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Our People

Academic Staff
​Prof. Dong DONG 董咚教授

Prof. Dong DONG


BA (Fudan), MPhil (CUHK), PhD (U of Minnesota, Twin Cities)

Assistant Professor


Building on the perspective that no important question of public health and wellbeing can be meaningfully deciphered without inter-disciplinary action, Dr. Dong’s profile reflects an explicit inter-disciplinary commitment. With previous training in journalism, communication and epidemiology, Dr. Dong is driven by considerations of justice, equity, and intersectionality, broadly configured, against the context of global health and the ways in which the social sciences might complement these conversations. This inter-disciplinary outlook extends a varied range of methodological toolkits that remain critically sensitive to the demands of public health and the ever-evolving research problems they present in an age of globalization, including, but not limited to, meta-ethnography, multi-sited ethnography, interviewing, extended case studies, cross-sectional studies, real-world data study, and Q methodology. To bridge the gap between theory and practice, Dr. Dong’s expertise has led her into close, long-term engagement with a wealth of multi-national actors from minority, marginalized and vulnerable populations as nodes for meaning-making and knowledge-construction. To date, Dr. Dong has secured a host of research grants as Principal Investigator including 3 GRF/ECS, 1 HMRF, 1 HMRF-Fellowship, 2 international grants, 4 mainland China grants, 1 direct grant, and 6 research contracts. 

The analytical trope that unites the various threads of Dr. Dong’s research is a people-centered undertaking. This focus has resulted in a few cross-border community-academic partnerships, which represent a nascent area of enquiry in both Hong Kong and Mainland China. Rare diseases are a recurrent theme in Dr. Dong’s research agenda. Taking as a point of departure that rare diseases inspire an avenue of possibilities as opposed to a rhetoric of disablement found in conventional bio-medical literature, Dr. Dong has led a Real-world Data Laboratory in the Shenzhen Research Institute, CUHK, and focuses on the creation and development of a patient-centric database of patients with rare diseases in China. The database has provided instruments to make visible their otherwise obscured medical and social conditions, to monitor their quality of life and to evaluate the impact of different remedial measures on their wellbeing. Here in Hong Kong, Dr. Dong’s involvement in the lives of ethnic minorities and in the endeavors of health promotion with and for them has brought forward a curiosity about questions of communicative injustice and discrimination in the health experiences among South Asians, which have also at times been approached by way of gendered lenses. In the recent past Dr. Dong’s interest in science and technology studies of reproductive health and genetic literacy has found expression in an ongoing international project with stakeholders from the U.K. and Pakistan, among other places, on questions of decision-making surrounding prenatal care, asking how the disjuncture between state-centric discourse, genetic technology and informed consent implicates the distributions of bio-power and the associations they share with concerns of bio-ethics.

Dr. Dong’s collaboration with patients, NGO’s, grassroots organizations, medical professionals and anthropologists and sociologists, among many others, has advanced distinct policy-level contributions. She serves as a Board member of the China Alliance for Rare Diseases, The Illness Challenge Foundation, and Beijing Aili Myasthenia Gravis Care Center. She also serves on the Scientific & Medical Advisory Committee of Rare Disease Hong Kong, and is a foreign member of the MGNet Rare Disease Clinical Research Consortium as well as the Rare Diseases Clinical Research Network of the National Institute of Health, both in the U.S.A. Dr. Dong has been awarded a place on the 2022 Equity Initiative Fellowship, which brings together an international cohort of working professionals in positions of health-equity leadership, and is currently working alongside the joint efforts of other Fellows of the program on a participatory action research on reproductive health among teenage girls in Cambodia and Indonesia.

Research Interests

  • Health equity and social justice

  • Reprogenetic technologies and informed decision making

  • Health communication and genetic literacy

  • Health research methodology

Recent Funded Research Projects 

  • Principal Investigator. Making a better baby: An ethnographic study of Preimplantation Genetic Testing in China. RGC Early Career Scheme (ECS) (No: 24608322). HK$1,193,928. 1/1/2023-31/12/2025. 

