Professor Yu-lung Lau (劉宇隆)



Chair Professor of Paediatrics
Doris Zimmern Professor in Community Child Health

Department of Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

Chief Director, Clinical Trials Centre
LKS Faculty of Medicine
, The University of Hong Kong



Paediatric Immunology and Infectious Disease 



Outstanding Researcher Award, The University of Hong Kong, 2003.

Faculty Award on Knowledge Exchange, The University of Hong Kong, 2011.





(852) 2255-4481
(852) 2855-1523
Department of Paediatrics & Adolescent Medicine
Room 106, 1/F, New Clinical Building
102 Pokfulam Road, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong




Prof YL Lau’s research focuses on

(a) Primary immunodeficiencies (PID), systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)

(b) Immune responses to pathogens and modulation of immune cells by apoptotic cells

(c) Infectious disease and vaccine study


(a) Genetics in PID and SLE


Prof Lau has 30 years of experience in studying genetics of PID and mapped the genetic loci for XLA and X-SCID in the 1980’s. He has defined novel mutations for PID in Hong Kong and established the Asian PID Network as a referral center for molecular diagnosis of PID for China and nearby Asian countries. In the early years, he collaborated with Professor M Turner and defined the genetics of mannose binding lectin (MBL) deficiency. He found that the MBL genetic polymorphisms in Chinese are associated with systemic lupus erythematosus and rheumatoid arthritis. He further provided evidence that MBL is of importance in susceptibility to SARS-coronavirus infection and disease progression in hepatitis B virus infection. In the recent years, he focuses on genome-wide association study in SLE and use of next generation sequencing to define mutations in PID. (Selected publication 1-8)


(b) Immune response to pathogens and modulation of immune cells by apoptotic cells


Prof Lau has studied immune response to various pathogens, including Candida albicans, mycobacteria, SARS-coronavirus and influenza virus. In the early years, Prof Lau has collaborated with Professor Malik Peiris to identify abnormal induction of pro-inflammatory cytokines by the avian influenza A virus H5N1. Prof Lau has recently identified that influenza virus can directly infect human natural killer cells and impair cell cytoxicity function, as well as the deleterious inflammation contributed by mannose binding lectin in pandemic and avian influenza. He also collaborated with Dr. Wenwei Tu to demonstrate the use of panmidronate to control influenza pathogenesis in a humanized mouse model. (Selected publication 9-15)


Prof Lau has supervised a number of graduate students to investigate how apoptotic cells may modulate the development of immune cells. (Selected publication 16-19)


(c) Infectious disease and vaccine study


Prof Lau documented the low incidence of Hib infections in Hong Kong, which led to further studies in Asia-Pacific substantiating his first observations and his appointment as WHO Advisor on Hib infection and vaccination policy. He documented and analyzed the measles epidemiology in Hong Kong over 40 years, which led to 2 major public health decisions by the Hong Kong Government on measles vaccination. His publication on use of HBV vaccine in preterm babies is also widely quoted and forms the basis of the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendation in the Red Book. Prof Lau has collaborated with Professor Malik Peiris and Dr. Susan Chiu to delineate influenza disease manifestation and burden in Hong Kong, which have impact on health service planning. Prof Lau is active in drawing clinical trials of novel vaccines in Hong Kong, including influenza and rotavirus vaccines. (Selected publication 20-23)


