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.

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

Professor G.C.F Chan
Tel: 2255 4481
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: gcfchan@hku.hk

Epstein-Barr virus biology and translational research:

  • Dr 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

Dr A.K.S. Chiang
Tel: 2255 4091
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: chiangak@hku.hk

Immunology:

  • Cord blood dendritic cell and T cell development; mannose-binding lectin; single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) and short tandem repeats (STRs) in immunological and infectious diseases; vaccines study disease ; epidemiology of allergic diseases.
  • Immune responses to respiratory pathogens, such as human and avian flu, SARS-CoV, RSV/hMPV and mycobacteria.
  • Roles of mannose binding lectin in infection and immunity.
  • Lupus pathogenesis − how tolerance is breached.

Contact Person

Professor Y.L. Lau
Tel: 2255 4481
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: lauylung@hku.hk

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

Professor W.W. Tu
Tel: 3917 9357
Fax: 2819 8142
Email: wwtu@hku.hk

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 genes that affect chromatin structure and therefore the expression of other genes in neurons and neuroblastoma cells.

Contact Person

Dr S.Y. Chan
Tel: 3917 9352
Fax: 2816 6974
Email: sychan@hku.hk

Human Genetics and Bioinformatics
Molecular diagnoses of monogenic diseases; population genetics; genetic studies of complex diseases (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 paed.hku.hk/genome.

Contact Person

Dr W.L. Yang
Tel: 3917 9357
Fax: 2819 8142
Email: yangwl@hku.hk

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

Professor Y.F. Cheung
Tel: 2255 4091
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: xfcheung@hku.hk

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

Dr S. Chiu
Tel: 2255 4485
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: ssschiu@hku.hk

Biology of blood stem cells:

  • Haematopoietic stem cells and haematopoietic growth factors, especially on megakaryocytopoiesis and thrombopoietin.
  • Adult stem cells and their applications.

Contact Person

Professor G.C.F. Chan
Tel: 2255 4481
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: gcfchan@hku.hk

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

Dr P. Ip
Tel: 2255 4090
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: patricip@hku.hk

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

Dr B.H.Y. Chung
Tel: 2255 4482
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: bhychung@hku.hk

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

Dr P.P.W. Lee
Tel: 2255 4482
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: ppwlee@hku.hk

Departmental Requirements
Candidates may be required to sit a qualifying examination before admission. There is a strong emphasis on publication and presentation of research findings.

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisors

Professor G.C.F. Chan
Tel: 2255 4481
Fax: 2855 1523
Email: gcfchan@hku.hk

Dr W.L. Yang
Tel: 2831 5077
Fax: 2819 8142
Email: yangwl@hku.hk