Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☒ MPhil/PhD ☒ MRes[Med] ☑ URIS

Penicillin "allergy" labels are very common (2% of HK population), but most of these labels are incorrect - up to 85% of patient with these labels can actually tolerate penicillin after allergy testing. Incorrect penicillin allergy labels are associated with significant morbidity and even mortality, and correcting these incorrect labels leads to a myriad of clinical benefits. Measurable clinical benefits have started to emerge from the territory-wide HK-DADI (Hong Kong Drug Allergy Delabelling Initiative).

Despite such importance, Immunology & Allergy is yet an emerging field in Hong Kong and drug allergy research has been lacking. With the advent of "big data research" as well as the pivotal role that the HKU Immunology & Allergy Team has taken, it is now feasible to conduct epidemiological and clinical investigations on a territory-wide scale unprecedentedly to help bridge knowledge gaps. Furthermore, many novel diagnostic and interventional strategies (including novel in vitro technologies) have been established both in Hong Kong and in partner centres across the Asia Pacific region.

This project will investigate the effectiveness and outcomes of novel drug allergy "delabelling" strategies, such as HK-DADI and its sister programmes, using a big data approach from international cohorts. The results will inform future clinical practice and establish novel diagnostic strategies for drug allergy delabelling.

Dr PH Li, Department of Medicine

Dr Philip Li is a Specialist in Immunology & Allergy and Clinical Assistant Professor of the University of Hong Kong. He currently serves as Chief of the Division of Rheumatology & Clinical Immunology of the Department of Medicine. He is the Vice President of the Hong Kong Institute of Allergy and a Board Director of the Asia Pacific Association of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology.

Dr Li established Hong Kong’s first specialist training centre in Immunology & Allergy and leads the territory-wide Hong Kong Drug Allergy Delabelling Initiative (HK-DADI). Dr Li also heads the Immunology & Allergy services of the Hospital Authority Hong Kong West Cluster, which has been accredited as both an Urticaria and Angioedema Centre of Reference and Excellence (UCARE and ACARE). For his outstanding clinical contributions, he received the Chief Executive’s Commendation for Public Service and HKUMed Clinical Service Excellence Award in 2022.

Dr Li has special interests in anaphylaxis, drug hypersensitivity and immunodeficiency. He has led and authored many of the region’s Immunology & Allergy guidelines, including consensus statements on anaphylaxis and COVID19 vaccine allergy safety. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed articles in the fields of allergy, immunology and autoimmunity; and serves on the Editorial Boards of Frontiers in Immunology, Frontiers in Allergy, and Journal of Clinical Rheumatology and Immunology.

Scholars Hub

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.