Leung, Gabriel M

GBS, MD W Ont, MPH Harv, MD HK, FHKCCM, FHKAM (Community Medicine), Hon FHKCFP, FCFP, FFPH, FRCP Edin, JP
Helen and Francis Zimmern Professor in Population Health
Professor: Chair of Public Health Medicine
Division of Community Medicine and Public Health Practice
Contact Information
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Gabriel Leung is the fortieth Dean of Medicine (2013-), inaugural Helen and Francis Zimmern Professor in Population Health and holds the Chair of Public Health Medicine at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He was the last Head of Community Medicine (2012-3) at the University as well as Hong Kong's first Under Secretary for Food and Health (2008-11) and fifth Director of the Chief Executive's Office (2011-2) in government.

He is an elected member of the US National Academy of Medicine (formerly Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences) and was awarded the Gold Bauhinia Star (second highest civilian honour) by the Hong Kong government for distinguished service in protecting and promoting population health.

A specialist in public health medicine, Leung's interdisciplinary work revolves around topics that have major population health impact locally, where Hong Kong is a reliable and unique epidemiologic sentinel for mainland China and the Chinese diaspora, or where the it is best placed to address the fundamental science at hand globally.

Leung is one of Asia's leading epidemiologists and global health exponents, having authored more than 480 scholarly papers with an h-index of 61 (Scopus). His research defined the epidemiology of two novel viral epidemics, namely SARS-CoV in 2003 and influenza A(H7N9) in 2013. He also led Hong Kong government's efforts against pandemic A(H1N1) in 2009. He was founding co-director of HKU's World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control (2014-8) and currently directs the Laboratory of Data Discovery for Health at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park (2020-).

In parallel, Leung leads several large-scale longitudinal cohorts (Children of 1997, FAMILY, Department of Health Elderly Health Service cohort), tracking tens of thousands of lives to study the fundamental causes of non-communicable conditions and to explain the health impacts of contemporary social phenomena.

A final strand of his work concerns the economics and policy issues of health systems. His team is the government's health accountant and projects health care human resources needs. Regionally, Leung has tirelessly worked to build capacity throughout the Asia Pacific. He served as founding Chair of the Asia Pacific Observatory on Health Systems Policies (2010-14) and continues to lead its Strategic Technical Advisory Committee (2018-).

Leung regularly advises national and international agencies including the World Health Organisation, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, Boao Forum for Asia, Institut Pasteur, Japan Center for International Exchange and China Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. He is an Adjunct Professor of Peking Union Medical College Hospital and Adjunct Professorial Researcher of the China National Health Development Research Center.

Locally, he was Vice President and Censor in Public Health Medicine of the Hong Kong College of Community Medicine (2006-8), and an elected council member of the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (2012-9). He is a member of the Hospital Authority (2013-) and completed two terms on the University Grants Committee (2014-9), which are respectively a statutory agency responsible for all public health care services and a government advisory body on the development and funding requirements of the higher education sector.

He edited the Journal of Public Health (2007-14), was inaugural co-editor of Epidemics, associate editor of Health Policy and is founding deputy editor-in-chief of China CDC Weekly. He currently serves on the editorial boards of seven journals, including the British Medical Journal.

After reading medicine at the University of Western Ontario, he completed family medicine residency training in Toronto. He earned a master's from Harvard University and research doctorate from HKU.


Selected Publications  (Pub Med Search)