  • Principal Investigator. Enhance South Asians’ acceptance of school-based HPV vaccination programme in Hong Kong: Applying Theoretical Domains Framework and Behaviour Change Wheel to inform effective interventions. Food and Health Bureau - Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF, FHB/H/41/187). HK$747,872. 1/10/2022-30/09/2024.

  • Principal Investigator. “I need to be heard”: Communication injustice and intersecting forms of discrimination in South Asian women’s health experiences in Hong Kong. RGC General Research Fund (GRF) (No: 14613121). HK$ 1,053,440. 01/01/2022-31/12/2024

  • Principal Investigator. Developing an assessment tool for measuring Hong Kong adults’ genetic literacy in clinical and non-clinical settings. Food and Health Bureau - Health and Medical Research Fund Research Fellowship Scheme (HMRF-Fellowship, FHB/H/41/69). HK$926,665. 01/09/2021 – 31/08/2023. 

  • Co-Principal Investigator. (Mis)communication, Trust, and Information Environments: A Comparative Study of the COVID-19 “Infodemics” in Four Chinese Societies. Collaborative Research Fund (CRF) 2020/21 and One-off CRF COVID-19 and Novel Infectious Disease Research Exercises (C4158-20G). HK$3,067,301 (Project Coordinator: Prof. Ran Wei), 01/06/2021-31/05/2023

Selected Publications

On Health equity and social justice

  1. Dong D. & Zhu JF. (2021). Patient advocacy, news coverage, and policy change: Constructing Hepatitis B as a social problem in China’s newspapers. Critical Public Health.

  2. Dong D., Chung RYN, Chan R, Gong SW, and Xu H. (2020). Why is misdiagnosis more likely among some people with rare diseases than others? Insights from a population-based cross-sectional study in China. Orphanet Journal of Rare Diseases. 15, 307 (2020).

  3. Dong D., Chong KC, Wu YS, Kaminski H, Cutter G, Xu XH, Li HF, Zhao CB, Yin J. Yu SY, and Zhu JF. (2020). Gender Differences in Quality of Life among Patients with Myasthenia Gravis in China. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes doi: 10.1186/s12955-020-01549-z

On Reprogenetics and informed decision-making

  1. Dong D., Ahmed S, Nichini E., et al. (2021) Decision making on antenatal screening results: A comparative Q-method study of women from two Chinese cities. Health Expectations. Apr;24(2):363-376.  doi: 10.1111/hex.13178 

  2. Wahlberg A., Dong D., Song, P. & Zhu JF. (2021). The platforming of human embryo editing: prospecting “disease free” futures. New Genetics and Society.

  3. Zhu JF & Dong D*. (2018). From quality control to informed choice: Understanding “good birth” and prenatal genetic testing in contemporary urban China. In Routledge Handbook for Genomics, Health and Society (pp.47-54). London: Routledge, 2018.

On Health communication

  1. Chan, K. & Dong D. (Eds.) (2019). Traditional Chinese Medicine: Professionalization and Integration in Hong Kong. City University of Hong Kong Press. 

  2. Fu H.#, Dong D.#, Feng D. et al. (2017). To share or not to share: A cross-sectional study on health information sharing and its determinants among Chinese rural chronic patients. Journal of Health Communication, 22(10), 800-807. (#co-first author)

  3. Dong D., Chang TK & Chen D. (2008). Reporting AIDS and the invisible victims in China: Official knowledge as news in the People’s Daily, 1986-2002. Journal of Health Communication, 12 (4), 357-374.

On health research methodology

  1. Xu RH, Yu S, Liu J, Zhang SY, Dong D.* (2022) Developing the health state classification system for a condition-specific preference-based measure for patients with myasthenia gravis, Disability and Rehabilitation, DOI: 10.1080/09638288.2022.2120096

  2. Dong, D., Jin, J., Oerlemans, S. et al. (2020) Validation of the Chinese EORTC chronic lymphocytic leukemia module – application of classical test theory and item response theory. Health and Quality of Life Outcomes 18, 96. 

  3. Dong D, Xu, RH, Wong ELY, et al. (2020). Public Preference for COVID-19 Vaccines in China: A Discrete Choice Experiment. Health Expectations. DOI: 10.1111/hex.13140

Last Updated: 6 December 2022

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