Department of Diagnostic Radiology

Research Questions

  • How useful is an imaging test in identifying early disease, such as Alzheimer's or liver cancer?
  • What can functional imaging tell us about disease processes at the molecular level?
  • Can imaging reveal more than just conventional assessment for diagnosis?
  • Can use of modern feature extraction and artificial intelligence help advance imaging research?
Department of Diagnostic Radiology
Research Areas

1. Advanced MRI and Other Molecular Imaging Techniques in Neurological Diseases

  • Alzheimer's and other neurodegenerative diseases − volumetric MRI, functional MRI, MR perfusion, MR spectroscopy (MRS), amyloid and tau PET, susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI), chemical exchange saturation transfer (CEST), artificial intelligence in dementia diagnosis
  • Demyelinating diseases, such as systemic lupus erythematosus, neuromyelitis optica and multiple sclerosis − arterial spin labelling (ASL), diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), MRS
  • Brain tumours − surrogate markers in anticancer drug trials using dynamic contrast enhanced (DCE) MR perfusion and MRS
  • Epilepsy − volumetric MRI, T1 Rho, MRI/PET


2. Stroke and Cardiovascular Imaging

  • Stroke imaging − MR perfusion (ASL) imaging in evaluation of stroke, MR vessel wall imaging in aneurysm, vasculitis and intracranial atherosclerosis, blood-brain-barrier imaging in haemorrhagic stroke, stroke imaging database in Hong Kong West Cluster of the Hospital Authority
  • Carotid plaque characterization − multimodal MRI

Dr HKF Mak


3. Molecular and Functional Imaging in Gynae-Oncology, Bridging the Imaging-Pathological Translation

  • Body diffusion-weighted MR imaging (DW-MRI) − application in oncology, quantification of diffusion parameters and technique optimisation on 3T MRI
  • DW-MRI quantification beyond mono-exponential model
  • Gynaecological oncology imaging − functional assessment of metabolic activity (PET/CT) and the use of advanced MRI techniques (e.g. DWI, IVIM, DCE-MRI) in disease diagnosis, treatment response assessment and disease prognostication
  • Qualitative and quantitative peritoneal imaging
  • Application of radiomics in gynaecological oncology

Dr EYP Lee


4. Early Clinical Translatability of Advanced Imaging Techniques Leveraging Emerging Technologies and Complex Computational Methods

  • Using imaging for early detection, cancer characteristics, and response assessment
  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Prostate cancer
  • Quantitative radiomics and radiogenomics
  • Big data, machine learning, medical artificial intelligence
  • Deep Learning Imaging Applications to Ageing and Longevity

Dr VV Vardhanabhuti


5. Cardiac Magnetic Resonance (CMR)

  • Stress cardiac magnetic resonance and perfusion mapping/quantification in
    1. asymptomatic high risk diabetics
    2. coronary microvascular disease and
    3. empagliflozin
  • T1 and T2 mapping for the assessment of myocardial fibrosis and myocardial oedema. This research is currently focused on two types of patients:
    1. heart failure with preserved ejection fraction
    2. chronic kidney disease patients
  • CMR feature tracking for prognosis and diagnosis of diastolic dysfunction in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction and comparing this to catheter pressure measurements, echocardiography and CMR tagging
  • 4D flow in heart failure with preserved ejection fraction


6. Cardiac Computed Tomography

Calcium scoring in marathon runners on the progression of calcium in the coronary arteries


Dr MY Ng


7. Advanced MRI and Deep Learning

  • Deep-learning-based MRI reconstruction and quantification
  • Deep-learning-based medical imaging segmentation and classification
  • fMRI acquisition and modelling for brain function, BOLD and non-BOLD contrast mechanisms
  • MRI pulse sequence design and novel imaging contrasts
  • Molecular imaging, such as MR spectroscopy and chemical exchange saturation transfer
  • MRI hardware development 

Dr P Cao

Next Step?

For more information or to express interest to join the research areas, please email the supervisor or the specified contact point in the 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).

Research postgraduate studies enquiries specific to the department/school’s research should be directed to the Chairman of the Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee:

Dr P Cao

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

Our Students

SHI Jingjing

Place of Origin: China
Progress: PhD Year 3
Supervisor: Prof PL Khong




April 2021