Prof. YUEN Kwok-Yung, JP

MB BS (HK), MD (HK), FRCS (Glasg), FRCPath, FRCP(Edin, Lond)

Academician, Chinese Academy of Engineering (Medicine and Health)

Fellow, American Academy of Microbiology

Henry Fok Professor in Infectious Diseases
Chair of Infectious Diseases



HKU Scholars Hub:


Professor Kwok-Yung Yuen, who graduated from the University of Hong Kong in 1981, has the rare distinction of getting the trainings of the 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 American College of Physicians, the Royal College of Pathologists of the UK, the Royal College of Surgery of Glasgow and the Royal Colleges of Physicians in Edinburgh and London, and also the Academician, Chinese Academy of Engineering (Medicine and Health) and American Academy of Microbiology.

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 centre. 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, Professor 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. He has also led his team in the discovery of other disease agents, including the novel Human Coronavirus HKU1, the bat SARS related coronavirus which is ancestrally related to SARS-Coronavirus-1 and SARS-Coronavirus-2, bat coronavirus HKU4/5 which is related to Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), and the porcine Coronavirus HKU15 which is related to the porcine deltacoronavirus reported in 2021 of jumping into human. He has published extensively in the area of coronaviruses, influenza and other emerging virus infection. 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 honour 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. The HKSAR government has also honoured his contributions with the award of a Silver and Gold Bauhinia Star. He received the recognition of the 2021 Future Science Prize for his correct prediction that the bat SARS-related coronaviruses will jump into human again.

Professor Yuen is one of the top 1% researchers in the world, as ranked by the Thompson Reuter Essential Science Indicator (ISI web) with over 110,000 citations. His field of interest is novel microbes in emerging infectious diseases.

selected publications

Click to Full Publications

Selected Publications:

* corresponding first/corresponding author or co-principle investigators.


