Research Areas

Department of Medicine

Why do brain cells die in Parkinson's disease, and how can we slow or prevent them from dying?

What biochemical markers predict lupus patients will develop kidney complications?

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

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

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

Professor H.F. Tse
Tel: 2255 4694
Fax: 2818 6304
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

Professor B.M.Y. Cheung
Tel: 2255 4347
Fax: 2818 6474
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

Professor K.S.L. Lam
Tel: 2255 3348
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: ksllam@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 Persons

Professor W.K. Leung (for Gastroenterology)
Tel: 2255 3348
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: waikleung@hku.hk

Professor M.F. Yuen (for Hepatology)
Tel: 2255 4477
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: mfyuen@hku.hk

Geriatrics:

  • Brain ageing and dementia − clinical trials of dementia drugs; early detection of dementia using biomarkers, computerised neuropsychological tests, EEG, MRI and PET neuroimaging; genetic studies in AD; caregiver stress and community support; small vessel disease.
  • Heart and brain − atrial fibrillation treatments and cognitive outcome in older people; neuroimaging and cognitive sequelae of atrial fibrillation.
  • Frailty − assessment and management of frailty in the community and old age homes.
  • Exercise − zebrafish model of exercise and exercise-induced autophagy.
  • End of life − improving care in old age homes.

Contact Person

Dr J.S.K. Kwan
Tel: 2255 4769
Fax: 2816 2187
Email: jskkwan@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

Professor Y.L. Kwong
Tel: 2255 5859
Fax: 2974 1165
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

Professor Y.L. Kwong
Tel: 2255 5859
Fax: 2974 1165
Email: ylkwong@hku.hk

Nephrology:
Immunological and molecular pathogenic mechanisms in glomerular and tubulointerstitial diseases, with special focus on lupus nephritis, diabetic nephropathy, inflammation and fibrosis. Translational studies on mesothelial cell biology, peritoneal inflammation and fibrosis, and clinical outcomes in peritoneal dialysis.

Contact Person

Professor D.T.M. Chan
Tel: 2255 4542
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: dtmchan@hku.hk

Neurology:
Parkinson's disease − pathogenesis and treatment with focus on the role of mitochondrial dysfunction LRRK2 mutations, and autophagy in modifying progression of disease.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis: discovery of novel biomarkers and neuroimaging markers.

Contact Person

Professor S.L. Ho
Tel: 2255 3315
Fax: 2974 1171
Email: slho@hku.hk

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

Contact Person

Professor R.T.F. Cheung
Tel: 2255 4049
Fax: 2818 6474
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 hemorrhagic transformation of cerebral infarctions, intracerebral haemorrhage complicating therapy with anticoagulants and anti-platelet agents.

Contact Person

Dr K.H. Chan
Tel: 2255 3315
Fax: 2974 1171
Email: koonho@hku.hk

Stroke:

  • Epidemiology and clinical studies.
  • Use of novel neuroimaging techniques in understanding mechanisms and prognosis of stroke.
  • Use of biomarkers, proteomics and metabolomics in understanding mechanisms and prognosis of stroke.
  • Health economics of stroke.
  • Cognitive impairment and psychosocial impact of stroke.

Contact Person

Dr G.K.K. Lau
Tel: 2255 3315
Fax: 2974 1171
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

Professor M.S.M. Ip
Tel: 2255 4605
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: msmip@hku.hk

Rheumatology:

Systemic lupus erythematosus

  • Immunopathogenesis including the role of the cytokine / chemokine networks
  • Derivation of clinical disease assessment tools
  • Clinical and socio − economic outcomes

Rheumatoid arthritis

  • Clinical and socio − economic outcomes
  • Understanding the role of biologics in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Spondyloarthritis − Derivation of clinical and radiological assessment tools
Immunology − The function of C-type lectin receptors on immune cells

Contact Person

Professor C.S. Lau
Tel: 2255 3356
Fax: 2818 6474
Email: cslau@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisors

Professor Y.L. Kwong
Tel: 2255 5859
Fax: 2974 1165
Email: ylkwong@hku.hk

Professor M.S.M. Ip
Tel: 2255 4250
Fax: 2816 2863
Email: msmip@hku.hk