The State Key Laboratory of Emerging Infectious Diseases at HKU was established by the Ministry of Science and Technology (MOST) in recognition of the outstanding contribution made by HKU scientists in response to the SARS outbreak during 2003/2004, both in mainland China and in Hong Kong. Application for establishment of this State Key Lab was initiated in 2004 and approved by the MOST in July 2005. In order to enhance interactions between institutions on the mainland and the HKU State Key Laboratory, MOST established the State Key Laboratory for Prevention and control of Infectious diseases (China CDC), State Key Laboratory of Virology (Institute of Virology, Wuhan) and State Key Laboratory for Biosafety and Pathogenic Microorganisms (Academy of Military Medical Sciences) at the same time. While the State Key Laboratory for Prevention and control of Infectious diseases was chosen as partner on the mainland, interactions with other state key labs have been very productive as well over last a few years. Despite that HK State Key Lab is not able to directly apply for national research programs, it has been working on several national research programs through our collaborators on the mainland and such collaboration has been proved to be highly productive. Through past a few years since its establishment, this state key lab has earned reputation nationally and internationally in the field of infectious diseases. To provide our expertise on laboratory bio-safety, we have been serving in the committee for laboratory bio-safety for the China National Accreditation Service since 2006.
Research in this State Key Lab has been extremely productive since the establishment. More than 150 peer reviewed research articles have been published from this state key lab since 2005. Many of those publications are among the 1% highly cited papers according to Scientific Citation Index. This state Kay lab has played key role in supporting Hong Kong SAR in response to several outbreaks of infectious diseases, including the pandemic H1N1 in 2009. The State Key Lab for Emerging Infectious Diseases has become an essential component at HKU integrating research, training and building up interaction with partners on the mainland on related research areas.