Chris MOK Lab

Chris KP MOK, BSc(Hons), MPhil, PhD

Research Assistant Professor
Division of Public Health Laboratory Sciences

Contact Information
Tel: +852 2831 5527     Email:
Address: 7/F Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research, 5 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong

Profile / Projects / MPhil ProjectsPublications / CV / Lab


Coming soon.


Pathogenesis of avian influenza viruses in mammalian hosts:
Incidents of human infection by avian influenza viruses are frequently reported. While the highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza virus has evolved into multiple genetic clades and spread globally, compromised the poultry industry, resulted in approximately 450 human infections with a 60% case fatality rate, the recent H7N9 outbreak in China causes another threat to the human population. The typical clinical manifestation of human H5N1 and H7N9 infection is that of a severe pneumonia that may progress to acute respiratory distress syndrome. However, the viral determinants and the detailed mechanism that lead to fatal outcome after infection is not fully characterized. In addition, the role of the avian H9N2 subtypes on the pathogenicity in human is also highly concerned due to its popularity in the poultry farm. Our group aims to elucidate how avian influenza viruses cause pathogenicity in mammalian hosts. This question will be addressed by investigating the contribution of the viral and host factors using in vitro cell and in vivo animal models.

Research Interests:

  • Apoptosis, and the involved signaling pathways in avian influenza virus-infected cells
  • Molecular biology of anti-viral drugs against influenza virus
  • Viral determinants of avian influenza viruses (H5N1, H7N9, H9N2) which associated with the pathogenicity in human or other mammals


