Tel: + 852 39179825 Fax: +852 39179095

Contact us


PRof. zhiwei chen


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:; Tel: (852) 2819 9831; Fax: 3917 9095; Office: Room 44, 5/F, Laboratory Block, 21 Sassoon Road, Pokfulam

Professional Recognitions

Chairman, Hong Kong Society for Immunology (2018-present)
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
Foreign Member, American Society on NeuroImmune Pharmacology (SNIP)Editorial Service for Peer-reviewed International Journals.

Member, Editorial Board, AIDS (2017 – present)
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 of Editorial Board and Academic Editor, PLoS ONE (2010 – present)

Focus on:

1) AIDS Vaccine and Pathogenesis
2) Immunotherapy for curing HIV and cancer




Dr. kin-hang Kok

Assistant Professor, Department of Microbiology
BSc (HKBU), MMedSc (HKU), PhD (HKU)
Email: ; 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





Dr. Liu Li

Research Assistant Professor, AIDS Institute Postdoc (ADARC, Rockefeller University) PhD (Microbiology) (Wuhan University); BSc (Microbiology) (Wuhan University)
Contact Email: 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 toclear the virus from the human body. Our studiesin 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. zhou runhoung

Postdoctoral fellow, AIDS Institute
BEng(Wuhan Institute of Bioengineering),MS  (Hubei University, China)
PhD (Wuhan University, China)

Research Description: Dendritic cells (DCs) are professional antigen-presenting cells. My research interest mainly focuses on what and how specific molecules are involved in DC-mediated T cell activation and immune tolerance during viral infection.

Focus on:

Maturation and antigen presentation of dendritic cells

Improvement of Dendritic cell-based vaccines









DR. Zhiwu Tan

Postdoctoral fellow, AIDS Institute
BSc, MSc (Peking University Health Science Center)
PhD (The University of Hong Kong)

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. Ada Lok Yan YIM

Postdoctoral fellow, AIDS Institute
BSc (Hons) (Northumbria University)
MRes (The University of Newcastle upon Tyne)
PhD (The University of Hong Kong)

Research Description

My research focuses on understanding HIV latency in T cells, aiming to distinguish T cell populations that serves as potent HIV reservoirs during chronic HIV infection.  The goal of my study is to identify possible targets for complete viral eradication via delineating the mechanisms in establishing and maintaining HIV latency.

Focus on:

1) T cells responses and expressions of receptors on different resting T cells subtypes upon HIV infection.
2) Identify potent HIV latency reservoirs as treatment target