Research Areas

Department of Microbiology

How do pathogens emerge to cause epidemics?

How do pathogens cross the host species barrier?

How do pathogens cause different diseases?

How does our immune system react to pathogens?

Major Research Areas

Novel and emerging antibiotic resistance:
Antibiotic resistance in Streptococcus pneumoniae, enterococci, Staphylococcus aureus, Gram negative, non-fermentors, and enterobacteriaceae, including epidemiology and genomics of resistant bacteria, resistant gene ecology, mechanisms of resistance, clinical relevance, novel methods for diagnosis of difficult-to-detect resistance and evaluation of new antibiotics; novel or emerging beta-lactamases in Gram negative bacteria.

Contact Person

Dr P.L. Ho
Tel: 2255 2410
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: plho@hku.hk

Novel diagnostics, antimicrobials, and vaccines for emerging infectious diseases:
Discovery and genomic characterisation of novel and emerging pathogens and pathogenic forms, including coronaviruses, influenza virus and other novel viruses and bacteria, through a range of molecular techniques, immunological techniques, animal models, and bioinformatics tools, to gain new insights in microbial genomics, and potential diagnostic, therapeutic and vaccine targets.

Contact Persons

Professor K.Y. Yuen
Tel: 2255 2400
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: kyyuen@hku.hk

Professor P.C.Y. Woo
Tel: 2255 2409
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: pcywoo@hku.hk

Professor S.K.P. Lau
Tel: 2255 2408
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: skplau@hku.hk

Dr J.F.W. Chan
Tel: 2255 2407
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: jfwchan@hku.hk

Dr S. Sridhar
Tel: 2255 2396
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: sid8998@hku.hk

Dr S.S.Y. Wong
Tel: 2255 2404
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: samsonsy@hku.hk

Influenza viruses:

  • Identification and characterisation of viral host adaptation markers and host restriction mechanisms for cross species transmission of influenza A viruses.
  • Development of novel vaccine system for seasonal and pandemic influenza, and other emerging respiratory viral pathogens.
  • Novel antiviral and vaccination strategies against influenza viruses.

Contact Persons

Professor H.L. Chen
Tel: 3917 9941
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: hlchen@hku.hk

Dr K.K.W. To
Tel: 2255 2406
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: kelvinto@hku.hk

Microbial pathogenesis:
Molecular epidemiology and pathogenesis of enteric pathogens, including Vibrio cholerae and E. coli O157:H7, in relation to public health and environmental hazards; drug resistance mechanism and pathogenesis of Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Type 1 (HIV-1).

Contact Person

Dr W.C. Yam
Tel: 2255 4821
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: wcyam@hku.hk

Molecular studies of emerging pathogens:
Application of chemical genetics and conventional genetic approaches (including cloning, site-directed deletions) to dissect microbial pathogenesis and identify microbial targets of important diagnostic and therapeutic value. Determination of the structures and functions of identified microbial targets using bioinfomatics, molecular modelling, NMR spectroscopy, x-ray crystallography and other biophysical methods. Development of computational and experimental methods for efficient drug screening and design.

Contact Persons

Dr R.Y.T. Kao
Tel: 3917 9707
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: rytkao@hku.hk

Dr K.H. Sze
Tel: 3917 9023
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: khsze@hku.hk

Dr M.L. Yeung
Tel: 2255 4818
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: pmlyeung@hku.hk

Molecular mechanism of innate immunity:
Investigation on host-pathogen interaction, specifically the host antiviral responses. Molecular mechanism of host defense signalling pathway in the context of influenza A virus (IAV), Epstein-barr virus (EBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection.

Contact Person

Dr R.K.H. Kok
Tel: 3917 9093
Fax: 3917 9095
Email: khkok@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor

Professor S.K.P. Lau
Tel: 2255 2408
Fax: 2855 1241
Email: skplau@hku.hk