Research News

18 Sep 2019

HKU-Pasteur well represented at the Option X meeting in Singapore

The Options for the Control of Influenza meeting in Singapore, or Option X, was held a few days ago in the Lion City. This key event welcomes every three years more than 1500 influenza and public health specialists.  

HKU-Pasteur’s teams were once again well represented during this major event to showcase their essential work, starting with Malik Peiris, Co-director at HKU-Pasteur, who gave an opening keynote lecture the first day untitled Pandemic and Seasonal Influenza: The Known Unknowns, and our researchers with several poster presentations: 

Sophie Valkenburg’s team presented 3 posters: Sophie with Assessing Antibody Function In Responses To Twice-Annual Vaccination Due To 2014/2015 H3N2 Antigenic Mismatch In Hong KongAthena Li with Enhanced Annual Influenza Vaccination Strategies Generate Higher Quality Immune Responses In Older Adults and Maireid Bull with Investigation Of T Cell Immune Pressure On The Influenza Genome Within A Universal Vaccination Model.

Chris Mok, presented the poster Establishment Of Avian Influenza Virus/Acinetobacter Baumannii Co-Infection Model In Mice, and his Research Assistant Tomas Lyu presented their work that gave a major publication in Cell Host & Microbe in June 2019, Preventing An Antigenically Disruptive Mutation In EGG-Based H3N2 Seasonal Influenza Vaccines By Mutational Incompatibility.

Gabriel Leung, Dean of Medicine, HKU, attended the closing plenary talk with the lecture Mitigating Against Geopolitical Determinants of Global Public Health and Envisioning Counterfactual Futures for Outbreak Preparedness and Response. 

This Options X was a great event and a truly essential meeting to further advance the global fight against Influenza. We will still be there in three years in Milan for the next edition! 

From left to right: Ian Wilson (Scripps Research), Tomas Lyu, Nicholas Wu (Scripps Research), Chris Mok, co-authors of the Preventing An Antigenically Disruptive Mutation In EGG-Based H3N2 Seasonal Influenza Vaccines By Mutational Incompatibility publication

Niloufar Kavian and Sophie Valkenburg. 

05 Sep 2019

[Seminar] Host interactions and pathogenesis of emerging human viruses: Zika and Influenza in focus

Dr Shashank Tripathi, Assistant Professor, Wellcome-Trust India Alliance Intermediate Fellow, Center for Infectious Disease Research, Indian Institute of Science, Bengaluru, India, will be in Hong Kong on 9 September, 2019, to give the following lecture:
Date: 9 September 2019 (Monday)
Time: 11:30 a.m. – 13:00 p.m.
Venue: Room S1A, G/F, Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research, 5 Sassoon Road
Please register online on or before noon of 6 September 2019 (Friday) to facilitate arrangement. 
With increasing globalization, urbanization, deforestation and climate change there has been alarming increase in emergence of new human viral pathogens and reemergence of old ones. Zika virus is the latest example which caused global emergency in 2016. Influenza on the other hand is constantly remerging and continues to be a grave concern for public health across the globe. In this talk speaker will discuss his published research on Zika virus, which will include antagonism of host cellular innate immunity by ZIKV NS5 mediated targeting of STAT2, development of Stat2-/- mouse as a model to study Zika virus pathogenesis, ZIKV strain specific differences in the virulence and role of preexisting anti-flavivirus immunity in antibody dependent enhancement of Zika virus infection. Further, speaker will discuss his work on systems level analysis of Influenza A virus RNAi and Proteomics datasets to chart the functional landscape of IAV-Host interaction network, which led to identification of multiple host directed therapy targets. Speaker will conclude with discussing new research on regulation of intracellular trafficking of IAV structural proteins.
Dr. Shashank Tripathi is currently an Assistant Professor in the Microbiology & Cell Biology Department of Indian Institute of Science, which is India’s no.1 research and education Institute. He was awarded Wellcome Trust India Alliance Intermediate fellowship in 2018 and Infosys young investigator award in 2019. Earlier, he worked as Research Assistant Professor (2017-2018) and as Post-Doctoral Researcher (2012-2016) in Microbiology Department of Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York. There he worked in world renowned virologist Prof. Adolfo Garcia-Sastre’s lab, studying influenza A virus-host interactions at systems level and immune evasion and pathogenesis of Zika viruses. Dr. Tripathi did his PhD (2012) in supervision of Dr. Sunil Lal in the Virology Group of International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology (ICGEB), New Delhi in collaboration with Influenza Division, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta.
Should you have any further queries, please do not hesitate to contact Ms Karen Lau at 3917 9928 or