Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, The University of Hong Kong

Dr. Aviva S.F. CHOW 周聖峰


Assistant Professor

  • BEng, PhD

Dr. Aviva Chow obtained his Bachelor degree of Chemical and Bioproduct Engineering from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). He pursued his PhD in Pharmacy (Pharmaceutical Sciences) at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). Prior to joining the University of Hong Kong (HKU) as an Assistant Professor, he worked as a technical lead and research scientist at Jacobson Pharma Corporation Limited. He is also one of the principal investigators in Advanced Biomedical Instrumentation Centre (ABIC) at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park.

Memberships & Editorships
  • Member of American Association of Pharmaceutical Scientists (AAPS)
  • Member of Controlled Release Society (CRS)

  • Editorial Board Member, Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 2018-now
Honours and Awards
  • Committee member, Pharmacy and Poisons (Manufacturers Licensing) Committee, Department of Health, HKSAR
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Enginnering, HKUST (2018-2020)
  • Adjunct Assistant Professor, School of Pharmacy, CUHK (2015-2019)
  • Outstanding Reviewer, International Journal of Pharmaceutics, Elsevier (2018)
  • Outstanding Reviewer, Chemical Enginnering Journal, Elsevier (2017)
  • Eli Lilly & Company Travelship Award for AAPS Annual Meeting (2011)
  • Pharmaceutical Society of Japan (PSJ) Travelship Award for AAPS Annual Meeting (2010)
  • Visiting Research Scholar, Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota (2009)

Research Interests
  • Crystal/Cocrystal engineering of pharmaceutical solids
    • Design and preparation of new crystalline forms with therapeutic interests
    • Mechanistic understanding of cocrystal solution-state stability and its relevant pharmaceutical applications
    • Development of novel dry cocrystal powder formulations for nasal/pulmonary drug delivery
Drug release mechanism

Fig. 1: Drug release mechanism of INH-CUR cocrystals at different pHs.

Inhalable itraconazole cocrystals

Fig. 2: Inhalable itraconazole cocrystals developed by spray drying technique

  • Nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems for superior therapeutic outcomes
    • Understanding of particle size and surface effects on absorption, distribution, metabolism, and excretion (ADME) of drug nanoparticles
    • Design and engineer inhalable nanoparticles for superior drug delivery to lung and brain
    • Development of novel nanotheranostics for Alzheimer’s diseases
Converting drug nanosuspension

Fig. 3: Converting drug nanosuspension into inhalable and redispersible nanoparticle agglomerates by in-situ thermal gelation and spray drying

Development of polymeric nanoparticles

Fig. 4: Development of polymeric nanoparticles for enhanced drug delivery to the brain

Selected Recent Publications (2018-now)

A) Crystal/Cocrystal Engineering

  • R. Chen, J. Weng, S.F. Chow, R. Lakerveld. “Integrated Continuous Crystallization and Spray Drying of Insulin for Pulmonary Drug Delivery” Crystal Growth and Design (2021), 21, 501-511.
  • S.N. Wong, S.W.S. Chan, X. Peng, B. Xuan, H.W. Lee, H.H.Y. Tong, S.F. Chow*. “Effects of the glass-forming ability and annealing conditions on cocrystallization behaviors via rapid solvent removal: A case study of voriconazole” Pharmaceutics (2020), 12 (12), 1209.
  • B. Xuan, S.N. Wong, Y. Zhang, J. Weng, H.H.Y. Tong, C. Wang, C.C. Sun, S.F. Chow*. “Extended release of highly water soluble isoniazid attained through cocrystallization with curcumin” Crystal Growth & Design (2020), 20 (3), 1951-1960.
  • J. Weng, S.N. Wong, X. Xu, B. Xuan, C. Wang, R. Chen, C.C. Sun, R. Lakerveld, S.F. Chow*.” Cocrystal engineering of itraconazole with suberic acid via rotary evaporation and spray drying” Crystal Growth & Design (2019), 19 (5), 2736-2745.
  • S.N. Wong, S. Hu, X. Xu, K.L Lai, W.Y.T. Lee, A.H.L. Chow, C.C. Sun, S.F. Chow*. “Cocrystallization of curcumin with benzenediols and benzenetriols via rapid solvent removal” Crystal Growth and Design (2018), 18(9), 5534-5546.

B) Nanoparticle-based Drug Delivery Systems

  • X. Zhang, L.Y. Chau, H.W. Chan, J. Weng, K.W. Wong, S.F. Chow*, A.H.L. Chow*. "Physical stability and in vivo brain delivery of polymeric ibuprofen nanoparticles fabricated by flash nanoprecipitation", International Journal of Pharmaceutics (2021),120224.
  • Q. Li, J. Weng, S.N. Wong, W.Y.T. Lee*, S.F. Chow*. “Nanoparticulate drug delivery to the retina”, Molecular Pharmaceutics (2021), 18, 506-521.
  • K.Y. Wan, J. Weng, S.N. Wong, P.C.L. Kwok, S.F. Chow*, A.H.L. Chow*. “Converting nanosuspension into inhalable and redispersible nanoparticles by combined in-situ thermal gelation and spray drying”, European Journal of Pharmaceutics and Biopharmaceutics (2020), 149, 238-247.
  • J. Weng, H.H.Y. Tong, S.F. Chow*, “In vitro release study of the polymeric drug nanoparticles: Development and validation of a novel method”, Pharmaceutics (2020), 12, 732.
  • J. Tao, S.F. Chow, Y. Zheng. “Application of flash nanoprecipitation to fabricate poorly water-soluble drug nanoparticles”, Acta Pharmaceutica Sinica B (2019), 9, 4-18.

For more details please visit my Scopus and Google Scholar pages:


Google Scholar:

Other Information
Seeking PhD candidates

We are looking for high-calibers graduate students interested in the research areas of crystal/cocrystal engineering and nanoparticle-based drug delivery systems. Full-time postgraduate students are eligible to receive a Postgraduate Scholarship (HKD 18,030 per month) during the normative study period. Outstanding Ph.D. applicants are strongly encouraged to apply for the Hong Kong PhD Fellowship scheme (HKPFS) ( and/or HKU Presidential Scholar Programme (HKU-PS), which provides a monthly stipend of HKD 26,600 plus a conference allowance of HKD 13,300 per year.

Our current research themes include:

  • Crystal and cocrystal engineering of pharmaceutical solids
  • Development of novel nanotheranostics for Alzheimer’s disease
  • Engineering of inhalable drug nanoparticles for respiratory diseases

For further information, please email Dr. Aviva Chow with your up-to-date CV (

Research Collaborators
  • Prof. Calvin Changquan Sun, Department of Pharmaceutics, College of Pharmacy, University of Minnesota, U.S.
  • Prof. Ian Scowen and Prof. Nicholas Blagden, University of Lincoln, U.K.
  • Dr. Philip Kwok, University of Sydney, Australia
  • Prof. KL Yeung and Dr. Richard Lakerveld, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, Hong Kong SAR, China
  • Prof. Calvin Tsang, Clinical Neuroscience Institute, the First Affiliated Hospital of Jinan University, Guangzhou, China
  • Prof. Henry HY Tong, School of Health Sciences, Macao Polytechnic Institute, Macau SAR, China
Regular Student Consultation Hours
Every Tuesday at 10:00am - 11:00am

2/F, 21 Sassoon Road, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, Laboratory Block, Faculty of Medicine Building, Hong Kong SAR, China