Ties between Academia and the Community

Two World Health Organization Units Established at HKU

From left: Professor Malik Peiris, Dr Leung Siu-fai, Dr Margaret Chan, Dr Constance Chan, Professor Guan Yi and Professor Gabriel Leung.

To mark the collaboration between HKU and the World Health Organization (WHO), two plaque unveiling ceremonies were held at HKU on August 13, 2015 – one ceremony for the WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control and the other for a WHO H5 Reference Laboratory officiated by Dr Margaret Chan, Director-General of the World Health Organization.


HKU’s School of Public Health has been designated as a WHO Collaborating Centre for Infectious Disease Epidemiology and Control for four years with effect from December 10, 2014. A WHO Collaborating Centre (WHO CC) is an institution designated by the Director-General of WHO to form part of an international collaborative network set up by WHO in support of its programme at the country, intercountry, regional, interregional and global levels. There are a total of 59 and

six WHO CCs in Mainland China and Hong Kong respectively.


Dean of Medicine Professor Gabriel Leung said: “After the SARS epidemic in 2003, the Government has provided strong support for the development of infectious disease epidemiology research at the University and this signal award of Collaborating Centre status by the WHO is the culmination of this important partnership between HKU and the Food and Health Bureau for the protection of the public’s health in Hong Kong and across the region.”


The Centre of Influenza Research under the School of Public Health is one of 13 laboratories worldwide designated as a WHO H5 Reference Laboratory. The HKU H5 Reference Laboratory takes part in the biannual WHO influenza vaccine strain selection meetings. “With our established strengths in the surveillance and characterisation of animal influenza viruses with potential to cause human infections, our School is keen to continue assisting the WHO in addressing zoonotic and pandemic public health threats and in promoting the One Health framework to population health,” said Professor Malik Peiris, Co-Director of the WHO H5 Reference Laboratory at HKU, Tam Wah-Ching Professor in Medical Science, and Director of the School of Public Health. 

Gift presented by President Peter Mathieson at the luncheon hosted in honour of Dr Margaret Chan on August 13, 2015.