Projects and Events

「InnoCarnival 2020」Online Public Talks

23 Dec 2020 to 31 Dec 2020

The Hong Kong Academy of Sciences organised 4 online public lectures about COVID-19 at the “InnoCarnival 2020” .  These include “Treatment for COVID-19” by Prof David S.C. Hui, Chairman, Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, “Data science and COVID-19” by Prof Joseph T.K. Wu, LKS Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, “Dangers related to the stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environments” by Prof Leo Poon, LKS Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong, and “Hidden risk of sewage pipes in transmission of COVID-19” by Prof Dennis Y.C. Leung,  Department of Mechanical Engineering Faculty of Engineering, University of Hong Kong.  

For more information about the public talks, please visit the website:


Topic: “Treatment for COVID-19”
Brief description: The lecture will discuss treatment options for COVID-19 including the use of protease inhibitor, beta interferon, ribavirin, systemic corticosteroid, hydroxychloroquine and vaccines.
Date/time: 2020-12-23 /10:00 - 11:00
Professor David S.C. Hui
Department of Medicine and Therapeutics
Stanley Ho Professor of Respiratory Medicine
Director, Stanley Ho Centre for Emerging Infectious Diseases
Faculty of Medicine
The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Dr Hui graduated from the University of New South Wales in 1985. He then trained in Respiratory Medicine and Sleep Medicine in Sydney, Australia.
Dr Hui was heavily involved in the clinical management of patients with SARS during the major outbreak in 2003. He served as a WHO advisor to review the clinical management of influenza A(H5N1) during the early human outbreak in Vietnam in Feb 2004 and has since been a regular advisor to the WHO on the clinical management of severe acute respiratory infections. He has contributed to the WHO treatment guidelines (including the clinical management of influenza A (H5N1) virus in 2007, clinical management of influenza A (H1N1) pandemic in 2009, and the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome) and the WHO training workshop in the clinical management of influenza A(H7N9) and other severe acute respiratory infections in May 2014.

Dr Hui has published over 220 peer-reviewed journal articles and 23 book chapters since joining the CUHK in 1998. His research interests include clinical management of emerging severe acute respiratory infections, the safety of respiratory therapy in the post SARS era, the infection control in the medical ward environment in preventing nosocomial infections, sleep disordered breathing, and common airway diseases.


Topic: “Data science and COVID-19”
Brief description:
We will discuss: i) how big data have been integrated into infectious disease modeling in real-time to monitor and forecast the spread of COVID-19; ii) how our digital culture has both strengthened and hindered our ability to control the pandemic.
Date/time: 2020-12-23 / 14:30 - 15:00
Professor Joseph T.K. Wu
Professor, Division of Epidemiology and Biostatistics,
School of Public Health,
LKS Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong

Professor Joseph Wu specializes in mathematical and statistical modelling of diseases and their interventions. His research aims are: (i) to develop useful analytics and strategies for disease control and prevention; and (ii) to translate his research findings into public health policy and practice for improving global health. He has worked on COVID-19, seasonal and pandemic influenza, hand-foot-and-mouth diseases, HPV, MERS, yellow fever, cervical cancer, colorectal cancer and breast cancer. He earned his PhD in Operations Research from MIT in 2003 and BS in Chemical Engineering from MIT in 1999.

He is the director of HKU's first Massive Open Online Courseware (MOOC) Epidemics which has had more than 16,000 people enrolled since its first launch in 2014. He is the director of the Croucher Summer Course Vaccinology for Public Health and Clinical Practice.

He is a member of the Center for Communicable Diseases Dynamics (CCDD) at the Harvard School of Public Health. He is an associate editor of the American Journal of Epidemiology and a Fellow of the Faculty of Public Health in the UK. He is a member of the WHO Advisory Committee on Immunization and Vaccines-related Implementation Research (IVIR-AC). He is a member of the Technical Working Group for the WHO Public Health Research Agenda for Influenza. He is a member of the MIT SOLVE Challenge Leadership Group and an SME advisor of MIT Innovation Node.