  1. Chan JF, Yuan S, Kok KH, To KK, Chu H, Yang J, Xing F, Liu J, Yip CC, Poon RW, Tsoi HW, Lo SK, Chan KH, Poon VK, Chan WM, Ip JD, Cai JP, Cheng VC, Chen H, Hui CK, Yuen KY. A familial cluster of pneumonia associated with the 2019 novel coronavirus indicating person-to-person transmission: a study of a family cluster. Lancet. 2020 Feb 15;395(10223):514-523. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(20)30154-9. Epub 2020 Jan 24.
  2. Zhou J, Li C, Liu X, Chiu MC, Zhao X, Wang D, Wei Y, Lee A, Zhang AJ, Chu H, Cai JP, Yip CC, Chan IH, Wong KK, Tsang OT, Chan KH, Chan JF, To KK, Chen H, Yuen KY. Infection of bat and human intestinal organoids by SARS-CoV-2. Nat Med. 2020 Jul;26(7):1077-1083. doi: 10.1038/s41591-020-0912-6. Epub 2020 May 13.
  3. Chen Y, Liang W, Yang S, Wu N, Gao H, Sheng J, Yao H, Wo J, Fang Q, Cui D, Li Y, Yao X, Zhang Y, Wu H, Zheng S, Diao H, Xia S, Zhang Y, Chan KH, Tsoi HW, Teng JL, Song W, Wang P, Lau SY, Zheng M, Chan JF, To KK, Chen H, Li L, Yuen KY. Human infections with the emerging avian influenza A H7N9 virus from wet market poultry: clinical analysis and characterisation of viral genome. Lancet. 2013 Jun 1;381(9881):1916-25.
  4. Woo PC, Lau SK, Wong BH, Fan RY, Wong AY, Zhang AJ, Wu Y, Choi GK, Li KS, Hui J, Wang M, Zheng BJ, Chan KH, Yuen KY. Feline morbillivirus, a previously undescribed paramyxovirus associated with tubulointerstitial nephritis in domestic cats. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Apr 3;109(14):5435-40.
  5. Kao RY, Yang D, Lau LS, Tsui WH, Hu L, Dai J, Chan MP, Chan CM, Wang P, Zheng BJ, Sun J, Huang JD, Madar J, Chen G, Chen H, Guan Y, Yuen KY. Identification of influenza A nucleoprotein as an antiviral target. Nat Biotechnol. 2010 Jun;28(6):600-5.
  6. Zheng BJ, Chan KW, Lin YP, Zhao GY, Chan C, Zhang HJ, Chen HL, Wong SSY, Lau SKP, Woo PCY, Chan KH, Jin DY, Yuen KY. Delayed antiviral plus immunomodulator treatment still reduces mortality in mice infected by high inoculum of influenza A/H5N1 virus. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2008 Jun 10;105(23):8091-6.
  7. Yuen KY*, Chan PK, Peiris M, Tsang DN, Que TL, Shortridge KF, Cheung PT, To WK, Ho ET, Sung R, Cheng AF. Clinical features and rapid viral diagnosis of human disease associated with avian influenza A H5N1 virus. Lancet. 1998 Feb 14;351(9101):467-71.
  8. Beigel JH, Farrar J, Han AM, Hayden FG, Hyer R, de Jong MD, Lochindarat S, Nguyen TK, Nguyen TH, Tran TH, Nicoll A, Touch S, Yuen KY*. Avian influenza A (H5N1) infection in humans. N Engl J Med. 2005 Sep 29;353(13):1374-85. Review
  9. Woo PC, Lau SK, Tsoi HW, Chan KH, Wong BH, Che XY, Tam VK, Tam SC, Cheng VC, Hung IF, Wong SS, Zheng BJ, Guan Y, Yuen KY*. Relative rates of non-pneumonic SARS coronavirus infection and SARS coronavirus pneumonia. Lancet. 2004 Mar 13;363(9412):841-5.
  10. Peiris JS, Chu CM, Cheng VC, Chan KS, Hung IF, Poon LL, Law KI, Tang BS, Hon TY, Chan CS, Chan KH, Ng JS, Zheng BJ, Ng WL, Lai RW, Guan Y, Yuen KY*. Clinical progression and viral load in a community outbreak of coronavirus-associated SARS pneumonia: a prospective study. Lancet. 2003 May 24;361(9371):1767-72.
  11. Peiris JS, Lai ST, Poon LL, Guan Y, Yam LY, Lim W, Nicholls J, Yee WK, Yan WW, Cheung MT, Cheng VC, Chan KH, Tsang DN, Yung RW, Ng TK, Yuen KY*. Coronavirus as a possible cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome. Lancet. 2003 Apr 19;361(9366):1319-25.
  12. Lau SK, Woo PC, Li KS, Huang Y, Tsoi HW, Wong BH, Wong SS, Leung SY, Chan KH, Yuen KY*. Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-like virus in Chinese horseshoe bats. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Sep 27;102(39):14040-5.
  13. Wong S, Lau S, Woo P, Yuen KY.* Bats as a continuing source of emerging infections in humans. Rev Med Virol. 2007 Mar-Apr;17(2):67-91. Review
  14. Woo PC, Lau SK, Yip CC, Huang Y, Tsoi HW, Chan KH, Yuen KY*. Comparative analysis of 22 coronavirus HKU1 genomes reveals a novel genotype and evidence of natural recombination in coronavirus HKU1. J Virol. 2006 Jul;80(14):7136-45.
  15. Woo PC, Lau SK, Chu CM, Chan KH, Tsoi HW, Huang Y, Wong BH, Poon RW, Cai JJ, Luk WK, Poon LL, Wong SS, Guan Y, Peiris JS, Yuen KY*. Characterization and complete genome sequence of a novel coronavirus, coronavirus HKU1, from patients with pneumonia. J Virol. 2005 Jan;79(2):884-95.


  1. Woo PC, Lau SK, Tse H, Teng JL, Curreem SO, Tsang AK, Fan RY, Wong GK, Huang Y, Loman NJ, Snyder LA, Cai JJ, Huang JD, Mak W, Pallen MJ, Lok S, Yuen KY. The complete genome and proteome of Laribacter hongkongensis reveal potential mechanisms for adaptations to different temperatures and habitats. PLoS Genet. 2009 Mar;5(3):e1000416.
  2. Yuen KY*, Woo PC, Teng JL, Leung KW, Wong MK, Lau SK. Laribacter hongkongensis gen. nov., sp. nov., a novel Gram-negative bacterium isolated from a cirrhotic patient with bacteremia and empyema. J Clin Microbiol. 2001 Dec;39(12):4227-32.
  3. Woo PC, Lau SK, Teng JL, Que TL, Yung RW, Luk WK, Lai RW, Hui WT, Wong SS, Yau HH, Yuen KY*. Association of Laribacter hongkongensis in community-acquired gastroenteritis with travel and eating fish: a multicentre case-control study. Lancet. 2004 Jun 12;363(9425):1941-7.


  1. Yuen KY*, Wong SS, Tsang DN, Chau PY. Serodiagnosis of Penicillium marneffei infectionLancet. 1994 Aug 13;344(8920):444-5.
  2. Cao L, Chan CM, Lee C, Wong SS, Yuen KY*. MP1 encodes an abundant and highly antigenic cell wall mannoprotein in the pathogenic fungus Penicillium marneffeiInfect Immun. 1998 Mar;66(3):966-73.