for treatment.

Contact Person:
Dr C.L.M. Hui
Email: christy@lmhui.com

Health psychology: Stress biology and developmental psychopathology:
The overarching theme of this clinical research programme is to characterise how exposure to adversity (e.g. stressful life events) precipitates health conditions across the lifespan.  Disturbances across the domains of social-cognition, emotion processing, health behaviours, cardiovascular reactivity, inflammatory activation, and molecular changes are investigated together with the biological state of the developing brain.

Current projects include a large-scale early intervention targeting disadvantaged families in two low resource districts of Hong Kong, titled KeySteps@JC.  Others include examining biological markers and risk for mood disorders in a representative cohort of children transitioning to adolescence.  Lastly, future research directions include online platforms, virtual reality, and telecare models to engage a wide range of community participants.

Contact Person
Dr M.C.M. Chan
Email: mcmchan@hku.hk

Cognitive psychopathology:
This programme focuses on the elucidation of abnormal psychological processes with cognitive science and neuropsychology methods.  Potential topics include the evolution of psychotic symptoms, illness awareness, executive function, attention impairments, motor system dysfunction, semantic memory impairments, social cognition, reward learning, and 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: and use of information technology and computer models in the study of thought processes and their disturbances.  Brain imaging technology (magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and functional MRI) is used to study the various neurocognitive processes.

Social cognitive neuroscience of mental symptoms:
Detailed studies of individual psychopathology, such as reference idea, hallucination, and insight, 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, including MRI, fMRI and positron emission tomography (PET).

Psychosocial basis of mental symptoms:
Detailed studies of how environmental, psychosocial, and familial factors could influence the onset of psychosis, pathway to care, individual and family’s reaction to psychosis, and intervention response.

Risk factors of psychotic disorders:
Examine the risk factors contributing to psychosis, particularly the differences of risk factors in early-onset and later-onset psychosis.  Environmental and biological factors will be investigated.

Course and outcomes of psychotic disorders:
This programme focuses on the characteristics of the longitudinal progression and outcomes of psychotic disorder; predictors of transition from prodromal state to first episode psychosis, treatment response, relapse, recovery and treatment resistance; 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 study of the interaction effect 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.  Potential interventions include phase-specific case management for early intervention of psychosis, life coaching, specific cognitive behavioural therapy, psychoeducational group therapy, omega-3 treatment, mindfulness training, cognitive remediation, and physical exercise.

Early intervention for psychosis:
Impact of early detection and 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; and public awareness and information campaigns in early psychosis.

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

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

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 and statistical methods 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 Person
Professor P.C. Sham
Email: pcsham@hku.hk

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

Department of Surgery

http://www.surgery.hku.hk/en/Research/Post-graduate-Studies/Overview

Major Research Areas
Breast cancer:

  • Breast cancer genetics, biomarkers and translational research.
  • Epidemiological and psychosocial studies in breast disease.
  • Oncological clinical trials.

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

Colorectal cancer:

  • Metastasis and chemoresistance of colorectal cancer.
  • Novel biomarkers for tumour recurrence and metastasis.

Contact Person
Dr. C.C. Foo
Tel: 2255 4389
Fax: 2872 8425
Email: ccfoo@hku.hk

Endocrine surgery:

  • Clinicopathologic studies of thyroid carcinoma.
  • Cycloxygenase in thyroid carcinoma.
  • VEGF-C, p16, CDK4 and TGFa in thyroid cancer.
  • Ret-PTC oncogene expression in papillary thyroid carcinoma.
  • Thyroid cancer genetics, biomarkers and translational research.
  • Epidemiological and psychosocial studies in thyroid diseases.

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

Esophageal and gastric cancers:

  • Animal cancer models.
  • Treatment resistance mechanism.
  • New biomarkers and treatments.
  • Epigenetic studies.
  • Bioimaging.

Contact Person (Esophageal cancer)
Professor S.Y.K. Law

Tel: 2255 4774
Fax: 2819 4221
Email: slaw@hku.hk

Contact Person (Gastric cancer)
Professor K.M. Chu

Tel: 2255 4637
Fax: 2819 4221
Email: chukm@hku.hk

Head and neck cancers/Plastic and reconstruction surgery/ENT:

  • Epigenetics.
  • Immunology.
  • Biological therapy.

