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Human Airway Organoid

One swab for all!

The technology developed offers performance risk assessment through a noninvasive procedure. A simple oral swab can predict infectivity of emerging respiratory viruses and host response, as well as evaluate treatment responses and the development of personalized medicine.

The development of personalized platforms initiates the next generation of public health strategies through precision medicine. 

Risk assessment by in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo assays and the development of ex vivo and organoid models offer a vast array of strategies and flexibility in patient care.

Understanding the diverse causes that contribute to these respiratory pathologies is crucial for effective prevention, diagnosis, and treatment strategies. By exploring the underlying mechanisms involved in viral infections like avian influenza H5N1, SARS and MERS, as well as bacterial sepsis, we can develop targeted interventions to mitigate their devastating effects.

One simple oral swab for personalized risk assessment

  • Predicting the infectivity of emerging respiratory viruses and host response to the viruses

  • Evaluating treatment responses

  • Developing personalized medicine

  • Noninvasive

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Comprehensive virology services at the cutting edge of science

C2iTech is a spin-off company of C2i, providing comprehensive and personalized virology services and counseling at the cutting edge of science for academia and industry specializing in infectious diseases.

C2iTech offers risk assessment of newly emerging respiratory viruses through in vitro, in vivo and ex vivo assays specifically for influenza viruses and coronaviruses.

Our extensive knowledge of viral infected ex vivo and organoid models for various respiratory viruses (influenza viruses and coronaviruses) helps us evaluate the efficacy of antiviral drugs and compounds, and has allowed us to develop a Respiratory Organoid Platform (ROP) for personalized risk assessment.

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Key research staff in the team

We have a multidisciplinary team with proven track-record of working together with previous joint publications. 

Malik PeirisMichael CW Chan and Kenrie PY Hui (virologists), John M Nicholls (pathologist) and George Tsao (all from HKU) have been working together on pathogenesis of virus respiratory infections and experimental models of the human respiratory system for over 10 years. 

Roberto Bruzzone (HKU-PRP) studies host-pathogen interactions. 

Michael Matthay and Jae W Lee (UCSF) are world leaders in the pathogenesis and therapy of acute lung injury and ARDS and have joint publications with the HKU group. 

Samy Gobaa (IP) is an expert in microfluidics who will help generate a microfluidic perfusion on a chip to mimic physical stimuli in the respiratory system.

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Novel Platforms to Model the Human Respiratory Tract in Health and Disease

For emerging infectious diseases and precision medicine

Acute lung injury (ALI), along with its severe form, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), poses a significant threat to global health, resulting in high rates of morbidity and mortality. These conditions can be caused by various factors, including severe viral infections such as avian influenza H5N1, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), as well as bacterial sepsis.

The impact of ALI and ARDS on individuals and communities cannot be underestimated. The consequences extend beyond the immediate health implications, affecting the quality of life for patients and placing a considerable burden on healthcare systems worldwide.

The objective of this program is to improve the treatment of ALI by producing innovative, physiologically relevant, disease platforms for screening therapeutic candidates and developing molecules for treating the syndrome.

Develop ALI screening platforms for identification of novel therapeutic targets and for screening of potential interventions 


Evaluate the use of novel synthetic ion channel compounds to treat ALI

Develop a novel “mini” 3D human respiratory system and “lung-on-a-chip” model for assessment of pathogenesis and drug screening for respiratory diseases



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Professor Michael Chan

Lead Scientist

Professor Michael Chan, Associate Professor, received his PhD degree in Medical Science from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, followed by the post-doctoral fellowships in influenza virus and infectious diseases at the University of Hong Kong in 2004.


Professor Chan’s main research interests are the virus-host interaction and pathogenesis of influenza virus and coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, SARS-CoV and MERS-CoV) using ex vivo human respiratory explant cultures and in vitro well-differentiated human respiratory epithelial cells. Major focuses of his current work are: (1) Risk assessment of influenza virus and coronavirus using ex vivo explants and in vitro respiratory epithelial cells model. (2) Mechanism of lung injury upon severe influenza virus and coronavirus infection (3) Human nasal, nasopharyngeal, airway and distal lung organoids development and risk assessment for emerging infectious diseases (4) Role of human distal airway stem cells in respiratory epithelium regeneration upon influenza H5N1 virus, SARS-CoV-2, MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV infection. (5) Role of mesenchymal stromal cells and exosomes/microvesicles in reverse influenza H5N1 associated acute lung injury (6) Novel therapeutic options for severe human influenza virus and coronavirus infection


Professor Kenrie Hui

Assistant Professor


Dr. Samy Gobba

Research Officer

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Dr. Rachel Ching

Honorary Scientific Advisor


Dr. Angel Ma

Post-Doctoral Fellow

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Dr. Chen Rui

Postdoctoral Fellow


Dr. Mark Sze To

Postdoctoral Fellow


John Ho

Assistant Technical Manager


Lucy Kwok Kin Yan

Research Assistant I


Nicole Tsang

Research Assistant I


Chan Sze Tan

Research Assistant I


Edwina Lee

Research Assistant II


Leung Wing Yu

Research Assistant II


Manka Chan

Research Assistant I

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