Topic: “Dangers related to the stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environments”

Brief description:
COVID-19 is a pandemic disease caused by a zoonotic event. The ongoing pandemic is likely to be followed by an endemic disease. There is an urgent need to better understand this disease in both pandemic and epidemic forms to inform public health policy. In this seminar, the stability of SARS-CoV-2 at different environments will be discussed. The transmission of SARS-CoV-2 caused by fomites or other transmission modes will be explained. Effective cleaning methods for inactivating infectious SARS-CoV-2 will be highlighted. Finally, new developments of smart surfaces that can reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission will be mentioned.
Date/time: 2020-12-29 / 11:00 - 11:30
Professor Leo Poon
Professor, Head of Division of Public Health Laboratory Sciences, 
School of Public Health,
LKS Faculty of Medicine, University of Hong Kong

Professor Leo Poon received his doctoral training in Sir William Dunn School of Pathology in University of Oxford (1996-1999). After his graduation, he returned to Hong Kong and worked as a postdoctoral fellow in the Chinese University of Hong Kong (1999-2001). He joined the University of Hong Kong as a Research Assistant Professor in 2001. He currently serves as a Professor in the School of Public Health, HKU.

Professor Poon has strong interests that are related to emerging viruses, ranging from studying basic biology of RNA viruses to developing molecular diagnostic tools for infectious diseases. His work primarily focuses on influenza virus and coronavirus. He published over 200 peer-reviewed articles. He is a founding member of the Hong Kong Young Academy of Sciences. He was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship by the Croucher Foundation in 2017. He has been ranked in the top 1% of the world’s most-cited scientists each year since 2005 by Clarivate Analytics (Total number of citations: 21762; H-index: 70) and, an even more prestigious honour, as a Highly Cited Researcher from 2015-2019.

Professor Poon involves in influenza research for over 20 years. He studied the replication and transmission of this virus. He developed several molecular tests for emerging avian influenza viruses (e.g. H5N1, pandemic H1N1/2009 and H7N9). In 2009, he played an active role in the H1N1 pandemic and identified the first reassortant of pandemic H1N1/2009 virus in pigs. Currently, he focuses on researching the molecular biology and vaccinology of influenza virus.
In 2003, Professor Poon involved in the discovery of a novel coronavirus as the aetiological cause of SARS. He is one of the firsts who decoded the first SARS coronavirus sequence. The identification of SARS coronavirus in humans and animals also prompted him to hunt for novel viruses in wildlife and this leaded to the discovery of the first and many others coronaviruses in bats. He currently also actively involves in studies related to MERS and SARS-CoV-2.
Professor Poon serves as an expert for several international organisations. He is a committee member in the Coronavirus Study Group under the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses (since 2006) and he is also an expert in various WHO Working Groups for emerging viruses. He previously served as an ad hoc consultant for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations and for the World Organization for Animal Health for MERS surveillances. He is an editor Virus Evolution (2014-now).

Topic: “Hidden risk of sewage pipes in transmission of COVID-19”

Brief description: A study carried out at HKU Department of Mechanical Engineering on the potential roles of fecal aerosols and building drainage systems in the spread of SARS-CoV-2 will be reported in this public talk. Two outbreaks in high-rise apartment buildings during the period of March to May 2020 have been investigated which may be caused by fecal aerosol transmission based on circumstantial evidence. Furthermore, the discharge from the ventilation stack of the drainage system may also be another path of the virus transmission. It has been found that the virus-laden aerosols generated inside the soil drainage pipe could have travelled through the ventilation stack to its open end at the roof level.
Date/time: 2020-12-30 / 11:00 - 11:50
Professor Dennis Y.C. Leung
Professor, Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering Faculty of Engineering 
University of Hong Kong

Professor Dennis Y.C. Leung received his BEng and PhD from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Hong Kong. Professor Leung is a prestigious scholar in environmental protection and clean energy. He has published more than 260 peer reviewed journal articles. According to Goggle Scholar his h-index is 59 with total citations more than 13,000. Professor Leung has delivered more than 50 keynote and invited speeches in many conferences as well as public lectures. He serves as a specialty chief editor of Frontiers in Environmental Science, and editorial board member of Applied Energy, Progress in Energy, and Journal of Power & Energy. He is presently serving several governmental committees related to energy and environment as chairman or member. Professor Leung received numerous awards including the Outstanding Earth Champion Hong Kong award in recognising his contributions in protecting the environment. 




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