Harvard School of Public Health's Visit to the School


Led by our Faculty Dean and School Director, the School received a delegation from Harvard School of Public Health today.

Professor Gabriel M Leung, Dean of Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, started off the meeting by giving an account of current developments at the Faculty and the School, outlining the historical evolution of the medical campus of the University, which was established in 1887. 

Then our School Director, Professor Malik Peiris, provided an overview of research on infectious diseases undertaken by the School over the past decades. Through the 'Bird Flu' that first hit Hong Kong in 1997 and in subsequent years, the SARS outbreak in 2003, influenza H1N1 pandemic in 2009, to the recent challenges from H7N9 influenza virus and MERS coronavirus, Professor Peiris chronicled the pioneering role played by the University in its ongoing battle against infectious diseases. Head of the Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Dr Ben Cowling, outlined the School's contributions to elucidating the epidemiology of these outbreaks, providing an evidence base for rational control strategies. These have contributed to the understanding and control of these epidemics and pandemics and have had local, regional and global relevance.

Dr Leo Poon, Head of the Division of Public Health Laboratory Sciences, gave the Harvard delegates a guided tour of our state-of-the-art facilities in the State Key Laboratory for Emerging Infectious Diseases and the WHO H5 Reference Laboratory of the University.

In January 2013, the School of Public Health of the University of Hong Kong and Harvard School of Public Health signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to further advance collaboration between the two Schools by promoting public health through learning, discovery and communication. Today's academic exchange is a testament to our longstanding partnership, rekindling our mutual interest in pursuing collaborative research and teaching activities on public health issues of global significance.

Other academic staff in the School, Associate Professor Dr Joe Wu and Clinical Assistant Professor Dr Michael Ni, also participated in today's programme.

Highlights of the event are as below.