Research Projects
Therapeutic Potential of Chinese Medicines in Treating Primary Sjögren's Syndrome

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☒ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

Primary Sjögren’s syndrome (pSS) is characterised by the major clinical manifestations of xerostomia (dry mouth) and xerophthalmia (dry eyes). Emerging evidence has suggested that prolonged T and B cell hyperactivation leads to systemic complications and severe malignancies. However, the roles of specific T and B cell subsets in the disease pathogenesis remain largely unknown. We have previously established a novel mouse model with experimental Sjögren’s syndrome (ESS), which highly recapitulates the clinical features of human pSS. Our recent studies have demonstrated the central roles of interleukin (IL)-17-producing Th17 cells, T follicular helper cells, IL-10-producing regulatory B cells and IL-25 in the disease pathogenesis. Using various treatments, we also identified several promising candidates in targeting effector or regulatory immune subsets. 

In Chinese medicine, Yin-deficiency has been considered to be the possible mechanism of dryness symptoms, while Yin-nourishing agents have been widely used in treating pSS patients. In this project, we aim to explore the effective compounds of Chinese medicines, with immunomodulatory functions, in treating ESS. 

Professor X Lin, School of Chinese Medicine

Professor Lin's research is focusing on the disease pathogenesis and translational studies of autoimmune diseases, including primary Sjögren's syndrome, etc.

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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.