Visiting Research Professors at HKU

The Visiting Research Professors Scheme (VRPS), introduced in 2008-09, was transformed to the Visiting Professors Scheme (VPS) in 2022. The VRPS aimed to enhance the University's research competitiveness and international collaboration through well-planned visits to HKU by leading scholars from overseas institutions. The VRPs were selected on the basis of their research records, the strategic importance of their work, and the benefits and impact they could bring to research at HKU. The visits were for periods of 3 to 6 months within 3 to 4 academic years. The selected VRPs are listed below by year:


Visiting Research

Research Area

Host Faculty / Department

Appointment Period

Award Year: 2021-22
Millard E. Gladfelter Professor of Statistics and Data Science, Temple University, USA
Analysis of network data, Geometry of inference in ill-posed inverse problems, Modeling and inference of regulation and signaling dynamics, Approximate inference strategies for data analysis at scale Faculty of Business and Economics 6 months from 2021-22 to 2024-25
Professor of Clinical Psychology, Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, 
Prevention of mental disorders, psychological treatments of depression and anxiety disorders, and Internet-delivered treatments Faculty of Social Sciences 6 months from 2021-22 to 2024-25
Professor Emerita of Clinical Biochemistry, Tel Aviv University, Israel
Neuronal Plasticity and Nerve Cell Protection in Disease
Electrical and Electronic Engineering
3 months from 2021-22 to 2023-24
Lee-Lucas Chair in Experimental Physics, Imperial College London, UK
Nanoplasmonics, Nanophotonics, and Metamaterials Physics 3 months from 2021-22 to 2024-25
Award Year: 2020-21  

Professor Sihem Amer-Yahia
Research Director, Centre National de Recherche scientifique (CNRS), Laboratoire d’Informatique de Grenoble, France

Exploratory Data Analysis, Fairness in Future of Work (FoW) Computer Science 3 months from 2020-21 to 2022-23

Professor King Kuok Hii
Professor of Catalysis, Imperial College London, UK

Homogeneous Catalysis, Mechanistic studies of (catalytic) reactions, Application of continuous flow processes for organic synthesis, New Reaction Technologies Chemistry 3 months from 2020-21 to 2023-24

Professor Martin Knapp
Professor of Health and Social Care Policy, London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), UK

Long-term care, social care, and mental health policy and practice Social Work and Social Administration 3 months from July 2020 to June 2024

Professor Steve Walsh
Professor of Applied Linguistics, Newcastle University, UK

Classroom discourse Faculty of Education 3 months from 2020-21 to 2022-23
Award Year: 2019-20      

Professor Kay W. Axhausen

Professor, Institute for Traffic Planning and Transport Systems, ETH Zurich, Switzerland

Urban Planning, transportation planning, simulation modeling Geography 3 months from June 2019 to May 2022

Professor Julia W.P. Hsu

Professor, and Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair in Nanoelectronics, Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science, University of Texas, Dallas, USA

Nanoscale materials physics Electrical and Electronic Engineering 3 months from 2019-20 to 2022-23

Professor Nicholas J. Long

The Sir Edward Frankland BP Professor of Inorganic Chemistry, Imperial College London

Transition metal and lanthanide chemistry for the synthesis of functional molecules, homogeneous catalysis Chemistry 6 weeks from 2019-20 to 2021-22

Professor Timothy W. Lyons

Professor/Distinguished Professor of Biogeochemistry, Department of Earth Sciences, University of California, Riverside, USA

Geochemistry, Sedimentary Geochemistry, Biogeochemical Cycles, Astrobiology Earth Sciences 3 months from June 2019 to May 2022

Professor Julian A. Pearce

Professor Emeritus, Cardiff University, UK

Geology, geochemistry, planetary science and environmental science Earth Sciences 3 months from October 2019 to January 2020

Dr. John S. Tsang

Chief, Systems Genomics and Bioinformatics Unit, Laboratory of Immune System Biology, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, USA

Systems and quantitative immunology, Single-cell modeling and analysis; the function and consequence of phenotypic heterogeneity and stochastic gene expression in immune cells, Human immunology School of Public Health 9 weeks from 2019-20 to 2022-23

