The Department of Pharmacology and Pharmacy is a very dynamic Department that combines an important teaching load to students in Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy with strong research in cardiovascular and metabolic diseases, drug delivery, pharmacogenetics and clinical pharmacy.
The Vascular Metabolic Research Unit (VMRU) is one of the leading centers for the study of the pathophysiology and pharmacology of the vascular wall.
With this unit, the University of Hong Kong has become a major player in the field of endothelial research. Major focused research area includes: mechanistic study of endothelium-dependent relaxations, hyperpolarizations and contractions and modulatory actions of natural products and Chinese medicine on vascular reactivity.
We also have a vested interest in obesity and metabolic research. A number of adipokines and biomarkers including A-FABP, lipocalin-2, adiponectin and SIRT1 were identified and characterized by our group. These molecules are now being used as diagnostic markers or therapeutic targets for obesity-related cardio-metabolic disorders. A comprehensive platform for translational research has been established by the division, ranging from proteomics-based biomarker discovery, assay development (www.antibody.hku.hk), generation and maintenance of genetically modified animal models, adipokine-based high through put drug screening and target validation.
We have several main research streams including medication safety, clinical and practice research and drug delivery.
Medication safety research is focused on the quality use of medication in children and the elderly, drug interactions and herbal drugs. Research on drug delivery focuses on the development of novel technology and material for delivering therapeutic biological macromolecules including peptides, proteins, DNA and siRNA, as well as conventional small drug molecules which are difficult to deliver.
We have particular interest in pulmonary and intranasal delivery systems, and has collaborated closely with pathologists and microbiologists to investigate the development of new formulations for the treatment of lung infectious diseases such as influenza and tuberculosis.
Other activities include pharmaceutical material characterization and engineering at both nano- and micro-scale, as well as nanotoxicology study.