Leung, Sze Man Kathy

Assistant Professor

Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics

  • PhD (HKU), MPhil (HKU), BS (Peking U)

Kathy Leung received her BS in Biological Sciences from School of Life Sciences and BA in Economics from China Center for Economic Research at Peking University, MPhil, and PhD from School of Public Health at The University of Hong Kong.

Kathy was initially a wet-bench trainee in biochemistry working to elucidate the signalling pathways of innate immunity against virus infections. Later she found her interest lies more in mathematics and statistics involved in biological processes. In recent years, Kathy is interested in mathematical modelling of a wide range of diseases such as influenza, MERS, COVID-19, hand-foot-and-mouth disease, HPV, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer, and breast cancer. She also conducts epidemiological and economic evaluations of disease intervention strategies, such as HMFD vaccination, public health and social measures against COVID-19, and risk-based breast cancer screening. Leveraged on the latest development of data science, she also uses machine learning to interpret SARS-CoV-2 genomic data and participates in the development of tools to tackle misinformation about COVID-19 vaccination with natural language processing.   

Kathy is a member of HKU’s COVID-19 Response Team and has contributed to the earliest studies about COVID-19 epidemiology. She is the principal investigator or co-investigator of research studies funded or commissioned by the General Research Fund and Health and Medical Research Fund. She is one of the core developers of HKU's first Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) Epidemics, and also an investigator of Programme 1 of the Laboratory of Data Discovery for Health (D²4H) at the Hong Kong Science Park.

Google Scholar: https://scholar.google.com.hk/citations?hl=en&user=Ki1eg2UAAAAJ

Selected Publications
  1. Leung K, Wu JT, Liu D, Leung GM. (2020) First-wave COVID-19 transmissibility and severity in China outside Hubei after control measures, and second-wave scenario planning: a modelling impact assessment. Lancet, 395(10233):1382-1393. DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30746-7
    Impact factor: 60.392; No. of citations: 459;
    Ranking: 2/165, Q1 in Medicine, General & Internal
  2. Wu JT, Leung K, Bushman M, Kishore N, Niehus R, M de Salazar P, Cowling B J, Lipsitch M, Leung GM. (2020) Estimating clinical severity of COVID-19 from the transmission dynamics in Wuhan, China. Nature Medicine, 26(4):506-510. DOI: 10.1038/s41591-020-0822-7
    Impact factor: 36.13; No. of citations: 672;
    Ranking: 2/297, Q1 in Biochemistry & Molecular Biology; 3/195, Q1 in Cell Biology; 1/138, Q1 in Medicine, Research & Experimental
  3. Wu JT, Leung K, Leung GM. (2020) Nowcasting and forecasting the potential domestic and international spread of the 2019-nCoV outbreak originating in Wuhan, China: a modelling study. Lancet, 395(10225):689-697; DOI: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30260-9
    Impact factor: 60.392; No. of citations: 2340;
    Ranking: 2/165, Q1 in Medicine, General & Internal
  4. Leung K, Lee CK, Lau EH, Lau CW, Wu JT. (2019) Assessing the impact of respiratory infections and weather conditions on donor attendance and blood inventory in Hong Kong. Vox sanguinis. DOI: 10.1111/vox.12745
    Impact factor: 2.347; No. of citations: 3;
    Ranking: 46/76, Q3 in Hematology
  5. Zheng Y, Jit M, Wu JT, Yang J, Leung K, Liao Q, Yu H.  (2017) Economic costs and health-related quality of life for hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) patients in China. PLoS One, 12(9), e0184266. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0184266
    Impact factor: 2.74; No. of citations: 22;
    Ranking: 27/71, Q2 in Multidisciplinary Science
  6. Leung K*, Jit M*, Lau EHY, Wu JT. (2017) Social contact patterns relevant to the spread of respiratory infectious diseases in Hong Kong. Scientific Reports, 7(1), 7974. DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-08241-1
    Impact factor: 3.998; No. of citations: 46;
    Ranking: 17/71, Q1 in Multidisciplinary Sciences
  7. Leung K, Lipsitch M, Yuen KY, Wu JT. (2017) Monitoring the fitness of antiviral-resistant influenza strains during an epidemic: a mathematical modelling study. The Lancet Infectious Diseases, 17(3), 339-347. DOI: 10.1016/S1473-3099(16)30465-0
    Impact factor: 24.446; No. of citations: 17;
    Ranking: 1/93, Q1 in Infectious Diseases
  8. Valkenburg SA, Zhang Y, Chan KY, Leung K, Wu JT, Poon LLM. (2016) Preexisting antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity–activating antibody responses are stable longitudinally and cross-reactive responses are not boosted by recent influenza exposure. Journal of Infectious Diseases, 214(8), 1159-1163. DOI: 10.1093/infdis/jiw346
    Impact factor: 5.022; No. of citations: 6;
    Ranking: 11/93, Q1 in Infectious Diseases; 26/135, Q1 in Microbiology; 39/158, Q1 in Immunology;
  9. Wu JT, Jit M, Zheng Y, Leung K, Xing W, Yang J, et al. (2016) Cost-effectiveness of routine pediatric enterovirus 71 vaccination in China. PLoS Medicine, 13(3), e1001975. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pmed.1001975
    Impact factor: 10.5; No. of citations: 35;
    Ranking: 8/165, Q1 in Medicine, General & Internal
  10. Yang J, Jit M, Leung KS, Zheng YM, Feng LZ, et al. (2015) The economic burden of influenza-associated outpatient visits and hospitalizations in China: a retrospective survey. Infectious Diseases of Poverty, 4(1), 1-11. DOI: 10.1186/s40249-015-0077-6
    Impact factor: 3.067; No. of citations: 47;
    Ranking: 40/93, Q2 in Infectious Diseases
  11. Wu JT, Leung K, Perera RAPM, Chu DKW, Lee CK, Hung IFN, et al. (2014) Inferring influenza infection attack rate from seroprevalence data. PLoS Pathogens, 10(4), e1004054. DOI: 10.1371/journal.ppat.1004054
    Impact factor: 6.218; No. of citations: 36;
    Ranking: 3/37, Q1 in Virology; 4/39, Q1 in Parasitology; 19/135, Q1 in Microbiology
  12. You F, Sun H, Zhou X, Sun W, Liang S, Zhai Z, & Jiang Z. (2009). PCBP2 mediates degradation of the adaptor MAVS via the HECT ubiquitin ligase AIP4. Nature immunology, 10(12), 1300-1308. DOI: 10.1038/ni.1815
    Impact factor: 20.479; No. of citations: 235;
    Ranking: 3/158, Q1 in Immunology