Doctor Chan Wan Yi Renee

CUHK Employment

Associate Professor, Department of Paediatrics
Deputy Director, Hong Kong Hub of Paediatrics Excellence
Co-Director, CUHK-UMCU Joint Research Laboratory of Respiratory Virus & Immunobiology
Co-Director for Med 4-6, Shaw College
Member, Student Development Programmes Committee, Shaw College

Phone Number

+852 3505 2858 (PWH office)
+852 3513 3175 (HKCH office)

Researcher ID

Web of Science ResearcherID: AAA-6598-2020

Research Theme

Respiratory Infection


Dr. Renee WY Chan obtained her PhD degree in the Department of Microbiology and Department of Pathology, The University of Hong Kong and had her post-doctoral fellow training in the Department of Pathology and Centre of Influenza Research, School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong.

Since she has started her career in Virology, she has more than 67 publications in international peer-review journals. She has developed and validated a non-invasive tool for the SARS-CoV-2 in the paediatric population (Journal of Infection, 2020).

She has been involved in the discovery of an alternative influenza receptor of avian influenza virus in the human upper respiratory tract (Nature Medicine, 2007) and thereby written a review article on influenza virus receptors (Trends in Microbiology, 2008). With her contribution to the better understanding of influenza virus tropism in human, the Hong Kong Institution of Science awarded her with the Young Scientist Award 2011. Her leading publications were on risk assessing the emerging viruses, including influenza virus and coronavirus by studying their tissue tropism and pathogenesis in human and swine respiratory organ ex vivo culture models and well-differentiated primary respiratory cell culture models.

In the capacity of a Principal Investigator, Dr Chan has obtained a total of 8 competitive grants (4 GRF and 6 HMRFs) with a total funding amount of over HK$9 million.


Diploma (Epidemiology), PhD, MPhil, BSc (Hons)

Research Interest

Her research interest is on the host and respiratory virus interactions, including the epidemiology of viruses in hospitalized children; viral interference at population levels and biological models; and viral tropism and risk assessment study for emerging respiratory viruses. A brand new non-invasive nasal epithelial lining fluid collection study has started this year. This initiative aims to collect longitudinal samples to study the microbiome, mucosal proteome, and metabolome of diseased children.

On-going research projects include:

(i) The investigation of rhinovirus diversity in non-asthmatic and asthmatic children and the associated outcomes;

(ii) Tissue tropism and the pathogenesis of human rhinovirus C in the human respiratory tract (an in vitro, ex vivo, and in vivo studies);

(iii) The role of rhinovirus in remodelling human airway epithelia in children and adult; and

(iv) The mucosal immunity upon virus infections.


Her team has a long history in deriving primary human respiratory organ and cell culture models, and recently the organoid model in collaboration with teams in the University Medical Center Utrecht. The integration of clinical and basic research here makes translational application realizable.

Award and Honour

1. 1st Prize Oral Presentation: Joint Annual Scientific Meeting 2020, HKPS/HKCOP/HKPNA/HKCPN, Hong Kong 11/2020
2. HKIA Research Grant, Hong Kong Institute of Allergy, 9/2020
3. Outstanding Abstract Award, The 7th Shanghai-HongKong-Guangdong-Chongqing Paediatric Meeting, Shanghai, China 12/2019
4. Global Health Travel Award, Framing the Response to Emerging Virus Infections, Keystone Symposia, Hong Kong, 10/2018
5. Joint Research Travel Grant, University Medical Center – Utrecht, 07/2018
6. HKIA Research Grant, Hong Kong Institute of Allergy, 9/2018
7. Education Fund for Local and Overseas Conference, Hong Kong Institute of Allergy, 11/2017
8. Best Poster Presentation, 13th Congress of Asian Society for Paediatric Research, Hong Kong, 10/2017
9. Best Poster Presentation Award. Food and Health Bureau, HKSAR, 06/2017
10. Young Investigator’s Travel Grant, Korean Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Clinical Immunology, 04/2017
11. Young Scientist Award, Hong Kong Institution of Science, Hong Kong, 11/2010
12. Young Investigator Award, XII International Symposium on Respiratory Viral Infections 03/2010
13. Research Output Prize, LKS Faculty of Medicine, HKU, 12/2008
14. Best Presentation Award, The 12th Postgraduate Symposium, HKU, 12/2007
15. Wong Ching Yee Medical Postgraduate Scholarship, LKS Faculty of Medicine, HKU, 05/2007
16. Dean’s list, Faculty of Sciences, HKU,06/2003
17. Faculty representative to London International Youth Science Forum, HKU, 06/2002
18. Dean’s list, Faculty of Sciences, HKU, 06/2002


1) Honorary Appointment Honorary Assistant Professor, School of Public Health, University of Hong Kong.

