Area of Excellence

Control of Pandemic and Inter-Pandemic Influenza

AoE Control of Pandemic and Inter-Pandemic Influenza

1. Mission:

This program is a multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional program involving The University of Hong Kong, Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in collaboration with relevant departments of the Hong Kong SAR Government including, Health, Agriculture, Food & Environmental Hygiene, Centre for Health Protection and the Hospital Authority.

The overarching goal of the program is to enhance public and animal health by developing a multi-disciplinary influenza research program of international excellence through the integration of basic, clinical and epidemiological research spanning the animal-human interface, thereby also enhancing capacity to confront other emerging viral pathogens.

2. Aims:

  • Define the ecology and evolution of animal and human influenza viruses to identify viruses of pandemic risk.
  • Identify viral and host determinants of pathogenesis, antiviral immunity and interspecies transmission.
  • Identify evidence-based options for the control of influenza in humans and animals by defining the transmission dynamics and quantifying the impact of interventions.
  • Develop novel options for diagnosis, vaccines and therapy.

3. Deliverables:

  • A world class Influenza Research Center generating high-impact publications and patents.Identification of animal viruses of potential risk to humans and understanding of their pathogenesis.
  • Novel options for diagnosis, therapy, vaccines and control of influenza.
  • Training for a new generation of PhDs, postdoctoral fellows and bio-technologists for Hong Kong and for scientists in the Asia-Pacific region.
  • A bio-bank of well-characterized reagents, viruses and specimens for the world community to enhance pandemic preparedness.
  • Partnerships with major industrial / pharmaceutical organizations to enhance Hong Kong’s knowledge-based economy.

4. Organization:

Project Coordinator and Director: Malik Peiris

Management Board

AoE Coordinator: JSM Peiris

Group leaders: Y Guan, YL Lau, N Ip, GM Leung, KY Yuen, PK Chan, HL Chen, LM Poon

External member: W Lim (Centre for Health Protection)

Scientific Advisory Board: Sir Roy Anderson, Peter C Doherty, Siamon Gordon, Edward C Holmes, Ab. DME Osterhaus and Sir John Skehel

5. AoE Themes:

Theme 1: Ecology, evolution and inter-species transmission of influenza viruses

Leader: Yi Guan

Investigators: Gavin JD Smith, Honglin Chen, Malik Peiris

Theme 2: Pathogenesis, Host responses and innate immunity

Leaders: JSM Peiris, YL Lau, NY Ip

Investigators: H Chen, Y Guan, ASY Lau, S Lok, B Nal-Rogier, JM Nicholls, HB Peng, LLM Poon, SW Tsao, W Tu, TM Wong, KY Yuen

Theme 3: Epidemiology, field studies and modeling of human and animal influenza

Leader: GM Leung

Investigators: SSS Chiu, BJ Cowling, Y Guan, JSM Peiris, S Riley, CM Wong, TW Wong, JT Wu

Theme 4: Clinical studies, diagnostics and therapeutics

Leaders: KY Yuen, PK Chan

Investigators: H Chen, CM Chu, SSS Chiu, Y Guan, H Hui, RYT Kao, NY Ip, ASY Lau, YL Lau, B Nal-Rogier, LLM Poon, JSM Peiris, W Tu

Collaborators: HC Lee, CM Che, J Karlberg, PM Vanhoutte.

Theme 5: Antiviral immunity and vaccine development for control of human and animal infection

Leaders: H Chen, LLM Poon

Investigators: BJ Zheng, KY Yuen, JD Huang, Y Guan, YL Lau, W Tu