Professor Chan Wan Yi Renee

Personal Information

Professor CHAN Wan Yi Renee

Diploma (Epidemiology), PhD, MPhil, BSc (Hons)

Co-Director, CUHK-UMC Utrecht Joint Research Laboratory of Respiratory Virus and Immunobiology

Deputy Director (Laboratory), CUHK-Hong Kong Hub of Paediatric Excellence


Email :


Dr. Renee WY Chan obtained her PhD degree in the Department of Microbiology and Department of Pathology, The University of Hong Kong and had her post-doctoral fellow training in the Department of Pathology and Centre of Influenza Research, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong. She was awarded with the Wong Ching Yee Medical Postgraduate Scholarship and the Research Output Prize of the LKS Faculty of Medicine, HKU, during her PhD study. Since she has started her career in Virology, she has more than 55 publications in international peer-review journals. She has been involved in the discovery of an alternative influenza receptor of avian influenza virus in the human upper respiratory tract (Nature Medicine, 2007) and thereby written a review article on influenza virus receptors (Trends in Microbiology, 2008). With her contribution to the better understanding of influenza virus tropism in human, the Hong Kong Institution of Science awarded her with the Young Scientist Award 2011. In the same year, she received the Young Investigator Award in the XII International Symposium on Respiratory Viral Infections. Her main publications were on risk assessing the emerging viruses, including influenza virus and coronavirus by studying their tissue tropism and pathogenesis in human and swine respiratory organ ex vivo culture models and well-differentiated primary respiratory cell culture models. As a long-term collaboration with St Jude Children’s Research Hospital and The Pulmonary Centre of the Boston University School of Medicine, Dr. Chan attached as Visiting Scientist in Professor Robert Webster’s Laboratory and in Professor Jay Mizgerd’s Laboratory in the fall of 2011, respectively. Dr Chan has obtained a total of 8 competitive grants (4 GRF and 6 HMRFs) with a total funding amount of over HK$9 million. Dr Chan is also an Academic Editor of the journals: Journal of Virological Methods, PLoS ONE, and the ad-hoc reviewer of Scientific Report, Respiratory Research and Antiviral Research. 


Current appointments

  • Deputy Director, CUHK-Hong Kong Hub of Paediatric Excellence

  • Co-Director, CUHK-UMC Utrecht Joint Research Laboratory of Respiratory Virus and Immunobiology

  • Assistant Professor, Department of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

  • Honorary Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong


Research Interests
  • Tropism and Pathogenesis of respiratory virus infection in children

- Characterization of Rhinovirus C
- Signaling pathway upon infection
- Lung injury, regeneration and remodeling

  • Virus receptors distribution and its regulation in airways

  • Rhinovirus epidemiology: Virological and Serological surveillance of rhinovirus in Hong Kong Children


 Research Group Members

Dr. Mars KP Tao

PhD, MPhil, BSc

Research Associate 

Dr. Louisa LY CHAN

PhD, BSc

Post-doctoral Fellow

Ms. Waii WY Yu

MSc, BSc

Research Assistant 

Research Students​

Mr. Ben KS Wong

BSc (Biochemistry, CUHK)

MPhil Student (2019 -  )

Dr. Ashley YP Song


PhD Student (2016 -  )

Mr. Jason CS Pun

BSc (Chemistry, CUHK)

PhD Student (2018 -  )

Research Group Alumni​

Miss Dhvanii Chawla

UG - Year 2 - BSc

Cell and molecular biology

Full-year intern (2018-)


Mr. Stephen Siu

UG - Year 1

Pharmacy - CUHK

Summer Intern 2019

Miss Tiffany TJ Li

Summer intern 2015-18

BSc (HKU),

UG - Year 2 -

Tapei Medical University

Miss Hailey Tsui

SURP Intern 2017

BSc (University of Sussex)

Miss Margaret Siu

Summer Intern 2018

(S4) Diocesan Girls’ School

Miss Katherine Ko

Summer Intern 2019

UG - Year 1

Biomedical Science

University of Manchester

Mr. Marvel HC Wang

MPhil Graduate (2016-2018)

MSc, BSc

Mr Anthony Kwok

Summer Intern 2017


Miss Kelly Chen

Summer Intern 2017

UG - Year 3 - BSc (CUHK)