Full List

Infectious disease epidemiology

  1. Gostin LO, Tomori O, Wibulpolprasert S, Jha AK, Frenk J, Moon S, Phumaphi J, Piot P, Stocking B, Dzau VJ, Leung GM. Toward a Common Secure Future: Four Global Commissions in the Wake of Ebola. PLoS Med. 2016;13(5):e100204.
  2. Peiris JS, Cowling BJ, Wu JT, Feng L, Guan Y, Yu H, Leung GM. Interventions to reduce zoonotic and pandemic risks from avian influenza in Asia. Lancet Infect Dis. 2016;16(2):252-8.
  3. Yu H, Wu JT, Cowling BJ, Liao Q, Fang VJ, Zhou S, Wu P, Zhou H, Lau EHY, Guo D, Ni MY, Peng Z, Feng L, Luo H, Jiang H, Li Q, Feng Z, Wang Y, Yang W, Leung GM.  Effect of closure of live poultry markets on poultry-to-person transmission of avian influenza A H7N9 virus: an ecology study. Lancet. 2014;383:541-8.
  4. Yu H, Cowling BJ, Feng L, Lau EHY, Liao Q, Tsang TK, Peng Z, Wu P, Liu F, Fang VJ, Zhang H, Li M, Zeng L, Xu Z, Li Z, Luo H, Li Q, Feng Z, Cao B, Yang W, Wu JT, Wang Y, Leung GM.  Human infection with avian influenza A H7N9 virus: an assessment of clinical severity. Lancet. 2013;382:138-45.
  5. Cowling BJ, Ng S, Ma ESK, Cheng CKY, Wai W, Fang VJ, Chan KH, Ip DKM, Chiu SS, Peiris JSM, Leung GM. Protective efficacy of seasonal influenza vaccination against seasonal and pandemic influenza virus infection during 2009 in Hong Kong. Clin Infect Dis.  2010;51:1370-9.
  6. Cowling BJ, Chan KH, Fang VJ, Cheng CKY, Fung ROP, Wai W, Sin J, Seto WH, Yung R, Chu DWS, Chiu BCF, Lee PWY, Chiu MC, Lee HC, Uyeki TM, Houck PM, Peiris JSM, Leung GM.  Face masks and hand hygiene to prevent influenza transmission in households: a cluster randomized, controlled trial. Ann Intern Med. 2009;151:437-446.

Lifestyle and lifecourse epidemiology

  1. Ni MY, Li TK, Pang H, Chan BH, Yuan BY, Kawachi I, Schooling CM, Leung GM. Direct Participation in and Indirect Exposure to the Occupy Central Movement and Depressive Symptoms: A Longitudinal Study of Hong Kong Adults. Am J Epidemiol. 2016;184(9):636-643.
  2. Schooling CM, Chan WM, Leung SL, Lam TH, Lee SY, Shen C, Leung JY, Leung GM. Cohort Profile: Hong Kong Department of Health Elderly Health Service Cohort. Int J Epidemiol. 2016;45(1):64-72.
  3. Zhao J, Jiang C, Lam TH, Liu B, Cheng KK, Xu L, Long MJ, Zhang W, Leung GM, Schooling CM. Genetically predicted testosterone and electrocardiographic QT interval duration in Chinese: a Mendelian randomization analysis in the Guangzhou Biobank Cohort Study. Int J Epidemiol. 2015;44(2):613-20.
  4. Leung GM, Ni MY, Wong PT, Lee PH, Chan BH, Stewart SM, Schooling CM, Johnston JM, Lam WW, Chan SS, McDowell I, Pang H, Fielding R, Lam TH. Cohort Profile: FAMILY Cohort. Int J Epidemiol. 2015. pii: dyu257. [Epub ahead of print].
  5. Schooling CM, Hui LL, Ho LM, Lam TH, Leung GM. Cohort profile: “Children of 1997”: a Hong Kong Chinese birth cohort. Int J Epidemiol. 2012;41:611-20.

Health services and policy research

  1. Ni MY, Li TK, Hui RW, McDowell I, Leung GM. Requesting a unique personal identifier or providing a souvenir incentive did not affect overall consent to health record linkage: evidence from an RCT nested within a cohort. J Clin Epidemiol. 2017. pii: S0895-4356(17)30058-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jclinepi.2017.01.003. [Epub ahead of print].
  2. Wong IOL, Tsang JWH, Cowling BJ, Leung GM.  Optimising resource allocation for breast cancer prevention and care among Hong Kong Chinese women. Cancer. 2012;118:4394-403.
  3. Leung GM, Bacon-Shone J (eds).  Hong Kong’s health system – reflections, perspectives and visions.  Hong Kong:Hong Kong University Press; 2006. (568 pp.)  ISBN 962-209-804-5. Paperback edition; 2012.  ISBN 978-988-8139-55-2.
  4. Wong IO, Kuntz KM, Cowling BJ, Lam CL, Leung GM. Cost effectiveness of mammography screening for Chinese women. Cancer. 2007;110(4):885-95. Erratum in: Cancer. 2010;116(2):540. PubMed PMID: 17607668.
  5. Woo PPS, Kim J, Leung GM.  What is the most cost-effective population-based cancer screening package for Chinese women?  J Clin Oncol. 2007;25(6):617-24.


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