Professor Lee Zou

Professor of Pathology, Harvard Medical School, USA

DNA damage and repair pathways School of Biomedical Sciences 16 weeks from 2019-20 to 2022-23
Award Year: 2018-19      

Professor Patrick Yizhi Cai

Chair Professor of Synthetic Genomics, Manchester Institute of Biotechnology, University of Manchester, UK

Computer Assisted Design for Synthetic Biology, NeoChromosome design and synthesis in yeast, and DNA assembly automation Biomedical Sciences 4 months within 2018-19 to 2020-21

Professor Peter Dominic Clift

Dr. Henry V. Howe Distinguished Professor in Geology and Geophysics, Louisiana State University, USA

Stratigraphic development of continental margins, controls on erosion and sediment transport, history and influence of the Asian monsoon, origin of the continental crust and the recycling of continental material Earth Sciences 4 months within September 2019 to August 2021

Professor Kincho H. Law

Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Stanford University, USA

Computational mechanics, numerical methods, and analysis and simulation of large-scale systems using distributed workstations and high performance parallel computers Real Estate and Construction 4 months within 2018-19 to 2020-21
Award Year: 2017-18      

Professor Emilios Avgouleas

Professor in International Banking Law and Finance, School of Law, University of Edinburgh, UK

Financial stability, bank resolution finance and technology Global financial governance Law 4.5 months within December 2017 to November 2020

Professor Thomas J. Broadhurst
(Renewal of appointment)

'Ikerbasque' Permanent Research Professorship, University of the Basque Country, Spain
Observational Cosmology, Dark Matter, Gravitational Lensing, Galaxy Formation Physics 6 months within 2017-18 to 2019-20

Professor Dina G. Iordanova

Professor and Chair in Film; and

Director, Institute for Global Cinema and Creative Cultures, University of St. Andrews, UK
Film Studies Humanities 4 months within 2017-18 to 2019-20

Professor Euijune Kim

Professor, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development, Seoul National University, South Korea

Regional economics, infrastructure policy, and CGE modelling Urban Planning and Design 2 months within 2017-18 to 2019-20
Award Year: 2016-17      

Professor James Philip Di Santo

Research Director, Exception Class (DRE); Professor, Institut Pasteur, France
Immunology, Lymphocyte development, Human immunodeficiency, Immune defense against pathogens, Mouse models of human diseases Public Health 6 months within 2016-17 to 2018-19

Professor Angel Rubio

Scientific Member and Director, Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD), Germany

Theory and modelling of electronic and structural properties in the condensed matter, novel theoretical tools and computational codes to investigate the electronic response of solids and nanostructures to external electromagnetic fields Chemistry 6 months within 2016-17 to 2018-19
Award Year: 2015-16      

Professor Garnet K.L. Chan

Associated Faculty, Department of Physics, and A Barton Hepburn Professor of Theoretical Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, USA

Theoretical chemistry, condensed matter physics, and quantum information theory; Phenomena and numerical methods associated with quantum many-particle system Chemistry 6 months within 2015-16 to 2017-18

Professor Linzhao Cheng

Professor of Medicine and Oncology, and Edythe Harris Lucas and Clara Lucas Lynn Chair in Hematology, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, USA

Human blood development and diseases; Regenerative Medicine; Stem Cells Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine 4.5 months within 2015-16 to 2017-18

Professor Kevin Niall Dunbar

Professor, Department of Human Development and Quantitative Methodology, University of Maryland, USA

Scientific thinking heuristics, Analogy, Deduction, Causal thinking, Creativity, development of scientific thinking skills, Gender and science, Neuroimaging of complex thinking (fMRI, fNIRS, ERP), effects of science education on the brain Education (Strategic Research Theme on Science of Learning) 6 months within June 2015 to June 2018

Professor Chi-chung Hui

(Renewal of appointment)
Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, University of Toronto, Canada

Genetic control of animal development and tumorigenesis; Cellular and Molecular Structure and Function; and Genetic Models of Development and Disease Biochemistry 6 months within 2015-16 to 2018-19

Professor Robin Howard Lovell-Badge

Scientific Staff, MRC National Institute for Medical Research, UK

Biology of stem cells, genetics, human embryo and animal research Biomedical Sciences 6 months within 2015-16 to 2019-20

