Focused Research Themes
Human Tumor Virology
Gut Microbiota & Microbiome
Antimicrobial Resistance and Antibiotic Stewardship
Streptococcus pneumoniae and Other Streptococci
HPV Research & Education Consortium @ CU Medicine
Focused Research Theme - Gut Microbiota & Microbiome

Gut microbiota and microbiome presents a new paradigm to approach various non-communicable diseases including obesity, diabetes, cancer, allergies, asthma, cardiovascular diseases, depression, autism, and a growing list of others. The trillions of bacteria residing in our guts are carrying 100-200 times more than the number of genes encrypted in human chromosomes. The complex community of bacteria, referred as microbiota, and their gene collection, referred as microbiome, functions as another vital organ involved in immunity, inflammation, neuro-stimulation, neuro-transmission, food and drug metabolism.

Our research theme focuses on understanding the role of microbiota/microbiome in health and diseases, as well as exploring novel strategies in predicting, preventing and intervening diseases based on characterizing and modulating human microbiota communities.

Selected Projects and Achievements
CUHK Faecal Microbiota Biobank
In March 2016, we set up a Faecal Microbiota BioBank to provide quality-assured frozen stool preparations for faecal microbiota transplantation (FMT) to support clinical services and investigational clinical trials.
CUHK Faecal Microbiota Biobank
Press conference on CUHK Faecal Microbiota Biobank and Transplant Centre, August 2018
Professor Peter Hawkey (second right) from the University of Birmingham Faecal Microbiota Transplantation Centre visited CUHK Faecal Microbiota Biobank in August 2018 to review and give on the practice of our FMT biobank.
SMART Baby: Stool Microbiome and Allergic ReacTion Study
In 2017, we set up the first prospective cohort study on newborn faecal microbiota development in Hong Kong.
Picture taken after a follow-up clinic for infants enrolled in the SMART Baby study (Prof. Paul Chan, first left; and Prof. TF Leung, first right; and research team members).
First-month home visit of SMART Baby study
Assess skin hydration in SMART Baby study
HKGutMicMap: Hong Kong healthy gut microbiota megadatabank
In 2018, we set up a study on gut microbiota of healthy persons in Hong Kong. The study is the first of its kind aiming at establishing a reference database of gut microbiomes of the Hong Kong population; identifying key determining factors of gut microbiome composition in the local Asian Chinese population; and to perform comparative analysis against other populations with different host genetics and life style.
HKGutMicMap team members at the Hong Kong Health Expo 2019 to introduce the healthy microbiota study to public
Recent Publications
  1. Zuo T, Lu XJ, Zhang Y, Cheung CP, Lam S, Zhang F, Tang W, Ching JYL, Zhao R, Chan PKS, Sung JJY, Yu J, Chan FKL, Cao Q, Sheng JQ, Ng SC. Gut mucosal virome alterations in ulcerative colitis. Gut 2019; 68: 1169-1179.
  2. Yeoh YK, Chen Z, Hui M, Wong MCS, Ho WCS, Chin ML, Ng SC, Chan FKL, Chan PKS. Impact of inter- and intra-individual variation, sample storage and sampling fraction on human stool microbial community profiles. PeerJ 2019; 7: e6172.
  3. Chen Z, Hui PC, Hui M, Yeoh YK, Wong PY, Chan MCW, Wong MCS, Ng SC, Chan FKL, Chan PKS. Impact of preservation method and 16S rRNA hypervariable region on gut microbiota profiling. mSystems 2019; 4: e00271-18. 
  4. Lui RN, Wong SH, Lau LHS, Chan TT, Cheung KCY, Li A, Chin ML, Tang W, Ching JYL, Lam KLY, Chan PKS, Wu JCY, Sung JJY, Chan FKL, Ng SC. Faecal microbiota transplantation for treatment of recurrent or refractory Clostridioides difficile infection in Hong Kong. Hong Kong Med J 2019; 25: 178-182.
  5. Lai CY, Sung J, Cheng F, Tang W, Wong SH, Chan PKS, Kamm MA, Sung JJY, Kaplan G, Chan FKL, Ng SC. Systematic review with meta-analysis: review of donor features, procedures and outcomes in 168 clinical studies of faecal microbiota transplantation. Aliment Pharmacol Ther 2019; 49: 354-363.
  6. Zuo T, Wong SH, Lam K, Lui R, Cheung K, Tang W, Ching JYL, Chan PKS, Chan MCW, Wu JCY, Chan FKL, Yu J, Sung JJY, Ng SC. Bacteriophage transfer during faecal microbiota transplantation in Clostridium difficile infection is associated with treatment outcome. Gut 2018; 67: 634-643.
  7. Chen Z, Yeoh YK, Hui M, Wong PY, Chan MCW, Ip M, Yu J, Burk RD, Chan FKL, Chan PKS. Diversity of macaque microbiota compared to the human counterparts. Sci Rep 2018; 8: 15573.
  8. Zuo T, Wong SH, Cheung CP, Lam K, Lui R, Cheung K, Zhang F, Tang W, Ching JYL, Wu JCY, Chan PKS, Sung JJY, Yu J, Chan FKL, Ng SC. Gut fungal dysbiosis correlates with reduced efficacy of fecal microbiota transplantation in Clostridium difficile infection. Nat Commun 2018; 9: 3663. 
  9. Nakatsu G, Zhou H, Wu WKK, Wong SH, Coker OO, Dai Z, Li X, Szeto CH, Sugimura N, Lam TY, Yu AC, Wang X, Chen Z, Wong MC, Ng SC, Chan MTV, Chan PKS, Chan FKL, Sung JJ, Yu J. Alterations in enteric virome are associated with colorectal cancer and survival outcomes. Gastroenterology 2018; 155: 529-541.e5.