Selected publications


  1. Lee PP, Mao H, Yang W, Chan KW, Ho MH, Lee TL, Chan JF, Woo PC, Tu W, Lau YL. Penicillium marneffei infection and impaired IFN-γ immunity in humans with autosomal-dominant gain-of-phosphorylation STAT1 mutations. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2013 Nov 1. pii: S0091-6749(13)01466-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.08.051. [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2013.08.051
  2. Yang W, Tang H, Zhang Y, Tang X, Zhang J, Sun L, Yang J, Cui Y, Zhang L, Hirankarn N, Cheng H, Pan HF, Gao J, Lee TL, Sheng Y, Lau CS, Li Y, Chan TM, Yin X, Ying D, Lu Q, Leung AMH, Zuo X, Chen X, Tong KL, Zhou F, Diao Q, Tse NKC, Xie H, Mok CC, Hao F, Wong SN, Shi B, Lee KW, Hui Y, Ho MHK, Liang B, Lee PPW, Cui H, Guo Q, Chung BHY, Pu X, Liu Q, Zhang X, Zhang C, Chong CY, Fang H, Wong RWS, Sun Y, Mok MY, Li XP, Avihingsanon, Zhai Z, Rianthavorn P, Deekajorndej T, Suphapeetiporn K, Gao F, Shotelersuk V, Kang X, Ying SKY, Zhang L, Wong WHS, Zhu D, Fung SKS, Zeng F, Lai WM, Wong CM, Ng IOL, Garcia-Barceló M, Cherny SS, Shen N, Tam PKH, Sham PC, Ye DQ, Yang S, Zhang XJ, Lau YL.  Meta-Analysis and followed by replication identifies loci in or near CDKN1B, TET3, CD80, DRAM1, and ARID5B as associated with susceptibility genes for systemic lupus erythematosus in Asians.  American Journal of Human Genetics 2013; 10;92(1):41-51.  doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2012.11.018
  3. Mao H, Yang W, Lee PP, Ho MH, Yang J, Zeng S, Chong CY, Lee TL, Tu W, Lau YL.  Exome sequencing identifies novel compound heterozygous mutations of IL-10 receptor 1 in neonatal-onset Crohn's disease.  Genes & Immunity 2012; 13(5):437-42.  doi: 10.1038/gene.2012.8
  4. Yang J, Yang W, Hirankarn N, Ye DQ, Zhang Y, Pan HF, Mok CC, Chan TM, Wong RW, Mok MY, Lee KW, Wong SN, Leung AM, Li XP, Avihingsanon Y, Rianthavorn P, Deekajorndej T, Suphapeetiporn K, Shotelersuk V, Baum L, Kwan P, Lee TL, Ho MH, Lee PP, Wong WH, Zeng S, Zhang J, Wong CM, Ng IO, Garcia-Barceló MM, Cherny SS, Tam PK, Sham PC, Lau CS, Lau YL.  ELF1 is associated with systemic lupus erythematosus in Asian populations.  Human Molecular Genetics 2011; 20(3):601-7.  doi: 10.1093/hmg/ddq474
  5. Yang W, Shen N, Ye DQ, Liu Q, Zhang Y, Qian XX, Hirankarn N, Ying D, Pan HF, Mok CC, Chan TM, Wong RW, Lee KW, Mok MY, Wong SN, Leung AM, Li XP, Avihingsanon Y, Wong CM, Lee TL, Ho MH, Lee PP, Chang YK, Li PH, Li RJ, Zhang L, Wong WH, Ng IO, Lau CS, Sham PC, Lau YL; Asian Lupus Genetics Consortium.  Genome-wide association study in Asian populations identifies variants in ETS1 and WDFY4 associated with systemic lupus erythematosus.  PLoS Genetics 2010 Feb 12;6(2):e1000841.  doi: 10.1371/journal.pgen.1000841
  6. Yang W, Lee PP, Thong MK, Ramanujam TM, Shanmugam A, Koh MT, Chan KW, Ying D, Wang Y, Shen JJ, Yang J, Lau YL. Compound heterozygous mutations in TTC7A cause familial multiple intestinal atresia and severe combined immunodeficiency. Clinical Genetics 2014 [Epub ahead of print] doi: 10.1111/cge.12553
  7. Zhang Y, Yang J, Zhang J, Sun L, Hirankarn N, Pan HF, Lau CS, Chan TM, Lee TL, Leung AM, Mok CC, Zhang L, Wang Y, Shen JJ, Wong SN, Lee KW, Ho MH, Lee PP, Chung BH, Chong CY, Wong RW, Mok MY, Wong WH, Tong KL, Tse NK, Li XP, Avihingsanon Y, Rianthavorn P, Deekajorndej T, Suphapeetiporn K, Shotelersuk V, Ying SK, Fung SK, Lai WM, Wong CM, Ng IO, Garcia-Barcelo MM, Cherny SS, Cui Y, Sham PC, Yang S, Ye DQ, Zhang XJ, Lau YL, Yang W.  Genome-wide search followed by replication reveals genetic interaction of CD80 and ALOX5AP associated with systemic lupus erythematosus in Asian populations.  Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases 2016;75(5):891-8. doi: 10.1136/annrheumdis-2014-206367
  8. Morris DL, Sheng Y, Zhang Y, Wang YF, Zhu Z, Tombleson P, Chen L, Cunninghame Graham DS, Bentham J, Roberts AL, Chen R, Zuo X, Wang T, Wen L, Yang C, Liu L, Yang L, Li F, Huang Y, Yin X, Yang S, Rönnblom L, Fürnrohr BG, Voll RE, Schett G, Costedoat-Chalumeau N, Gaffney PM, Lau YL, Zhang X, Yang W, Cui Y, Vyse TJ.  Genome-wide association meta-analysis in Chinese and European individuals identifies ten new loci associated with systemic lupus erythematosus.  Nature Genetics 2016; 48(8):940-6. doi: 10.1038/ng.3603
  9. Zheng J, Liu Y, Liu M, Xiang Z, Lam KT, Lewis DB, Lau YL, Tu W. Human CD8 regulatory T cells inhibit graft-versus-host disease and preserve general immunity in humanized mice. Science Translational Medicine 2013; 16;5(168):168ra9. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.3004943