Contact Person (Head and neck cancer/Plastic and reconstructive surgery)
Dr J.Y.W. Chan
Tel: 2255 4394
Fax: 2819 3780
Email: jywchan1@hku.hk

Contact Person (ENT)
Dr R.K.Y. Tsang
Tel: 2255 4394
Fax: 2819 3780
Email: rkytsang@hku.hk

Liver transplantation and liver regeneration:

  • Immune-mediated liver injury during liver transplantation.
  • Marginal graft injury during liver transplantation.
  • Biomarker, mechanism and treatment of disease recurrence after liver transplantation.
  • Mechanism and therapeutic implication of liver regeneration.

Liver cancer:

  • Mechanism of hepatitis B virus infection.
  • New biomarkers and treatments for liver cancer.
  • Carcinogenesis, metastasis and chemoresistance of liver cancer.
  • Cancer immunology.
  • Next generation sequencing studies of liver cancer.

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

Neurology:

  • Neuro-regenerative therapy.
  • Neurotrauma.
  • Malignant brain tumour.

Contact Person
Professor G.K.K. Leung

Tel: 2255 3368 / 2255 3773
Fax: 2818 4350
Email: gilberto@hku.hk

Molecular mechanistic study of developmental disorders and cancers commonly found in children:

  • Molecular genetic study of Hirschsprung’s disease and other related neurocristopathies.
  • Molecular study of enteric nervous system development.
  • Neural crest stem cells biology.
  • Molecular genetic study of anorectal malformations.
  • Cancer study and therapy.
  • Molecular genetic study of biliary atresia.
  • Tumour stem/initiating cells.
  • Nanomedicine in wound healing and regeneration.

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

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

Urology cancer:

  • Mechanisms of tumourigenesis.
  • Epigenetic studies.
  • Next generation sequencing studies.
  • Biomarkers for renal cell cancers.
  • Treatment for prostate cancer disease.

Contact Person
Dr W. Lam
Tel: 2255 3023
Fax: 2872 8425
Email: lamwayne@hku.hk

Vascular disease and surgery: 

  • Pathogenesis, haemodynamics and endovascular treatment of aortic aneurysms and aortic dissections.
  • Epidemiology and atherogenesis of peripheral arterial and venous diseases.

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

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisors
Professor K. Man
Tel: 3917 9646
Fax: 3917 9634
Email: kwanman@hku.hk

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

Dr N.P.Y. Lee
Tel: 3917 9652
Fax: 3917 9634
Email: nikkilee@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: 2817 0857
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. Javed
Tel: 2831 5395
Email: javed@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

Dr. J.W.H. Wong
Tel: 3917 9187
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: jwhwong@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

Dr A. Javed
Tel: 2831 5395
Email: javed@hku.hk

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

Professor P. Liu
Tel: 2831 5407
Email: pliu88@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

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

Dr. J.W.H. Wong
Tel: 3917 9187
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: jwhwong@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 Person
Dr H. Ballard
Tel: 3917 9232
Fax: 2855 9730

Email: ballard@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: 2816 2293
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 ageing-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 ageing 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

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

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

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

Professor P. Liu
Tel: 2831 5407
Email: pliu88@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

Professor P. Liu
Tel: 2831 5407
Email: pliu88@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
Professor J.D. Huang
Tel: 3917 6810
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jdhuang@hku.hk

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

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, mechanisms of neurotrophic factors and cell adhesion molecules in promoting neuronal survival and axonal outgrowth, molecular mechanisms differentiation of stem cells in ageing 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.

Contact Person
Dr R.C.C. Chang
Tel: 3917 9127
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: rccchang@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 ageing and epigenetic reprogramming in stem cells; derivation of new neurons and Schwann cells from bone marrow cells.

Contact Persons
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. Jauch
Tel: 3917 9511
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: ralf@hku.hk

Dr A. Javed
Tel: 2831 5395
Email: javed@hku.hk

Professor P. Liu
Tel: 2831 5407
Email: pliu88@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 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 magnetic resonance spectroscopy 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

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: 2855 9730
Email: rccchang@hku.hk

Dr A. Cheung
Tel: 3917 9293
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: lmcheung@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
Dr Y.P. Ching
Tel: 3917 9434
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: ypching@hku.hk

School of Chinese Medicine

http://www.scm.hku.hk

Major Research Areas

Discover molecular mechanisms of nephrology and diabesity and develop therapeutic approaches for these diseases:

Our ongoing projects include (1) exploring the functional role of genes, proteins and signalling pathways, and immune regulations in kidney diseases and diabesity; (2) developing therapeutic approaches (gene therapy, Chinese medicine, and active compounds) to prevent and treat kidney diseases and diabesity; (3) evaluating the effectiveness and safety of Chinese medicine in treating inflammatory and metabolic diseases via evidence-based approaches.