MPhil Projects



  1. Guan WD, Mok CKP, Chen ZL, Feng LQ, Li ZT, Huang JC, Ke CW, Deng X, Ling Y, Wu SG, Niu XF, Perera RA, Xu YD, Zhao J, Zhang LQ, Li YM, Chen RC, Peiris M, Chen L, Zhong NS. Virologic and immunological features of a patient with MERS, China, 2015. EID. In press.
  2. Mok CKP, Guan WD, Liu XQ, Lamers MM, Li XB, Wang M, Zhang TJS, Zhang QL, Li ZT, Huang JC, Lin JY, Zhang YH, Zhao P, Lee HHY, Chen L, Li YM, Peiris JSM, Chen RC, Zhong NS, Yang ZF. (2015) Genetic characterization of a highly pathogenic avian influenza A H5N6 virus isolated from a human patient in Guangdong, China. EID. In press.
  3. Yang ZF*, Mok CKP*, Peiris JSM, Zhong NS. (2015) Human disease caused by novel reassortant highly pathogenic avian influenza A H5N6 virus: A case report. NEJM. 373:487-489. (*co-first author)
  4. Yang ZF*, Mok CKP*, Liu XQ*, Li XB, He JF, Guan WD, Xu YH, Pan WQ, Chen LY, Lin YP, Wu SG, Pan SH, Huang JC, Ding GY, Zheng K, Ke CW, Lin JY, Zhang YH, Lee HHY, Liu WK, Yang CG, Zhou R, Peiris JSM, Li YM, Chen RC, Chen L, Zhong NS. (2014) Clinical, virological and immunological features from patients infected with re-emergent avian-origin human H7N9 influenza disease of varying severity in GuangDong province. PlosOne. 10:e0117846.  (*co-first author)
  5. Guan WD*, Gong XY*, Mok CKP*, Chen TT, Wu SG, Pan SH, Cowling BJ, Yang ZF, Chen DH. (2014) Surveillance for seasonal influenza virus prevalence in hospitalized children with lower respiratory tract infection in Guangzhou, China during the post-pandemic era. PlosOne. 10:e0120983 (*co-first author)
  6. Chin AW, Li OT, Mok CK, Ng MK, Peiris M, Poon LL. (2014) Influenza A viruses with different amino acid residues at PB2-627 display distinct replication properties in vitro and in vivo: Revealing the sequence plasticity of PB2-627 position. Virology. 468-470:545-55. 
  7. Chin AW, Mok CK, Zhu H, Guan Y, Peiris JS, Poon LL.Use of fractional factorial design to study the compatibility of viral ribonucleoprotein gene segments of human H7N9 virus and circulating human influenza subtypes. (2014) Influenza Other Respir Viruses. doi: 10.1111/irv.12269
  8. Valkenburg SA, Li OT, Mak PW, Mok CK, Nicholls JM, Guan Y, Waldmann TA, Peiris JS, Perera LP, Poon LL. IL-15 adjuvanted multivalent vaccinia-based universal influenza vaccine requires CD4+ T cells for heterosubtypic protection. (2014) Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 111:5676-81.
  9. Leung YH, Nicholls JM, Ho CK, Sia SF, Mok CK, Valkenburg SA, Cheung P, Hui KP, Chan RW, Guan Y, Akira S, Peiris JS. (2014) Highly pathogenic avian influenza A H5N1 and pandemic H1N1 virus infections have different phenotypes in Toll-like Receptor (TLR) 3 knock-out mice. J Gen Virol. pii: vir.0.066258-0. 
  10. Mok CKP, Lee HHY, Lestra M, Nicholls JM, Chan MCW, Sia SF, Zhu H, Poon LLM, Guan Y, Peiris JSM. (2013) Amino-acid substitutions in polymerase basic protein 2 gene contributes to the pathogenicity of the novel A/H7N9 influenza virus in mammalian hosts. J Virol. 88:3568-76 
  11. Mok CKP, Lee HHY, Chan MCW, Sia SF, Lestra M, Nicholls JM, Zhu H, Guan Y, Peiris JSM. (2013) Pathogenicity of the novel A/H7N9 influenza virus in mice. MBio. 4:.doi:pii: e00362-13.
  12. Chan MCW*, Chan RWY*, Chan LLY*, Mok CKP*, Hui KPY, Fong JHM, Tao KP, Poon LLM, Nicholls JM, Guan Y, Peiris JSM. (2013) Tropism and innate host responses of a novel avian origin influenza A (H7N9) virus in ex vivo and in vitro cultures of the human respiratory tract. Lancet Respiratory Medicine 1:534-542 (*co-first author)
  13. Mok CK, Kang SS, Chan RW, Yue PY, Mak NK, Poon LL, Wong RN, Peiris JS, Chan MC. (2014) Anti-inflammatory and anti-viral effects of indirubin derivatives in H5N1-infected primary macrophages and pneumocytes. Antiviral Res. pii: S0166-3542(14)00093.
  14. Qiao C, Liu Q, Bawa B, Shen H, Qi W, Chen Y, Mok CK, García-Sastre A, Richt JA, Ma W. (2012) Pathogenicity and transmissibility of reassortant H9 influenza viruses with genes from pandemic H1N1 virus. J Gen Virol. 93:2337-45
  15. Mok CK, Yen HL, Yu MY, Yuen KM, Sia SF, Chan MC, Qin G, Tu WW, Peiris JS. (2011) Amino acid residues 253 and 591 of the PB2 protein of avian influenza virus A H9N2 contribute to mammalian pathogenesis. J Virol. 85:9641-5
  16. Lee DC, Mok CK, Law AH, Peiris M, Lau AS. (2010) Differential replication of avian influenza H9N2 viruses in human alveolar epithelial A549 cells. Virol J. 7:71.
  17. Mok KP, Wong CH, Cheung CY, Chan MC, Lee SM, Nicholls JM, Guan Y, Peiris JS. (2009) Viral genetic determinants of H5N1 influenza viruses that contribute to cytokine dysregulation. J Infect Dis 200:1104-12.
  18. Mok CKP, Lee DCW, Cheung CY, Peiris M and Lau ASY. (2007) Differential onset of apoptosis in H5N1- and H1N1-infected human blood macrophages. Journal of General Virology 88:1275-80.
  19. Lee DCW, Cheung CY, Law AHY, Mok CKP, Peiris M and Lau ASY (2005) p38 MAPK-dependent hyper-induction of tumor necrosis factor-alpha expression in response to H5N1 avian influenza virus. Journal of Virology 79:10147-54.



(2009) D. Phil. Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong
(2004) M. Phil. Department of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine, The University of Hong Kong
(1999) B.Sc Chemistry, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Working Experience
2011-2013: Post-Doctoral Fellow, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong
2010-2013: Honorary Post-Doctoral Fellow, HKU-Pasteur Research Pole
2010-2011: Post-Doctoral Fellow, Department of Microbiology, The University of Hong Kong



  • Horace Lee (PhD Student)
  • Fionn Ma (MPhil Student)
  • Him Wong (Mphil Student)
  • Jane Tse (Technician)
  • Gannon Mak (PhD student)