Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy, The University of Hong Kong

Professor Wei JIA 賈偉


Chair Professor

  • BSc, MSc, PhD

Dr. Wei Jia completed his M.S. and Ph.D. in radiopharmaceutical science at the University of Missouri-Columbia. At the age of 36, he achieved the rank of full professor and went on to establish and manage successful interdisciplinary research programs in both academic and industrial settings. With over 30 years of experience in the medical field, Dr. Jia has held various administrative positions, including Executive Vice Dean of the School of Pharmaceutical Sciences at Tianjin University (2001-2002); Associate Dean of the School of Pharmacy at Shanghai Jiao Tong University (2003-2008); and founding Director of the Center for Translational Biomedical Research at University of North Carolina at Greensboro (2008-2013). In addition, he has served as Director of the Center for Translational Medicine, Shanghai Jiao Tong University affiliated 6th People’s Hospital since 2010, Associate Director of the University of Hawaii Cancer Center from 2013 to 2019, and more recently, Acting Dean of School of Chinese Medicine at Hong Kong Baptist University.

Dr. Wei Jia is a distinguished member of the Academia Europaea, having been elected to the Physiology & Neuroscience Section in 2023. His outstanding contributions to the field of scientific research have earned him consistent recognition on the "Highly Cited Chinese Researchers" list by Elsevier and the "World's top 2% scientists" list by Stanford University. Notably, his groundbreaking research on the interaction between melamine in infant formula and childhood gut bacteria, leading to kidney toxicity, was selected as one of the top ten scientific breakthroughs by Science magazine in 2013.

Memberships & Editorships
  • Member of Academia Europaea (Physiology & Neuroscience Section), 2023
  • Founding Member and Vice Chairman of the Chinese Society of Metabolomics, since 2019
  • Founding Member and Standing Director of the Analytical Pharmacology Professional Committee of the Chinese Pharmacological Society since 2019
  • Founding Member of the Metabolomics Association of North America since 2012



Editorial Board member of

  • Cell Death & Differentiation, since 2023
  • iMeta, since 2023
  • Cancers, since 2022
  • Cell Death & Disease, since 2020
  • Molecular Phenomics, since 2017
  • Frontiers of Medicine, since 2010
  • Chinese Herbal Medicine (International), since 2010
  • Journal of Ethnopharmacology, since 2005
Honours and Awards
  • 2023 President’s Award for Outstanding Performance in Scholarly Work in 2023, Hong Kong Baptist University
  • 2016 Natural Science Award, Shanghai Municipal Government, China

Research Interests

My research is primarily focused on unraveling the intricate molecular mechanisms that connect metabolic disruptions in gut microbial-host co-metabolism to the development of metabolic disorders and gastrointestinal cancer. By gaining a deeper understanding of these mechanisms, we aim to identify potential therapeutic targets and develop more effective treatments for these debilitating conditions.

Additionally, my lab operates a highly esteemed metabolomics platform. Over the past two decades, we have built a cutting-edge metabolomics program that focuses on the quantitative profiling of endogenous small-molecule metabolites and trace elements from various biological specimens, such as blood, urine, saliva, cell lysates, and tissues obtained from both experimental animals and human subjects. Our program encompasses several key components:

  • Targeted Analysis: We employ isotope labeled metabolites and utilize state-of-the-art LC-MS-MS and GC-MS platforms to conduct high-sensitivity, high-throughput analysis of metabolic flux and pathways.
  • Unbiased metabolic profiling and data mining, metabolite annotation and biological interpretation.
  • A fully automated, high-throughput platform that quantitatively profiles microbial metabolome coupled with bioinformatics capable of integrating into metagenomic data to provide the functional translation of the microbiome.
  • Classification and prediction of disease phenotypes based on their unique metabolic signatures for patient stratification and personalized treatment.