2) Editorship

  • Frontiers in Medicine,
  • Frontiers in Public Health,
  • Journal of Virological Methods and
  • PLoS ONE
  • Ad-hoc reviewer of ERJ Open Respiratory Research, BMC Paediatrics, BMC Microbiology, Antiviral Research, Respiratory Research, Scientific Reports, Journal of Clinical Virology, Journal of General Virology, Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses. Professional Service

3) Academic Engagement

  • Teaching programme: Perspectives in Clinical Sciences” (UGEB2791); MEDU3330 Viral Morphology and Replication
  • Summer Undergraduate Research Programme supervisor in 2015-2020, Office of Academic Link, CUHK
  • CUHK Host Family Programme in 2015-2020, Office of student Affairs. CUHK
  • Grant Reviewer: Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMw) and German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).


US Provisional Application No. 62/865,347. Invention Title: N-Substituted Oseltamivir Derivatives with Antimicrobial Activity

Publications (2014-2020)

  • Chan RWY, Chan KC, Chan KYY, et al. SARS-CoV-2 detection by nasal strips: a superior tool for surveillance of pediatric population. J Infect 2020. Chan LLY, Nicholls JM, Peiris JSM, Lau YL, Chan MCW, Chan RWY. Host DNA released by NETosis in neutrophils exposed to seasonal H1N1 and highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza viruses. Respiratory Research 2020;21:160.
  • Bui CHT*, Chan RWY*, Ng MMT, et al. Tropism of influenza B viruses in human respiratory tract explants and airway organoids. Eur Respir J 2019;54. Chan RWY, Hemida MG, Kayali G, et al. Tropism and replication of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus from dromedary camels in the human respiratory tract: an in-vitro and ex-vivo study. The Lancet Respiratory Medicine 2014;2:813-22.
  • Jingzhi Lou, Lirong Cao, Shi Zhao, Paul KS Chan, Martin Chi-Wai Chan, Marc KC Chong, William Wu, Chan RWY, Yuchen Wei, Haoyang Zhang, Benny CY Zee, Eng-kiong Yeoh, Maggie H Wang (2020) Characterization of the evolutionary dynamics of influenza A H3N2 hemagglutinin. Journal of Infection. Accepted on 28 May 2020. In press
  • Grace Lui, Heather KW To, Nelson Lee, Chan RWY, Timothy Li, Rity YK Wong, David SC Hui, Margaret Ip (2020) Adherence to treatment guideline improves patient outcomes in a prospective cohort of adults hospitalized for community-acquired pneumonia. Open Forum Infectious Diseases, ofaa146. 24 April 2020
  • Leung TF, MF Tang, Leung ASY, Kong APS, Liu TC, Chan RWY, Ma RCW, Sy HK, Chan JCN, Wong GWK (2020) Cadherin-related family member 3 gene impacts childhood asthma in Chinese children. Pediatric Allergy and Immunology 2020 Feb; 31(2):133-142
  • Wing Tak Cheng, Kam Lun Hon, Chan RWY, Lawrence CN Chan, William Wong, Hon Ming Cheung, Su Yun Qian (2020) Outcome of status asthmaticus at a pediatric intensive care unit in Hong Kong. The Clinical Respiratory Journal 2020 May;14(5):462-470
  • FW Ko, PK Chan, Chan RWY, A Ip, A Kwok, JC Ngai, SS Ng, CT On, DS Hui (2019) Molecular detection of respiratory pathogens and typing of human rhinovirus of adults hospitalized for exacerbation of asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Respiratory Research 2019 Sep 13;20(1):210.
  • H Wang, KP Tao, CY Leung, HL Hon, CMA Yeung, Z Chen, PKS Chan, TF Leung, Chan RWY (2019) Molecular epidemiological study of enterovirus D68 in hospitalised children in Hong Kong in 2014-2015 and their complete coding sequences. BMJ Open Respiratory Research 2019 Jul 1;6(1):e000437.
  • Juliane Mayr, Kam Lau, Jimmy CC Lai, Ivan A Gagarinov, Yun Shi, Sarah McAtamney, Chan RWY, JM Nicholls, Mark von Itzstein, Thomas Haselhorst (2018) Unravelling the Role of O-glycans in Influenza A Virus Infection. Scientific Report 2018 Nov 6;8(1):16382
