Research Projects
Elucidate the Effects of Chronic Inflammation on CD8+T Cell Metabolism and Exhaustion

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☒ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

Sustained inflammation causes immune cell dysfunction and forms the common pathological basis for many chronic inflammatory diseases including autoimmunity, chronic viral infection and cancer. A key aspect of immune cell dysfunction that underpins the clinical outcome of these chronic conditions is the development of exhausted CD8+T cells. Increasing evidence suggests that CD8+T cell exhaustion is preceded by metabolic defects upon activation. However, the signals that drive this metabolic impairment remain largely undefined. Using murine models of chronic viral infections (lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus, LCMV), autoimmune disease (systemic lupus erythematous, SLE), and cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma, HCC) we aim to identify the key cytokine signals that impose metabolic stress in CD8+T cells and consequently dictate their fate decision towards exhaustion. The findings of this project will have a direct translational aspect where novel drug targets may be developed to restore T cell immunity in a broad inflammatory context.

Professor HGS Ling, School of Biomedical Sciences


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.