Below are our multidisciplinary team members:
May Endowed Professor
Professor Lee’s research is at the frontiers of neuropsychology and human neuroscience, focusing on the neuroplastic underpinnings of neurocognitive and affective functions, especially applicable for older people. She has published numerous scientific papers. She serves as an associate editor/editorial board member of influential journals that publish data-guiding research and practice of clinical psychology/neuropsychology and human neuroscience.
Suen Chi-Sun Professor
in Clinical Science
Professor Sham’s research interests include genetics and epidemiology of psychiatric disorders and statistical methodology for genetic and epidemiological studies. His research gains insight into the epidemiology and genetic mechanisms of complex traits and rare diseases by developing new statistical methods and applying them to large scale genetic data. Professor Sham’s research team has applied these methods to uncover new associated genetic variants and to improve our understanding of a variety of phenotypes.
Dexter H C Man Family Professor in Medical Science
Professor Chan’s research interests include synaptic mechanisms underlying plastic modification of neural networks for spatial learning as well as the exploitation of pluripotent stem cell-derived glial cells and neurons in the assembly of functional neural circuits. He used novel pharmacological and genetic approaches to manipulate the sensorimotor system and monitor for cellular and molecular changes that effect behavioral outcomes. With the use of animal models of neural injury, Professor Chan’s research team has found mechanisms to harness glial reactions in facilitating neuroregeneration.
Dr. Chan’s main research interests are in the longitudinal trajectories of psychosis, psychopathology (particularly insight and delusion), social cognition and its neurobiological basis, and psychotic-like experience. Her research team has conducted studies systematically evaluating long-term outcomes of schizophrenia in the context of the early intervention service, the long-term evolvement of treatment resistant schizophrenia and developed self-referential gaze perception tasks which assess the intentional judgement. Her current research focuses are to understand the neurobiological basis of treatment resistant schizophrenia, develop biophysiological markers for the illness detection and progress monitoring, and establish clinical tools for monitoring the illness trajectories.
Dr. Chang’s research focus on (1) how systemic immune responses affect neuroimmune responses; (2) impact of neuroimmune responses in Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and glaucoma; and (3) elucidating the biological mechanisms of different risks factors leading to neurodegeneration and how to prevent different risk factors. The mission of his lab (Laboratory of Neurodegenerative Diseases) is to elucidate the molecular mechanisms of neuronal death in aging-associated neurodegenerative diseases in order to develop neuroprotective agents. The lab has different transgenic mice and zebrafishes as experimental tools for its studies.
How does the brain translate ambiguous sensory information into coherent percepts? Dr. Chang’s current research projects seek to unravel the intricacies of the human visual system through a combination of behavioural, neuroimaging (fMRI, DTI, MEG), brain stimulation (TMS), and eye-movement recording approaches.
Dr Chang’s research interests include early intervention for psychosis, clinical, functional, neurocognitive and neuroimaging outcomes of first-episode psychosis, negative symptoms and motivational impairment in schizophrenia, at-risk mental state and psychosis prediction, longitudinal outcomes of first-episode mania and bipolar disorder, as well as impact of severe mental disorders on physical health outcomes.
Chi-Li Pao Foundation Professor in Psychiatry
Professor Chen has been working on understanding how the human mind could under some conditions enter into anomalous states, and how best to help people afflicted with these states of mind. He has been exploring the cognitive process, brain mechanisms, as well as the subjective experiences involved in the development of psychosis. With these understandings, he and his team have been working on how best to help people afflicted with psychotic disorders.
Dr. Chiu’s major research interests focus on retina brain research, including: (1) multi-modal retinal imaging/function markers of stress-related symptoms and resilience; (2) neuroprotection and regeneration in retinal and optic nerve disease. The research aims to explore how our eyes reflect pathological changes in various neurodegenerative diseases and the possibility of modulate brain and cognitive function through the eye to maintain brain/mental health. In 2012, she first summarized the evidence of ocular involvement as extra-cerebral manifestations of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Using AD transgenic mice models, her ongoing research seeks to elucidate the underlying mechanisms and possible novel treatment options.
Dr. Hsiao’s lab studies perceptual representation development and information acquisition strategy in learning and expertise acquisition using both experimental and computational approaches, including neural network modelling and Eye Movement analysis with Hidden Markov Models (EMHMM). Her research interests include cognitive science, computational modeling, eye movement analysis, and learning and expertise acquisition (including face recognition and reading).
Dr. Hu’s research interests include: sleep, memory and voluntary forgetting, social cognition. His team’s research aims to understand the neurocognitive processes supporting memory dynamics, and particularly how sleep-related memory consolidation processes contributes to remembering and forgetting.
Professor Huang’s major research interest is in the mechanism of intracellular transportation and its roles in development, cellular functions and diseases by using transgenic and knockout mice to study the functions of kinesins in chondrocytes, neurons, and other cell types. Another area of interest in the lab is synthetic biology, aiming to design and fabricate artificial biological parts, devices and circuits to control biological pattern formation, to attack cancer cells, and to prevent infectious diseases.
