Professor CHU Ka Hou


(Office): Rm 621, Mong Man Wai Building

People KHC


(Office): (852) 3943 6772

Fax (852) 2603 5391
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1984  Ph. D. (Biological Oceanography), Massachusetts Institute of Technology / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Joint Program in Oceanography, USA
1976 A. B. (Biological Sciences, with specialisation in Marine Biology), University of California at Berkeley, USA


  • Professor Emeritus, School of Life Sciences
  • Honorary Fellow, New Asia College
  • Visiting Scholar, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Research Interests

  1. Molecular marine biology and biotechnology
    a) Molecular systematics and ecology
    b) Molecular and immunological studies on seafood allergy
  2. Biology of crustaceans
    a) Crustacean genomics
    b) Larval development, growth and reproduction
    c) Fisheries, aquaculture and pollution biology

Representative Publications

  • Cui Z, Liu Y, Yuan J, Zhang X, Ventura T ……….. Li F, Chu KH: The Chinese mitten crab genome provides insights into adaptive plasticity and developmental regulation. Nat Commun 2021, 12:2395
  • Wai, CYY, Leung NYH, Leung, PSC, Chu KH: Immunotherapy of food allergy: a comprehensive review. Clin Rev Allergy Immunol 2019, 57:55-73 (Invited review)
  • Zhang X, Yuan J, Sun Y, Li S, Gao Y, Yu Y, …… Chu KH, Liu B,  Li F, Xiang J: Penaeid shrimp genome provides insights into benthic adaptation and frequent molting. Nature Commun 2019, 10:356.
  • Leung NYH, Wai CYY, Ho MHK, Liu RW, Lam KS, Wang JJ, Shu SA, Chu KH, Leung PSC: Screening and identifying mimotopes of the major shrimp tropomyosin using one-bead-one-compound combinatorial peptide libraries. Cell Mol Immunol 2017, 14:308-318.
  • Liao Y, De Grave S, Ho TW, Ip BHY, Tsang LM, Chan T-Y, Chu KH: Molecular phylogeny of Pasiphaeidae (Decapoda, Caridea) reveals systematic incongruence of the current classification. Mol Phylogenet Evol 2017, 115:171-180.
  • Wai CYY, Leung NYH, Leung PSC, Chu KH: T-cell epitope immunotherapy ameliorates allergenic responses in a murine model of shrimp allergy. Clin Exp Allergy 2016, 46:491-503.
  • Tsang LM, Schubart CD, Ahyong ST, Lai J, Au E, Ng PKL, Chan TY, Chu KH: Evolutionary history of the true crabs (Crustacea, Decapoda, Brachyura), including the origin of the freshwater crabs. Mol Biol Evol 2014, 31:1173-1187.
  • Tsang LM, Chan TY, Ahyong S, Chu KH: Hermit to king, or hermit to all: multiple transitions to crab-like forms from hermit crab ancestors. Syst Biol 2011, 60: 616-629.
  • Xu J, Chan T.Y, Tsang LM, Chu KH: Phylogeography of the mitten crab Eriocheir sensu stricto in East Asia: Pleistocene isolation, population expansion and secondary contact. Mol Phylogenet Evol 2009, 52:45-56.
  •  Tsang LM, Chan BKK, Ma KY, Chu KH: Genetic differentiation, hybridization and adaptive significance in two subspecies of the acorn barnacle, Tetraclita japonica, in NW Pacific. Mol Ecol 2008, 17:4136-4148. 
  • Tsang LM, Ma KY, Ahyong ST, Chan TY, Chu KH: Phylogeny of Decapoda using two nuclear protein-coding genes: Origin and evolution of the Reptantia. Mol Phylogenet Evol 2008, 48:359-368.
  • Chu KH, Li CP, Qi J: Ribosomal RNA as molecular barcodes: A simple correlation analysis without sequence alignment. Bioinformatics 2006, 22:1690-1701.
  • Chu KH, Qi J, Yu ZG, Anh V: Origin and phylogeny of chloroplasts revealed by a simple correlation analysis of complete genomes. Mol Biol Evol 2004, 21:70-76.
  • Lavery S, Chan TY, Tam YK, Chu KH: Phylogenetic relationships and evolutionary history of the shrimp genus Penaeus s.l. derived from mitochondrial DNA. Mol Phylogenet Evol 2004, 31:39-49.
  • Leung PSC, Chow WK, Duffy S, Kwan HS, Gershwin ME, Chu KH: IgE reactivity against a cross-reactive allergen in Crustacea and Mollusca: Evidence for tropomyosin as the common allergen. J Allergy Clin Immunol 1996, 98:954-961

