Dr. Richard Y C KONG

PhD (Monash)

Director of FCMC
Associate Professor of Department of Chemistry
Member of State Key Laboratory of Marine Pollution (City University of Hong Kong)

Dr. Richard Y C KONG

Contact Information

Office: YEUNG-B6709
Phone: +852 3442-7794
Fax: +852 3442-0522
Email: bhrkong@cityu.edu.hk
ORCID ID: 0000-0002-4636-5756
Author ID:

Research Interests

  • Gene Expression and Control Mechanisms
  • Epigenetics
  • Molecular Toxicology
  • DNA-Based Diagnostics

Dr. Richard Kong received his PhD in Microbiology from Monash University, Australia. He has been actively involved in molecular biology research for many years, involving projects that varied from molecular investigations of pathogen epidemiology and virulence to molecular genetics of inherited disorders in humans. He is well funded by many internal, external and industrial grants to carry out both basic and applied research. His research interest is on the development and application of novel DNA-based technologies as risk assessment and bioremediation tools to address problems related to diverse aspects of pollution in the marine environment. Projects on these themes in his laboratory include: development of genome-based diagnostics (multiplex quantitative-PCR and DNA chips) for waterborne pathogens; functional studies of gene markers of hypoxia- and xenobiotic-induced disruption of reproductive functions in fish and human cell lines; models of bacterial pathogenesis; application of synthetic biology and genome evolution technologies for bioremediation of perfluorinated compounds. Dr. Kong has extensive experience on the comparative use of a wide variety of bioinformatic tools that have been described in many of his recent publications on gene expression studies in bacteria and fungi to higher vertebrates. Dr. Kong is also interested in the teaching and learning of effective English skills in science communication. He has published extensively in leading international journals in Microbiology, and Molecular and Cell Biology, and has served on the Editorial Board and as a reviewer for various International journals.


