Honorary University Fellows
Professor David Hui Shu Cheong is a distinguished professor of respiratory medicine and a world-renowned expert on emerging severe acute respiratory infections. He is the Stanley Ho Professor of Respiratory Medicine and the Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, and an Honorary Consultant Physician at the Prince of Wales Hospital.
Professor Hui graduated from the University of New South Wales, Australia in 1985, then continued with his specialty training in respiratory medicine and sleep medicine in Sydney before returning to Hong Kong.
During the outbreak of SARS in 2003, Professor Hui worked tirelessly on the frontline at the Prince of Wales Hospital and was heavily involved in the treatment, research and clinical management of patients with the disease. Professor Hui joined the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2004 as an advisor on a specific influenza A (H5N1) outbreak. He has since been a regular advisor to the WHO on the clinical management of severe acute respiratory infections, making valuable contributions to its treatment guidelines and training workshops. Professor Hui served as an advisor to the HKSAR government on COVID-19 between 2020 and 2023.
Since 2019, Professor Hui has been the Chairman of the Scientific Committee on Emerging and Zoonotic Diseases of Hong Kong’s Centre for Health Protection, which is tasked to tackle diseases that could spread from animal hosts to humans.
Professor Hui has published over 450 peer-reviewed journal articles. In 2021 and 2022, he was one of the top 1% of highly cited researchers worldwide, as assessed by Clarivate.
Citation delivered by Professor Chak-sing Lau, Dean of Medicine
Professor David Hui Shu Cheong is a distinguished professor of respiratory medicine and a world-renowned expert on respiratory infectious diseases. David is the Stanley Ho Professor of Respiratory Medicine and Chairman of the Department of Medicine and Therapeutics at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). He is also an Honorary Consultant Physician at the Prince of Wales Hospital.
David graduated from the University of New South Wales, Australia in 1985, then continued with his specialty training in respiratory medicine and sleep medicine in Sydney before returning to Hong Kong.
As a respiratory physician, David was heavily involved in the clinical management of patients with SARS, severe acute respiratory syndrome, at the Prince of Wales Hospital during the first major outbreak of coronavirus infection in Hong Kong in 2003. Like all SARS heroes, David demonstrated exemplary courage and selflessness, as so little was known of SARS then, and fear was not a strong enough word to describe the inner emotions of healthcare workers who looked after patients affected by this mysterious illness.
David started his association with the WHO in 2004 when he served as an advisor to the Organization to review the clinical management of influenza A(H5N1) during the early human outbreak in Vietnam. In 2013 and 2015, David joined urgent WHO missions for investigation of outbreaks of MERS, the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, in Riyadh and South Korea, respectively. He has contributed to a number of WHO treatment guidelines – including the clinical management of the influenza A (H5N1) virus in 2007, the influenza A (H1N1) pandemic in 2009, and MERS – as well as to the WHO training workshop in the clinical management of influenza A(H7N9) and COVID-19.
David served as an advisor to the HKSAR government on COVID-19 from 2020 to 2023 and has been the Chairman of the Scientific Committee on Emerging & Zoonotic Diseases under the Center for Health Protection since 2019.
David considers himself a late starter in academia, having only joined the CUHK Department of Medicine and Therapeutics in 1998 at the “ripe old age” of 37. He is indebted to Professor Jean Woo and Professor Joseph Sung who encouraged him to increase the breadth and depth of his research interests, and enabled his career to soar.
To date, he has published over 450 peer-reviewed journal articles, and was in the world’s top 1% of highly cited researchers (cross fields) by Clarivate, with an H index of 83 (Web of Science), among the world's top 2% of scientists since 2021, and ranked second and third in 2021 and 2022 in respiratory medicine by Stanford University and Mendeley Data respectively.
Not a bad set of figures for a late bloomer!
To David, the greatest challenges facing humanity are also where he sees the greatest hope for humanity. Climate change is real, and global warming is a serious threat causing more severe cyclones, flooding and vector-borne (mosquito-related) diseases. But he has faith that the global community can come together to address these challenges that impact us all.
David has had a longstanding “peripheral” relationship with HKU. During his secondary school years at St Paul’s College, he was a neighbour across the street, and over the subsequent years, he has worked with many HKU colleagues – some of whom are on this stage too – in WHO missions and collaborative research projects.
Mr Pro-Chancellor, I feel it is time to finally welcome Professor Hui into the warm embrace of the HKU family. It is therefore my great pleasure to present Professor David Hui Shu Cheong for the Honorary University Fellowship, in recognition of his contributions to Hong Kong and academia.