DNA repair is fundamental to life. Failing to launch DNA repair in the right place at the right time compromises genome stability, which in turn can lead to a wide range of devastating human diseases, including cancers and developmental disorders. Emerging evidence also implicate DNA repair as a key process that underlies learning and memory, highlighting the diverse roles of DNA metabolism in brain and cognitive sciences. Professor Huen’s research goal aims to define DNA damage detection and repair processes by identifying key players and events that drive genome integrity protection. Aside from its direct implications in human health and disease, insight in the regulation of DNA repair also contributes to the operational framework of emerging methodologies in genome-editing and gene replacement therapies.
Dr. Jin’s research targets the intersection between emotion and cognition, investigating the psychological and neural mechanisms of anxiety and depression. Her team focuses on decision making, using behavioral experiments, neuroimaging, and computational tools. By examining the decision making processes, Dr. Jin and her team hope to contribute to better understanding of the computational mechanisms behind healthy and abnormal emotional experiences.
Dr. Lai uses in vivo imaging, optogentics, chemogenetics, genetic manipulations, and behavioural approaches to understand synaptic plasticity, neural circuits, and the role of sleep in emotional learning. The findings will provide insight to help us to better understand the aetiology and therapeutic interventions development for psychiatric disorders such as depression and schizophrenia.
Dr. Lam’s interests include: fear and anxiety (fear conditioning, memory reconsolidation, cognitive biases); neuropsychology; neuroimaging (fMRI); pupillometry. Her lab focuses on identifying mechanisms contributing to pathological fear and anxiety, with the goal of developing targeted interventions for affect and mood dysregulation and enhancing psychological well-being. Her team uses a combination of physiological measures (e.g. pupillometry), functional neuroimaging (fMRI), and behavioural experiments to answer the research questions.
Dr. Lau is a clinician-scientist with a strong focus in stroke and cerebral small vessel disease research. He currently leads the Stroke Research and Prevention Group (stroke.med.hku.hk), and is the Convenor of the Hong Kong Stroke Consortium. Dr. Lau is also a Director of the Hong Kong Stroke Fund, Treasurer of the Hong Kong Stroke Society, and currently serves as an Honorary Advisor for the Hong Kong Stroke Association and Hong Kong Society for Rehabilitation.
Dr. Li’s research interests include: sleep disorders; sleep and psychopathology; sleep and cognition; affective disorders and psychosis. Her lab endeavours to understand how sleep affects our daily function and our physical and mental well-being. The ultimate goals are to translate research into practice and to inform the development of treatments and interventions to improve sleep and health.
Dr. Mak’s research interests include: (1) multi-modality imaging in Alzheimer’s and other neurodegenerative disease including amyloid and tau PET, PCASL MR perfusion, MR spectroscopy; (2) stroke imaging — perfusion in evaluation of stroke, intracranial atherosclerosis; (3) Multiple Sclerosis — ASL (arterial spin labeling), DTI (diffusion tensor imaging), CEST (chemical exchange saturation transfer); (4) anticancer drugs in advanced brain tumors using functional neuroimaging techniques; and, (5) epilepsy — PET/CT and MRI.
As a public health physician and psychiatric epidemiologist, Dr. Ni’s interdisciplinary research spans across different fields while maintaining a focus on population mental health. His primary area of research revolves around prevailing and emerging determinants of mental health.
Prof. So is one of the pioneers in the field of axonal regeneration in visual system. He was the first to show lengthy regeneration of retinal ganglion cells in adult mammals with peripheral nerve graft. His team identifies neuroprotective and regenerative factors including: exercise, wolfberry, neurotrophic factors, peptide nanofiber scaffold, and environmental manipulation. His team currently focuses on the use of exercise, light therapy and Wolfberry polysaccharides to treat depression.
The main research in Dr. Song’s lab is aimed at understanding the molecular basis of human complex diseases, especially, Alzheimer disease (AD). The molecular link between amyloid plaques and neurofibrillary tangles is still unclear. Dr. Song’s study in the Pax 6 gene has revealed an important finding that unites three facets of AD pathophysiology: amyloid, tauopathy, and specific aspects of neurodegeneration. Moreover, they were the first team to detect mutations in the MLKL gene in ApoE ɛ4-negative AD patients. Dr Song is also interested in developing biomarkers for AD. His team has established a unique AD sample set in Chinese subjects and longitudinal follow-up from Memory Cognitive Impaired (MCI) converted to AD.
Dr. Tso is a developmental paediatrician with special interests in neurorehabilitation. Dr. Tso diagnoses and manages children with developmental neuro-disabilities at the Queen Mary Hospital and the Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital as well. She also leads the Acquired Brain Injury Program at the Duchess of Kent Children’s Hospital & Rehabilitation Centre. Her research interests include using advance imaging techniques to diagnose and manage children with developmental disabilities and brain injuries.