Professor Helen F. Siu

  • Professor of Anthropology, Department of Anthropology, Yale University, USA
  • Mok Hing Yiu Distinguished Visiting Professor, University of Hong Kong (2011-15)
Political and historical anthropology, urban and global culture change Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences 6 months within 2015-16 to 2016-17

Professor Anthony Eric Williams-Jones

Professor, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, McGill University, Canada

Understanding the genesis of hydrothermal mineral deposits through a combination of field-based, experimental and theoretical methods Earth Sciences 6 months within 2015-16 to 2017-18
Award Year: 2014-15      

Professor Thomas J. Broadhurst

'Ikerbasque' Permanent Research Professorship, University of the Basque Country, Spain

Observational Cosmology, Dark Matter, Gravitational Lensing, Galaxy Formation


Physics 6 months within May 2015 to April 2018

Professor Garth J.S. Cooper

Professor in Discovery and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences, University of Manchester, UK

Drug discovery and development Pharmacology and Pharmacy 6 months within 2014-15 to 2016-17

Professor Jeremy B.C. Jackson

Senior Adjunct Scientist, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, USA

Marine science, conservation of fisheries and coastal marine ecosystems, particularly coral reefs


Biological Sciences 3 months within 2014-15 to 2016-17

Professor Phil J. Jones

Chair of Architectural Science, Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University, UK

Low energy, low carbon, and sustainable design in the built environment


Architecture 6 months within 2014-15 to 2016-17

Professor Nancy Knowlton

Sant Chair in Marine Science, National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, USA

Conservation and quantification of biodiversity in the ocean, discoveries on speciation in the sea, coral reef ecology and reproduction, alternative stable states in marine ecosystems

Biological Sciences 3 months within 2014-15 to 2016-17

Professor Andrew Kusiak

Professor and Chairman, Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, University of Iowa, USA

Energy; Data mining and knowledge discovery; Computational intelligence; Medical informatics and technology; Design of products, components, processes, and systems; and Process modeling

Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering


3 months within January 2015 to June 2016


Award Year: 2013-14      

Professor Peter K. Austin

Märit Rausing Chair in Field Linguistics, Director of the Endangered Languages Academic Program, School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, UK

Endangered languages and theory and practice of language documentation; syntax and semantics; syntactic theory; language typology; lexicography and text analysis; Australian Aboriginal languages; Austronesian languages; comparative and historical linguistics, historical phonology, morphology and syntax; Japanese language and linguistics; Aboriginal history and biography

Humanities (Linguistics) 6 months within 2013-14 to 2015-16

Professor Allan Graham Bell

Professor of Language & Communication, Director, Institute of Culture, Discourse & Communication, Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand

Discourse analysis of biblical texts; social and linguistic aspects of the Internet; stylisation in mass communication; language and identity; sociolinguistic and communication theory; science communication; multilingualism in New Zealand

English 6 months within 2013-14 to 2016-17

Professor Gary G. Hamilton

Associate Director and Professor, The Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies; Professor, Department of Sociology, University of Washington, USA

Substantive interests:
Economic Sociology
Comparative and Historical Sociology
Political Sociology
Social Theory
Complex Organization

Area specialization:
Chinese societies, East and Southeast Asia
Sociology 6 months within 2013-14 to 2015-16

Professor Eric C.W. So

Professor and Chair in Leukaemia Biology, Department of Haematological Medicine, King's College London (KCL), UK

Biology of normal and malignant stem cells Biochemistry, Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Consortisum (SCRMC), Centre for Cancer Research, Medicine and Pathology 6 months within 2013-14 to 2016-17

Professor Jonathan M. Spector

Professor and Chair, Department of Learning Technologies, College of Information, University of North Texas

Intelligent support for instructional design, system dynamics based learning environments, assessing learning in complex domains, distance learning, and technology integration in education Education 3 months within 2013-14 to 2014-15

Professor William G. Tierney

  • University Professor, Rossier School of Education, University of Southern California, USA
  • President, American Educational Research Association
Higher education studies; higher education policy analysis, governance, and administration; organizational performance, equity, and faculty roles and rewards Education 3 months within 2013-14 to 2015-16

