School of Public Health The University of Hong Kong
Home Job vacancies Intranet Contact us Site map
Zoom out font Normal font size Zoom in font search
Li ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
list-dot Academic Staff
list-dot Academic-related Staff
list-dot Teaching Staff
list-dot Honorary Staff
Faculty and Staff
Academic / Academic-related Staff
Cowling, Benjamin John
BSc (Warwick), PhD (Warwick), FFPH
Associate Professor and Division Head
Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics
Contact Information
Tel: 3917 6711 Email:

Dr 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). Dr 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.

In recent years Dr 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 vaccine effectiveness, 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.

Dr Cowling is a fellow of the Royal Statistical Society and a member of the American Statistical Association. He is a Section Editor of the journal PLOS ONE, a Senior Editor of the journal Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, and a founding editor of the journal PLOS Currents: Outbreaks.

More information

HKU Scholars Hub: Cowling, Benjamin John

Selected Publications (Pub Med Search)
  1. 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.
  2. 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].
  3. 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].
  4. 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].
  5. 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].
  6. 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].
  7. Cowling BJ. Airborne transmission of influenza: implications for control in healthcare and community settings. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2012; 54(11):1578-80. [link].
  8. Cowling BJ, Ng S, Ma ESK, et al. Protective efficacy of seasonal influenza vaccination against seasonal and pandemic influenza virus infection during 2009 in Hong Kong. Clinical Infectious Diseases, 2010; 51:1370-9.  [link].
  9. Cowling BJ, Chan KH, Fang VJ, et al. Comparative epidemiology of pandemic and seasonal influenza A in households. New England Journal 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].
< Back
Master of Public Health, Postgraduate Diploma and Postgraduate Certificate, Apply Now ! Doctor of Philosophy, Master of Philosophy, Apply Now !