Personal profile

Research interests

My research career has focused on analysing large-scale of bacterial genomes to understand evolution, particularly evolutionary dynamics in response to vaccine implementation and antimicrobial usage. My research is oriented to generate output with clinical impact and high translational potential in improving vaccine design and reducing antimicrobial resistance.

I lead the Global Pneumococcal Sequencing project ( to survey one of the major children killers – pneumococcus. Partnering with >160 scientists around the world, we analysed >26,000 pneumococcal genomes to understand how pneumococci escape the vaccine, and identified major vaccine-escaping strains. The finding provided evidence basis to guide the next generation vaccine design and vaccine policy in countries where pneumococcal disease burden is high.

Antimicrobial resistance is a global health threat. It is estimated that 4.95 million death are associated with antimicrobial resistance every year. My pioneering work revealed that transmission of antimicrobial resistance between human and food animals is mainly driven by mobile genetic elements in South East Asia. My current research focused on devising innovative strategy to reduce the dissemination of resistance plasmid, so as to mitigate the escalating threat of antimicrobial resistance.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Medical Microbiology, Doctor of Philosophy, Molecular Epidemiology of extended spectrum of beta-lactamases in Escherichia coli, University of Hong Kong

1 Sept 200711 Oct 2011

Award Date: 11 Oct 2011

Laboratory Science, Bachelor of Medicine, Medical Laboratory Science, Shanghai Jiao Tong University


Award Date: 30 Jun 2007

External positions

Translational Science Lead, Wellcome Sanger Institute

30 Aug 2016 → …


  • Genomic surveillance
  • Bacterial population structure
  • molecular epidemiology
  • evolutionary biology
  • transmission
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • vaccine
  • Bioinformatics


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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