Professor Jun Wang

Professor and Executive Director, Beijing Genome Institute (BGI), Shenzhen, PRC

Studies of genomics and related bioinformatics analysis of common diseases and agricultural crops Medicine and Centre for Genetic Sciences 12 months within January 2014 to December 2016

Professor Michael Q. Zhang
(Renewal of appointment)

Cecil H. and Ida Green Distinguished Chair Professor in Systems Biology Science, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Director, Centre for Systems Biology, University of Texas, Dallas, USA

Computational biology and genomic research Centre for Genomic Sciences, Psychiatry, Biochemistry and Strategic Research Theme on Genomics 3 months within 2013-14 to 2015-16
Award Year: 2012-13      

Professor Arie Graafland

Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands

Formation of theory and method within the field of architecture and urban planning, and examination of how we understand reality


1.5 months within September 2012 to October 2013

Professor Eberhard K.U. Gross

Director of Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Halle, Germany

Time-dependent quantum phenomena, superconductivity, and non-collinear magnetism and local currents

Chemistry and Physics

6 months within September 2012 to December 2017

Professor Bor-Ming Jahn

Distinguished Chair Professor, Department of Geosciences, National Taiwan University, Taiwan

General: Geochronology, isotope and trace element geochemistry

Earth Sciences

6 months within  2012-13 to 2014-15

Professor Gary Edward Pickard

Professor in Neuroscience, School of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, USA

Circadian rhythms and use of pseudorabies virus as a transneurional tracer

Anatomy and the State Key Laboratory for Cognitive and Brain Sciences

6 months within 2012-13 to 2014-15

Professor Srikant Sarangi

Professor in Language and Communication, Director of the Health Communication Research Centre, Cardiff University

Language and identity in public life; institutional and professional discourse; quality of life and risk communication in genetic counseling, HIV/AIDS, telemedicine, general practice and palliative care; intercultural pragmatics; racism and ethnicity in multicultural societies

Centre for the Humanities and Medicine

6 months within 2012-13 to 2014-15

Professor Odd Arne Westad

Professor of International History and Co-Director of Centre for International Affairs Diplomacy and Strategy, London School of Economics

Contemporary international history, the history of the Cold War era, China's foreign affairs, Western interventions in Africa and Asia, and foreign policy strategy

Humanities (History)

6 months within January 2013 to December 2017

Professor Luping Yu

Professor of Chemistry, The University of Chicago, USA

The interfacial area between organic chemistry and materials science


6 months within 2012-13 to 2015-16
Award Year: 2011-12      

Professor Pheng Cheah

Professor, Department of Rhetoric, University of California at Berkeley, USA

Postcolonial literary studies, critical theory, cosmopolitanism,  China-West studies, law & literary studies English 6 months within 2011-12 to 2014-15

Professor Kenneth R. Chien

Professor, Department of Medicine, Huddinge, Karolinska Institutet

Cardiovascular stem cell biology, developmental cardiobiology Stem Cell & Regenerative Medicine Consortium 6 months within 2011-12 to 2013-14
Professor Roger Flanagan

Professor of Construction Management, School of Construction Management and Engineering, University of Reading, UK

International construction, whole life appraisal, risk management, cost management and new technologies for the construction sector

Real Estate & Construction 2.8 months within September 2011 to April 2015

Professor Tak-wah Mak

Director, Campbell Family Institute for Breast Cancer Research, Ontario Cancer Institute, Princess Margaret Hospital, Canada

Regulation of tumour metabolism, the role of anti-oxidant molecules in suppressing tumorigenesis, biology of the immune system, programmed cell death, the pathogenesis of cancer

Pathology 6 months within 2011-12 to 2016-17

Professor Christopher McQuaid

Professor, Department of Zoology and Entomology, Rhodes University, South Africa

Intertidal biology, southern oceans research

Swire Institute of Marine Science

6 months within 2011-12 to 2013-14


Professor Weitao Yang

Philip Handler Professor of Chemistry, Department of Chemistry, Duke University, USA

Quantum mechanical calculations of large systems, quantum mechanical simulations of biological systems and nanostructures


