About
HKU-PRP

About HKU-PRP

Staff

Senior Scientists and Postdoctoral Scientists

Professor Roberto BRUZZONE (Co-Director)

Professor Roberto BRUZZONE

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Professor Roberto BRUZZONE was born in Italy and studied medicine at University “La Sapienza” in Rome.  After work at the University of Geneva and Harvard Medical School, he joined Institut Pasteur in 1995.  Roberto is a cell biologist widely recognized for his work on direct cell-cell communication through connexins and their associated human diseases.  In October 2006, Roberto was appointed as Visiting Professor in the Li Ka Shi Faculty of Medicine and served as the CEO of the HKU-Pasteur Research Pole.  Since coming to Hong Kong he has held positions of scientific and administrative leadership in teaching programs and major international networks to combat infectious diseases.  He was decorated in 2012 as Knight of the National Order of Merit in France for his prominent contribution to the advancement of biomedical research in infectious diseases, and for his commitment to fostering the exchange and dialogue in research and teaching between France and Hong Kong.  He joined the School of Public Health in November 2012.

Professor Malik PEIRIS (Co-Director)

Professor Malik PEIRIS

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Professor Malik PEIRIS, Fellow of the Royal Society, Légion d’Honneur and Silver Bauhinia Star was born in Sri Lanka and studied medicine at the University of Ceylon. This was followed by the award of a PhD at the William Dunn School of Pathology, University of Oxford, U.K., where he made significant discoveries on the mechanism of dengue virus pathogenesis. After further work in the U.K. and Sri Lanka, he joined the University of Hong Kong in 1995 and developed a multi-disciplinary research program with strong international collaboration that made a major impact in understanding the ecology, epidemiology, pathogenesis and control of animal and human influenza viruses. Since 2007, he serves as the Scientific Director of HKU-PRP.

Sumana SANYAL (Assistant Professor)

Sumana SANYAL

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Dr Sumana Sanyal is a biochemist by training with an interest in aspects of host pathogen interactions including influenza, dengue and related viruses.  She obtained her PhD from Cornell University, USA and postdoctoral training from the Whitehead Institute/MIT.  Her current research includes identification and characterization of host factors important in virus pathogenesis.  Using a combination of genetics and proteomics-based approaches her research group is investigating how post translational modifications, especially the ubiquitylation machinery, are targeted and alter protein function during cellular perturbations such as in virus infections, either to facilitate replication and pathogenesis or in installing a host immune response.

Suki LEE (Research Assistant Professor)

Suki LEE

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Dr LEE was appointed as Research Assistant Professor at the School of Public Health in 2011 and joined HKU-Pasteur Research Pole in 2013. Her research focuses on virus-host interaction and host response to viral infection, with emphasis on the investigation of transcriptomics, virus-host mechanisms and cell signaling pathways in influenza viral pathogenesis, and the potential of novel therapeutic targets for treatment of important and topical diseases caused by these viruses.
Dr LEE has collaborated with Professor Nancy IP (Dean of Science, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong), and Professor Bob HANCOCK (Director of Centre for Microbial Diseases and Immunity Research, The University of British Columbia, Canada), on studies including the neuropathogenesis of influenza A viruses and identification of novel therapeutic options for the treatment of influenza disease.
Dr LEE currently holds 4 grants as Principal Investigator, and is Co-Investigator to 5 other major research grants from Research Fund for the Control of Infectious Diseases and Research Grants Council-General Research Fund.

 

Visit Dr LEE's research page

Chris MOK (Research Assistant Professor)

Chris MOK

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Dr MOK received his PhD and did his post-doctoral training under the tutelage of Professor Malik Peiris. Since the launch of his academic career in 2010, Dr MOK has already published over 30 papers in peer-reviewed international journals.  His main research interests include the basic and clinical virology of avian influenza virus in mammalian hosts as well as developing new anti-viral drugs against the infection.