Contact Person
Dr H.Y. Chen
Tel: 3917 6413
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
Email: abchen@hku.hk

Therapeutic principle of Chinese medicinal herbs for treatment of cancer and metabolic diseases:

The research will concentrate on the clinical trial and experimental study (cell and animal models) of Chinese medicinal herbs for cancer, and 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 and metabolic 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
Email: yfeng@hku.hk

Chinese Medicine/Immunology:

Chinese herbal medicine has natural advantages in immunomodulation. My research aim is to:

(1) Identify novel mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis (RA), type 1 diabetes (T1D) and primary Sjogren’s syndrome (pSS);

(2) Study the immunomodulatory functions of formulae or effective compounds from Chinese herbal medicine;

(3) Conduct translational studies of Chinese herbal medicine for treating autoimmune disease in humans and our established mouse models

Contact Person
Dr X Lin
Tel: 3917 6461
Email: linxiang@hku.hk

Regulation of innate immunity for resolution of inflammation and tissue repair: Our research focuses on the molecular mechanisms by which Chinese medicines regulate macrophages and neutrophils against inflammation and tissue remodelling in myocardial infarction, obesity and neurodegenerative diseases. By using different cell models and animal models, we identify the active compounds and target proteins by applying genomics, proteomics, chemical biology and cell signalling technologies. Our ongoing projects are designed to (1) characterize neuroprotective and neurotrophic Chinese medicines; (2) discover new mechanisms against myocardial infarction, ischaemic stroke and cancers; and (3) prepare novel small molecular probes for target identification. Our long-term goal is to develop novel therapeutics for the treatment of myocardial infarction, obesity, depression and neurodegeneration.

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

Stem Cell Therapy and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) for Brain Repair in Post-Stroke Treatment:

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) studying the pharmacokinetic and pharmacological properties of the active compounds; and (4) developing quality control for herbal medicine.

Chemical Biology for Molecular Medicine: Oxidative and Redox Regulation in Brain Damage and Application for Drug Discovery to Treat ischaemic stroke and multiple sclerosis:

The study will apply chemical biology approaches and molecular biology technology to evaluate the molecular mechanisms related to oxidative and redox regulation of the blood brain barrier in ischaemic stroke and multiple sclerosis animal models. The study will mainly focus on the roles of reactive nitrogen species (RNS) on cellular signal molecules and their post-transcriptional factors in neural injury and blood brain barrier permeability in the central nervous system (CNS). 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 a component of a collaborative project that involves multidisciplinary scientists and is supported by the Research Grants Council's Areas of Excellence scheme. Students will join a dynamic research team with multidisciplinary experts to develop novel diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for neurological diseases.

Clinical Trials for Evaluating Efficacies of TCM formula for ischaemic stroke and Chronic Heart Failure

There are two on-going clinical trials to evaluate the efficacies of TCM formulas for cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases: (1) Efficacies of a TCM formula for chronic heart failure: This is a multiple centre clinical trial involving many hospitals from Mainland China and Hong Kong to evaluate the efficacies of a TCM formula as adjunct therapy for primary outcome and cardiovascular functions in chronic heart failure; (2) Efficacies of a classic TCM formula for acute ischemic stroke: This is a multiple centre clinical trial for the study of ischemic stroke treatment with Chinese herbal medicine involving several hospitals in Hong Kong. The study will investigate the efficacy and safety of the TCM formula against ischaemic brain injury in clinical trials. Students will join a dynamic group and have intensive interaction with Chinese medicine experts, neurologists and cardiologists to conduct clinical investigations. Having obtained the qualifications of a Chinese Medicinal License or a Western Medicine Practice License would be an advantage, but is not an essential requirement.

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

Novel therapeutic targets and mechanisms of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) in treating gastrointestinal (GI) cancers and metabolic disorders:

The study aims to understand the complicated mechanisms and molecular connection underlying the efficacy of TCM and natural compounds. Our on-going studies wish to answer several research questions including (i) what are the molecular targets of TCM in treating GI cancers and metabolic diseases including obesity and diabetes; (ii) How the molecular targets of TCM work as a network in the internal microenvironments of diseased animals and patients; (iii) How the molecular networks of TCM commit the understanding of the link between molecular disorders and GI cancers. Our lab is committed to the full use of modern technologies and multidisciplinary platforms to conduct innovative study of TCM, and has been actively engaged in the basic science and translational research on the prevention and treatment of human GI cancers and metabolic disorders using Chinese herbal medicine.