  • Farzana, S., Cheung, S.G., Kong, R.Y.C., Wong, Y.S., Tam, N.F.Y. (2021). Enhanced remediation of BDE-209 in contaminated mangrove sediment by planting and aquaculture effluent. Science of Total Environment 754, 142094.
  • He, Y-Q., Tsang, K.F., Kong, R.Y.C., Chow, Y.T. (2020). Indication of electromagnetic field exposure via RBF-SVM using time-series features of zebrafish locomotion. Sensors 20(17), 4818.
  • Mo, J.Z., Au, D.W.T., Wan, M.T., Shi, J.-C., Zhang, G., Winkler, C., Kong, R.Y.C., Seemann, F. (2020). Multigenerational impacts of benzo[a]pyrene on bone modeling and remodeling in medaka (Oryzias latipes). Environmental Science & Technology 54 (19), 12271-12284.
  • Lai, K.P., Tam, N., Wang, S.Y., Lin, X., Chan, T.F., Au, D.W.T., Wu, R.S.S., Kong, R.Y.C. (2020). Hypoxia causes sex-specific hepatic toxicity at the transcriptome level in marine medaka (Oryzias melastigma). Aquatic Toxicology 224, 105520.
  • Yingprasertchai, T., Yu, R.M.K., Tran, T.K.A., Kong, R.Y.C., O'Connor, W.A., MacFarlane, G.R. (2019). Characterisation of the metallothionein gene in the Sydney rock oyster and its expression upon metal exposure in oysters with different prior metal exposure histories. Marine Environmental Research 151, 104775.
  • Lai, K.P., Wang, S.Y., Li, J.W., Tong, Y., Chan, T.F., Jin, N., Tse, A., Zhang, J.W., Wan, M.T., Tam, N., Au, D.W.T., Lee, B.Y., Lee, J.S., Wong, A.S.T., Kong, R.Y.C., Wu, R.S.S. (2019). Hypoxia causes transgenerational impairment of ovarian development and hatching success in fish. Environmental Science & Technology 53, 3917-3928.
  • Tran, T.K.A., Yu, R.M.K., Islam, R., Nguyen, T.H.T., Bui, T.L.H., Kong, R.Y.C., O’Connor, W., Leusch, F.D.L., Priestley, M.A., MacFarlane, G.R. (2019). The utility of vitellogenin as a biomarker of estrogenic endocrine disrupting chemicals in molluscs. Environmental Pollution 248, 1067-1078.
  • Sun, W., He, Y., Leung, S.W., Kong, R.Y.C. (2019). In vivo analysis of embryo development and behavioral response of medaka fish under static magnetic field exposures. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 16, 844; doi:10.3390/ijerph16050844.
  • Lai, K.P., Li, J,W., Wang, S.Y., Wan, T., Chan, T.F., Lui, W.Y., Au, D.W.T., Wu, R.S.S., Kong, R.Y.C. (2018). Transcriptomic analysis reveals transgenerational effect of hypoxia on the neural control of testicular functions. Aquatic Toxicology 195, 41-48.
  • Sun, W-N., He, Y-Q., Diao, Y-L., Leung, S.W., Siu, Y.M., Kong, R.Y.C., Lo, W.K. (2017) A 3D coil structure achieving uniform magnetic field for in-vitro cell experiments. 2017 International Symposium on Electromagnetic Compatibility – EMC Europe, Angers, France, 4-8 September 2017 (ISBN: 978-1-5386-0689-6).
  • Tan, T.F., Yu, R.M.K., Wu, R.S.S., Kong, R.Y.C. (2017). Overexpression and knockdown of HIF-1 disrupt steroidogenesis and embryonic development in zebrafish. Gene Regulation and Systems Biology. DOI: 10.1177/1177625017713193.
  • Yang, Y., Lai, A.C.K., Kong, R.Y.C., Deng, Q.H. (2017). Experimental and numerical study of the performance of upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation with the effective Z-value of airborne bacteria. Aerosol Science and Technology. (http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02786826.2017.1334108).
  • Tran, T.K.A., MacFarlane, G.R., Kong, R.Y.C., O'Connor, W.A. and Yu, R.M.K. (2017). The constitutively active estrogen receptor (ER) binds and activates the promotoer of the vitellogenin (Vtg) gene in the Sydney rock oyster, Saccostrea glomerata. Marine Pollution Bulletin 118(1-2), 397-402.
  • Tran, T.K.A., MacFarlane, G.R., Kong, R.Y.C., O'Connor, W.A. and Yu, R.M.K. (2016). Potential mechanisms underlying estrogen-induced expression of the molluscan estrogen receptor (ER) gene. Aquatic Toxicology 179, 82-94.
