Au Yeung, Shiu Lun Ryan

Assistant Professor

Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

  • BSc (HKU), MPH (HKU), PhD (HKU)



Dr Ryan Au Yeung joined the School of Public Health, the University of Hong Kong (HKU) after his Master of Public Health training (with distinction) in 2008 and PhD training in 2012 at the University of Hong Kong. He has received overseas training in public health research in Columbia University (USA) and University of Bristol (UK) during his times as postdoctoral fellow and Research Assistant Professor at HKU.

Dr Au Yeung’s is amongst one of the earliest groups of researchers implementing Mendelian randomization studies in East Asia. His research agenda focuses on the use of this method to elucidate causes and consequences of cardiometabolic diseases (e.g. lung function, non-alcoholic fatty liver diseases) and evaluate drug reposition opportunities for cardiovascular and diabetic medications (e.g. metformin). Specifically, he leads some of the earliest Mendelian randomization studies inferring drug target effects of metformin on cardiovascular diseases, cancer, and healthy longevity. As an advocate of triangulation of evidence to strengthen causation, he also emphasizes on the use of properly conducted conventional observational studies. He currently leads a 5-year Health and Medical Research Fund commissioned study on “Children of 1997” birth cohort (2019-2024) and have multiple projects involving UK Biobank.

Dr Au Yeung has published more than 100 peer reviewed articles, with an H-index of 21 (Scopus, July, 2023). In the capacity of principal investigator (PI), he has received funding of more than 10 million HKD from Health and Medical Research Fund of Health Bureau (Hong Kong), and General Research Fund (GRF) of Research Grant Council (Hong Kong) focusing on determinants of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes using genetics and cohort studies. He is also a Co-PI of 2 Collaborative Research Fund, Research Grant Council (Hong Kong). He was awarded the inaugural Health and Medical Research Fund Research Fellowship (2014), the American Journal of Epidemiology (AJE) Article of the Year (2015) (Au Yeung et al., AJE. 2015 182: 320-327), the Research Output Prize, LKS Faculty of Medicine, HKU (2020) (Luo et al., BMJ. 2019. 364: l476), and the Healthy Longevity Catalyst Awards (Hong Kong), National Academy of Medicine, USA (2021).

Dr Au Yeung is currently an editorial board member of Communications Medicine, BMC Medicine, Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, and Scientific Reports. His collaboration network includes the Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Hong Kong); Cambridge University, Imperial College London, and University of Bristol  (United Kingdom); University of California San Francisco and Beck Institute (USA); and Ruijin Hospital at Shanghai Jiaotong University and Sun Yat Sen University (mainland China).

Dr Au Yeung has more than 9 years of teaching experience at undergraduate and postgraduate level in the area of global health (different determinant of health) and epidemiology (study design and causal inference) in the capacity of a course coordinator. He has been the Admissions Tutor of BASc(GHD) since 2018 and was the Deputy Programme Director of the Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Global Health and Development [BASc(GHD)] from 2018-2021 where he was actively involved in curriculum development, outreach, and student recruitment of the programme.

Selected Publications

(*Denotes corresponding author)

  1. Luo S, Wong ICK, Chui CSL, Zheng J, Huang Y, Schooling CM, Au Yeung SL. Effect of putative metformin targets on phenotypic age and leukocyte telomere length: A Mendelian randomisation study using data from the UK Biobank. Lancet Healthy Longevity. 2023. 4: e337-e344 [IF (2022): [13.1 Geriatrics & Gerontology: Ranked: 2/70]] []
  2. Liang W, Luo S, Wong THT, He B, Schooling CM, Au Yeung SL* Association of iron homeostasis biomarkers in type 2 diabetes and glycemic traits: A bidirectional two-sample Mendelian randomization study. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2023 [epub ahead of print] [IF (2022): 7.7 [Public, Environmental & Occupational Health: Ranked 19/207]] []
  3. Au Yeung SL,* Borges MC, Wong THT, Lawlor DA, Schooling CM. Evaluating the role of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes: A Mendelian randomization study in Europeans and East Asians. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2023. 52: 921-931 [IF (2022): 7.7 [Public, Environmental & Occupational Health: Ranked 19/207]] []
  4. Luo S, Liang W, Wong THT, Schooling CM, Au Yeung SL*. Identifying factors contributing to increased susceptibility to COVID-19 risk: A systematic review of Mendelian randomization studies. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2022. 51: 1088-1105 [IF (2021): 9.7 [Public, Environmental & Occupational Health: Ranked 16/210]] [Top 1% citation in the category “Social Sciences, General” as of Jan/Feb, 2023] []
  5. Au Yeung SL*, Li AM, He B, Kwok KO, Schooling CM. Association of smoking, lung function, and COPD in COVID-19 risk: A 2 step Mendelian randomization study. Addiction. 2022. 117: 2027-2036 [IF (2021): 7.3 [Substance Abuse: Ranked 3/37]] []
  6. Au Yeung SL*, Borges MC, Lawlor DA, Schooling CM. The impact of lung function on cardiovascular diseases and cardiovascular risk factors: a two sample bi-directional Mendelian randomization study. Thorax. 2022. 77: 164-171 [IF (2021): 9.1 [Respiratory system: Ranked 9/65]] []
  7. Au Yeung SL*, Luo S, Schooling CM. The impact of GDF-15, a biomarker for metformin, on the risk of coronary artery disease, breast and colorectal cancer, and type 2 diabetes and metabolic traits: a Mendelian randomisation study. Diabetologia. 2019. 62: 1638-1646 [IF (2018): 7.1 [Endocrinology and Metabolism: Ranked 12/145]] []
  8. Luo S, Au Yeung SL, Zhao JV, Burgess S, Schooling CM. The association of genetically predicted testosterone with thromboembolism, heart failure and myocardial infarction: a Mendelian randomization study using UK Biobank. British Medical Journal. 2019. 364: l476 [IF (2018): 27.6 [Medicine, General, and Internal: Ranked 5/160]] [Selected as Research Output Prize 2020, The University of Hong Kong] []
  9. Au Yeung SL*, Luo S, Schooling CM. The impact of glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) on cardiovascular disease risk: A Mendelian randomization study using UK Biobank. Diabetes Care. 2018. 41: 1991-1997 [IF (2017): 13.4 [Endocrinology and Metabolism: Ranked 5/142]] []
  10. Au Yeung SL, Jiang CQ, Cheng KK, Liu B, Zhang WS, Lam TH, Leung GM, Schooling CM. Evaluation of moderate alcohol use and cognitive function among men using a Mendelian randomization design in the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. American Journal of Epidemiology. 2012.175: 1021-1028 [IF (2011): 5.2 [Public, Environmental & Occupational Health: Ranked 6/158]] []