2015 Senior Medical Research Fellow: Patrick Woo

15 May 2015

Professor Patrick C.Y. Woo is a recognised international authority in the field of emerging infectious diseases, novel microbe discovery and microbial genomics. 

Woo is working at the forefront of a complex and fast-developing field, using the latest genomics tools. He led the discovery of the largest number of coronaviruses in the world as well as the sequencing of the first bacterial and fungal genomes in Hong Kong.

During the past 15 years, Woo has led the discovery of over 100 new viruses, bacteria and fungi, most of which were named after Hong Kong or HKU. Well-known examples include Laribacter hongkongensis, human coronavirus HKU1, and the recently discovered dromedary camel coronavirus UAE-HKU23 from the Middle East. These have laid a strong foundation for microbial genomics research in Hong Kong. His focus on mainland China, where new infectious diseases such as SARS have emerged, promises important new discoveries in this area. Therefore, Woo has been awarded a Senior Medical Research Fellowship to enable him to strengthen and widen his network of field collaborators, with important implications both locally in Hong Kong, and internationally.

Woo received his medical training at The University of Hong Kong, after which he joined the Department of Microbiology at HKU in 1997. Soon after, he became Professor of Microbiology in 2006 and Head of Department in 2011. Woo is a fellow of both the Royal College of Pathologists and the Royal College of Physicians. As of mid-May 2015, Woo has 361 publications with a total of 9,779 citations and the number of citations is still increasing each year. Currently, he is the Head and Clinical Professor at the Department of Microbiology, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, HKU.

The Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowships are the medical equivalent of the Senior Research Fellowships. Croucher Senior Research Fellowships are prestigious awards supporting mid-career scientists in Hong Kong universities who wish to spend more time on research, and less time on their heavy teaching and administrative commitments. In selecting the awardees for the Senior Research Fellowships the Croucher Foundation Trustees were assisted by a group of eminent scientists from nine countries: Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, UK and the USA. All candidates in this exercise went through a stringent process of assessment and selection, and are Hong Kong scientists internationally recognized to be at the forefront of their respective fields.

To view Patrick Woo's personal Croucher profile, please click here

For details of Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowships, please click here.