6 months within 2011-12 to 2015-16

Award Year: 2010-11      

Professor Didier Fassin

James D. Wolfensohn Professor, School of Social Science, Princeton University, New Jersey, USA

Medical anthropology, political and moral anthropology

Arts and Medicine


not less than 30 days within 2010-11 to 2012-13

Professor Sander L. Gilman

Professor of Psychiatry; Director of Program in Psychoanalysis; Health Sciences Humanities; Emory University, Atlanta, USA

Visual stereotypes of the mentally ill, the racial and ethnic implications of aesthetic plastic surgery, German Nazi culture, and the history of diets and dieting

Modern Languages & Cultures (European Studies)

6 months within 2010-11 to 2012-13

Professor Chi-chung Hui

  • Head and Senior Scientist, Program in Developmental & Stem Cell Biology, The Hospital for Sick Children
  • Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto, Canada
Mouse developmental genetics, Hedgehog signal transduction, skin development and cancer, neural patterning, stem cell development


6 months within 2010-11 to 2013-14

Professor Hoi-kwong Lo

Professor, Department of Physics and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Toronto, Canada

Quantum information processing, quantum cryptography


6 months within December 2010 to December 2015

Professor George J. Weng

Distinguished Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Rutgers University, New Jersey, USA

Micromechanics, micro-macro transition, theory of inclusions

Mechanical Engineering

6 months within 2010-11 to 2012-13
Award Year: 2009-10       

Professor Hak-kim Chan

Professor, Faculty of Pharmacy, University of Sydney, Australia

Pulmonary drug delivery Pharmacology and Pharmacy 6 months within September 2009 to February 2014

Professor Herman S. Cheung

James L. Knight Professor of Biomedical Engineering, University of Miami, USA

 Tissue engineering Dentistry  6 months within 2009-10 to 2011-12

Professor Jacques Cremer

Senior Researcher, Toulouse School of Economics, France

The economics of organisation, the economics of the Internet and of the software industry, contract theory and the political economy of federal systems

Business and Economics 6 months within 2009-10 to 2011-12

Professor Deborah Davis

Professor, Department of Sociology, Yale University, USA

Historical and comparative sociology, inequality and stratification, contemporary Chinese society, methods of fieldwork The Hong Kong Institute for the Humanities and Social Sciences (co-hosted by the Faculty of Social Sciences)  3 months within 2009-10

Dr. Richard A. Engelhardt

UNESCO Regional Advisor for Culture in Asia and the Pacific (Retired), UNESCO, UN, Bangkok, Thailand

Archaeology and heritage conservation Architecture  6 months within September 2009 to July 2014

Professor Hong Guo

James McGill Chair Professor, Department of Physics, McGill University, Montreal, Canada

Electronic transport theory in mesoscopic and nanoscopic systems and materials physics of nanotechnology Physics, Strategic Research Theme on Computational Sciences  6 months within 2009-10 to 2011-12

Professor Chen Jian

Michael J. Zak Professor of History for US-China Relations, Department of History, and China and Asian-Pacific Studies Program, Cornell University, USA

Modern Chinese history, Chinese foreign policy and security studies, and Sino-American relations

History 6 months within 2009-10 to 2012-13

Professor John R. Logan

Professor, Department of Sociology, Brown University, USA

Urban sociology, race and ethnicity, migration and immigration, family,
political sociology
Geography, Strategic Research Theme on Contemporary China 6 months within September 2010 to December 2013

Professor Rolf Weber

Chair Professor of Private, Business and European Law, University of Zurich, Switzerland

Civil, commercial and European law with special topics in Internet and Internet governance, media and competition law, international finance and trade regulation  Law 6 months within 2009-10 to 2014-15

Professor Michael Q. Zhang

Cecil H. and Ida Green Distinguished Chair Professor in Systems Biology Science, Department of Molecular and Cell Biology, Director, Centre for Systems Biology, University of Texas, Dallas, USA

Gene structure and regulation, gene control of development, cellular responses to environmental signals and cell differentiation Strategic Research Theme on Genomics, Biochemistry, Computer Science, Physics  6 months within 2009-10 to 2012-13