Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, The University of Hong Kong

Professor Aviva S.F. CHOW 周聖峰


Assistant Professor

  • BEng, PhD

Professor 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 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 the Project Leader and one of the principal investigators in Advanced Biomedical Instrumentation Centre (ABIC) at the Hong Kong Science and Technology Park under the Health@InnoHK. His research interests include Crystal/Cocrystal Engineering and Nanoparticle-based Drug Delivery.

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
  • Review Editor, Respiratory Drug Delivery, Frontiers in Drug Delivery, 2021-now
  • Review Editor, Solid State Chemistry, Frontiers in Chemistry, 2022-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 of drugs with enhancement in solid-state properties and therapeutic performance
    • Mechanistic understanding of cocrystal solution-state stability and its relevant pharmaceutical applications
    • Development of novel cocrystal-based powder formulations for optimal pulmonary and nasal 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 engineering of inhalable nanoparticles for optimal drug delivery to lungs and brain (via nose-to-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

Figure 4_Shing Fung Chow2022

Fig. 4: Fabrication of different-sized of polymeric drug nanoparticles for optimal drug delivery to organs

Selected Recent Publications (2018-now)

A) Crystal/Cocrystal Engineering

  • S.N. Wong, J. Weng, I. Ip, R. Chen, R. Lakerveld, R. Telford, N. Blagden, I.J. Scowen, S.F. Chow*. “Rational development of a carrier-free dry powder inhalation formulation for respiratory viral infections via quality by design: a drug-drug cocrystal of favipiravir and theophylline”, Pharmaceutics (2022), 14 (2), 300.
  • B. Xuan, Y.C.S. Chen, K.C. Wong, R. Chen, P.S. Lo, R. Lakerveld, H.H.Y. Tong, S.F. Chow*. “Impact of cocrystal solution-state stability on cocrystal dissociation and polymorphic drug recrystallization during dissolution”, International Journal of Pharmaceutics (2021), 610, 121239.
  • 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.

B) Nanoparticle-based Drug Delivery Systems

  • J. Weng, Z. Shao, H.W. Chan, S.P.Y. Li, J.K.W. Lam, C.K. Tsang, S.F. Chow*. “Mediating bio-fate of polymeric cholecalciferol nanoparticles through rational size control”, Biomaterials Advances (2022), 140, 213074.
  • 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.

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


Google Scholar:

  • “Mild magnetic hyperthermia induced by smart amyloid-β peptide targeted nanoparticles: a pilot study for simultaneous diagnosis and therapy of Alzheimer's disease”, Health Medical Research Fund (09201366), Health Bureau, Principal Investigator, HKD1,405,184 (2022-2025)
  • “Feasibility of next-generation inhalable nanoagglomerated microparticles to improve the therapeutic outcomes of non-small cell lung cancer: A pilot study”, Health Medical Research Fund (08191956), Health Bureau, Principal Investigator, HKD 309,000 (2021-2023)
  • “Encapsulating nano-amorphous drugs inside nano-porous media for pulmonary delivery”, Health@InnoHK: Advanced Biomedical Instrumentation Centre Limited, Innovation and Technology Commission, Project Leader and Co-Principal Investigator, HKD 6,200,000 (2021-2025)
  • “腦靶向納米生物醫學技術遞送TERT抑製劑對腦缺血損傷的預防性神經保護”, 協同創新與平台環境建設國際科技合作領域, 廣東省科學技術廳(2020A0505100045), Co-Principal Investigator, RMB 500,000 (allocated RMB 199,000, HKU-SIRI) (2020-2022, completed)
  • “A feasibility study for developing a spray-dried power formulation containing YQ23”, Sponsored Research by a private pharmaceutical company, Principal Investigator, HKD105,800 (2017-2018, completed)
  • “Releasing profile of methylphenidate formulations”, Sponsored Research by a private pharmaceutical company, Principal Investigator, HKD184,784 (2020-2021, completed)
  • “Integrated continuous manufacturing of an active pharmaceutical ingredient for asthma treatment”, Innovation and Technology Support Programme (ITS/137/16), Innovation and Technology Commission, Deputy Project Coordinator, HKD1,190,000 (allocated HKD414,449) (2017-2019, completed)

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 27,100 plus a conference allowance of HKD 13,600 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 and brain diseases

For further information, please email Professor 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.
  • Dr. Jenny Lam, School of Pharmacy, University College London, U.K.
  • 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

Aviva and his team