Research Projects
Evolution of avian influenza viruses under poultry vaccination practices and the potential for emergence of zoonotic viruses of concern.

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☒ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

The increasing spread of avian influenza viruses (AIVs) has led to widespread poultry vaccination. However, circulating AIVs and vaccination practices vary between geographic regions and poultry vaccine-induced immunity is often only partially effective. These factors make it likely that vaccine-induced immunity will change the evolutionary landscapes of AIVs, creating unknown risks. Therefore, while poultry vaccination may provide some protection against AIV infection and disease, it also poses risks for the selection or emergence of new viruses with zoonotic or pandemic potential. In collaboration with investigators in Hong Kong, Egypt, France, Mexico and Morocco, his study aims to determine the impact of poultry vaccination on poultry-circulating AIVs and the potential for the emergence of novel viruses of concern using in vivo and in vitro models of influenza virus pathogenesis, replication and transmission.

Dr MP Zanin, School of Public Health

My research is focused on zoonotic viral respiratory pathogens. I seek to understand (i) host and viral factors that underlie the transmission of avian influenza viruses in mammals, and, (ii) which host responses lead to severe influenza and COVID-19 disease.

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.