Yuen Kwok-yung

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Yuen Kwok-yung, GBS, JP
Born (1956-12-30) 30 December 1956 (age 63)
Hong Kong
Alma materUniversity of Hong Kong
Known forResearch on SARS
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Hong Kong

Yuen Kwok-yung (Chinese: 袁國勇), GBS, JP is a Hong Kong microbiologist, physician and surgeon. He is a Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (Lond, Edin, Irel, HK), Surgeons (Glas, HK) and Pathologists (UK, HK). After years of clinical and laboratory training, he established the infectious disease service and rapid molecular diagnosis for cytomegalovirus and tuberculosis at the Queen Mary Hospital, the teaching hospital of the University of Hong Kong. His major research interest is on microbial hunting and novel microbes in emerging infectious diseases.


Yuen graduated from the Faculty of Medicine at the University of Hong Kong in 1981 with distinction in Medicine. Initially trained as a surgeon, he switched successfully to a physician and, subsequently, a clinical microbiologist. In the outbreak of avian influenza virus H5N1 in 1997 in Hong Kong, Yuen was the first to report in Lancet about the unusual clinical severity and high mortality of infected patients, which could be identified by the in-house molecular test at his laboratory.[1] During the global outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) in 2003, he led his team in the discovery of the SARS coronavirus, being honoured as "Asian heroes of the year" in April by Time Asia Magazine.[2][3][4] Subsequently, he found the natural reservoir of SARS coronavirus like virus in Chinese horseshoe bat and renewed the interest of bats as the source of novel microbes causing emerging infectious diseases.[5] His research laboratory has also identified over 40 new viruses, 9 bacteria, 2 fungi and 2 parasites of which some are suspected or confirmed pathogens: coronavirus HKU1,[6] bat coronavirus HKU2 and others,[7][8][9] bovine and porcine hokovirus (now called Tetraparvovirus)[10] and Laribacter hongkongensis in fish and human.[11][12]

Yuen is currently the Chair of Infectious Disease at the Department of Microbiology of the University of Hong Kong. He co-directs the State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Disease of China in Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of PRC. He was the founding co-director of the Hong Kong University-Pasteur Research Centre. His over 700 publications (with over 15,000 citations) in peer reviewed journals including Lancet, New England Journal of Medicine, Science, Journal of Virology and PNAS, mainly pertain to novel microbe discovery and agents of emerging infectious diseases.

2019-20 coronavirus[edit]

Yuen is involved in the research against the SARS-CoV-2.[13] Yuen have been active to communicate with the press on this matter.[citation needed]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Yuen KY, Chan PKS, Peiris M, Tsang DNC, Que TL, Shortridge KF, Cheung PT, To WK, Ho ETF, Sung R, Cheng AFB, and members of the H5N1 study group: Clinical features and rapid viral diagnosis of human disease associated with avian influenza A H5N1 virus. Lancet 1998; 351(9101):467–471. (IF=23.878, Cited=259) doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(98)01182-9
  2. ^ Peiris JS, Lai ST, Poon LLM, Guan Y, Yam LYC, Lim W, Nicholls J, Yee WKS, Yan WW, Cheung MT, Cheng, VCC, Chan KH, Tsang, DNC, Yung RWH, Ng TK and Yuen KY: Coronavirus as a possible cause of severe acute respiratory syndrome. Lancet. 19 April 2003; 361(9366):1319–1325. (IF=23.878, Cited=764). doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(03)13077-2
  3. ^ SCMP.com – the online edition of South China Morning ...> Yuen Kwok-yung, chair professor of microbiology at the University of Hong Kong, said he ... by the outbreak, was honoured as Asian heroes of the year in April by Time Asia magazine. A
  4. ^ Cheng VC, Lau SK, Woo PC, Yuen KY: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus as an agent of emerging and re-emerging infection. Clin Microbiol Rev. 2007 Oct;20(4):660-94. Review. doi:10.1128/CMR.00023-07
  5. ^ Lau SK, Woo PC, Li KS, Huang Y, Tsoi HW, Wong BH, Wong SS, Leung SY, Chan KH, Yuen KY: Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-like virus in Chinese horseshoe bats. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Sep 16; 102(39):14040-14045 (IF=10.231, Cited=62). [doi:10.1073/pnas.0506735102]
  6. ^ Woo PCY, Lau SKP, Chu CM, Chan KH, Tsoi HW, Huang Y, Wong BHL, Poon WS, Cai JJ, Luk WK, Poon LLM, Wong SSY, Guan Y, Malik JSM, Yuen KY: Characterization and complete genome sequence of a novel coronavirus, coronavirus HKU1, from patients with pneumonia. Journal of Virology, 2005 Jan; 2(9):884–895. (IF=5.178, Cited=84). doi:10.1128/JVI.79.2.884-895.2005
  7. ^ Woo PC, Lau SK, Lam CS, Lai KK, Huang Y, Lee P, Luk GS, Dyrting KC, Chan KH, Yuen KY: Comparative analysis of complete genome sequences of three avian coronaviruses reveals a novel group 3c coronavirus. J Virol. 2009 Jan;83(2):908-17. doi:10.1128/JVI.01977-08
  8. ^ Lau SK, Woo PC, Li KS, Huang Y, Wang M, Lam CS, Xu H, Guo R, Chan KH, Zheng BJ, Yuen KY: Complete genome sequence of bat coronavirus HKU2 from Chinese horseshoe bats revealed a much smaller spike gene with a different evolutionary lineage from the rest of the genome. Virology. 2007 Oct 25;367(2):428-39. doi:10.1016/j.virol.2007.06.009
  9. ^ Woo PC, Wang M, Lau SK, Xu H, Poon RW, Guo R, Wong BH, Gao K, Tsoi HW, Huang Y, Li KS, Lam CS, Chan KH, Zheng BJ, Yuen KY: Comparative analysis of twelve genomes of three novel group 2c and group 2d coronaviruses reveals unique group and subgroup features. J Virol. 2007 Feb;81(4):1574–85. doi:10.1128/JVI.02182-06
  10. ^ Lau SK, Woo PC, Tse H, Fu CT, Au WK, Chen XC, Tsoi HW, Tsang TH, Chan JS, Tsang DN, Li KS, Tse CW, Ng TK, Tsang OT, Zheng BJ, Tam S, Chan KH, Zhou B, Yuen KY: Identification of novel porcine and bovine parvoviruses closely related to human parvovirus 4. J Gen Virol. 2008 Aug;89(Pt 8):1840-8. doi:10.1099/vir.0.2008/000380-0
  11. ^ Yuen KY, Woo PCY, Teng JLL, Leung KW, Wong MKM, Lau SKP: Laribacter hongkongensis gen. Nov., sp. nov., a Novel gram-negative bacterium isolated from a cirrhotic patient with bacteremia and empyema. Journal of Clinical Microbiology 2001, 39:4227–4232 (IF=3.537, Cited=39). doi:10.1128/JCM.39.12.4227-4232.2001
  12. ^ Woo PC, Lau SK, Teng JL, Que TL, Yung RW, Luk WK, Lai RW, Hui WT, Wong SS, Yau HH, Yuen KY; L Hongkongensis study group: Association of Laribacter hongkongensis in community-acquired gastroenteritis with travel and eating fish: a multicentre case-control study. Lancet. 2004 Jun 12; 363(9425):1941-7. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(04)16407-6
  13. ^ https://www.scmp.com/news/hong-kong/health-environment/article/3048034/china-coronavirus-hong-kong-professor-yuen-kwok

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