In 2005, the University celebrated the inauguration of the first 8 Endowed Professorships,
a milestone in the University's history.
To date, a total of 119 Endowed Professorships have been established.
Dr Tam Wah-Ching

Tam Wah-Ching Professorship in Medical Science

"It gives me tremendous joy to support leading scientists.It is my hope that through this Professorship new discoveries will be made to help save people’s lives. "

Dr Tam Wah-Ching

Malik Peiris

Malik Peiris

Appointed in 2010

Infectious diseases continue to pose major challenges to global health and research on the microbes that cause them remains pivotal in containing these threats. The Department of Microbiology is one of the world’s leading research centres investigating emerging infections, with a particular emphasis on those relevant to this region, including influenza and SARS.

Its scope encompasses both basic and applied research and covers aspects of microbial genomics, evolution and pathogenesis to epidemiology, and the diagnosis and clinical management of infectious diseases.

Professor Malik Peiris is Chair Professor of Microbiology, Honorary Consultant at Queen Mary Hospital, and the Scientific Director of the HKU-Pasteur Research Centre in Hong Kong. He has been an expert advisor to the World Health Organization (WHO), was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London in 2006 and was awarded the Legion d’Honneur of the Republic of France in 2007.

Professor Peiris was also responsible for setting up a rapid viral diagnostic service at Queen Mary Hospital. This laboratory led the way in reacting to major emerging viral disease threats in Hong Kong including the bird flu H5N1 (1997; 2003) and SARS (2003). In 2003, Professor Peiris played a key role in the discovery of a novel coronavirus that was the cause of SARS. His work included the discovery of the aetiological agent causing SARS, development of diagnostic tests and understanding the pathogenesis and epidemiology of the disease. The laboratory is now recognised by WHO as one of the International Reference and Verification Laboratories for SARS and as one of nine WHO H5 reference laboratories worldwide for diagnosis and research on influenza A H5N1 infection.

He has developed a multi-disciplinary research programme with strong international collaborations that have made a major impact in understanding the ecology, epidemiology, pathogenesis and control of animal, and human influenza viruses. He has a particular interest in emerging virus diseases at the animal-human interface including influenza, coronaviruses, and (in the past) arboviruses.

His current research encompasses pathogenesis, virus-tropism and innate immune responses to virus infections and clinical disease burden of influenza and other respiratory viruses. He is co-ordinating an eight-year multi-disciplinary and multi-institutional Area of Excellence Programme of the University Grants Committee on the “Control of Pandemic and Inter-pandemic Influenza”.

Since 2007, he has served as the Scientific Director of the HKU-Pasteur Research Centre with a focus on the cell biology of virus infections. He is currently the President of Asia Pacific Society of Medical Virology.

Professor Peiris has written over 320 research publications with over 11,000 citations and is ranked by ISI Essential Science Indicator as a “top 1% most-cited international scientist” worldwide.