aidsinst@hku.hk

Tel: + 852 39179825 Fax: +852 39179095

Contact us

ABOUT US

DVM Director, AIDS Institute Professor, Department of Microbiology, LKS Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong DVM (Northwestern Agricultural University); MSc (New Mexico State University); PhD (New York University)           
Email: zchenai@hku.hk; Tel: (852) 2819 9831; Fax: 3917 9095; Office: Room 44, 5/F, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam

Professional Recognitions

Member, Advisory Council on AIDS, Department of Health, HKSAR Government (2008 – 2014) Member, Executive Committee, China AIDS Vaccine Initiative (2008 – present)
Member, Expert Committee, China AIDS Vaccine Network (2008 – present)
American Association of Immunologists
Member, American Society for Microbiology
Council Member, American Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology (SNIP)Editorial Service for Peer-reviewed International Journals
Member, Editorial Board, JAIDS (2010 – present)
Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Antivirals and Antiretrovirals (2009 – present)
Member, Editorial Board, Journal of Medical Primatology (2008 – present)
Member, Editorial Board, Virologica Sinica (2007 – present)
Member of Editorial Board and Academic Editor, PLoS ONE (2010 – present)

Focus on:

1) AIDS Vaccine and Pathogenesis
2) Drug Discovery and New Vaccine Design
3) HIV Epidemic in Hong Kong and Mainland China

Dr. kin-hang Kok

Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology
BSc (HKBU), MMedSc (HKU), PhD (HKU)
Email: khkok@hku.hk ; Tel: 3917 9093; Fax: 3017 9095; Office: Room 45A, 5/F, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam.

Research Description: K.H. Kok is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong. He is interested in the host-pathogen interaction, specifically the host antiviral responses. In 2011, he identified a host antiviral protein that can optimally induce the production of type-I interferon, an indispensable primary antiviral response during early infection. He continues to investigate the molecular mechanism of this host defense signaling pathway in the context of influenza A virus (IAV), herpes simplex virus (HSV), Epstein-barr virus (EBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

Focus on:

1) Host-pathogen interaction, specifically the host antiviral responses
2) Molecular mechanism of host defense signaling pathway

 

 

Research Assistant Professor, AIDS Institute Postdoc (ADARC, Rockefeller University) PhD (Microbiology) (Wuhan University); BSc (Microbiology) (Wuhan University)
Contact Email: liuli71@hku.hk Tel: (852) 3917 9094; Fax: (852) 2817 7805 Office: Room 45B, 5/F, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam

Research Description:Our longterm goal is to find a way to clear the virus from the human body. Our studies in Chinese macaques have aimed to examine: 1) viral cellular targets and role of innate immune response in acute SARS-CoV infection and dissemination; 2) adaptive immune response in control of virus replication and lung pathogenesis. Using the knowledge gained from SARS project, currently, we are studying the host factors involved in immune dysfunction, establishment and maintenance of virus reservoirs using a HIV mice model. Relatedly, we have also been studying the host factors involved in the dysregulated lymphocyte function and cytokine production during the pathogenesis of AIDS using blood samples from HIV infected patients. In particular, we are interested in the role of HIV nef in regulating PD-1 and its isoform protein expression in immune cells and how they contribute to dysregulated immune response. We previously constructed DC targeting vaccines, which induced robust T cell immunity in mice.

Focus on:

1) Host factors involved in AIDS and SARS disease progression
2) Vaccine design and innate immune response in shaping potent T cell immunity
3) Understanding HIV latency and drug discovery

 

Dr. Aiien cheung

Postdoctoral Fellow, AIDS Institute
BMedSc (Hons), PhD (University of Sydney)

Contact Email:allenc@hku.hk
Research Description: My major research interest is the study of virus and host immune system interplay, thereby finding ways to successfully clear viral infection. Since my PhD study of latent human cytomegalovirus in CD34+ hematopoietic progenitor cells, I found that a unique subset of viral genes facilitates latent infection, and that one of them modulates MHC class II expression to downregulate antigen presentation. After obtaining a postdoctoral fellowship from Japan, I received training in the Department of Immunology in University of Tokyo and returned to Hong Kong in 2011 to work in the AIDS Institute. My two current research topics are studying latent co-infection interplay of CMV and HIV-1 in CD34+ progenitor cells, and characterizing a programmed death 1 (PD-1) isoform for implementing into vaccine development.

 

Focus on:

1) Studying the interplay between CMV and HIV-1 in latent infection
2) Characterising the immune functional aspect of a PD-1 isoform
3) Identifying the receptor/ligand of a PD-1 isoform

 

 

 

Postdoctoral fellow, AIDS Institute
BSc (BIOL) (The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology)
PhD (The University of Hong Kong)
Contact Email: fayekw@hku.hk

Research Description
The major focus of his research is to gain insight into the mechanisms involved in the CD4 T cell depletion during HIV-1 infection as well as HIV-1 latency reactivation. Apart from basic research, he is also interested in establishing a rapid, high throughput and cost effective drug resistance screening platform in order to improve clinical treatment for AIDS patients.

 

Focus on:

1) Mechanisms involved in the CD4 T cell depletion during HIV-1 infection
2) Mechanisms involved in HIV-1 latency reactivation
3) Establishment of a rapid, high throughput and cost effective drug resistance screening platform

 

DR. Zhiwu Tan

Postdoctoral fellow, AIDS Institute
BSc, MSc (Peking University Health Science Center)
PhD (The University of Hong Kong)
Contact:Email: zwtan@hku.hk

Research description
His research interest mainly focuses on tumor immunology and immunotherapy. Using DC-based DNA vaccine, his research goal is to understand the underlying mechanisms that the vaccination overcomes tumor induced immunosuppression. In particular, his interests include how tumor reactive T cells from successful therapeutic vaccination could initiate a regression process.

Focus on:

1) Developing DNA vaccines for tumor immunotherapy
2) Oncolytic viruses as a new approach for the treatment of cancers
3) Developing new approaches to modulate tumor-induced immunosuppressive cells

 

 

    Dr. Cathy huang

     

Postdoctoral fellow, AIDS Institute
BSc, PhD(Jinan University)
Contact:
Email: xyhuang@hku.hk

Research Description
The major focus of current research is to explore the roles of immunosuppressive molecules and tolerogenic cells during DNA vaccine against HIV.  

 

Focus on:

Explore the roles of immunosuppressive molecules and tolerogenic cells during DNA vaccine against HIV.

 

 

DR. Yik Chun wong

Postdoctoral fellow, AIDS Institute
BMedSci (Hons), PhD (The Australian National University)
Contact:Email: wongycm@hku.hk

Research description
I have a strong interest in viral immunology. My main research focuses on the development of novel HIV vaccines, and in particular, on how strong protective T cell immunity can be induced using novel DNA-based HIV vaccines. In addition, I investigate the mechanisms that shape T cell responses during chronic viral infections.

Focus on:

HIV-specific T cell immunity;

Development of novel vaccines against HIV