Research Areas

Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

How can we use cellular and immunological approaches to treat cancer?

How can we use genetics, genomics and analysis of big data to understand disease genes and mechanisms?

Major Research Areas

Cancer biology:

  • Interaction between cancer cells and microenvironment.
  • Clinical studies on childhood neurogenic tumour (brain tumour, neuroblastoma).

Stem cell biology:

  • Biology and application of human mesenchymal stem cells.
  • Clinical studies on haemopoietic stem cells transplantation.
  • Use of patient derived iPS cells for mechanistic study and identifying potential treatment.

Traditional Chinese medicine immunology:

  • Effects of purified novel herbal extracts polysaccharides on human immune and cancer cells, including β-glucans.
  • Clinical study on thalassaemia and iron overload.

Contact Person(s)

Professor G.C.F Chan
Tel: 2255 4481

Epstein-Barr virus biology and translational research:

  • Dr AKS Chiang's lab focuses on the understanding of host-virus interactions in Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and on the elucidation of pathogenic mechanisms of EBV in lymphoid and epithelial cancers.
  • Research programs include:
    1. Role of T cell and NK cell immune responses in the control of EBV in patients with infectious mononucleosis, post-transplant lymphoproliferative disorders and EBV-associated haemophagocytic syndrome
    2. Next generation sequencing of EBV genomes in nasopharyngeal carcinoma biopsies and saliva of NPC patients and population carriers
    3. Action of histone deacetylase inhibitors and novel organic compounds in the activation of lytic cycle of EBV in cancers

Contact Person(s)

Dr A.K.S. Chiang
Tel: 2255 4091

Why do some children have more infections than others and how can we help?

  • Discovery of novel inborn errors of immunity (IEIs)
  • Diagnosis of IEI by next generation sequencing and third generation sequencing
  • Study of IEI through multi-omics, such as phenomics, single cell transcriptomics, proteomics

Why do some people still get infected despite vaccination and how can we reverse this?

How can we improve our response to existing vaccination and introduce new vaccine against novel infection?

  • Understanding host factors in primary vaccine failure
  • Interventions for increasing responsiveness to vaccination
  • Clinical trials for novel vaccines and adjuvants

Contact Person(s)

Professor Y.L. Lau
Tel: 2255 4481

Viral immunology:
Innate and adaptive immune responses to viral infections, such as influenza viruses and Epstein-Barr virus in both human and mouse models including humanised mice.

Transplantation immunology:

  • Biology of human regulatory T cells and their application in transplantation, autoimmune diseases.
  • Viral infection and solid organ transplantation.

Contact Person(s)

Professor W.W. Tu
Tel: 3917 9357

Molecular basis of mammalian development and genetic diseases:

  • The molecular control of development and how abnormalities in this process lead to diseases.
  • Current projects on nucleosome assembly proteins that affect chromatin structure and therefore gene expression in normal and cancer cells.

Contact Person(s)

Dr S.Y. Chan
Tel: 3917 9352

Human genetics, genomics and bioinformatics:
Molecular diagnoses of monogenic diseases; population genetics; genetic studies of complex diseases especially autoimmune disorders (for students with a background in medicine or biological sciences): we use cutting-edge tools in genetics and genomics to uncover genes involved in various human diseases.

Integrative genomics, systems biology and bioinformatics (for students with computation or statistics background): we focus on analyses of large amount of genetics and genomics data to gain biological insights. Please also see;

Contact Person(s)

Dr W.L. Yang
Tel: 2831 5077

Paediatric cardiovascular research:

  • Clinical translation and applications of novel echocardiographic imaging technologies
  • Cardiac and vascular mechanics in paediatric and adult congenital heart disease, iron overload and chemotherapy toxicity
  • Circulating biomarkers in congenital heart disease
  • Long-term clinical outcomes of paediatric congenital heart patients
  • Kawasaki disease: genetics and vascular health
  • Stem cell research in congenital heart disease

Contact Person(s)

Professor Y.F. Cheung
Tel: 2255 4091

Infectious diseases:

  • Disease burden and epidemiology of respiratory viruses in children.
  • Epidemiology, clinical manifestation and immune responses of influenza infection in children.
  • Influenza vaccine effectiveness

Contact Person(s)

Dr S. Chiu
Tel: 2255 4485

Community Child Health:

  • Public health researches on child health.
  • Early child development, community child development service and early intervention.
  • Approaches to promote child development and prevent developmental-behavioural problems in children.
  • Child maltreatment, childhood injuries and safeguarding children.
  • Mental health in children and adolescents.

Contact Person(s)

Dr P. Ip
Tel: 2255 4090

Clinical genetics and genomics:

  • Medical application of whole-genome technologies: Using cutting-edge technologies including copy number variants arrays, whole exome/genome sequencing and DNA methylation array, we identify novel variants/genes involved in the pathogenesis of human diseases. Current projects include:
    • Clinical genetics and genetic counselling: Disease burden, clinical manifestations and natural history of genetic syndromes; discourse analysis in genetic counselling in different clinical settings including prenatal diagnosis, preimplantation genetic diagnosis.
    • Epigenetics: we study various common and rare disorders in which epigenetics or imprinting is implicated in the pathogenesis.

Contact Person(s)

Dr B.H.Y. Chung
Tel: 2255 4482

Host defence and immune regulation:

  • Molecular mechanisms of susceptibility to bacterial and fungal infections in primary immunodeficiency disorders.
  • Inflammasomes − immunopathogenesis in monogenic autoinflammatory syndromes, systemic lupus erythematosis and infectious diseases.
  • Autophagy as a mechanism of host defence and immune regulation in infectious disease and autoinflammatory disorders.

Contact Person(s)

Dr P.P.W. Lee
Tel: 2255 4482

Paediatric neurology research:

  • Epidemiological and clinical study of severe neuroimmunological diseases
  • Diagnosis of rare neuromuscular diseases using multi-modality approach
  • Biomarkers of rare neuromuscular diseases
  • Outcome study of rare neuromuscular diseases with gene targeted therapy
  • Use of stem cells platform to study disease mechanisms and potential therapy for severe neurological diseases

Contact Person(s)

Dr S.H.S. Chan
Tel: 2255 4090

Developmental Behavioral Paediatrics and Neurorehabilitation:

  • Study the epidemiology of developmental / psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents
  • Infant mental health
  • Design and validate developmental assessment tools for use in Chinese children
  • Use of advance imaging techniques / electrophysiology to diagnose and manage children with developmental disabilities and brain injuries
  • Study the developmental trajectories and neurorehabilitation for children with acquired brain injuries e.g. brain tumour survivors / children with history of cardiac arrests / post encephalopathy etc.

Contact Person(s)

Dr W.W.Y. Tso
Tel: 2255 4090

Chairperson of Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee

Dr W.L. Yang
Tel: 2831 5077