In the HKU-Pasteur Research Pole, Dr MOK has set up his independent lab with the aim of understanding the behaviour and pathogenicity of emerging viruses by combining clinical studies that span the areas of serology, epidemiology, pathogenicity and vaccination. With this overarching aim in mind, he has been one of the driving forces in establishing and managing a new research platform, the “Guangdong-Hong Kong Joint Research Centre for Clinical and Preventive Medicine against Emerging Infectious Diseases”, a collaboration between HKU and the First Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University since 2015. Supported by the government of Guangdong Province, this initiative covered a wide range of research activities related to new emerging viruses identified in Guangzhou. This collaboration has greatly facilitated our study on infectious disease in China and the ongoing surveillance program in Guangdong province.

Hein Min TUN (Research Assistant Professor)

Hein Min TUN

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Dr Hein Tun is a public health veterinarian and received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Hong Kong. He then moved to Canada to pursue his postdoctoral research at the Gut Microbiome Laboratory of the University of Manitoba where he held an additional role as a lab manager.  After 2 years working for microbiome and resistome research in food animals, human and the environment, he joined with the SyMBIOTA research team at the Department of Pediatrics in the University of Alberta to study roles of infant gut microbiome in health and diseases using the Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) birth cohort.

His research interests range from studies on the role of human and animal microbiome in health and diseases to surveillance of antimicrobial resistant bacteria (resistome) in the interface of human, animals and the environment. His research findings have been frequently featured in major international media and also highlighted in Nature Outlook.

Dr Tun received several awards, scholarships, and fellowships including the Dik Zwart Award during his Ph.D. study. He is also the winner of two prestigious fellowship awards of Canada including the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) fellowship and the Alberta Innovates (AI) Postdoctoral Fellowship.


Sophie VALKENBURG (Research Assistant Professor)

Sophie VALKENBURG

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Dr Sophie Valkenburg has joined the lab as Research Assistant Professor following an international call.  Sophie is an immunologist who trained in Australia at the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity, where she obtained a PhD in Viral Immunology in March 2012.  She then joined the Center of Influenza Research at HKU, working in the laboratory of Leo Poon.  Sophie studies the adaptive immune response to influenza infection in mouse and human models, by looking for universal immune correlates of protection to develop broadly reactive vaccines.  Her contributions have already been recognized with multiple awards and successful grant applications.  Postgraduate positions in her lab are available.

Niloufar KAVIAN (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Niloufar KAVIAN

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Dr Niloufar Kavian-Tessler completed a PharmD at the Paris Descartes University, followed by a residency in medical pathology (specialized in Immunopathology) in Paris Hospitals. She started a research course in Immunology in 2008 and obtained her PhD in 2012 at the Paris Descartes University for studies on the pathophysiology of the auto-immune disease Systemic sclerosis. Dr Niloufar Kavian-Tessler is an Associate Professor in Immunology in the Faculty of Medicine Paris Descartes since 2013, and joined the University of Hong Kong and the Pasteur Institute of Hong Kong for a post-doctoral fellow on influenza immune responses in September 2017.

Yun LAN (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Yun LAN

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Dr LAN obtained her MSc degree from King’s College London and completed her PhD degree in Pharmacy and Pharmacology at The University of Hong Kong in 2015. As a trained microbiologist and molecular biologist, her research interests focus on the investigation of the host-virus interactions during virus infection, with particular emphasis on dengue virus (DENV) and zika virus (ZIKV), and their association with host lipogenesis and lipid metabolism.

Mingyuan LI (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Mingyuan LI

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Dr Li Mingyuan joined HKU-Pasteur Research Pole, School of Public Health of HKU in 2015.  She obtained her PhD degree in 2014 at The University of Hong Kong.

Dr Li is a trained cell biologist/virologist on various aspects of virus-host interactions in the context of flaviviruses.  Her current study combined biochemical techniques with that of imaging and molecular biology to understand the role of trafficking related cellular factors in progeny virus release.

