CHAN, Wan Yi Renee

Name : CHAN, Wan Yi Renee  陳韻怡
Title :

Assistant Professor

Home Department :  Paediatrics
Email :
Phone Number:
(852) 3513 3175
Fax Number: 
(852) 2636 0020
Lab D, 8/F Tower A,Hong Kong Children’s Hospital,
1 Shing Cheong Road, Kowloon Bay, Kowloon, Hong Kong



Renee Chan is currently Assistant Professor at the Department of Paediatrics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong. She is also the Co-Director of the CUHK-UMCU Joint Research Laboratory of Respiratory Virus & Immunobiology, Department of Paediatrics, CUHK and the Deputy Director (Laboratory) of the CUHK – Hong Kong Hub of Paediatric Excellence (HK-HOPE). Prof Chan was awarded Doctor of Philosophy by The University of Hong Kong.

Prof Chan’s research on ex vivo organ cultures of human respiratory tract has been world-leading and led to major publications in high impact journals. She is among one of the few research groups worldwide who can routinely utilize ex vivo cultures of human respiratory tissues for phenotypic characterization and risk assessments. This is now included in the WHO “Tool for Influenza Pandemic Risk Assessment”.

Prof Chan has conducted research work in multiple pandemics, SARS-CoV, pandemic H1N1/09, sporadic outbreaks of avian influenza/H5N1, H7N9, MERS-CoV and currently SARS-CoV-2. Her team derives age-group and disease-entity specific differentiated epithelial cell and organoid cultures, in collaboration with otorhinolaryngologists and cardiothoracic surgeons of CU Medicine and scientists in the University Medical Centre of Utrecht in the Netherlands.

To date, Prof Chan has published over 70 peer-reviewed research articles and has received 10 full-grants as Principal-investigator from 2010 to 2020 (HK$ 8.97M) and more than 12 full-grants as Co-I, 2010 to 2021 (HK$ 22M). Prof Chan has received a number of awards for her research, including the Young Scientist Award (2010) of the Hong Kong Institution of Science.


Specialised Research Area(s):

  • Development of non-invasive respiratory mucosal sample collection tools for the analyses of virus, antibody, microbiota and immune mediators
  • Development and application of human primary respiratory epithelial cell models, including the air-liquid interface and the organoid cultures, to perform risk assessment for emerging infectious airway pathogens and research on the disease pathogenesis
  • Understanding of the biology of:
    • viral interference observed in the epidemiological study
    • rhinovirus infection in the paediatric population
    • mucosal verse circulating immunoglobulins diversity

Selected Publications:

1. Yi-Ping Ho, Fuyang Qu, Shirui Zhao, Guangyao Cheng, Md Habibur Rahman, Qinru Xiao, Chan RWY (2021) Double emulsion-pretreated microwell culture for in vitro production of multicellular spheroids and in situ analysis. Microsystems & Nanoengineering. Ref #MICRONANO-01357R1, accepted on 11 March 2021.

2. Shi Zhao, Jingzhi Lou, Lirong Cao, Hong Zheng, Marc KC Chong, Zigui Chen, Chan RWY, Benny CY Zee, Paul KS Chan, Maggie H Wang (2021) Quantifying the transmission advantage associated with N501Y substitution of SARS-CoV-2 in the UK: an early data-driven analysis. Journal of Travel Medicine 28 (2), taab011.

3. Chan RWY, KCC Chan, KYY Chan, GCY Lui, JGS Tsun, RYK Wong, MWL Yu, MHT Wang, PKS Chan, HS Lam, AM Li (2020) SARS-CoV-2 detection by nasal strips: a superior tool for surveillance of pediatric population. Journal of Infection 2020 Nov 12; S0163-4453(20)30704-0.

4. Louisa LY Chan, John M Nicholls, JS Malik Peiris, Yu Lung Lau, Michael CW Chan, Chan RWY (2020) Host DNA released by NETosis in neutrophils exposed to seasonal H1N1 and highly pathogenic H5N1 influenza viruses. Respiratory Research 21 (1):160.

5. 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 7(5):ofaa146.

6. FW Ko, PK Chan, Chan RWY, PKS Chan, 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.

7. 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.

8. Bui CHT*, Chan RWY*, Ng MMT, Cheung MC, Ng KC, Chan MPK, Chan LLY, Fong JHM, Nicholls JM, Peiris JSM, Chan MCW (2019) Tropism of influenza B viruses in human respiratory tract explants and airway organoids. European Respiratory Journal. 54(2). pii:1900008. *equal contribution

9. 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. 

10. 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 replicationof MERS coronavirus from dromedary-camels in the human respiratory tract: an in-vitro and ex-vivo study. Lancet Respiratory Medicine 2(10):813. *equal-contribution

11. Chan MC*, Chan RWY*, Chan LL, Mok CK, Hui KP, Fong JH, Tao KP, Poon LL, Nicholls JM, Guan Y, Peiris JS. (2013) Tropism and innate host responses of a novel avian influenza A H7N9 virus: an analysis of ex-vivo and in-vitro cultures of the human respiratory tract. Lancet Respiratory Medicine, 1(7):534-42. *equal contribution

12. JM Nicholls, MCW Chan, Chan RWY, HK Wong, CY Cheung, DLW Kwong, MP Wong, H Chen, Y Guan, JSM Peiris (2007) Tropism of avian influenza A (H5N1) in the upper and lower respiratory tract. Nature Medicine, 13(2): 147 – 149.