Research Projects
Bi-specific neutralizing antibody platform for viral pathogens

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☒ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

The objective of the proposed study is to establish bi-specific neutralizing antibody (bi-bnAb) platform against genetically divergent viral pathogens. We have established antibody cloning and HIV/humanized mouse models, and successfully engineered tandem bi-specific neutralizing antibody against all subtypes of HIV-1 strains both in vitro and in vivo. The proposed study aims to further strengthen this platform of technology to develop an universal antibody immunotherapy effective for HIV-1 prevention and treatment as the first step, and to construct similar universal antibody immunotherapies to fight other viral pathogens (e.g. influenza virus or SARS-CoV-2) as the second step. Our research rationale is based on the reality that it remains extremely difficult to design vaccines to elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies (bnAbs) against genetically diverse viral subtypes. It is, therefore, necessary to design new bnAb constructs that can be used as an alternative preventive and therapeutic approach against genetically diverse viral pathogens.


-Engineer bnAbs and bi-bnAbs with improved breadth and potency for protection against multisubtype HIV-1 strains or against respiratory viruses
-Synergistic effect of bnAb and bi-bnAb against a large panel of genetically divergent pseudotype viruses and primary isolates in vitro and in vivo

Prof ZW Chen, Department of Microbiology

Professor Zhiwei Chen, Department of Microbiology/ AIDS Institute

HKU 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.