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:

  • One-Health approach for investigation of antimicrobial resistance (AMR).
  • Genomic investigation of resistant bacteria from humans and animals.
  • Metagenomic investigation of resistome in humans and animals.
  • Application of machine learning and artificial intelligence in AMR investigation.
  • AMR in Streptococcus pneumoniae, enterococci, Staphylococcus aureus, Gram negative, non-fermentors, and Enterobacteriaceae.
  • Clinical relevance of AMR.
  • Rapid methods for diagnosis of emerging resistance mechanisms.
  • Evaluation of new antibiotics.

Contact Person(s)

Dr P.L. Ho
Tel: 2255 2580
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 viruses 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 Person(s)

Professor K.Y. Yuen
Tel: 2255 2402
Email: kyyuen@hku.hk

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

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

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

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

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

Emerging viral infections (influenza, coronavirus, enterovirus):

  • Identification and characterisation of viral host adaptation markers and host restriction mechanisms for cross-species transmission of emerging 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 Person(s)

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

Dr K.K.W. To
Tel: 2255 2406
Email: kelvinto@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, Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectroscopy, X-ray crystallography and other biophysical methods.
  • Development of computational and experimental methods for efficient drug screening and design.

Contact Person(s)

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

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

Molecular mechanism of innate immunity:

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

Contact Person(s)

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

  • HIV/AIDS mucosal vaccine and pathogenesis.
  • Targeting dendritic cells ? PD1-based vaccine for the functional cure of HIV infection.
  • Engineering of recombinant neutralising monoclonal antibodies against HIV/AIDS.
  • Understanding the evolution of the HIV epidemic in Hong Kong and in the region.
  • Elimination and cure of tumour by active vaccination and oncolytic virus.

Contact Person(s)

Professor Z. Chen
Email: zchenai@hku.hk

  • Molecular mechanism of innate immunity.
  • Investigation on host-pathogen interaction, specifically the host antiviral responses.
  • Molecular mechanism of the host defence signalling pathway in influenza A virus (IAV) and HIV infection.

Contact Person(s)

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

  • HIV immune evasion by suppressing host B cell and T cell response.
  • Vaccine design and innate immune response in shaping potent T cell immunity.
  • Immunopathology of SARS-CoV infection.

Contact Person(s)

Dr L. Liu
Tel: 3917 9094
Email: liuli71@hku.hk

Chairman of Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee

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