Research Areas

Department of Medicine

Why do people who have never smoked still have lung cancer?

What is the impact of intermittent hypoxia (as seen in sleep apnea) on cardiovascular or metabolic function?

How to reduce or prevent the accumulation and spread of alpha-synuclein (toxic protein) in Parkinson's disease?

How is mutant LRRK2 linked to impaired degradation of waste proteins in brain cells which leads to Parkinson's disease?

What are the mechanisms underlying the cellular and molecular immune dysregulation in SLE?

What are the roles of regulatory noncoding RNAs in SLE pathogenesis?

SLE disease heterogeneity - can SLE patients be stratified by omics analyses?

Is DWI useful for axial spondyloarthritis disease monitoring?

Are there any serum biomarkers that could be used for axial spondyloarthritis monitoring?

What is the relationship between disease progression and intensity of spinal inflammation?

Major Research Areas

Cardiology:
Angiogenesis and cell repair − cell therapy to create new vessels and myocardium in humans and large animals.

Cardiac arrhythmia − innovative energy sources for catheter ablation, transvenous defibrillation and implantable device for treatment of atrial fibrillation; patch clamp study on ionic channels in atrial fibrillation and heart failure related arrhythmogenic potential.

Cardiac pacing − new developments in pacing therapy for treatment of heart failure and cardiac arrhythmia.

Cardiac muscle engineering − gene knock-out study on differentiation of myocytes into cardiac myocytes.

Coronary heart disease − prevention and percutaneous revascularisation of stable ischaemic syndromes; epidemiology and treatment of acute coronary syndromes, and platelet resistance.

Heart failure − hormonal changes and animal models of heart failure; cardiac resynchronisation therapy.

Hypertension − left ventricular hypertrophy regression and salt balance.

Contact Person(s)

Professor H.F. Tse
Tel: 2255 4694
Email: hftse@hku.hk

Cardiovascular risk factors in the community, including hypertension and the metabolic syndrome.

Pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics and precision medicine.

Improving drug therapy − clinical trials, meta-analysis of clinical trials, clinical guidelines, assessing utilisation and cost-effectiveness, and drug safety.

Biologics and biosimilars − efficacy, safety and cost-effectiveness.

Contact Person(s)

Professor B.M.Y. Cheung
Tel: 2255 4347
Email: mycheung@hku.hk

Endocrinology and metabolism:
Molecular genetics and pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, diabetes and diabetic complications; clinical and basic studies on obesity and adipocyte-derived hormones; adipose tissue browning, immunometabolism; pathogenesis and management of autoimmune thyroid disease; genetics and environmental determinants of osteoporosis.

Contact Person(s)

Professor K.C.B. Tan
Tel: 2255 3348
Email: kcbtan@hku.hk

Gastroenterology and hepatology:
Functional GI disorders − dyspepsia, gastro-esophageal reflux diseases, non-cardiac chest pain, constipation; gene delivery system and new drug development in treatment of stomach and colon cancer.

Helicobacter pylori − disease pathogenesis, molecular microbiology, carcinogenesis.

Stomach and colon cancer − signal transduction and apoptosis pathways, chemoprevention, clinical trials.

Hepatitis B and C viruses − molecular virology, associated mutations, natural progression and treatment.

Chronic liver diseases − serology and biomarkers, disease profile of alcoholic liver disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, primary biliary cholangitis, autoimmune hepatitis, Wilson’s disease and drug-related liver injury.

Contact Person(s)

Professor W.K. Leung (for Gastroenterology)
Tel: 2255 3348
Email: waikleung@hku.hk

Professor M.F. Yuen (for Hepatology)
Tel: 2255 4477
Email: mfyuen@hku.hk

Haematology:
Clinical protocols for treatment of leukaemia and lymphomas; detection of minimal residual disease and molecular mechanisms in haematologic malignancy; clinical protocols for bone marrow transplantation; infective and neoplastic complications of bone marrow transplantation; molecular genetics of haematological malignancies; basic research in pathogenesis of blood cancers; normal and leukaemic haematopoietic stem cell study using NOD/SCID mice; embryonic haematopoiesis and gene regulation studies in zebrafish.

Contact Person(s)

Professor Y.L. Kwong
Tel: 2255 5859
Email: ylkwong@hku.hk

Molecular medicine:
Development of novel diagnostic techniques (including non-invasive prenatal diagnosis and pre-implantation diagnosis) for common genetic diseases, such as thalassemias, haemophilias, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, spinal muscular atrophy and Huntington’s disease; genome-wide scan with microsatellite markers for linkage of new disease genes; development of DNA microarray technology to diagnose and elucidate the molecular pathology of genetic diseases and cancers.

