Prof Kwok-Yung YUEN
Elected as ASHK Founding Member in 2015
MBBS(HK), MD(HK), FRCS(Glas), FRCPath(UK), FRCP(Edin & Lond), Academician of Chinese Academy of Engineering,
Founding Member of The Hong Kong Academy of Sciences
Henry Fok Professor in Infectious Diseases
Chair of Infectious Diseases, Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Medicine
Chief of Service, Department of Microbiology, Queen Mary Hospital
Member of the Chinese Academy of Engineering (Basic Medicine)
Co-Director, State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases
Prof Kwok-Yung Yuen, who graduated from The University of Hong Kong in 1981 and heads the Department of Microbiology from 2002 to 2011, has the rare distinction of being a microbiologist, surgeon and physician.
His success in these three areas is exemplified by his numerous Fellowships at distinguished institutions, including the Hong Kong Colleges of Pathologists, Surgeons and Physicians, the Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians(Lond and Edin), Surgeons(Glas) and Pathologists(UK), and also the Fellow of the American College of Physicians (USA). He was a Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowship in 2006-2007 and was elected to the Chinese Academy of Engineering (Basic Medicine and Health) in 2007. He was awarded the Justice of Peace by the HKSAR in 2002 and the Silver Bauhinea Star Award of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of China in 2004.
In 2000, he was appointed the Scientific Co-director of the HKU-Pasteur Research Centre to set up a joint research venture between the Institute Pasteur and The University of Hong Kong because of his expertise in the area of emerging infectious diseases. His research strategy starts at the bedside by targeting patients with an obscure disease syndrome. He then moves to the laboratory to identify the novel microbe in clinical specimens. The animal source of the new microbe is then identified in the field. With these research data, he can help the government to contain outbreaks by controlling the epidemic center in the community, hospitals or animals. His leadership and experience have enabled him to rapidly mobilize and coordinate the joint effort of clinicians, microbiologists and epidemiologists in trying situations.
Widely known among specialists in infectious diseases, Prof Yuen made his mark in 2003 when the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, gripped the globe. He played a key role in the discovery of the agent causing SARS, the SARS coronavirus, thus leading to measures that were crucial to containing the outbreak of this disease. Throughout the years, he has led his team in the discovery of over 50 novel disease agents, including the novel Human Coronavirus HKU1, the bat SARS coronavirus, bat coronavirus HKU2 to 24, and many other bacteria, fungi and parasites named after Hong Kong or China. He published the first clinical and laboratory diagnostic paper on Influenza A H5N1 in the Lancet which has been cited over 500 times since 1998. The University of Hong Kong appointed to him the Henry Fok Professorship of Infectious Diseases in 2005. The Ministry of Science and Technology of China has given the honor of the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases – the first State Key Laboratory outside the Mainland, to HKU in recognition of its exemplary contributions this area and Professor Yuen has been the first Co-Director of this laboratory.
He is one of the top 1% researchers in the world, as ranked by the Essential Science Indicator (ISI web), and has published more than 700 papers in peer reviewed journals including the Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of Virology and PNAS, with over 25,000 citations. His field of research is novel microbes in emerging infectious diseases.