Miss Andrea Coulthard

Summer Intern 2018

UG - Year 2 - Medical Science 

Karolinska Institutet, Sweden

Miss Christy Cheung

Summer Intern 2018

UG - Year 2

Biological Sciences

Imperial College London 

Ms. Joanne HM Fong

MSc, BSc

Research Assistant 

Miss Taraneh Westergerling

Summer Intern 2018

UG - Year 3 - Biology

 University of Graz, Austria

Miss Wendi Wu

Summer Intern 2019

UG - Year 3 

Pharmacology & Immunology 

University of Toronto

Mr. Victor XY Chen

Full-year Intern 2017-18

UG - Year 2 - BSc

Public Health - CUHK

Mr Daniel Li

Summer Intern 2019

UG - Year 3 Human Biology

University of Toronto

Research Opportunities

We are seeking postgraduate students and research staff who are interested in understanding the pathogenesis of respiratory virus infection and their association with asthma in children.  Prior knowledge and experience in primary cell culture, molecular, cellular biology and animal handling techniques will be a plus.
Interested candidate, please send a CV to us.


Recent Publications

Recent and Representative Publications:  (over 55 publications in peer-reviewed journals)*equal contribution

  1. Ko FW, Chan PK, Chan RWY, Chan KP, Ip A, Kwok A, Ngai JC, Ng SS, On CT, Hui DS. Molecular detection of respiratory pathogens and typing of human rhinovirus of adults hospitalized for exacerbation of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respiratory Research, 2019 Sep 13; 20(1):210.

  2. Bui CHT*, Chan RWY*, Ng MMT, Cheung MC, Ng KC, Chan MPK, Chan LLY, Fong JHM, Nicholls JM, Peiris JSM, Chan MCW. Tropism of influenza B viruses in human respiratory tract explants and airway organoids. Eur Respir J. 2019 Aug 15;54(2). 

  3. Wang H, Tao K, Leung CY, Hon KL, Yeung CMA, Chen Z, Chan KSP, Leung TF, Chan RWY. Molecular epidemiological study of enterovirus D68 in hospitalised children in Hong Kong in 2014-2015 and their complete coding sequences. BMJ Open Respir Res. 2019 Jul 1;6(1):e000437. 

  4. Mayr J, Lau K, Lai JCC, Gagarinov IA, Shi Y, McAtamney S, Chan RWY, Nicholls J, von Itzstein M, Haselhorst T. Unravelling the Role of O-glycans in Influenza A Virus Infection. Sci Rep. 2018 Nov 6;8(1):16382.

  5. Hon KL, Chan KH, Ko PL, Cheung MHY, Tsang KYC, Chan LCN, Chan RWY, Leung TF, Ip M. Change in Pneumococcus Serotypes but not Mortality or Morbidity in Pre- and Post-13-Valent Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine Era: Epidemiology in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit over 10 Years. J Trop Pediatr. 2018 Oct 1;64(5):403-408. 

  6. Chan RWY, Chan LLY, Mok CKP, Lai J, Tao KP, Obadan A, Chan MCW, Perez DR, Peiris JSM, Nicholls JM. Replication of H9 influenza viruses in the human ex vivo respiratory tract, and the influence of neuraminidase on virus release. Scientific Reports, 2017 Jul 24; Scientific Reports, 7(1):6208

  7. Leung TF, Chan RWY, Kwok A, Ho WCS, Tao MKP, Hon KL, Cheng FWT, Li AM, Chan PKS.School-based surveillance for influenza vaccine effectiveness during 2014-2015 seasons in Hong Kong. Influenza Other Respir Viruses. 2017 Jul;11(4):319-327

  8. Chan LLY, Bui HYT, Mok CKP, Ng MMT, Nicholls JM, Peiris JSM, Chan MCW and Chan RWY. Evaluation of the human adaptation of influenza A/H7N9 virus in PB2 protein using human and swine respiratory tract explant cultures. Scientific Reports, 2016 Oct 14; 6:35401

  9. Tong AS, Hon HL, Tsang YC, Chan RWY, Chan CC, Leung TF, Chan PK. Paramyxovirus Infection: Mortality and Morbidity in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. J Trop Pediatr., 2016 Apr 1. Pii:fmw016.

  10. Chan MC, Kuok DI, Leung CY, Hui KP, Valkenburg SA, Lau EH, Nicholls JM, Fang X, Guan Y, Lee JW, Chan RWY, Webster RG, Matthay MA, Peiris JS. Human mescenchymal stromal cells reduce influenza A H5N1-associated acute lung injury in vitro and in vivo. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A., 2016 Mar; 113(3):3621-6.

