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Professor Joseph Tak-fai LAU (劉德輝教授)

BSSc (CUHK); MA, PhD (UC, Berkeley); FFPH(UK) 

Associate Director (Interdisciplinary Research) and 
Head, Division of Behavioral Health and Health Promotion;

JC School of Public Health and Primary Care;

Director, Centre for Health Behaviours Research;
Director, Community Research Program on AIDS; and Professor



Division of Behavioural Health and Health Promotion


Professor Lau received his Bachelor Degree (First Class Honor) from the Chinese University of Hong Kong and his master and doctorate degrees from the University of California, Berkeley, and was a recipient of the Yale in China Scholarship, the CUHK-University of California Reciprocity Scholarship, the Hewlett Packlett Fellowship and the Population Council Fellowship of the United States. He joined the Faculty of Medicine in 1989 and served as the Director of the Centre for Clinical Trials and Epidemiology Research from 1993 through 2002 and the Director of the Centre for Epidemiological Research from 2002 till 2010. He was the President of the Hong Kong Epidemiological Association from 2007-2009. He also served as the Secretary of the Clinical Research Ethics Committee of the University from Oct 2002 to Jun 2008.

He is currently Professor and Head of the Division of Behavioral Health and Health Promotion and the Director of the Centre of Health Behaviors Research of the School of Public Health and Primary Care. Professor Lau is also the Director of the Community Research Program on AIDS, an active research program which was established in 1996 and has been awarded a Focus Investment Grant of the University. He has been a member of the Management Committee of the Institute of Chinese Medicine of the University from 2002 to the present.

Professor Lau is the Founding President of the Hong Kong Society of Behavioral Health, newly established in 2013. He is currently an Overseas Review Expert and an honorary professor of the Institute of Psychology, China National Academy of Sciences, and an honorary professor and the Director of the Centre for Medical Anthropology and Behavioral Health of the School of Sociology and Anthropology, Sun Yat Sen University, adjunct professor of the Peking Union Medical College, and guest professor and external examiner of the Master of Public Health Program of the Shantau University.
He is also serving as an assistant editor of the Addiction journal (ranked first in its field) and an editorial board member of the journals including Addictive Behavior, AIDS Care, Journal of BioMed Research, Health Psychology and Behavioral Health, Journal of OpenAIDS, Child Abuse and Neglect, and Journal of Environmental and Public Health and Chinese Journal of Sexually Transmitted Infections, The Open Aids Journal and Annals of Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as a consultant and advisor for five other scientific journals.

Professor Lau has authored and co-authored over 350 papers published in international peer-reviewed journals and has been awarded 53 grants as Principal Investigator and 29 grants as Co-investigator. He has also served as a reviewer for major journals including Lancet, American Journal of Public Health, Emerging Infectious Diseases, AIDS, Journal for Epidemiology and Community Health, Social Sciences & Medicine, Cochrane Collaboration, Journal of Gerontology, Tropical Medicine & International Health.

In terms of consultancy services, Professor Lau serves as a consultant of the China National Hospital Association and as a consultant of the Centre for Disease Prevention and Control for Hunan Province, Jiangsu Province, Shenzhen, Dazhou and the Institute of Family Planning in Shenzhen and the HIV Center for Clinical and Behavioral Studies of the Columbia University. He provided professional consultancy to international organizations such as the Family Health International, HLSP and the Cambodian government. Professor Lau is also very active in community services. He has been involved in various advisory governmental committees such as those in HIV/AIDS, rehabilitation, civic education and youth development etc. He chaired the Hong Kong Coalition for AIDS Services Organizations from 2000 to 2002 and has been a Director of AIDS Concern in Hong Kong since 2005 to present and an advisor of the Community Health Organization for Intervention, Care and Empowerment (CHOICE) and the Friends of Scout Association.

Research Interest

Professor Lau specializes in behavioral health research. His diverse research interests include:

  • Research on risk behaviors 
    HIV research; HIV surveillance; Risk behaviors of bridge and mobile populations; Innovative intervention methods; Data collection methods for HIV-related information; Socio-cultural determinants of risk behaviors; HIV antibody testing behaviors; Quality of Life of people living with HIV/AIDS; Discrimination and stigmatization related to HIV/AIDS 
    Other risk behaviors; Substance use; Smoking; Child abuse; Unengaged youths; Community stress due to disasters.

  • Research on preventive behaviors 
    Resilience intervention programs for youths; Physical exercise and health; Health utilization behaviors

  • Community responses (psychological and public health) to emerging infectious diseases, SARS; Avian influenza; Influenza vaccination and prevention

  • Sexual health research 
    Sexual health of gay men; Sexual dysfunctions and determinants; Prevalence of sexual dysfunctions in urban and rural China; Help-seeking behaviors related to sexual dysfunction.

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