  • Wang, S.Y., Lau, K., Lai, K.P., Zhang, J.W., Tse, A.C.K., Li, J.W., Tong, Y., Chan, T.F., Wong, C.K.C., Chiu, J.M.Y., Au, D.W.T., Wong, A.S.T., Kong, R.Y.C. and Wu, R.S.S. (2016). Hypoxia causes transgenerational impairments in reproduction of fish. Nature Communications. 
  • Lai, K.P., Li, J.W., Tse, A.C.K., Cheung, A., Wang, S., Chan, T.F., Kong, R.Y.C. and Wu, R.S.S. (2016). Transcriptomic responses of marine medaka's ovary to hypoxia. Aquatic Toxicology.
    Doi: 10.1016/j.aquatox.2016.06.023.
  • Li, J-W., Lin, X., Tse, A., Cheung, A., Chan, T.F., Kong, R.Y.C., Lai, K.P. and Wu, R.S.S. (2016). Discovery and functional characterization of novel miRNAs in the marine medaka Oryzias melastigma. Aquatic Toxicology 175, 106-116.
  • Tran, T.K.A., MacFarlane, G.R., Kong, R.Y.C., O'Connor, W.A. and Yu, R.M.K. (2016). Mechanistic insights into induction of vitellogenin gene expression by estrogens in Sydney rock oysters, Saccostrea glomerata. Aquatic Toxicology 175, 146-158.
  • Diao, Y-L, Leung, P., Chan K.H., Sun, W., Siu, Y-M. and Kong, R.Y.C. (2016). Detailed modelling of palpebral fissue and its influence on SAR and temperature rise in human eye under GHz exposures. Bioelectromagnetics 37(4), 256-263.
  • Yu, R.M.K., Chaturvedi, G., Tong, S.K.H., Nusrin, S., Giesy, J.P., Wu, R.S.S. and Kong, R.Y.C. (2015). Evidence for microRNA-mediated regulation of steroidogenesis by hypoxia. Environ. Sci. Technol. 49, 1138-1147. DOI: 10.1021/es504676s.
  • Lai, K.P., Li, J.W., Lau, K., Tse, A., Wang, S.Y., Lok, S., Tse, W.K.F., Chan, T.F., Kong, R.Y.C. and Wu, R.S.S. (2015). Tissue-specific transcriptome assemblies of the marine medaka, Oryzias melastigma reveals its transcriptomic divergence from the freshwater medaka, Oryzias latipes. BMC Genomics 16: 135. DOI: 10.1186/s12864-015-1325-7.
  • Lau, K., Lai, K.P., Bao, J., Zhang, N., Tse, A., Tong, A., Li, J.W., Lok, S., Kong, R.Y.C., Lui, W.Y., Wong, A. and Wu, R.S.S. (2014). Identification and expression profiling of microRNAs in the brain, liver and gonads of marine medaka (Oryzias melastigma) and in response to hypoxia. PLoS One 9(10), e110698. DOI: 10.1271/journal.pone.0110698.
  • Nusrin, S., Tong, K.H., Chaturvedi, G., Wu, R.S.S., Giesy, J. and Kong, R.Y.C. (2014). Regulation of CYP11B1 and CYP11B2 steroidogenic genes by hypoxia-induciblee miR-10b in H295R cells. Marine Pollution Bulletin 85(2), 344-351.
  • Yang, Y., Chan, W.Y., Wu, C.L., Kong, R.Y.C. and Lai, A.C.K. (2012). Minimizing the exposure of airborne pathogens by upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation: an experimental and numerical study. Journal of Royal Society Interface (In press) doi:10.1098/rsif.2012.0439.
  • Yu, R.M.K., Chu, D.L.H., Tan, T.F., Li, V., Chan, A., Giesy, J.P., Cheng, S.H., Wu, R.S.S. and
    Kong, R.Y.C.
    (2012). Leptin-mediated modulation of steroidogenic gene expression in hypoxic zebrafish embryos: implications for the disruption of sex steroids. Environ. Sci. Technol. 46, 9112-9119.
  • Yang, N., Qi, H.Z., Wong, M.M.L., Wu, R.S.S. and Kong, R.Y.C. (2012). Prevalence and diversity of norovirus genogroups I and II in Hong Kong marine waters and detection by real-time PCR. Marine Pollution Bulletin 64(1), 164-168.
  • Yang, N., Chu, D.L.H., Wong, M.M.L., Qi, H.Z., Wu, R.S.S. and Kong, R.Y.C. (2011). Major human Hepatitis A Virus in Hong Kong marine waters and detection by quantitative real-time PCR. Marine Pollution Bulletin 62(12), 2654-2658.
  • Zhang, X-J., Bong, L.T. and Kong, R.Y.C. (2011). Biology of Fluoro-Organic Compounds. In: Topics in Current Chemistry (I.T. Horvath, eds). 297:67-103. DOI: 10.1007/128_ 2011_270. Springer-Verlaq, Berlin Heidelberg.
  • Ng, P.K.S., Yu, R.M.K., Kwong,T.F.K., Wong, M.M.L. and Kong, R.Y.C. (2010). Transcriptional regulation and functional implication of the grass carp CITED1 (gcCITED1) in the negative regulation of HIF-1. Internatl. J. Biochem. Cell Biol. 42, 1544-1552.
