Strategic Research Areas

Strategic Research at The University of Hong Kong

Excelling together through interdisciplinary research has long been a goal of the University as it seeks to develop strategically relevant research themes.  For 2013-16, HKU is focusing development on 5 strategic research areas comprising 16 strategic research themes and 5 emerging themes of proven and potential strength in issues critical to the advancement of Hong Kong, China and the rest of the world.

The 5 strategic research areas are Community, Biomedicine, Environment, Frontier Technology and China. More information can be found in the publication Excelling Together: Strategic Research at The University of Hong Kong.  (A new website is also in production and will be published soon.)

The current themes build on two previous rounds of the initiative in 2004–07 and 2008–11. Over the three cycles we are enriching and refining areas of expertise and nurturing emerging topics of potential strength and importance. (For information of the previous round, please visit

The themes are also interrelated with major externally funded research work at the University, including Areas of Excellence, Theme-based Research Scheme, (Partner) State Key Laboratories and the National Key Basic Research Development Program.


Convenor: Professor K.S.L. Lam, Medicine (
Deputy Convenors: Professor A. Xu, Medicine (; Dr T.Y.S. Lum, Social Work & Social Administration (

Convenors: Professor D.S.H. Wong*, Ophthalmology (; Professor T.M.C. Lee, Psychology (

*Corresponding Co-convenor

Public Health
Convenor: Professor R. Fielding, Public Health (
Deputy Convenor: Dr C.H. Chu, Dentistry (

Sciences of Learning
Convenors: Professor N.W.Y. Law*, Education (; Professor C.K.K. Chan, Education (; Professor D.B. McPherson, Education (; Professor B.S. Weekes, Education (
Advisor: Professor K.M. Cheng, Education (

*Corresponding Co-convenor

Food (emerging theme)
Convenors: Professor C.W. Lam*, Pathology (; Dr. M. Wang, Biological Sciences (

*Corresponding Co-convenor

Law, Literature, Language (emerging theme)
Convenors: Professor C.M. Hutton*, English (; Dr. M.M.H. Wan, Law (   

*Corresponding Co-convenor


Biomedical Engineering and Nanotechnology
Convenors: Professor E.X. Wu*, Electrical & Electronic Engineering (; Professor W. Lu, Orthopaedics & Traumatology (; Professor A.H.W. Ngan, Mechanical Engineering (

*Corresponding Co-convenor

Convenors: Professor X.Y. Guan*, Clinical Oncology (; Professor C.L.W. Chan, Social Work & Social Administration (; Professor G.S.W. Tsao, Anatomy (  

*Corresponding Co-convenor

Development and Reproduction
Convenors: Professor K.S.E. Cheah*, Biochemistry (; Professor E.H.Y. Ng, Obstetrics & Gynaecology (; Professor E.X. Wu, Electrical & Electronic Engineering (
Advisor: Professor M.H. Sham, Biochemistry (   

*Corresponding Co-convenor

Infection and Immunology
Convenors: Professor P.C.Y. Woo*, Microbiology (; Dr. R.M. Watt, Dentistry (; Professor K.Y. Yuen, Microbiology (

*Corresponding Co-convenor

Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (emerging theme)
Convenors: Professor R.A. Li*, Physiology (; Professor G.C.F. Chan, Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine (; Professor H.F. Tse, Medicine (   

*Corresponding Co-convenor


Clean Energy
Convenor: Professor S.Y.R. Hui, Electrical & Electronic Engineering (
Deputy Convenor: Professor G.K.Y. Chan, Chemistry (

New Materials
Convenor: Professor V.W.W. Yam, Chemistry (
Deputy Convenor: Professor P.T. Lai, Electrical & Electronic Engineering (

Earth as a Habitable Planet (emerging theme)
Convenor: Professor S. Kwok, Science (
Deputy Convenor: Dr. K. Shih, Civil Engineering (

Frontier Technology

Computation and Information
Convenors: Professor G.H. Chen*, Chemistry (; Professor V.O.K. Li, Electrical & Electronic Engineering (; Professor F.C. Zhang, Physics (

*Corresponding Co-convenor

Convenor: Professor C.M. Che, Chemistry (
Deputy Convenors: Professor X.Y. Guan, Clinical Oncology (; Professor A.S.T. Wong, Biological Sciences (

Convenor: Professor P.C. Sham, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine (
Deputy Convenors: Professor F.Y.L. Chin, Computer Science (; Professor F.C.C. Leung, Biological Sciences (

Integrative Biology (emerging theme)
Convenors: Professor H. Sun*, Chemistry (; Dr. J. Huang, Biochemistry (   

*Corresponding Co-convenor


China Business and Economics
Convenor: Professor Z. Tao, Business (
Deputy Convenors: Professor F.M. Song, Economics & Finance (; Dr. S.X. Zhao, Geography (

China-West Studies
Convenor: Professor S.Y.W. Chu, Modern Languages & Cultures (
Deputy Convenor: Professor X.C. Zhang, Law (

Contemporary China
Convenor: Professor J.P. Burns, Social Sciences (
Deputy Convenor: Professor A.G.O. Yeh, Urban Planning & Design (