Kanchana POONSUK (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Kanchana POONSUK

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Dr. Poonsuk is a veterinarian experiences in antimicrobial resistance research and animal production in South-East Asia. She has been worked in Center for Antimicrobial Resistance Monitoring in Foodborne Pathogens (in cooperation with WHO) and WHO Global Foodborne Infections Network: South-East Asia and Western Pacific Region (GFN) before enrolled her PhD in Veterinary Public Health, Chulalongkorn University. During her Ph.D. program, she received awards from Thailand Research Fund (TRF) and East-West Center  to participate research group at University of Hawaii at Manoa and John A. Burn School of Medicine in Honolulu, Hawaii.

After graduation, Dr. Poonsuk has joined a company where she continued to apply her knowledge on research projects studying antimicrobial resistance and alternative to antibiotics in agricultural in South-East Asia.

Dr. Poonsuk joined the School of Public Health, University of Hong Kong in 2018. Her research interests are microbiome and antimicrobial resistance in human, animal and environment based on One Health concept.

Tami ZHANG (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Tami ZHANG

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Dr Zhang joined HKU-Pasteur Research Pole, School of Public Health of HKU in 2015.  She obtained a Bachelor of Bioengineering in 2007 at the China Pharmaceutical University and a PhD degree in 2013 at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

Dr Zhang is a trained cell biologist/virologist to work on various aspects of virus-host interactions in the context of dengue infection and influenza.  Her current research interests are the roles of ubiquitin and ubiquitin-like modifiers in viral protein trafficking and in cellular signaling pathways during viral infections.

Jimmy LAI (Postdoctoral Fellow)

Jimmy LAI

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Research Assistants / Technicians

Ping Hung LI (Research Technician)

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Lewis SIU (Research Technician)

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Darren CHAN (Research Assistant)

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Jodi CHAN (Research Assistant)

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Lynn Lin CHEN (Research Assistant)

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Trupti NAIK (Research Assistant)

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Wilson NG (Research Assistant)

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Tsz Fung YIP (Research Assistant)

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Laboratory Assistants

Wai Sze CHEUNG (Laboratory Assistant)

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Students

Sabiha Jahan AKHEE (PhD Student)

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Athena Pui Yee LI (PhD Student)

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Ganon MAK (PhD Student (P/T))

Ho Him WONG (PhD Student)

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Maireid BULL (Mphil Student)

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Fionn MA (Mphil Student)

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Joao POMBO (Mphil Student)

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Selim Aisha Sami Mohammed Mohammed (Mphil Student)

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Qi Wen TEO (Mphil Student)

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Garrick YIP (Mphil Student)

Honorary Staff

Professor James DI-SANTO (Visiting Research Professor)

Professor James DI-SANTO

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Professor Noёl Tordo (Honorary Professor)

Professor Noёl Tordo

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Hui Ling YEN (Assistant Professor)

Hui Ling YEN

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Dr. Hui-Ling Yen received her Ph.D. in Epidemiological Science in 2005 from The University of Michigan, Ann Arbor followed by her postdoctoral training at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Memphis, TN. Her research interests focus on understanding the mechanism facilitating the transmission of influenza A virus among and between different reservoirs, exploring the potential virus-host interactions that affect viral pathogenicity and the host clinical outcome, and examining the molecular determinants that confer antiviral resistance.

The ongoing research projects aim to study the modes of influenza transmission in animal models and at the animal-human interface. We continue to study the functionality of viral proteins associated with transmissibility and pathogenicity. Those studies are in collaboration with researchers from the University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), Guangdong Provincial CDC (China), Genomic Research Centre, Academia Sinica (Taiwan), and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (USA).

Dr. Yen is a Full Member of the American Society of Virology. She serves as an Editorial Board Member at Antiviral Research and an Academic Editor at PLoS ONE.

Barbara GAYRAUD-MOREL (Honorary Research Associate)

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Administration

Anne LI (Office Manager)

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Simon MULLER (Communication Officer)

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Karen CHAN (Executive Assistant)