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Research Team -

Respiratory Viruses

Principal Investigators

Research Staff

  • Dr. TAO Kin Pong, Mars

  • Dr. TSUN Gar Shun, Joseph

  • Dr. PUN Chun Sang, Jason

  • Mr. LUI Kwong Yi, Kevin

Post-graduate students

  • Mr. Behzad Nasiri Ahmadabadi (PhD)

  • Mr. LEI Chun Hei, Tony (PhD)

  • Ms. LIU Shaojun (PhD)

  • Mr. WANG Shuo (PhD)

  • Mr. WONG Kam San, Ben (PhD)

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. Liu S, Tsun JGS, Fung GPG, Lui GCY, Chan KYY, Chan PKS, Chan RWY*: Comparison of the mucosal and systemic antibody response in COVID19 recovered patients with one dose mRNA vaccine and healthy subjects with three doses of mRNA vaccines. Frontiers in Immunology Jan 31 2023 14:1127401 Corresponding author

  2. Hui WF*, Chan RWY*, Wong CK, Kwok KHA, Cheung WL, Chung FS, Leung KKY, Hon KL, Ku SW: The sequential use of extracorporeal blood purification devices for cytokines removal in an adolescent with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). Artificial Organ Research and Development Journal November 2022 68(12):e230-234 *Co-first and Co-corresponding author

  3. Tao KP, Chong M, Chan KYY, Pun JC, Tsun JG, Chow SM, Ng CS, Wang MH, Chan Z, Chan PK, Li AM, Chan RWY*: Suppression of influenza virus infection by rhinovirus interference at the population, individual and cellular levels. Current Research in Microbial Sciences 2022 Jun 18,3:100147 *Corresponding author

  4. Chan RWY*, Chan KC, Lui GC, Tsun JG, Chan KY, Yip JS, Liu S, Yu MW, Ng RW, Chong KK, Wang MH, Chan PKS, Li AM, Lam HS: Mucosal antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 in paediatric and adult patients: a longitudinal study. Pathogens 2022 Mar 24; 11(4):397

  5. Chan RWY*, Tao KP, Ye Jiqing, Lui KKY, Yang Y, Ma C, Chan PKS: Inhibition of influenza virus replication by oseltamivir derivatives. Pathogens 2022 Feb 11; 11(2):237 *First and Co-corresponding author

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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

Grants (as Principal-Investigator) 

1. 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: Jun 2023 to Jun 2025

Reference number: 19200131

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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

Grants (as Co-Investigator) 

1. Study title: Mucosal inflammation in children with OSA – potential biomarkers of OSA Complications

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

Study period: Jan 2023 to Dec 2025

Reference number: PR-CUHK-4

2. 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

3. 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

4. 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

5. 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

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

  2. Drs Nicholas Chao & Lucius Lee, Dept of Surgery, HKCH: The establishment of paediatric respiratory epithelial culture models to assess the pathogenesis of respiratory virus infection in the upper, conducting and lower airways

  3. Dr MingLiang He, Professor, Department of Biomedical Sciences, CityU: Role of viral proteases in rhinovirus pathogenesis

  4. Dr Mu He, Assistant Professor, School of Biomedical Sciences, HKU: The missing gap in neonatal airway development

  5. Dr. NAH Ern Mei Theodora, Assistant Professor, School of Energy and Environment, CityU: Human toxicological effects of cyanotoxins

  6. Dr Kirsty Short, Associate Professor, School of Chemistry and Molecular Biosciences, The University of Queensland, Australia: Immune Debt in Children

  7. Dr Angela Wu, Associate Professor, Division of Life Science, HKUST: Vaccination responses in a single cell RNA sequencing aspect


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

Rohto Advanced Research Hong Kong Ltd: COPD therapeutics

News of the team

Awards of team members

  • EMBO report Poster Prize Winner in 16th World Immune Regulation Meeting - Year 2 PhD student Shaojun LIU, MD

  • 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

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