Influenza and other infections of public health significance

Hong Kong, a densely populated city, is an epicentre for emerging infectious diseases. The city provides an ideal location to study influenza ecology, transmission, public health interventions, and other emerging viral pathogens, for example the Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronavirus and Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). Our integrated multidisciplinary research programme includes internationally recognised expertise supported by the best laboratory and field resources, in Hong Kong and southern China, with a network of excellent international collaborations. Our research programme has six foci: 

  1. Ecology, evolution and the origin of pandemic and zoonotic influenza viruses, coronaviruses and other important emerging viruses
    • Explore ecological factors favouring interspecies transmission and the drivers of the emergence of pandemic influenza and other viruses
    • Conduct animal influenza (e.g. H5N1 and H7N9) and other emerging virus surveillance to understand virus evolution and zoonotic events
    • Integrate viral genetic information with viral functionality to identify critical molecular signatures to facilitate identification of field isolates
    • Take advantage of the city environment and the encompassing urban and rural landscape of southern China
  2. Efficient public health interventions for the control of influenza, coronavirus and other emerging viruses
    • Transmission control within communities
    • Interventions to control viral disease epidemics
    • Epidemiology and control of influenza viruses and coronaviruses
    • Novel “universal” vaccine strategies for influenza
  3. Development and spread of antimicrobial resistance
    • Monitor antimicrobial resistance (AMR) bacteria using One Health approach
  4. Influenza, coronavirus and other emerging virus pathogenesis
    • Viral and host factors related to virus pathogenesis, replication and virus-host interactions
    • Viral tropism
    • Innate and adaptive host immune responses
    • Viral determinants of interspecies transmissions
    • Acute lung injury and novel therapeutic options
  5. Modes of respiratory transmission and transmission dynamics
    • Large community-based studies of aerosol transmission
    • Experimental transmission using animal models
    • Aero-biological studies on airborne particles and virus viability
    • Contact tracing within different population subgroups
    • Seroepidemiological studies to parameterise mathematical models of virus transmission dynamics
  6. Infectious disease modeling
    • Infectious disease modeling entails developing mathematical models to assimilate various streams of clinical, virologic, demographic, mobility, social and economic data to inform epidemic preparedness, nowcasting, forecasting and response
Professor Bruzzone, Roberto

(cell biology of host-pathogen interactions)

Professor Cowling, Benjamin John

(epidemiology and transmission dynamics)

Professor Guan, Yi

(ecology, evolution, transmission and pathogenesis)

Professor Leung, Gabriel Matthew

(epidemiology and public health)

Professor Peiris, Joseph Sriyal Malik

(influenza virus, MERS coronavirus, pathogenesis, transmission, ecology sero epidemiology and control)

Professor Poon, Lit Man Leo

(virology, pathogenesis and diagnostics)

Professor Wu, Tsz Kei Joseph 
(epidemiology, modelling and transmission dynamics)
Dr Chan, Chi Wai Michael

(virus-host interaction and pathogenesis)

Dr Dhanasekaran, Vijaykrishna (ecology, evolution, epidemiology and microbial genomics)
Dr Grépin, Karen

(policy response to control infectious disease outbreaks)

Dr Hui, Pui Yan Kenrie

(risk assessment, pathogenesis and novel therapeutics)

Dr Ip, Ka Ming Dennis

(epidemiology, surveillance, and control of infectious diseases)

Dr Lam, Tsan Yuk Tommy

(ecology, evolution, epidemiology and bioinformatics)

Dr Leung, Sze Man Kathy

(infectious disease epidemiology, modeling, and health economics)

Dr Quan, Jianchao
(Health policy, economics and health care services)

Dr Tsang, Kam Lun Tim

(biostatistics, infectious disease epidemiology and modeling)

Dr Tun, Hein Min

(microbiome, multi-omics and systems microbiology, AMR in One Health)

Dr Wu, Peng

(infectious disease epidemiology and AMR)

Dr Yen, Hui Ling

(pathogenesis and transmission)

Dr Zhu, Huachen Maria

(ecology, evolution, pathogenesis and transmission)