  • Safa, A., Nair, G.B. and Kong, R.Y.C. (2010). Evolution of new variants of Vibrio cholerae O1. Trends in Microbiol. 18(1), 46-54.
  • Ng, P. K. S. , Chiu, S. K., Yu, R. M. K., Wong, M. M. L. and Kong, R.Y.C. (2009). Functional characterization of two CITED3 homologs (gcCITED3a and gcCITED3b) in the hypoxia-tolerant grass carp: new insights on CITED3 interactions with HIF-1 and CBP/p300. BMC Molecular Biology 10, 101.
  • Kong, R.Y.C., Mak, M.M.H. and Wu, R.S.S. (2009). DNA technologies for monitoring waterborne pathogens: A revolution in water pollution monitoring. Ocean & Coastal Management 51, 355-358.
  • Safa, A., Bhuiyan, N.A., Murphy, D., Bates, J., Nusrin, S., Kong, R.Y.C., Chongsanguan, M., Chaicumpa, W. and Nair, G.B. (2009). Multilocus genetic analysis reveals that the Australian strains of Vibrio cholerae O1 are similar to the pre-seventh pandemic strains of the El Tor biotype. Journal of Medical Microbiology 58, 105-111.
  • Zhang, X.W., Hecker, M., Park, J.W., Tompsett, A. R., Jones, P.D., Newsted, J., Au, D., Kong, R.Y.C., Wu, R.S.S. and Giesy, J. P. (2008). Time-dependent transcriptional profiles of genes of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal axis in medaka (Oryzias latipes) exposed to fadrozole and 17-beta-trenbolone. Environ. Toxicol. & Chem. 27 (12), 2504-2511.
  • Yu, R.M.K., P.K.S., Ng, T.F. Tan, D.H.C. Ling, Wu, R. S. S. and Kong, R. Y. C. (2008).  Enhancement of hypoxia-induced gene expression in fish liver by the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) ligand, benzo[a]pyrene (BaP). Aquatic Toxicol. 90, 235-242.
  • Zhang, X.W., Hecker, M., Jones, P.D., Newsted, J., Au, D., Kong, R.Y.C., Wu, R.S.S. and Giesy, J.P. (2008). Responses of medaka HPG axis PCR array and reproduction to Prochloraz and Ketoconaole. Environ. Sci. & Tech. 42(17), 6762-6769
  • Park, J.W., Tompsett, A., Newsted, J.L., Jones, P.D., Au, D.W.T, Kong, R.Y.C., Wu, R.S.S., Giesy, J.P. and Hecker, M. (2008). Fluorescence in situ hybridization techniques (FISH) to detect changes in CYP19a gene expression of Japanese medaka (Oryzias latipes). Toxicology and Applied Pharmacology 232, 226-235.
  • Kong, R.Y.C., Giesy, J.P., Wu, R.S.S., Chen, E.X.H., Chiang, M.L., Lim, P.L., Yuen, B.B.H., Yip, B.W.P., Mok, H.O.L. and Au, D.W.T. (2008). Development of a marine fish model for studying in vivo molecular responses in ecotoxicology. Aquatic Toxicol. 86, 131-141.
  • Ashrafus Safa, Jinath Sultana, Phung Dac Cam, James C. Mwansa and Richard Y. C. Kong. (2008). Classical cholera toxin producing Vibrio cholerae O1 El Tor strains in Asia and Africa. Emerging Infectious Diseases Volume 14 (6), June Issue.
  • Zhang, X., Hecker, M., Park, J-W., Tompsett, A.R., Newsted, J., Nakayama, K., Jones, P.D., Au, D., Kong, R.Y.C., Wu, R.S.S. and Giesy, J.P. (2008). Real-time PCR array to study effects of chemicals on the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Gondal axis of the Japanese medaka. Aquatic Toxicol. 88, 173-182.
  • Wong, M.M.L., Yu, R.M.K., Ng, P.K.S., Law, S.H.W., Tsang, A.K.C. and Kong, R.Y.C. (2007). Isolation and characterization of a hypoxia-responsive leptin receptor (omLepR) cDNA from the marine medaka (Oryzias melastigma). Marine Pollution Bulletin 54, 792-803.
  • Jangid, K., Kong, R.Y.C., Patole, M.S. and Shouche, Y.S. (2007). luxR1 homologs are universally present in the genus Aeromonas. BMC Microbiology 7, 93.
  • Chen, Y., Cheung, S.G., Kong, R.Y.C. and Shin, P.K.S. (2007). Morphological and molecular comparisons of dominant amphixous populations in the China Seas. Marine Biology 153: 189-198.