Research Grants

  • 2021-2022, Hong Kong Branch of the Southern Marine Science and Engineering Guangdong Laboratory (Guangzhou) Open Collaborative Research Fund, Evolution of decapod- micorbiome symbiosis in deep-sea biomes, HK$800,000
  • 2020-2023, Research Grants Council (RGC) General Research Fund, On the origin of Southwest China biodiversity hotspot: a biogeographical study of atyid shrimps, HK$996,285
  • 2018-2021, Research Grants Council (RGC) General Research Fund, Phylophysiology of caridean shrimps: Uncovering osmoregulatory innovations underlying marine-freshwater transitions, HK$965,925
  • 2017-2020, Research Grants Council (RGC) General Research Fund, Understanding the evolutionary ecology of brachyuran crabs: a transcriptomic approach, HK$970,371
  • 2016-2018, Environment and Conservation Fund, Genetic diversity and population structure of freshwater Caridina and Neocaridina shrimps in Hong Kong, HK$1,651,200 
  • 2015-2018, Research Grants Council (RGC) Collaborative Research Fund, Marine genomics: crustacean evolution and aquaculture, $7,200,000
  • 2015-2018, National Science Foundation of China, Phylogenetics of higher taxa (families and superfamilies) in Caridea based on nuclear protein-coding genes and mitochondrial genomes, RMB940,000
  • 2015-2017, Environment and Conservation Fund, Genetic diversity and population structure of freshwater fish in Hong Kong and South China, $1,016,460
  • 2015-2017, Health and Medical Research Fund, Immunotherapy and modulatory mechanisms of hypoallergen DNA vaccines for shellfish allergy, $999,657 
  • 2013-2016, Research Grants Council (RGC) General Research Fund, Comparative phylogeography of East Asian crabs using a multi-locus approach: The role of adult habitat specificity in shaping genetic structure of coastal fauna, $848,712
  • 2011-2014, Research Grants Council (RGC) General Research Fund, Gene therapy of shellfish allergy, $1,035,000
  • 2010-2013, Research Grants Council (RGC) General Research Fund, A multi-locus approach to the origin and phylogeny of thoracotreme crabs, the most diversified of all brachyurans, $963,815
  • 2010-2013, Environment and Conservation Fund, Genetic diversity and population differentiation of freshwater fish in Hong Kong, $854,440
  • 2009-2012, Research Grants Council (RGC) General Research Fund, Diversity, distribution and genetic differentiation of two barnacle species complexes: dissecting the driving forces of biogeographic patterns in the Asian intertidal zone, $543,203
  • 2004-2008, Research Grants Council (RGC) Earmarked Grant, Molecular barcodes of decapod crustaceans: the development of a DNA-based taxonomic identification system, $1,406,920
  • 2003-2007, Research Grants Council (RGC) Earmarked Grant, Gene expression in ovarian maturation of penaeid shrimp, $1,679,600
  • 2002-2005, Research Grants Council (RGC) Earmarked Grant, Development of an animal model of shrimp allergy, $816,000
  • 2001-2005, Research Grants Council (RGC) Earmarked Grant, Molecular population structure of penaeid shrimp in the Indo-West Pacific, $1,182,000
  • 2000-2003, Research Grants Council (RGC) Earmarked Grant, Isolation, characterization, and molecular cloning of the androgenic hormone of the mud crab Scylla spp.: Development of monosex crab aquaculture, $763,200
  • 1999-2002, Research Grants Council (RGC) Earmarked Grant, Evolutionary and population genetics of the mitten crabs, Eriocheir spp, $822,080
  • 1998-2001, Research Grants Council (RGC) Earmarked Grant, Development of molecular markers for genome mapping in penaeid shrimp, $600,000
  • 1997-1999, Research Grants Council (RGC) Earmarked Grant, Molecular studies on shellfish allergens: Cloning, expression and immunological responses, $686,880
  • 1996-1999, Research Grants Council (RGC) Earmarked Grant, Evolutionary and population genetics of penaeid shrimp in the Indo-West Pacific: Allozyme and mitochondrial DNA analyses, $692,000
  • 1994-1997, Research Grants Council (RGC) Earmarked Grant, Fisheries biology and population genetics of brachyuran crabs in the Zhujiang estuary, $603,000
  • 1994-1996, Croucher Foundation, Molecular cloning and expression of crustacean allergens, $600,000
  • 1991-1994, Croucher Foundation, Diversity, distribution and production of penaeid shrimp in the Zhujiang River Estuary, $800,000 


  • 2023, Excellence in Research Award, The Crustacean Society
  • 2015, Outstanding Fellow, Faculty of Science, CUHK
  • 2012, Higher Education Outstanding Scientific Research Output Award (Science and Technology) in the category of Natural Sciences (Second Class), Ministry of Education, PRC
  • 2007-2008, Research Excellence Award, CUHK
  • 2005, Exemplary Teaching Award, Faculty of Science, CUHK

Professional Activities

  • Associate Editor, Journal of Crustacean Biology
  • Associate Editor, Zoological Studies
  • Associate Editor, Marine and Freshwater Behaviour and Physiology
  • Member, Editorial Board of the Journal of Marine Science and Engineering
  • Member, Editorial Board of the journal Marine Biotechnology
  • Li Dak Sum Chair Professor, Ningbo University
  • Honorary Professor, Shanghai Ocean University, China
  • Adjunct Professor, Xiamen University, China
  • Adjunct Professor, Jimei University, Xiamen, China
  • Visiting Scientist, South China Sea Institute of Oceanology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
  • Scientific Advisor, International Foundation for Science, Sweden