About Us
Chairman’s Message
Chairman’s Message
Welcome to the Department of Microbiology homepage. By browsing through the menu links, you can obtain an overview of the functions and activities of our Department in the field of clinical microbiology, and better understand what we do to combat microbial infection.
In 1983, our founding Chairman Professor Gary French established the Department to serve the new medical school of the Chinese University of Hong Kong. Although the key role of the Department in the early days was to teach clinical microbiology courses in the medical curriculum, Professor French also saw the need to perform basic and clinical research on issues of local importance; hence a postgraduate research programme was established and the first MPhil student of our Department graduated in the year 1987. After Professor Augustine FB Cheng succeeded Professor French as our second Chairman in 1990, the range of academic, research and clinical activities in the Department was significantly broadened, creating a platform in which basic scientists, clinicians and experts of various disciplines can work on separate fronts yet collaboratively with a common goal of controlling microbial infection.
Professor Margaret IP

Transferring knowledge and nourishing medical professionals are our top priorities. The Department is responsible for conducting clinical microbiology courses for medical, nursing, pharmacy and pharmacology undergraduates. To face the increasing demand for a stringent infection control practice in health care settings, we have developed teaching modules on infection control to fulfill the needs of different disciplines. We also provide research-based MPhil and PhD programs with the purpose of training young and talented scientists with interest and dedication in microbiology research.

The Department is active in organizing seminars, workshops and continuous medical education programs to uphold the professional standard of clinical microbiology in Hong Kong. Every summer, a 2-week Certificate Course in Medical Microbiology is held. The course is designed for clinical microbiologists and technologists working in mainland China, with an objective of transferring updated knowledge and technical skills to our microbiologist colleagues in the mainland.

The Department has experts in bacteriology, virology and mycology. We adopt a multidisciplinary approach with strong collaboration with researchers who have experience and expertise in basic sciences, epidemiology, public health and the clinical fields. Among our research activities which cover a broad spectrum of topics in microbiology, we have identified five Focused Research Themes for more sustainable, systematic and in-depth investigation. Reflecting a link between microbial infection and human cancer, the Human Tumor Virology Theme mainly focuses on human papillomavirus and its role in the development of cervical cancer. In projects of the Human Respiratory Viruses Theme, we work closely with infectious disease physicians and look into the clinical and epidemiological aspects as well as pathogenesis of seasonal and pandemic influenza, and other clinically important respiratory viruses. Antimicrobial resistance has become an eternal clinical problem. In the Antimicrobial Resistance and Antibiotic Stewardship Theme, we study the transmission and resistance development characteristics of clinically important organisms and attempt to devise new strategies to combat drug resistant pathogens. A special emphasis is placed on Mycobacterium tuberculosis, Streptococcus pneumoniae and other Streptococci. In these two Focused Research Themes, we further investigate the range of intrinsic and environmental factors that regulate virulence, resistance formation and transmission fitness of representative bacterial pathogens that are causative agents of infectious diseases common in Hong Kong, and attempt to devise more effective detection and/or control of such organisms.
Clinical service
Clinical staffs of the Department serve as Honorary Consultants and Associate Consultants for Hospital Authority to provide clinical consultation and diagnostic services to patients in the New Territories East Cluster Hospitals. Special diagnostic services are also provided through the University Pathology Service.
We strive to achieve excellence in education, research and clinical service, and eventually the goal of healthier life for everyone!
Professor Margaret IP
BM, MSc, DTM&H, FRCPath, FRCP(Glasg), FRCPA, FHKCPath (Clin Micro and Infection), FHKAM |