Contact Person
Dr. Michael N Wang
Tel: 3917 6441
Email: ckwang@hku.hk

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

- Develop clinical trials to evaluate effectiveness and safety of acupuncture, Chinese medicine, and other non-pharmacological therapies in the management of major neurological and psychiatric disorders.

- Investigate psychopharmacological 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.

- Explore neural mechanisms of acupuncture effects.

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

Chairperson of Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee
Professor JG Shen
Tel: 3917 6429
Email: shenjg@hku.hk

School of Nursing

http://nursing.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Smoking cessation and tobacco control:
We are one of the leading research teams internationally on smoking cessation and tobacco control policy.  Our smoking cessation research focuses on finding cost-effective and sustainable interventions for preventing smoking and promoting smoking cessation in adults and adolescents using pragmatic and complex large-scale randomised controlled trials. We use public health and nursing based approaches on brief smoking advice, pharmacological adjunct interventions, non-pharmacological interventions, interventions using information communication technologies, and combined interventions.  Our research findings have been published in top international journals with high impacts locally and internationally.  Our tobacco control policy research focuses on territory-wide epidemiological, evaluation and policy studies on tobacco use (including emerging new tobacco products), second-hand smoke and third-hand smoke exposure among different groups of the population.  The findings have been widely used to advocate for smoke-free legislation in Hong Kong, and they serve as successful examples of tobacco control measures for mainland China and elsewhere.

Family and women’s health:
Our research involves interdisciplinary collaboration including researchers and practitioners in nursing, medicine, public health, social science, and biological sciences.  Ongoing projects include the following areas:

Family violence: This 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 magnetic resonance imaging), and biomarkers (e.g. telomerase activity).

Breastfeeding: This research focuses on the impact of breastfeeding on maternal health (e.g. gestational diabetes) and breast milk on infant health (e.g. birth weight, infectious disease, intestinal microbiome compositions).

Health of children and adolescents: This research focuses on identifying health risk factors among children and adolescents with the aim of  promoting their health and well-being.

Sexual and reproductive health: The research in this area is underpinned by a commitment to understand and improve practice in sexual and reproductive health care.  We conduct studies to understand the social and behavioural factors associated with risky sexual behaviours, and to examine the impact of prostate diseases on patients’ wellbeing.

Cancer care and end of life care:
Our interdisciplinary and collaborative research is in the area of cancer pain management (pain education, counselling and the use of coping strategies) and its impact on quality of life; cancer symptom management through interventions aimed at improving sleep disturbance, symptom clusters in cancer patients and the biologic mechanism of cytokines in cancer symptoms; the effect of physical activity in cancer disturbance, symptom distress, quality of life and behavioural symptoms; ethical and legal issues in the practice of advance directives and living will; end-of-life decision making, impact on medical management; and  identification of quality of life prognostic factors for survival in terminal cancer patients.

Gerontology and healthy ageing: 
Our research focuses on the promotion of physical and mental wellbeing of older people  through a primary prevention approach.  We implement and evaluate interventions, such as lifestyle modification, behavioural interventions and information technology devices (e.g. mobile applications), as appropriate.  We also promote early detection of chronic illnesses and are actively involved in interdisciplinary collaborations with other professionals.

Long-term care and management of chronic illness: 
Our research, which takes an interdisciplinary approach, focuses on developing interventions for both patients with chronic illness and their family caregivers in chronic illnesses, such as diabetes, hypertension, stroke, dementia, and mental illness.  We examine the effectiveness of different interventions, including lifestyle modifications, mindfulness, and mobile applications, on restoring the physical and mental wellbeing of patients and the prevention of burnout among family caregivers.

