Dr Vera S.F Chan is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Medicine and the School of Biomedical Sciences, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong. With the support of the Croucher Scholarship, Dr Chan obtained her D.Phil. in Molecular Immunology and graduated from the Nuffield Department of Medicine, the Oxford University, United Kingdom. Continued with the award of the Croucher Fellowship, she received post-doctoral training at the Ontario Cancer Institute, the University of Toronto in Canada. In 2006, she was recruited as a Lecturer at Imperial College London in UK and she re-joined HKU in 2010.
Dr Chan was initially trained to study the mechanisms of T cell tolerance and activation that lead to immunity or autoimmunity. Later, her research scope broadened to innate immunity, particularly on the role of the C-type lectin pathogen receptors DC-SIGN and L-SIGN in infectious diseases. Together with colleagues in HKU, their teams identified the genetic association as well as the protective mechanism of L-SIGN in modulating susceptibility to SARS infection. Dr Chan continues her research after joining HKU in 2010, in studying the immunopathology of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), focusing on the functional abnormalities in dendritic cells; delineation of epigenetic regulatory elements in SLE development; and the functional elucidation of CLEC16A, a novel C-type lectin-like molecule that is genetically associated with autoimmunity.