Three Faculty Members of our School named amongst the world's most highly cited researchers


*adapted from the contents published by the Communications and Public Affairs Office of the University at

Nine academics of HKU have been named by Thomson Reuters in the list of “Highly Cited Researchers 2015” among the world’s top researchers whose work have been highly cited by fellow academics and are hence making a significant impact in ongoing research in their respective fields of study. Three faculty members of our School, viz. Professor Malik Peiris, Professor Guan Yi and Dr Leo Poon, are among these nine outstanding HKU academics.

According to Thomson Reuters, “Highly Cited Researchers 2015” represents some of the world’s most influential scientific minds. About 3,000 researchers in 21 fields of the sciences and social sciences earned this distinction by writing the greatest number of reports officially designated by Essential Science Indicators as Highly Cited Papers — ranking among the top 1% most cited for their subject field and year of publication, earning them the mark of exceptional impact.

Biography of these three highly-cited researchers of our School are as below:

Professor Joseph S Malik Peiris
Tam Wah-Ching Professor in Medical Science
Chair Professor and Director of School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine

Professor Peiris is a clinical and public health virologist with a particular interest in emerging virus disease at the animal-human interface including influenza, coronaviruses (SARS, MERS) and others.  His current research encompasses the pathogenesis, innate immune responses, transmission, ecology and epidemiology of human and animal (poultry, swine, wild birds) influenza viruses.  Currently he is researching the recently emerged MERS coronavirus.

He co-directs the WHO H5 Reference Laboratory at HKU and serves on many standing committees and ad-hoc advisory committees of the WHO and FAO.  He was awarded Silver Bauhinia Star (S.B.S.), Hong Kong SAR in 2008. 



Professor Guan Yi
Daniel CK Yu Professor in Virology
Professor of School of Public Health
Director of State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases
Director of Centre of Influenza Research
Co-Director of the WHO H5 Reference Laboratory
Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine

Professor Guan’s research focuses on the ecology, evolution and pathogenesis of influenza and other emerging respiratory viruses. Over the past decade, his research team has made distinguished contributions to research in virology and to the control of emerging infectious diseases in China and the world. His studies identified the zoonotic source of the SARS coronavirus and the major precursors and evolutionary pathways of the H5N1, 2009 pandemic and H7N9 influenza viruses, leading to measures to avert and control these major human disease outbreaks. His contribution to the field is reflected in his publication record of over 300 peer-reviewed articles with >27,500 citations and an h-index of 82.



Dr Leo Poon Lit-man
Associate Professor
School of Public Health, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine

Dr Poon has strong interests that are related to emerging viruses, ranging from studying basic biology of RNA viruses to developing molecular diagnostic tools for infectious diseases.  His work primarily focuses on influenza virus and coronavirus.  Dr Poon involves in influenza research for over 18 years.  He studied the replication and pathogenesis of this virus.  He developed several molecular tests for emerging avian influenza viruses (e.g. H5N1, pandemic H1N1/2009 and H7N9).  Currently, he focuses on researching the viral replication and vaccinology of influenza virus.


The School extends its sincerest congratulations to Professor Peiris, Professor Guan and Dr Poon. For more information about Highly Cited Researcher 2015, please visit