  • Hon KL, Chan KH, Ko PL, Cheung MHY, Tsang KYC, Chan LCN, Chan RWY Leung TF, Ip M (2017) Change in Pneumococcus Serotypes but not Mortality or Morbidity in Pre- and Post-13-Valent Polysaccharide Conjugate Vaccine Era: Epidemiology in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit over 10 Years. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, 2017 Nov 6. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmx084.
  • MCW Chan, Chan RWY, KP Mok, NK Mak, RN Wong (2018) Indirubin-3’-oxime as an antiviral and immunomodulatory agent in treatment of severe human influenza virus infection. Hong Kong Medical Journal 2018 Oct; 24 Suppl 6(5):45-47
  • Chan RWY, Chan LL, Mok CK, Lai JC, Tao KP, Obadan Adebimpe, Chan MCW, Perez DR, Peiris JSM and Nicholls JM (2017) Replication of H9 influenza viruses in the human ex vivo respiratory tract, and the influence of neuraminidase on virus release. Scientific Reports, 7(1):6208. (Citation: 3 / Impact factor: 4.011 / Multidisciplinary Sciences 15/69)
  • Leung TF, Chan RWY, Kwok A, Ho WCS, Tao MKP, Hon KL, Cheng FWT, Li AM, Chan PKS (2017) School-based surveillance for influenza vaccine effectiveness during 2014-2015 seasons in Hong Kong. Influenza and Other Respiratory Viruses, 2017 11(4):319-327
  • Chan LL, Bui CT, Mok CK, Ng MM, Nicholls JM, Peiris JS, Chan MC, Chan RWY (2016) Evaluation of the human adaptation of influenza A/H7N9 virus in PB2 protein using human and swine respiratory tract explant cultures. Scientific Reports, 6:35401
  • Tong AS, Hon HL, Tsang YC, Chan RWY, Chan CC, Leung TF, Chan PK (2016). Paramyxovirus Infection: Mortality and Morbidity in a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. Journal of Tropical Pediatrics, 62(5):352-60
  • Hui KP, Li HS, Cheung MC, Chan RWY, Yuen KM, Mok CK, Nicholls JM, Peiris JS, Chan MC (2016) Highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus delays apoptotic responses via activation of STAT3. Scientific Reports, 6:28593.
  • Chan MC, Kuok DI, Leung CY, Hui KP, Valkenburg SA, Lau EH, Nicholls JM, Fang X, Guan Y, Lee JW, Chan RWY, Webster RG, Matthay MA, Peiris JS. (2016) Human mescenchymal stromal cells reduce influenza A H5N1-associated acute lung injury in vitro and in vivo. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 113(3):3621-6.
  • Hui KP, Kuok DI, Kang SS, Ng MM, Bui CH, Peiris JS, Chan RWY *, MCW Chan (2015). Modulation of sterol biosynthesis regulates viral replication and cytokine production in influenza A virus infected human alveolar epithelial cells. Antiviral Research, 119:1-7.
  • JM Nicholls, PNW Tsai, Chan RWY, KPY Hui, MCW Chan, JSM Peiris, KH Chan, KY Yuen and K To. (2014) Fatal H7N9 pneumonia complicated by viral infection of a prosthetic cardiac valve – an autopsy study. Journal of Clinical Virology, 61(3):466-9
  • Chan RWY *, MG Hemida*, G Kayali*, DKW Chu, LLM Poon, A Alnaeem, MA Ali, KP Tao, HY Ng, MCW Chan, Y Guan, JM Nicholls and JSM Peiris (2014). Tropism and replication of Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus from dromedary camels in the human respiratory tract: and in-vitro and ex vivo study. Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 2(10):813 *equal contribution
  • Jia N, Barclay WS, Roberts K, Yen HL, Chan RWY, Lam AK, Air G, Peiris JM, Dell A, Nicholls JM, Haslam SM (2014). Glycomic characterisation of respiratory tract tissues of ferrets: implications for its use in influenza virus infection studies. Journal of Biological Chemistry, 289(41):2848-504
  • CYH Leung, JM Nicholls, CK Ho, SF Sia, CKP Mok, SA Valkenburg, P Cheung, KPY Hui, Chan RWY, Y Guan, S Akira, JSM Peiris (2014) Highly pathogenic avian influenza A H5N1 and pandemic H1N1 virus infections have different phenotypes in Toll-like Receptor (TLR) 3 knock-out mice. Journal of General Virology, 95(Pt9):1870-9
  • Mok CK, Kang SS, Chan RWY, Yue PY, Mak NK, Poon LL, Wong RN, Peiris JS, Chan MC (2014) Anti-inflammatory and antiviral effects of indirubin derivatives in influenza A (H5N1) virus infected primary human peripheral blood-derived macrophages and alveolar epithelial cells. Antiviral Research, 106:95-104