Publication Highlights
  • Kuang JL, Wang JY, Li YT, Li MC, Zhao ML, Ge K, Zheng D, Cheung K, Liao BY, Wang SL, Chen TL, Zhang YN, Wang CR, Ji G, Chen P, Zhou HW, Xie C, Zhao AH, Jia WP, Zheng XJ, Jia W. Hyodeoxycholic acid alleviates nonalcoholic fatty liver disease through modulating the gut-liver axis, Cell Metab., 35(10), 1752-1766, 2023.
  • Li MC, Wang SL, Li YT, Zhao ML, Kuang JL, Liang DD, Wang JY, Wei ML, Rajani C, Ma XR, Tang, YJ, Ren, ZX, Chen, TL, Zhao, AH, Hu, C, Shen CX, Jia WP, Liu, P, Zheng XJ, Jia W. Gut microbiota-bile acid crosstalk contributes to the rebound weight gain after calorie restriction in mice. Nat Commun., 13(1), 2060, 2022.
  • Zheng XJ, Chen TL, Jiang RQ, et al., Jia WP, Jiang CT, Jia W. Hyocholic acid species improve glucose homeostasis through a distinct TGR5 and FXR signaling mechanism. Cell Metab., 33(4), 791-803, 2021.
  • Zheng XJ, Chen TL, Zhao AH, Ning ZC, et al, Lu AP, Jia WP, Jia W. Hyocholic acid species as novel biomarkers for metabolic disorder. Nat Commun., 12(1), 1487, 2021.
  • Huang FJ, et al., Bian ZX, Li HK, Zhao AH, Jia W. Theabrownin from Pu-erh tea attenuates hypercholesterolemia via modulation of gut microbiota and bile acid metabolism. Nat Commun., 10(1), 4971, 2019.
  • Jia W, Xie GX, Jia WP. Bile acids and microbiome cross-talk and its impact on gastrointestinal inflammation and carcinogenesis. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol., 15(2), 111-128, 2018
  • Chen WL, et al., Chen Z, Chen SJ, Jia W. Enhanced fructose utilization mediated by SLC2A5 is a unique metabolic feature of acute myeloid leukemia with therapeutic potential, Cancer Cell, 30(5), 779-791, 2016.
  • Chen WL, et al., Chen Z, Chen SJ, Jia W. A distinct glucose metabolism signature of acute myeloid leukemia with prognostic value. Blood, 124(10), 1645-1654, 2014.
  • Zheng XJ, Zhao AH, Xie GX, et al, Nicholson JK, Jia W. Melamine-induced renal toxicity Is mediated by the gut microbiota. Sci Transl Med., 5(172):172ra22, 2013
  • Jia W, Li H, Zhao L, Nicholson JK. Gut microbiota: a potential new territory for drug targeting. Nat Rev Drug Discov., 7(2):123-9, 2008

T12-202/23-R (PC Jia) Oct 2023 – Sept 2024
RGC Exploratory Theme-based Research Scheme $7.285M Direct
Dysregulated host-gut microbiota co-metabolism in metabolic associated fatty liver disease
82270917 (PI Jia) Jan 2023 – Dec 2026
National Natural Science Foundation of China - General project ¥520,000(direct cost)
Heoxycholic acid reyodgulates hepatic lipid metabolism through Parabacteroides distasonis – succinate- hepatic CYP7B1 signaling.
81974073 (PI Jia) Jan 2020 – Dec 2023
National Natural Science Foundation of China - General project ¥550,000(direct cost)
Effects of intestinal BSH positive bacteria – FXR-ASBT mediated taurocholic acid on hepatic encephalopathy.
SDF19-1216-P03 (PI Jia) Jan 2020 – Dec 2022
HKBU/SDF $5,059,359.00/3yrs
Development of Innovation Capabilities for Hong Kong Traditional Chinese Medicine Phenome Research Centre
1U01CA188387-01A1 (PI Jia) 8/1/15-7/31/20
NIH/NCI - USA $360,000/year (direct cost)
Gut microbiota mediated bile acid alterations in hepatic carcinogenesis The objective of this project is to elucidate an important mechanism of gut microbiota-mediated intrahepatic accumulation of cytotoxic bile acids in the hepatic carcinogenesis, and to use this knowledge to regulate bile acid transport to protect against the development of cirrhosis and cancer.