Research

Researches

Hein Min TUN Lab

B.V.Sc., M.Sc., Ph.D.

Assistant Professor 
Division of Public Health Laboratory Sciences

Contact information:
Email: heinmtun@hku.hk

Tel: +852 3917 9944
Address: 7/F Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research, 5 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong

Main Objectives and Strategy
Our group uses conventional microbiology and molecular biology techniques, cutting-edge sequencing technologies, coupled with bioinformatics, statistical and epidemiological approaches to study: 1) the composition, function, and dynamics of human and animal microbiomes in health and disease; and 2) to monitor antimicrobial resistance (AMR) bacteria and resistome in humans, animals, and the environment using a holistic One Health approach.  Our goal is to contribute to improving scientific understanding on the impact of microbiome and AMR in public health.
 
Ongoing Research
  • Gut microbiota maturation during infancy and food sensitization in children [Funding: Canadian Institute of Health Research]
  • Antimicrobial Resistance Comprehensive Etiology Study [Funding: Wellcome Trust]
  • Defining the gut microbiota profile in children with Prader-Willi Syndrome [Funding: Canadian Institute of Health Research]
 

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.

 

 

Selected Publications

  1. Drall KM, Tun HM, Morales-Lizcano NP, Konya TB, Guttman DS, Field CJ, Mandal R, Wishart DS, Becker AB, Azad MB, Lefebvre DL, Mandhane PJ, Moraes TJ, Sears MR, Turvey SE, Subbarao P, Scott JA, Kozyrskyj AL (2019) Clostridioides difficile Colonization Is Differentially Associated With Gut Microbiome Profiles by Infant Feeding Modality at 3-4 Months of Age.  Front Immunol 10:2866.
  2. Tan Q, Orsso CE, Deehan EC, Triador L, Field CJ, Tun HM, Han JC, Müller TD, Haqq AM (2019) Current and emerging therapies for managing hyperphagia and obesity in Prader-Willi syndrome: A narrative review.  Obes Rev 10.1111/obr.12992.
  3. Tun HM, Bruzzone R (2019) Early-life antibiotic exposure, gut microbiome, and colonization resistance.  J Health Sci Altern Med 1:1-5.
  4. Ho NT, Li F, Lee-Sarwar KA, Tun HM, Brown BP, Pannaraj PS, Bender JM, Azad MB, Thompon AL, Weiss ST, Azcarate-Peril MA, Litonjua AA, Kozyrskyj AL, Jaspan HB, Aldrovandi GM, Kuhn L (2018) Meta-analysis of effects of exclusive breastfeeding on infant gut microbiota across populations.  Nat Commun 9:4169.
  5. Tun MH, Tun HM, Mahoney JJ, Konya TB, Guttman DS, Becker AB, Mandhane PJ, Turvey SE, Subbarao P, Sears MR, Brook JR, Lou W, Takaro TK, Scott JA, Kozyrskyj AL, CHILD Study Investigators (2018) Postnatal exposure to household disinfectants, infant gut microbiota and subsequent risk of overweight in children.  CMAJ 190:E1097-E1107.
  6. Forbes JD, Azad MB, Vehling L, Tun HM, Konya TB, Guttman DS, Field CJ, Lefebvre D, Sears MR, Becker AB, Mandhane PJ, Turvey SE, Moraes TJ, Subbarao P, Scott JA, Kozyrskyj AL (2018) Association of Exposure to Formula in hospital and subsequent infant feeding practices with gut microbiota and overweight risk in the first year of life.  JAMA Pediatr 172:e181161.
  7. Tun HM, Bridgman SL, Chari R, Field CJ, Guttman DS, Becker AB, Mandhane PJ, Turvey SE, Subbarao P, Sears MR, Scott JA, Kozyrskyj AL, Canadian Healthy Infant Longitudinal Development (CHILD) Study Investigators (2018) Roles of Birth Mode and Infant Gut Microbiota in Intergenerational Transmission of Overweight and Obesity From Mother to Offspring.  JAMA Pediatr 172:368-377.