  11. Chan RWY, MG Hemida, G Kayali, DKW Chu, LLM Poon, A Alnaeem, MA Ali, KP Tao, HY Ng, MCW Chan, Y Guan, JM Nicholls and JSM Peiris. Tropism and replication of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus from dromedary camels in the human respiratory tract: and in-vitro and ex vivo study. Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 2014 Oct;2(10):813-22.

  12. Chan MCW*, Chan RWY*, Chan LY*, Mok KP, Hui PY, Fong JHM, Tao KP, Poon LLM, Nicholls JM, Guan Y and Peiris JSM. Tropism and innate host responses of a novel avian influenza A H7N9 virus: an analysis of ex-vivo and in-vitro cultures of the human respiratory tract, Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 2013 Sep;1(7):534-42.

  13. Chan RWY, Chan MCW, Nicholls JM and Peiris JSM. Use of ex vivo and in vitro cultures of the human respiratory tract to study the tropism and host responses of highly pathogenic avian influenza A (H5N1) and other influenza viruses, Virus Research, 2013 Dec 5;178(1):133-45.

  14. Chan RWY, Karamanska R., Van Poucke S., Van Reeth K., Chan W.W., Chan M.C.W., Dell A., Peiris J.S.M., Haslam S.M., Guan Y. and Nicholls J.M., Infection of swine ex vivo tissues with avian viruses including H7N9 and correlation with glycomic analysis. Influenza Other Respiratory Viruses, 2013 Nov;7(6):1269-82.

  15. Chan RWY, Chan MC, Agnihothram S, Chan LL, Kuok DI, Fong JH, Guan Y, Poon LL, Baric RS, Nicholls JM, Peiris JS. Tropism of and innate immune responses to the novel human betacoronavirus lineage C virus in human ex vivo respiratory organ cultures. Journal of Virology, 2013 Jun;87(12):6604-14

  16. Chan RWY, Poon LL. The emergence of human coronavirus EMC: how scared should we be? MBio, 2013 Apr 9;4(2):e00191-13.

  17. Trevenan W, R Karamansja, Chan RWY, Chan MCW, Jia N, G Air, C Hopton, Wong MP, A Dell, JSM Peiris, S Haslam and JM Nicholls. Glycomic Analysis of Human Respiratory Tract Tissues and Correlation with Influenza Virus Infection. PLoS Pathogens, 2013 Mar; 9(3): e1003223.

  18. Chan RWY, Alan CL Li, Lynsia LS Tang, Sara SR Kang, Wendy CL Yu, Kit M Yuen, Wico WH Lai, Dora LW Kwong, Alan DL Sihoe, Leo LM Poon, Yi Guan, HL Yen, John M Nicholls, JSM Peiris, Michael CW Chan. Tissue tropism of swine influenza viruses and reassortants in ex vivo cultures of the human respiratory tract and conjunctiva. Journal of Virology, 2011 Nov; 85(22): 11581-7.

  19. Chan RWY, Chan M.C.W., Wong C.N., Karamanska R., Dell A., Haslam S.M., Sihoe A.D., Chui W.H., Triana-Baltzer G., Li Q., Peiris J.S.M., Fang F. and Nicholls J.M. DAS181 Inhibits H5N1 Influenza virus Infection of Human Lung Tissues. Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, 2009,53, 3935-3941.

  20. Chan RWY, Yuen KK, Yu WC, Tang LL, Li AC, Nicholls JM, Chan MC. Replication of avian and seasonal influenza viruses in human bronchus and lung. Influenza Other Respiratory Viruses, 2011 May;5(Suppl 1):425-426.

  21. Chan MC*, Chan RWY*, Yu WC, Ho CC, Yuen KM, Fong JH, Tang LL, Lai WW, Lo AC, Chui WH, Sihoe AD, Kwong DL, Wong DS, Tsao GS, Poon LL, Guan Y, Nicholls JM, Peiris JS. Tropism and innate host responses of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus in ex vivo and in vitro cultures of human conjunctiva and respiratory tract. Am J Pathology, 2010 Apr;176(4):1828-40

  22. JM Nicholls, MCW Chan, Chan RWY, HK Wong, CY Cheung, DLW Kwong, MP Wong, H Chen, Y Guan, JSM Peiris. Tropism of avian influenza A (H5N1) in the upper and lower respiratory tract. Nature Medicine, 2007 Feb; 13(2): 147 – 149.


Faculty of Medicine

The Chinese University of Hong Kong

6/F Lui Che Woo Clinical Sciences Building

Prince of Wales Hospital



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The Chinese University of Hong Kong.

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