Research Projects
The Role of Cytochrome P450 System in Pharmacomicrobiomics

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☒ MPhil/PhD ☑ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS
About the Project

Objective and Significance:

Gut microbiota plays an important role in drug metabolism. The outcome of such interaction can lead to decrease efficacy or increase toxicity of a drug. Our preliminary data show that nonabsorbable antibiotics affect CYP1A2 activity in liver. We speculate that alteration of gut microbiota can affect drug metabolism through intervention of hepatic CYP system. We will investigate the mechanism of how gut bacteria affect CYP1A2 and the potential clinical outcome.

Research Plan and Methodology:

We will investigate the alteration of gut microbiota after administration of the commonly used broad or narrow spectrum of antibiotics in mouse model, followed by the metagenomics and metabolomics analysis. Liver will be collected to examine the change of CYP450 monoxygenase protein and activity including CYP1A2 and the other major ones (e.g. CYP3A subfamily). Then, fecal microbiome transplantation will be performed to see if the unique gut microbiota will lead to change of drug metabolism of the common victim drugs (referring to drugs that are affected by the change of drug metabolism induced by the perpetrator drugs). The functional profile of gut microbiota will be evaluated by shotgun metagenomics. The metabolomics analysis will be performed to examine the potential interactions between bacterial-derived metabolites and drug metabolites.

About the Supervisor

Dr CWH Woo, Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy


Next Step?

For more information or to express interest for this project, please email the supervisor or the specified contact point in the project description.  Interested candidates are advised to enclose with your email:

  1. your CV,
  2. a brief description of your research interest and experience, and
  3. two reference letters (not required for HKUMed UG students seeking MRes[Med]/URIS projects).

Information on the research programme, funding support and admission documentations could be referenced online at the Research Postgraduate Admissions website. General admission enquiries should be directed to

HKUMed MBBS students interested in the Master of Research in Medicine (MRes[Med]) programme may visit the programme website for more information.  

HKUMed UG students interested in the Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme (URIS) may visit the scheme’s website for more information.