  8. Tun HM, Konya T, Takaro TK, Brook JR, Chari R, Field CJ, Guttman D, Becker AB, Mandhane PJ, Turvey SE, Subbarao P, Sears MR, Scott JA, Kozyrskyj AL and the CHILD Study Investigators (2017) Exposure to household furry pets influences the gut microbiota of infant at 3-4 months following various birth scenarios.  Microbiome 5:40.
  9. Zhao Q, Harbour SN, Kolde R, Latorre I, Tun HM, Schoeb TR, Moon J, Khafipour E, Xavier RJ, Weaver CT, Elson CO (2017) Selective induction of homeostatic Th17 cells in the murine intestine by cholera toxin interacting with the microbiota.  J Immunol 199:312-322.
  10. Tun HM, Cai Z, Khafipour E (2016) Monitoring the survivability and infectivity of porcine epidemic diarrhoea virus (PEDv) in infected on-farm earthen manure storages (EMS).  Front Microbiol 7:265.
Teaching
  • Hein Min Tun (2019) CMED6227 – Biological Basis of Disease (Master of Public Health), The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR (Course Director and Lecturer).
Collaborations
  • Anita Kozyrskyj (Department of Paediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada): Gut microbiota maturation during infancy.
  • Andrea Haqq (Department of Pediatrics, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada): Gut microbiota profile in children with Prader-Willi Syndrome
  • John Penders (Department of Medical Microbiology, Maastricht University, Maastricht, The Netherlands): Antimicrobial dissemination in international travellers.
  • Tanja Sobko (School of Biological Sciences, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR): Impact of nature connectedness on gut microbiome and mental health of children.
Funding
  1. Antimicrobial resistance comprehensive etiology Study (ACES) (Co-Principal Investigator; Research Grants Council/Research Impact Fund).
  2. Cross-sectional study of antimicrobial use pattern, antimicrobial resistant pathogen and bacterial genomic association in urinary tract infection patients.(Co-Investigator; HKU – Seed Funding for Basic Research).
  3. Bacterial carriage in the upper respiratory tract among community healthy subjects in Hong Kong and Guangzhou (Co-Investigator; HKU – Seed Funding for Basic Research).
  4. Bacterial carriage in the upper respiratory tract among community healthy subjects in Hong Kong and Guangzhou (Co-Investigator; HKU – Enhanced New Staff Start-up Research Grant).
  5. Computational imaging of the spatiotemporal distribution of forces in gut tissue: a study of the cross talk between cell mechanics, microbiome and infectious processes (Principal Investigator; Institut Pasteur – PTR 232 Grant).
  6. Acquisition and persistence of antimicrobial resistance following travels to resource-limited countries: a multi-layered metagenomic epidemiological study (Principal Investigator;  Health and Medical Research Fund).
  7. Unwanted souvenirs for Hong Kong travelers: a prospective epidemiological approach to study the emergence and dissemination of antimicrobial resistance (Principal Investigator; HKU – Seed Funding for Basic Research).
  8. Understanding aspects of common, complex chronic diseases in urban households: FAMILY Cohort. (Co-Investigator; Health and Medical Research Fund Commissioned Research).
  9. A chemical-proteomics based approach for target discovery in Zika virus infection (Co-Investigator; Health and Medical Research Fund).
 

Lab

  • Hein Min TUN Assistant Professor
  • Xi ZHANG Post-doctoral Fellow
  • Darren CHAN PhD Student
  • Suisha LANG PhD Student
  • Ye PENG PhD Student
  • Hogan WAI PhD Student
  • Shilin ZHAO Research Assistant-I
  • Jie ZHU Research Assistant-I
  • Gary CHAN Research Assistant-II
  • Xin LIU Research Assistant-II
  • Rista SHRESTHA Research Assistant-II
  • Daniel SIN Research Assistant-II
  • Chloe LIU Research Assistant (P/T)
  • Hilda On Research Assistant (P/T)