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Sook-San Wong
BioMedSci, M.Sc, Ph.D

Assistant Professor
Division of Public Health Laboratory Sciences


Contact Information
Tel: +852 2831 5501
Address: 7/F Hong Kong Jockey Club Building for Interdisciplinary Research, 5 Sassoon Road, Hong Kong

Main Objectives and Strategy

Our laboratory’s research interest is on understanding how virus evolution impacts host immunity at a population and at the individual level. We are also interested in studying the immunological correlates of protection against zoonotic viruses. Our multidisciplinary approach combines immunological, virological and epidemiological investigations in human cohort studies as well as laboratory experiments in animal models. Our goal is to improve our public health strategies against existing and emerging respiratory viruses of concerns. 

Some of our ongoing research are:

  • 1. Identification of serological markers of poor vaccine responders

  • 2. Contribution of neuraminidase (NA) immunity to influenza virus infections and vaccinations

  • 3. Age-specific antibody dynamics to influenza viruses (Population Immunity)

> HKU Scholars Hub: Sook-San Wong

Selected Publications

  1. Labombarde JG, Pillai MR, Wehenkel M, Lin CY, Keating R, Brown SA, Crawford JC, Brice DC, Castellaw AH, Mandarano AH, Guy CS, Mejia JR, Lewis CD, Chang TC, Oshansky CM, Wong SS, Webby RJ, Yan M, Li QZ, Marion TN, Thomas PG, McGargill MA (2022) Induction of broadly reactive influenza antibodies increases susceptibility to autoimmunity.  Cell Rep 38:110482.

  2. Le TB, Kim HK, Ahn MJ, Zanin M, Lo VT, Ling S, Jiang Z, Kang JA, Bae PK, Kim YS, Kim S, Wong SS, Jeong DG, Yoon SW (2022) Diagnostic performance and clinical feasibility of a novel one-step RT-qPCR assay for simultaneous detection of multiple severe acute respiratory syndrome coronaviruses.  Arch Virol 167:871-879.

  3. Kang M, Zanin M, Wong SS (2022)  Subtype H3N2 Influenza A Viruses: An Unmet Challenge in the Western Pacific.  Vaccines (Basel) 10:112.

  4. Zhan Y, Chen X, Guan W, Guan W, Yang C, Pan S, Wong SS, Chen R, Ye F (2021) Clinical impact of nosocomial infection with pandemic influenza A (H1N1) 2009 in a respiratory ward in Guangzhou.  J Thorac Dis 13:5851-5862.

  5. Lin X, Lin F, Liang T, Ducatez MF, Zanin M, Wong SS (2021) Antibody Responsiveness to Influenza: What Drives It?  Viruses 13:1400.

  6. Wong SS, Oshansky CM, Guo XJ, Ralston J, Wood T, Reynolds GE, Seeds R, Jelley L, Waite B, Jeevan T, Zanin M, Widdowson MA, Huang QS, Thomas PG, Webby RJ; SHIVERS Investigation Team (2021) Activated CD4(+) T cells and CD14(hi)CD16(+) monocytes correlate with antibody response following influenza virus infection in humans.  Cell Rep Med 2: 100237.

  7. Xiao C, Leung NHL, Cheng Y, Lei H, Ling S, Lin X, Tao R, Huang X, Guan W, Yang Z, Cowling BJ, Zanin M, Wong SS (2021). Seroprevalence of Antibodies to SARS-CoV-2 in Guangdong Province, China between March to June 2020.  Pathogens 10:1505.

  8. Bai Y, Jones JC, Wong SS, Zanin M (2021) Antivirals Targeting the Surface Glycoproteins of Influenza Virus: Mechanisms of Action and Resistance.  Viruses 13:624.

  9. Wang Y, Wang D, Zhang L, Sun W, Zhang Z, Chen W, Zhu A, Huang Y, Xiao F, Yao J, Gan M, Li F, Luo L, Huang X, Zhang Y, Wong SS, Cheng X, Ji J, Ou Z, Xiao M, Li M, Li J, Ren P, Deng Z, Zhong H, Xu X, Song T, Mok CKP, Peiris M, Zhong N, Zhao J, Li Y, Li J, Zhao J (2021) Intra-host variation and evolutionary dynamics of SARS-CoV-2 populations in COVID-19 patients.  Genome Med 13:30.

  10. Xiao C, Ling S, Qiu M, Deng Z, Chen L, Zhu A, Chen Y, Liu Y, Lin X, Lin F, Wu Q, Shen L, Ye F, Liu X, Li Y, Zhao J, Yang Z, Cowling BJ, Webby R, Zanin M, Wong SS (2021) Human post-infection serological response to the spike and nucleocapsid proteins of SARS-CoV-2.  Influenza Other Respir Viruses 15:7-12.

Publications SSW


  • Benjamin Cowling (School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR): The association of serum cytokine levels with responses to influenza vaccination in older adults receiving standard and enhanced influenza vaccines; Observational study on incidence and epidemiological characteristics of influenza virus infection in adults aged 60 and over - understanding the potential preventive value of twice-yearly influenza vaccination.

  • JS Malik Peiris (School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR): SARS-CoV-2 patient cohorts for immune characterisations. 

  • Sophie Valkenburg (Doherty Institute, The University of Melbourne): mechanisms of vaccine failures in the PIVOT study

  • Richard J Webby (Department of Infectious Diseases, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital): Mechanisms of avian influenza disease

  • Yang Zifeng, Zhong Nanshan (State Key Laboratory of Respiratory Disease, Guangzhou Institute of Respiratory Health): Mechanisms of avian influenza disease

  • Maureen McGargill, Paul Thomas (Department of Immunology, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital ): Mechanisms of avian influenza disease 

  • Mariette Ducatez (National Institute for Agriculture Research (INRA) and of the National Veterinary School of Toulouse (ENVT): Contribution of virological factors and herd immunity in H9N2 influenza transmission and human disease

  • Kang Min (Guangdong Centers for Disease Control and Prevention): Characterizing the serological response in an influenza vaccination study in older adults in Guangdong Province.


  • Control of influenza: individual and population immunity (Co-investigator; Research Grants Council/Theme based Research Scheme).

More SSW
Lab Members SSW


  • Sook-San Wong, Assistant Professor

  • Xia Lin, Post-doctoral Fellow

  • Yaqin Sarah Bai, Post-doctoral Fellow

  • Yihan Lin, PhD Student

  • Cheng Xiao, PhD Student 

  • Zaolan Liang, PhD Student

  • Check Long Chow, PhD Student

  • Lewis Siu, Senior Technician

  • Lisa Touyon, Research Assistant 

  • Cheryl Leung, Research Assistant 

  • Iris Li, Research Assistant 

  • Asra Sainju, Student Intern

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