  • Lee, S,K,Y., Li, P.T., Lau, D.T.W., Yung, P.P., Kong, R. Y. C. and Fong, W.F. (2006). Phylogeny of medicinal Phyllanthus species in China based on nuclear ITS and chloroplast atpB-rbcL sequences and mutiplex PCR detection assay analysis. Planta Med. 72, 721-726.
  • Yu, R. M. K., Wong, M. M. L., Kong, R. Y. C., Wu, R. S. S. and Cheng, S. H. (2006) Induction of hepatic choriogenin mRNA expression in male marine medaka: a highly sensitive biomarker for environmental estrogens. Aquatic Toxicology 77, 348-358.
  • Law, S. H. W., Wu, R. S. S., Ng, P. K. S., Yu, R. M K. and Kong, R. Y. C. (2006). Cloning and expression analysis of two distinct hypoxia-inducible factor alpha isoforms, gcHIF-1alpha and gcHIF-4alpha, from the hypoxia-tolerant grass carp. BMC Molecular Biology 7, 15.
  • Wang, H Z., Wong, M. M. L., O'Toole, D., Mak, M. M. H., Wu, R. S. S. and Kong R. Y. C. (2006). Identification and characterization of a DNA methyltransferase gene carried on a novel pathogenicity island (VPAI) in Vibrio parahaemolyticus and prevalence among clinical and environmental isolates. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 72(6), 4455-4460.
  • Yu, R. M. K., Chen, E. X. H., Kong, R. Y. C., Ng, P. K. S., Mok,  H. O. L. and Au, D. W. T. (2006). Hypoxia induces telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) gene expression in non-tumor fish tissues in vivo: the marine medaka (Oryzias melastigma) model BMC Molecular Biology 2006, 7:27
  • Yu, R. M. K., Wong, M. M. L., Jack, R. W. and Kong, R. Y. C. (2005). Structure, evolution and expression of a second subfamily of protein phosphatase 2A catalytic subunit genes in the rice plant (Oryza sativa L.) Planta 222(5), 757-768.
  • Yu, R. M. K., Zhou, Y., Zeng, F, X., Chye, M. L. and Kong, R.Y.C. (2003). Two genes encoding protein phosphatase 2A catalytic subunits are differentially expressed in rice. Plant Mol. Biol. 51(3), 295-311.
  • Kong, R. Y. C. and Kim, C. F. (2003). Molecular cloning and characterization of the isopenicillin synthase (ipns) gene. In: Fungi in Marine Environments (K.D. Hyde, eds.) Fungal Diversity Research Series 7, 359-370.
  • Kim, C. F., Lee, S. K. Y., Price, J., Jack, R. W., Turner, G. and Kong, R. Y. C. (2003). Cloning and expression analysis of the pcbAB-pcbC b-lactam genes in the marine fungus Kallichroma tethys. Appl. Environ. Microbiol. 69(2), 1308-1314.
  • Shao, Y., Wu, R. S. S. and Kong, R. Y. C. (2003). Identification of a novel cytochrome P450 cDNA, CYP97E1, from the marine diatom Skeletonema costatum (Skeletonemataceae). J. Phycology 39, 555-560.
  • Zhang, Z. P., Wu, R. S. S., Mok, H. O. L., Wang, Y. L., Poon, W. L., Cheng, S. H. and Kong, R. Y. C. (2003). Isolation, characterization and expression analysis of a hypoxia-responsive glucose transporter gene from the grass carp,Ctenopharyngodon idellus. Eur. J. Biochem. 270, 3010-3017.
  • Ng, P. K. S., Wu, R. S. S., Zhang, Z. P., Mok, H. O. L., Randall, D. J. and Kong, R. Y. C. (2003). Molecular cloning and characterization of a hypoxia-responsive CITED3 cDNA from grass carp. Comp. Biochem. Physiol. Part B, 136, 163-172.
  • Shao, Y., Wu, R. S. S. and Kong, R. Y. C. (2002). Biodegradation and enzymatic responses in the marine diatom Skelotonema costatum upon exposure to 2,4-dichlorophenol. Aquat. Toxicol. 59, 191-200.
  • Shao, Y., Wu, R. S. S. and Kong, R. Y. C. (2002). Physiological and cytological responses of the marine diatom Skeletonema costatum to 2,4-dichlorophenol. Aquat. Toxicol. 60, 33-41.
  • Kong, R.Y.C., Lee, S.K.Y., Law, S. H. W., Law, T.W.F. and Wu, R.S.S. (2002). Rapid detection of six types of bacterial pathogens in marine waters by multiplex PCR. Water Res. 34, 2802-2812.
  • Lee, S. K. Y., Wu, R. S. S., Wang, H. Z., Law, S. H. W. and Kong, R. Y. C. (2002). Analysis of the 16S-23S rDNA intergenic spacers (IGS) of marine Vibrios for signature DNA sequences. Mar. Pollut. Bull. 44, 412-420.