Research Areas

Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy

Is drug A faster for sedation than drug B?

Do you know any drugs for lifespan extension?

How does the commensal gut bacteria affect our 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.
  • Mechanistic study of the vascular actions of clinically used drugs and natural products.
  • 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 the cardiovascular system.
  • Pharmacology and development of novel anti-angiogenic agents.
  • Examination of the signalling pathways involved in the regulation of pulmonary function under physiological and pathological situations in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA), 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(s)

Dr S.W.S. Leung
Email: pharma@hku.hk

Ageing and related diseases:

  • 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.
  • Adipocyte fatty acid binding protein as therapeutic target for obesity-related diseases.
  • Identification of novel factors that regulate energy metabolism and have potential therapeutic effects on obesity and its related cardiometabolic complications.

Contact Person(s)

Professor Y. Wang
Email: pharma@hku.hk

Drug delivery and translational research:

  • Development of novel intranasal, pulmonary and ocular drug delivery system.
  • Delivery of therapeutic macromolecules including nucleic acids, genome editing systems (CRISPR/Cas9), monoclonal antibodies, proteins and peptides.
  • Engineering stimuli-response nanomaterials for targeted drug delivery.
  • 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(s)

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

Big data for medication safety and pharmacoeconomics:

  • Population-based studies of drug safety and effectiveness to advance medication practice and pharmacoepidemiology research.
  • Development of methodologies to predict future risk of cardiovascular events and adverse drug reactions using big data from population databases.
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness and safety of medications used in the elderly, children, pregnancy and other special patient groups.
  • Safety and effectiveness of cardiovascular drugs (e.g., anticoagulants, statins, aspirin) and effects on bone, liver, kidney and cancer.
  • Post-marketing surveillance of safety of medications used in the management of respiratory disorders, psychiatric disorders and infectious diseases.
  • Pharmacoeconomics of pharmacotherapy in chronic illness and public health interventions - determination of healthcare resource utilisation; analyses of oral anticoagulants, vaccinations, drug use in rare diseases using the willingness-to-pay concept, decision-analytic models and budget impact models.
  • 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 intervention.
  • Assessment of the appropriateness of medications in the older population.

Contact Person(s)

Dr E.W.Y. Chan
Email: pharma@hku.hk

Precision medicine:

  • Genetics and genomics study of endocrine disorders.
  • Using integrative omics to develop new drugs and health supplement.
  • Development of novel biomarker or prediction score for predicting clinical outcomes, such as incident disease, mortality, and treatment effectiveness (in endocrine disorders and cancer).
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness and safety of health supplement using randomized controlled trial, metabolomics, and animal study.
  • Pharmacogenomics of serious drug-related adverse events and treatment effectiveness.

Contact Person(s)

Dr C.L. Cheung
Email: pharma@hku.hk

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

Chairperson of Departmental Research Postgraduate Committee

Professor Y. Wang
Email: pharma@hku.hk