Contact Person(s)

Professor Y.L. Kwong
Tel: 2255 5859
Email: ylkwong@hku.hk

Infectious diseases:
Influenza − rapid diagnostics, vaccination and antiviral treatment (mouse models and clinical trials).

Pneumococcal disease − rapid diagnostics and vaccination (clinical trials).

Respiratory viruses − parainfluenza virus, metapneumovirus, rhinovirus, coronavirus, adenovirus (clinical presentation and antiviral treatment in mouse models and clinical trials).

Multiple drug resistance organisms − infection control and treatment.

Contact Person(s)

Professor I.F.N. Hung
Tel: 2255 4049
Email: ivanhung@hku.hk

Nephrology:
Molecular and immunological pathogenic mechanisms of renal inflammation and fibrosis in glomerular and tubulointerstitial diseases, with special focus on lupus nephritis.

Translational studies on peritoneal mesothelial cell biology focusing on inflammation and fibrosis of peritoneal membrane in the context of peritoneal dialysis.

Contact Person(s)

Professor D.T.M. Chan
Tel: 2255 4542
Email: dtmchan@hku.hk

Cellular and molecular mechanisms of proteinuric tubulointerstital disease, diabetic kidney disease and IgA nephropathy.

Stem cell and regenerative medicine in diabetic and non-diabetic models of kidney disease

Integrative medicine in diabetic kidney disease, clinical and basic.

Contact Person(s)

Professor S.C.W. Tang
Tel: 2255 3879
Email: scwtang@hku.hk

Neurology:
Elucidation of therapeutic targets of pathogenic mechanisms to modify the progressive course of Parkinson's disease.

Contact Person(s)

Professor S.L. Ho
Tel: 2255 3315
Email: slho@hku.hk

Experimental stroke models; neuroimaging of stroke; biomarkers for stroke; high resolution EEG; functional brain mapping.

Contact Person(s)

Professor R.T.F. Cheung
Tel: 2255 4049
Email: rtcheung@hku.hk

Neuroimmunology and Neuroinflammation − clinical, neuroradiological, in vitro and in vivo studies relating to autoimmune and immune mediated neurological disorders including neuromyelitis optica, multiple sclerosis, autoimmune encephalitis, myasthenia gravis and paraneoplastic neurological disorders; as well as neuroinflammation in Alzheimer's disease (AD) and development of novel therapies with anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective properties in AD by cell and animal models.

Intracerebral haemorrhage with specific focus on haemorrhagic transformation of cerebral infarctions, intracerebral haemorrhage complicating therapy with anticoagulants and anti-platelet agents.

Contact Person(s)

Dr K.H. Chan
Tel: 2255 3315
Email: koonho@hku.hk

Stroke:
Epidemiology and clinical studies in primary and secondary prevention of stroke.

Use of novel neuroimaging techniques in understanding the mechanisms and prognosis of stroke and cerebral small vessel disease.

Use of biomarkers, proteomics and metabolomics in understanding the mechanisms and prognosis of stroke and cerebral small vessel disease.

Cognitive impairment and psychosocial impact of stroke.

Contact Person(s)

Dr G.K.K. Lau
Tel: 2255 4249
Email: gkklau@hku.hk

Respiratory medicine:
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and bronchiectasis − mechanisms of neutrophil recruitment; role of transforming growth factor, TGF-beta; bronchial epithelial injury airways remodelling; biomarker and stem cell regeneration.

Lung cancer − molecular genetics; circulating tumour markers; environmental risk factor and genes interaction in pathogenesis; novel therapeutics in lung cancer; screening of lung cancer.

Obstructive sleep apnoea − cardiometabolic aspects of OSA; intermittent hypoxia exposure animal and cell culture models.

Contact Person(s)

Professor M.S.M. Ip
Tel: 2255 4605
Email: msmip@hku.hk

Rheumatology:

Systemic lupus erythematosus

  • Our main research area is to study the immunobiology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), an autoimmune disorder with heterogeneous clinical manifestations. Specifically, we focus on studying the dysregulated functions of various immune cell subsets in SLE patients. Through understanding the underlying causes of the immunodysregulation, we aim to identify potential therapeutic targets for exploitation in clinical settings.

Spondyloarthritis

  • We are looking into the usefulness of a new magnetic resonance imaging sequence (MRI) - the diffusion weighted imaging (DWI) in axial spondyloarthritis. We focus on its usefulness in early disease diagnosis and monitoring, as well as a tool for other biomarkers validations.

Immunology

  • The function of C-type lectin receptors on immune cells
  • Innate immunity and immune-dysregulation in SLE pathogenesis.

Contact Person(s)

Professor C.S. Lau
Tel: 2255 3356
Email: cslau@hku.hk

Chairman of Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee

Professor Y.L. Kwong
Tel: 2255 5859
Email: ylkwong@hku.hk