Cowling, Benjamin John

BSc (Warwick), PhD (Warwick), FFPH
Professor and Division Head
Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Contact Information
Tel: 3917 6711
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Prof Cowling joined the School of Public Health at HKU in 2004. Prior to moving to Hong Kong, he graduated with a PhD in medical statistics at the University of Warwick (UK) in 2003, and spent a year as a postdoc at Imperial College London (UK). Prof Cowling has been the Head of the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics since 2013, he is responsible for teaching introductory modules in epidemiology and biostatistics on the MPH curriculum, and his primary research focus is in infectious disease epidemiology. Prof Cowling is a member of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control at HKU SPH. In 2015 he was awarded a Croucher Senior Research Fellowship for his work on influenza virus epidemiology.

In recent years Prof Cowling has designed and implemented large field studies of influenza transmission in the community and the effectiveness and impact of control measures. His research aims to integrate information on transmission dynamics at the individual level with disease burden, severity and dynamics at the population level. His latest research has focused on the modes of respiratory virus transmission, influenza vaccination effectiveness, immunity to infections, and the potential causes and implications of interference between respiratory viruses. He has strong links with China CDC, and the NIGMS-funded Harvard Center for Communicable Disease Dynamics.

Prof Cowling is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and a Fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health. He is an Associate Editor of Emerging Infectious Diseases, a Section Editor of PLOS ONE, a Senior Editor of Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, and a founding editor of PLOS Currents: Outbreaks. He has 320 publications listed in Scopus, including 39 articles with 39+ citations (H-index of 39).

More information

HKU Scholars Hub: Cowling, Benjamin John


Selected Publications (Pub Med Search)

  1. Poon LL, Song T, Rosenfeld R, …, Cowling BJ*, Ghedin E. Quantifying influenza virus diversity and transmission in humans. Nature Genetics, 2016. doi:10.1038/ng.3479 [link]
  2. Cowling BJ, Perera RAPM, Fang VJ, et al. Incidence of influenza virus infections in children in Hong Kong in a three year randomised placebo-controlled vaccine study, 2009-12. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2014; 59(4):517-24.[link]
  3. Cowling BJ, Jin L, Lau EH, et al. Comparative epidemiology of human infections with avian influenza A H7N9 and H5N1 viruses in China: a population-based study of laboratory-confirmed cases.Lancet, 2013; 382(9887):129-37. [link].
  4. Yu H, Cowling BJ, Feng L, et al. Human infection with avian influenza A H7N9 virus: an assessment of clinical severity.Lancet, 2013; 382(9887):138-45. [link].
  5. Cowling BJ, Ip DKM, Fang VJ, et al. Aerosol transmission is an important mode of influenza A virus spread. Nature Communications, 2013; 4:1935. [link].
  6. Cowling BJ, Ng S, Ma ESK, et al. Protective efficacy against pandemic influenza of seasonal influenza vaccination in children in Hong Kong: a randomized controlled trial. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2012; 55(5):695-702. [link].
  7. Cowling BJ, Fang VJ, Nishiura H, et al. Increased risk of non-influenza respiratory virus infections associated with receipt of inactivated influenza vaccine. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2012; 54(12):1778-83. [link].
  8. Cowling BJ. Airborne transmission of influenza: implications for control in healthcare and community settings. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2012; 54(11):1578-80. [link].
  9. Cowling BJ, Chan KH, Fang VJ, et al. Comparative epidemiology of pandemic and seasonal influenza A in households. New EnglandJournal of Medicine, 2010; 362:2175-84. [link].
  10. Cowling BJ, Chan KH, Fang VJ et al. Facemasks and hand hygiene to prevent influenza transmission in households: a randomized trial. Annals of Internal Medicine, 2009; 151:437-46.  [link]. Joomla 3.3 Templates