Research Areas

Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy

How to make DNA/RNA therapeutics inhalable?

How does the commensal gut bacteria affect our metabolism?

How does our immunity affect the whole body metabolism?

Major Research Areas

Cardiovascular and respiratory research:

  • Examination of the signalling pathways involved in the regulation of vascular tone under physiological and pathological situations, including characterisation of hormonal influence and elucidation of potential therapeutic compounds.
  • Mechanistic study of the vascular actions of clinically used drugs, such as those for lipid-lowering and antiretroviral, of health supplements, such as vitamin D and milk casein, and of natural products, such as flavonoids and herbal medicine.
  • Investigation of the role of ion channels in the function of vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells.
  • Examination of the physiology and pharmacology of nucleoside transporters and drug transporters in cardiovascular system.
  • Study of structure-activity relationship of cardiovascular drugs.
  • Comprehensive study of prostaglandins and their receptors in the role of vascular and adipose tissue inflammation with the focus on prostaglandin E receptor (EP4) in atherosclerosis, abdominal aortic aneurysm and obesity.
  • Study of the telomeric protein, repressor activator protein 1 (Rap 1) in vascular function and lipid metabolism.
  • Study of cellular processes underlying the development of chronic airway diseases, including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asthma, and obstructive sleep apnea, and the elucidation of potential therapeutic agents.
  • Mechanistic study of cellular effects of mesenchymal stem cells in the prevention and management of chronic airway diseases.

Contact Person

Dr S.W.S. Leung
Fax: 2817 0859
Email: pharma@hku.hk

Ageing and related diseases − mechanisms and therapeutic targets:

  • Sirtuin-1 (SIRT1) as a therapeutic target for ageing-related diseases.
  • Drug development and evaluation in obesity-related cardio-metabolic diseases and cancer.
  • Applying "omics" approaches for biomarker discovery and developments.
  • Integrative study of the role of Toll-like receptors in metabolic diseases and their cardiovascular complications.
  • Study of immuno-metabolism with a focus on metabolic function of Toll-like receptor mediated by cell signalling events.
  • Gut microbiota in the evolutionary development of Toll-like receptor pathways.

Contact Person

Dr Y. Wang
Fax: 2817 0859
Email: pharma@hku.hk

Drug delivery and translational research:

  • Particle engineering for improving inhaled drug powder delivery.
  • Intranasal and inhalation delivery of nucleic acids (e.g. DNA vaccine, siRNA), proteins and peptides against infectious diseases (e.g. tuberculosis, influenza).
  • Cocrystal research for improving drug delivery and manufacturability.
  • Development of consistent and stable nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems for superior therapeutic outcomes.
  • Novel strategies for enhancing drug solubility and stability.
  • Rational design of drug formulations and manufacturing processes by proper statistical software and mathematical modelling.

Contact Person

Dr J.K.W. Lam
Fax: 2817 0859
Email: pharma@hku.hk

Pharmacoepidemiology, pharmacoeconomics, pharmacogenetics, pharmacogenomics, and targeted therapies:

  • Development of new research methodologies to advance safe medication practice and pharmacoepidemiological research.
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness and safety of medications used in the elderly, children, pregnancy and other special patient groups.
  • Evaluation of traditional Chinese medicines with respect to toxicology, teratology and concomitant use with conventional Western therapies.
  • Pharmacoeconomics of pharmacotherapy in chronic illness and public health interventions − analyses of oral anticoagulants and vaccinations using the willingness-to-pay concept, decision-analytic models and budget impact models.
  • Precision medicine of musculoskeletal traits and thyroid disorders.
  • Pharmacogenomics of serious drug-related adverse events.

Contact Person

Dr C.L. Cheung
Fax: 2817 0859
Email: pharma@hku.hk

Clinical trials and practice based research:

  • Design of interventional clinical trials to compare the effectiveness and safety of drugs used in the emergency setting for sedation, epilepsy and pain control.
  • Clinical and pharmacy practice-based research to characterise drug-related problems and pharmacists' clinical interventions.
  • Assessment of the appropriateness of medications in the older population.

Contact Person

Dr E.W. Chan
Fax: 2817 0859
Email: pharma@hku.hk

Departmental Requirement
Participation in the journal club and presentation of research seminars at least once a year.

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor

Dr Y. Wang
Fax: 2817 0859
Email: pharma@hku.hk