Research Team -

Respiratory Viruses

Principal Investigators

Research Staff

  • Dr. TAO Kin Pong, Mars

  • Dr. TSUN Gar Shun, Joseph

  • Mr. LUI Kwong Yi, Kevin

  • Miss FUNG Ka Ling

Post-graduate students

  • Mr. PUN Chun Sang, Jason (PhD, Year 4)

  • Mr. WONG Kam San, Ben(PhD, Year 2)

  • Dr. LIU Shaojun (PhD, Year 1)

  • Mr. Behzad Nasiri Ahmadabadi (Jan 2022 onwards)

Research Scope

An overview of research focus

We have research subject recruitment sites and laboratories located in the Prince of Wales Hospital (Shatin) and the Hong Kong Children’s Hospital (Kowloon Bay). We study the epidemiology, pathogenesis, and immunology of respiratory viruses in children.

A list of research topics

  • Mucosal biomarkers in sleeping disorder, respiratory & allergic diseases

  • Mucosal immunity in respiratory viral infections

  • Functional grouping of rhinoviruses

  • Host responses to respiratory viruses in vivo and in vitro

  • Viral interference in population, individual and cellular levels

  • Antiviral and immunomodulatory drug testing: toxicity and efficacy in primary epithelial cell and organoid cultures

Selected publications

  1. Tao KP, Chong M, Pun JC, Tsun JG, Chow SM, Ng CS, Wang MH, Chan Z, Chan PK, Li AM, Chan RWY (2021) Suppression of influenza virus infection by rhinovirus interference at the population, individual and cellular levels. medRxiv 2021.2008.2009.21256656. Corresponding author

  2. Chan RWY*, Chan KC, Lui GC, Tsun JG, Chan KY, Yip JS, Liu S, Yu MW, Ng RW, Chong KK, Wang M, Chan PKS, Li AM, Lam HS. (2021) Mucosal antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 in paediatric and adult patients: a longitudinal study. medRxiv 2021.2009.2027.21264219. First and corresponding author

  3. Chan RWY, Liu S, Cheung JY, Tsun JG, Chan KC, Chan KY, Fung GP, Li AM, Lam HS (2021) Study on the mucosal and serological immune response to the Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines. Frontiers in Immunology 2021 12:744887 First and corresponding author

  4. Chan RWY, Chan KC, Chan KYY, Lui GCY, Tsun JGS, Wong RYK, Yu MWL, Wang MHT, Chan PKS, Lam HS, Li AM (2021) SARS-CoV-2 detection by nasal strips: A superior tool for surveillance of paediatric population. Journal of Infection 2021, 82:96-99. First author

  5. Pun CS, Wang H, Tao KP, Tsun JGS, Yu WY, Chen XY, Wang MH, Chan PKS, Leung TF, Chan RWY (2020)  Discovering the molecular determinant in rhinoviruses by virus-genotype to disease-phenotype association in paediatrics patients in Hong Kong. European Respiratory Journal 2020 56: 1152. Corresponding author

  6. Chan LL, Nicholls JM, Peiris JM, Lau YL, Chan MC, Chan RW. (2020) Host DNA released by NETosis in neutrophils exposed to seasonal H1N1 and highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza viruses. Corresponding author

  7. Wang H, Tao K, Leung CY, Hon KL, Yeung CA, Chen Z, Chan KP, Leung TF, Chan RW (2019) Molecular epidemiological study of enterovirus D68 in hospitalised children in Hong Kong in 2014–2015 and their complete coding sequences. BMJ open respiratory research 6:e000437. Corresponding author

  8. Bui CH*, Chan RW*, Ng MM, Cheung M, Ng K-c, Chan MP, Chan LL, Fong JH, Nicholls J, Peiris JM. 2019. Tropism of influenza B viruses in human respiratory tract explants and airway organoids. European Respiratory Journal 54. Equal contribution* Co-first author

  9. Wai-san Ko F, Chan PK, Chan RW, Chan KP, Ip A, Kwok A, Ngai JC, Ng SS, On CT, Hui DS (2019) Molecular detection of respiratory pathogens and typing of human rhinovirus of adults hospitalized for exacerbation of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respiratory research 20:210

  10. Chan RW*, Hemida MG*, Kayali G*, Chu DK, Poon LL, Alnaeem A, Ali MA, Tao KP, Ng HY, Chan MC. (2014) Tropism and replication of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus from dromedary camels in the human respiratory tract: an in-vitro and ex-vivo study. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine 2:813-822. Co-first author

Grants (as Principal-Investigator) 

1. Study title: Development of a rapid test for SARS-CoV-2 mucosal antigen and antibody

Funding source: Innovation and Technology Fund - Partnership Research Programme

Study period: 1 Nov 2021 to 30 Apr 2023

Reference number: PRP/039/21FX

2. Study title: The Establishment of Non-invasive Nasal Epithelial Lining Fluid Collection Method for the Detection of Localized IgA and Mucosal Immune Response

Funding source: Hong Kong Institute of Allergy Research Grant

Study period: 1 Sep 2020 to 31 Aug 2021

Reference number: 2020

3. Study title: A mechanistic Investigation of the inhibition of apoptotic pathways by rhinovirus C in asthmatic nasopharyngeal epithelial cells

