Research Projects
Inflammasomes and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☒ MPhil/PhD ☑ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

Objective and Significance:


To study the regulatory components mediating the dysregulated inflammasome responses in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

Significance: SLE is a prototypic autoimmune disease with multiple etiological pathogenic attributes. Dysregulated inflammasome responses have been observed in SLE patients but the underlying pathological mechanism is not well understood. Understanding the regulatory components mediating inflammasome dysregulation may reveal molecular targets for potential therapeutic intervention.

Research Plan and Methodology:

Serological factors in SLE patients are known to modulate functions of peripheral leukocytes. By exposing normal leukocytes with different serological components from SLE patients, it is anticipated to modulate the inflammasome responses, recapitulating the functional perturbations observed in SLE patients.

Outline of research methods:

  1. Identification of known pathological factors in SLE serum via database and/or literature search
  2. Culturing leukocytes with individual pathological factor and assay for inflammasome molecular and functional changes
  3. Depleting the corresponding factor in SLE serum and assay for the inflammasome changes to confirm the pathological effects.

Professor CS Lau, Department of Medicine

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.