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, MERS 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 with a network of excellent international collaborations.  Our research programme has six foci:

  • Ecology, evolution and the origin of pandemic and zoonotic influenza, MERS coronavirus and other important emerging viruses
  • Efficient public health interventions for the control of influenza, MERS coronavirus and other emerging viruses
  • Development and spread of antimicrobial resistance
  • Influenza, MERS coronavirus and other emerging virus pathogenesis
  • Modes of influenza virus transmission and transmission dynamics
  • Infectious disease modelling

Researchers

  • Professor Leung, Gabriel Matthew (epidemiology and public health)
  • Professor Fukuda, Keiji (epidemiology and public health)
  • Professor Guan, Yi (ecology, evolution, transmission and pathogenesis)
  • Professor Peiris, Joseph Sriyal Malik (Influenza virus, MERS coronavirus, pathogenesis, transmission, ecology sero epidemiology and control)
  • Professor Bruzzone, Roberto (cell biology of host-pathogen interactions)
  • Professor Cowling, Benjamin John (epidemiology and transmission dynamics)
  • Professor Poon, Lit Man Leo (virology, pathogenesis and diagnostics)
  • Professor Wu, Tsz Kei Joseph (epidemiology, modelling and transmission dynamics)
  • Dr Chan, Chi Wai Michael (virus-host interaction and pathogenesis)
  • Dr Ip, Ka Ming Dennis (epidemiology, surveillance, and control of infectious diseases)
  • Dr Lam, Tsan Yuk Tommy (ecology, evolution, epidemiology and bioinformatics)
  • Dr Lau, Ho Yin Eric (epidemiology and surveillance)
  • Dr Sanyal, Sumana (cell biology and translational immunology)
  • Dr Tam, Yat Hung (infectious disease epidemiology)
  • Dr Wu, Peng (infectious disease epidemiology and AMR)
  • Dr Yen, Hui Ling (pathogenesis and transmission)
  • Dr Zhu, Huachen Maria (ecology, evolution, pathogenesis and transmission)

(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 fourteen foci: 

  1. Advanced epidemiology and statistical research methods
  2. Causes of and interventions for non-communicable diseases prevention and treatment
  3. Social determinants of health
  4. Inter- and intra-generational effects on health
  5. Evaluation of population level screening policies
  6. Identification of new interventions to prevent non-communicable diseases
  7. Application of evolutionary biology to inform public health interventions
  8. Non-communicable disease impact on local and regional health service utilisation and health policy
  9. Physical activity and health
  10. Skill learning and expert performance
  11. Psycho-oncology
  12. Bioinformatics and biostatistics
  13. Risk communication, risk perception and public health
  14. Approaches to health care delivery for patients with chronic illnesses

Researchers

  • Professor Leung, Gabriel Matthew (health policy, lifestyle and life course epidemiology)
  • Professor Lam, Tai Hing (lifestyle and life course epidemiology and tobacco control)
  • 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 Kwok, Man Ki Maggie (lifestyle and lifecourse epidemiology and social epidemiology)
  • Dr Lam, Wing Tak Wendy (behavioural health and psycho-oncology)
  • Dr Leung, Yue Yan June (lifestyle and life course epidemiology)
  • Dr Ni, Yuxuan Michael (lifestyle and life course epidemiology and psychiatric epidemiology)
  • Dr Pang, Hei Man Herbert (bioinformatics and cancer biostatistics)
  • Dr Quan, Jianchao (health economics)
  • Dr Schooling, Catherine Mary (lifestyle and life course epidemiology)
  • Dr Siu, Ming Fai Parco (exercise physiology and muscle biology)
  • Dr Tian, Linwei (environmental epidemiology)
  • Dr Wong, Wai Lung Thomson (motor learning in special populations)

HKU-Pasteur Research Pole

Major Research Areas
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.  The ten major research areas include:

  • 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
  • Adaptive – T and B cell –  immunity to influenza in humans
  • Novel vaccines and immune correlates of protection for influenza
  • Development and spread of antimicrobial resistance (AMR)
  • Microbiome in health and disease

Researchers

  • Professor Bruzzone, Roberto (cell biology of host-pathogen interactions)
  • Dr Sanyal, Sumana (cell biology and translational immunology)

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
Professor B.J. Cowling
Tel: 3917 6711
Fax: 2855 9528
Email: bcowling@hku.hk

OTHER UNITS

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

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

Bau Institute of Medical and Health Sciences Education (BIMHSE)

http://www.bimhse.hku.hk

Major Research Areas
Pedagogy:
This theme focuses on both the theoretical and instructional bases of teaching and learning, such as problem-based learning, team-based learning, 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.

History of medicine:
This theme focuses on (1) the history of medicine, science and technology in general, and (2) the history and politics of international health organisations.

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