Department of Health Technology and Informatics

Doctor of Philosophy

Sept 2019 Entry

Research Areas

Applications of Radiation Science in Cancer

Cancer is a leading cause of death in Hong Kong and worldwide. Accurate diagnosis and effective treatment are crucial for cancer patients. Medical imaging is essential for cancer diagnosis and treatment, and radiotherapy is the mainstay of treatment for cancer patients.


The aim of this thematic research area is to apply advanced medical imaging and radiotherapy techniques to understand more about the disease process of cancer with the emphasis on disease diagnosis, radiotherapy, monitoring treatment response and complications to improve treatment outcomes and quality of life for patients.


This thematic research area also aims to investigate the effects of radiation in human cells that lead to cancer development, and the methods for effective protection from radiation.

There are three sub-thematic areas within the thematic area of applications of radiation science in cancer:



Cancer Genomics and Bioinformatics

With teamwork and a wide range of expertise, this research team carries out translational and clinical research on cancer.


The aim is to dissect the molecular targets in cancer and their interactions for diagnostics, prognostics and possibly therapeutics via multi-disciplinary approaches at the levels of the genome, the proteome, the cell, the tissue and the whole organism.


With recent worldwide advances in scientific knowledge, methods and technologies, our research has expanded to include the genes and molecular mechanisms involved in the DNA damage response in health and disease; signalling pathways in major cellular processes; structure and function of non-coding RNA; computational biology; gene mapping and identification; epigenetics biology, molecular basis and signalling pathways in cancer; and diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

There are three sub-thematic areas within the thematic area of cancer genomics and bioinformatics:



Complex Diseases and Microbial Infections

Most common traits and diseases are complex or multifactorial in nature, involving both genetic and environmental factors and their interactions. Identification of the genetic factors involved is important, but very challenging, for understanding the disease mechanisms. The risk of developing complex diseases can be modified because environmental factors such as lifestyles can be altered. Epigenetics links genetics and the environment by studying alterations of gene expression via DNA methylation, chromatin remodelling and microRNAs. Of all complex diseases, infectious diseases are of particular interest because many different microbes can be involved, eliciting different host-microbe interactions, complex immune responses and pathogenesis and antibiotic resistance. This thematic research area aims to study the roles of hosts (e.g., genetics) and the environment (lifestyles and microbes) on complex diseases and microbial infections, and involves concerted efforts from investigators with different areas of expertise.

There are two sub-thematic areas within the thematic area of complex diseases and microbial infections:



Healthy Ageing: Dietary, Environmental and Lifestyle Influences

There is a clear and increasing need for effective, affordable health promotion and treatment strategies for our ageing population. The influences of diet, environment and lifestyle on health and the risk of diabetes, heart disease, muscle wasting, cancer, dementia, renal failure, osteoporosis and other age-related disease are very strong. The aim of this thematic research area is to investigate these influences at the DNA, redox, biochemical, cell and organ levels; to devise new methods of assessing these influences; and to develop and investigate disease preventive strategies and treatments, focusing on diet, phytochemicals, traditional herbs, exercise and other lifestyle choices.

Please click here to find out more about the research interests of our Department of Health Technology and Informatics and contact our staff directly to discuss research opportunities.

Imaging Research in Metabolic and Vascular Diseases

Metabolic and vascular diseases are complex, systemic disorders. Clinically, there is a need for innovative methods and strategies for disease prevention, early diagnosis and treatment monitoring. By combining expertise from different scientific fields, this thematic research area aims to apply advanced clinical and pre-clinical imaging techniques together with genetic and cellular analyses to investigate the pathophysiology of common metabolic and vascular diseases. Ultimately, both the patients and the community will benefit from effective methods and strategies for the prevention, early diagnosis and treatment monitoring of these diseases.

There are three sub-thematic areas within the thematic area of imaging research in metabolic and vascular diseases:



Research Facilities

The Department of Health Technology and Informatics is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to facilitate different areas of research in the Department.


Other Information

Preference will be given to the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme candidates.  The application deadline for the 2019-20 Hong Kong PhD Fellowship Scheme will be on 1 December 2018. 

Supporting Documents

Academic Referee's Report

Compulsory - Two Academic Referee's Reports are required

Curriculum Vitae


Research Proposal

Compulsory - Please indicate your proposed Chief Supervisor in your research proposal.

Transcript / Certificate

Compulsory - Official certificates/transcripts of your undergraduate and postgraduate studies indicating the credit unit of each subject you have completed.  The explanatory notes on the grading system and classifications of your awards are required.


Optional - (1) Official certificates/transcripts of your undergraduate and postgraduate studies indicating your award classification and ranking in the graduation class
(2) Official documents proving that your master’s degree has a significant research component such as thesis or dissertation