Funding source: CUHK Direct Grant

Study period: 30 Jun 2020 to 29 Jun 2021

Reference number: 2019.073

4. Study title: SARS-CoV-2 receptor distribution, replication and immune  response induced in the respiratory epithelial cells of paediatric and adult and the existence of alternative receptor

Funding source: Food and Health Bureau - Health Medical Research Fund - Commissioned Study

Study period: 1 May 2020 to 30 Apr 2022

Reference number: COVID190112

5. Study title: Functional Grouping of Rhinovirus by its association with clinical  outcomes for better Disease Management and Therapeutic Development

Funding source: RGC General Research Fund

Study period: 1 Jan 2020 to 31 Dec 2022

Reference number: 14103119

6. Study title: The establishment of airway ciliary motion assessment platform

Funding source: CUHK Direct Grant

Study period: 30 Jun 2019 to 31 Mar 2021

Reference number: 4054490

7. Study title: The Use of Mammalian Respiratory Organ-Cultures in Identifying the Animal Model for Rhinovirus C Infection

Funding source: RGC General Research Fund

Study period: 1 Oct 2018 to 31 Mar 2020

Reference number: 14101318

8. Study title: The establishment of neonatal mouse model for rhinovirus C infection

Funding source: CUHK Direct Research Grant

Study period: 30 Jun 2018 to 29 Jun 2020

Reference number: 4054420

9. Study title: The tissue tropism of human rhinovirus C (RV-C) in human respiratory tract – an in vitro and ex vivo study

Funding source: RGC Early Career Scheme

Study period: 1 Jan 2018 to 31 Dec 2019

Reference number: 24107017

10. Study title: The establishment of the three-dimensional human airway spheroid model for precision medicine: an in vitro model for rhinovirus infections

Funding source: CUHK Research Proposal for the one-off funding support for joint research laboratories with international partners 2017

Study period: 30 Jun 2017 to 29 Jun 2019

Reference number: N.A.

11. Study title: The Investigation of the Mouse Cadherin-related family member 3 as a cellular receptor for rhinovirus C

Funding source: CUHK Direct Grant

Study period: 30 Jun 2017 to 29 Jun 2018

Reference number: 4054364

12. Study title: Human lung local immunity to influenza virus - role of lung antibody and resident memory T cells

Funding source: RGC General Research Fund

Study period: 1 Jan 2014 to 30 Apr 2017

Reference number: 762213

Potentially funded

13. Study title: Study on the mucosal and serological immune response to the Novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) vaccine

Funding source: Food and Health Bureau - Health Medical Research Fund

Study period: N.A.

Reference number: 19200131

Grants (as Co-Investigator) 

1. Study title: Role of the heme oxygenase- 1/carbon monoxide axis in the regulation of ion transport and pro- inflammatory cytokine secretion in airway epithelia: in vitro and in vivo studies

Funding source: RGC General Research Fund

Study period:1 Jan 2021 to 31 Dec 2023

Reference number: 14107920

2. Study title: The Safety of High Flow Nasal Cannula and Noninvasive Ventilation for Treatment of Patients with COVID-19 Complicated by Respiratory Failure

Funding source: Food and Health Bureau - Health Medical Research Fund - Commissioned Study COVID19

Study period: 1 May 2020 to 30 Apr 2021

Reference number: 142343472

3. Study title: Optimization of clinical treatment of severe influenza to reduce morbidity and mortality – Study 3 Assessing the risk of seasonal influenza in children

Funding source: Food and Health Bureau - Health Medical Research Fund - Commissioned Programmes for Influenza Research

Study period: 1 Sep 2019 to 31 Aug 2022

Reference number: INF-CUHK-2

4. Study title: Identification of nasopharyngeal microbiota predictive of recurrent wheeze in Chinese toddlers with bronchiolitis

Funding source: Food and Health Bureau - Health Medical Research Fund

Study period: 1 May 2018 to 31 Dec 2019

Reference number: 17161332

Collaborative works

Dr Alvin WF Hui, PICU, HKCH: The role of biomarkers and clinical parameters in acute kidney injury among critically ill  children


US Provisional Application No. 62/865,347. Invention Title: N-Substituted Oseltamivir Derivatives with Antimicrobial Activity

Commerical collaborations

Phase Scientific International Limited – SARS-CoV-2 diagnostics 

Govita Tech Limited – Antiviral and immunoregulatory drug

News of the team

  • Awards of team members

Nature Reviews Immunology Poster Prize in 15th World Immune Regulation Meeting - Year 1 PhD student Shaojun LIU, MD

  • Donations received

Chong Lap (HK) Company Limited – Paediatric Research on Renal replacement therapy and extracorporeal blood purification 

Opportunities to research students

  • What kinds of training will be provided to students?

Undergraduate internship opportunity (term time/ winter/ summer break) in clinical and basic research on children’s health, under the Student Campus Work Scheme (OIA, CUHK), Global Physician-Leadership Stream (GPS) Project (Faculty of Medicine, CUHK), Summer undergraduate Research Programme (OAL, CUHK).

  • International exposure

UMCU-CUHK Joint Research Lab of Respiratory Virus and Immunobiology