  10. Ling MT, Tu WW, Han Y, Mao HW, Chong WP, Guan J, Liu M, Lam KT, Law HKW, Peiris JSM, Takahashi K, Lau YL.  Mannose binding lectin contributes to deleterious inflammatory response in pandemic H1N1 and avian H9N2 infection.  Journal of Infectious Diseases 2012;205(1):44-53. doi: 10.1093/infdis/jir691
  11. Tu W, Zheng J, Liu Y, Sia SF, Liu M, Qin G, Ng IH, Xiang Z, Lam KT, Peiris JS, Lau YL.  The aminobisphosphonate pamidronate controls influenza pathogenesis by expanding a {gamma}{delta} T cell population in humanized mice.  Journal of Experimental Medicine 2011;208(7):1511-22. doi: 10.1084/jem.20110226
  12. Mao H, Tu W, Liu Y, Qin G, Zheng J, Chan PL, Lam KT, Peiris JS, Lau YL.  Inhibition of human natural killer cell activity by influenza virions and hemagglutinin.  Journal of Virology 2010;84(9):4148-57. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02340-09
  13. Mao H, Tu W, Qin G, Law HK, Sia SF, Chan PL, Liu Y, Lam KT, Zheng J, Peiris M, Lau YL.  Influenza virus directly infects human natural killer cells and induces cell apoptosis.  Journal of Virology 2009;83(18):9215-22. doi: 10.1128/JVI.00805-09
  14. Xiang Z, Liu Y, Zheng J, Liu M, Lv A, Gao Y, Hu H, Lam KT, Chan GC, Yang Y, Chen H, Tsao GS, Bonneville M, Lau YL, Tu W.  Targeted activation of human Vγ9Vδ2-T cells controls epstein-barr virus-induced B cell lymphoproliferative disease.  Cancer Cell 2014;26(4):565-76. 23.523. doi: 10.1016/j.ccr.2014.07.026
  15. Wu Y, Tu W, Lam KT, Chow KH, Ho PL, Guan Y, Malik Peiris JS, Lau YL.  Lethal co-infection of influenza virus and Streptococcus pneumoniae lowers antibody response to influenza virus in lung, and reduces germinal center B cells, T follicular helper cells and plasma cells in mediastinal lymph node.  Journal of Virology 2015; 89(4):2013-23. 4.439. doi: 10.1128/JVI.02455-14
  16. Chong WP, Ling MT, Liu Y, Caspi RR, Wong WM, Wu W, Tu W, Lau YL.  Essential role of NK cells in IgG therapy for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis.PLoS One 2013;8(4):e60862. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0060862
  17. Chong WP, Zhou J, Law HK, Tu W, Lau YL.  Natural killer cells become tolerogenic after interaction with apoptotic cells.  European Journal of Immunology 2010; 40(6):1718-1727.  doi: 10.1002/eji.200939768
  18. Tso GH, Law HK, Tu W, Chan GC, Lau YL.  Phagocytosis of Apoptotic Cells Modulates Mesenchymal Stem Cells Osteogenic Differentiation to Enhance IL-17 and RANKL Expression on CD4+ T cells.  Stem Cells 2010; 28(5):939-54.  doi: 10.1002/stem.406
  19. Ip WK, Lau YL.  Distinct maturation but not migration between human monocyte-derived dendritic cells upon ingestion of apoptotic cells of early or late phases.  Journal of Immunology 2004; 173(1):189-96. PMID: 15210774
  20. Lau YL, Nelson EA, Poon KH, Chan PK, Chiu S, Sung R, Leung CW, Ng D, Ma YM, Chan D, Lee TL, Tang J, Kwan YW, Ip P, Ho M, Fung LW, Tang H, Suryakiran PV, Han HH, Bock H; Hong Kong Rotarix Study Group.   Efficacy, safety and immunogenicity of a human rotavirus vaccine (RIX4414) in Hong Kong children up to three years of age: a randomized, controlled trial.  Vaccine 2013;31(18):2253-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2013.03.001
  21. Chiu SS, Chan KH, Tu W, Lau YL, Peiris JS.  Immunogenicity and safety of intradermal versus intramuscular route of influenza immunization in infants less than 6 months of age: A randomized controlled trial.  Vaccine 2009; 27(35):4834-9. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2009.05.066
  22. Chiu SS, Lau YL, Chan KH, Wong HSW, Peiris JSM.  A population based study defining influenza-related hospitalization in children in Hong Kong.  New England Journal of Medicine 2002; 347(26):2097-103. doi: 10.1056/NEJMoa020546
  23. Lau YL, Tam AYC Ng, KW, Tsoi NS, Lam B, Lam P and Yeung CY. Response of preterm infants to hepatitis B vaccine. Journal of Pediatrics 1992;121:962-965. PMID: 1447667


Full publication list




As Associate Dean for Education in the mid-1990's, Professor YL Lau assisted Dean SP Chow in the design and implementation of the new MBBS curriculum in 1997. He further started a Post-graduate Diploma course in Child and Adolescent Health in 2004, together with members of the Department. He firmly believes in the integrated bedside teaching for students and trainees, emphasing on the meticulous analysis of symptoms and signs with simple investigations to reach tentative diagnosis and management plan.


Books and book chapters


Clinical Service


Professor YL Lau is providing clinical service for children with primary immunodeficiencies, rheumatological, allergic and infectious diseases, and those who need stem cell transplants. He has assembled a team of paediatricians with expertise in immunology, rheumatology and allergy to work side by side with paediatricians with expertise in oncology and haematology.