Our Team

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The Mental Health Projects team is comprised of a highly competent and diverse group of professionals, researchers, research students, and service workers. Each brings their extensive experience and expertise to the table. With members representing different ethnic backgrounds, the team possesses a rich cultural perspective that enhances the understanding and approach to the research. Their collective knowledge spans a wide range of disciplines, including psychology, sociology, public health, and social work, ensuring a comprehensive and multi-dimensional exploration of mental health issues among ethnic minorities in Hong Kong. This diverse composition strengthens the team's ability to conduct rigorous research and fosters a collaborative environment that promotes cross-cultural understanding, service-fitted activities, and tailored interventions throughout multiple projects.

Project Lead

Prof. Naubahar SHARIF

Acting Head and Professor Division of Public Policy

Professor Naubahar Sharif was born and raised in Hong Kong, and is of Pakistani heritage. He serves as Professor and as the Acting Head of the Division of Public Policy at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST).

He leads multiple initiatives aimed at improving the livelihood and well-being of ethnic minority communities in Hong Kong. 

Moreover, Prof. Sharif actively contributes to mental health policy as a member of the HKSAR Government Advisory Committee and the Mental Health Review Tribunal.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Wenjin CHEN
Dr. Wenjin CHEN

Email: wenjinchen@ust.hk

Dr. Chen Wenjin is a postdoctoral fellow at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST), Division of Public Policy. With a BA in Economics and a PhD in Public Administration, Dr. Chen's passion lies in academic studies focusing on well-being and minority populations.

Having published several papers in peer-reviewed academic journals and possessing extensive experience in policy consulting research, Dr. Chen has actively contributed to large-scale transnational collaborative projects like The China Employer-Employee Survey (CEES).

Under the esteemed guidance of Professor Naubahar Sharif, Dr. Chen is currently at the helm of an academic research project and surveys pertaining to the mental well-being of ethnic minorities (eg. HKSYE). His expertise in research methods and policy recommendations enables him to lead these initiatives effectively. By leveraging his expertise, he aims to shed light on the mental well-being of ethnic minorities and develop strategies to address their unique needs.

Project Manager

Cassy Ying Tung Chan
Ms. Cassy Ying Tung CHAN

Email: yingtung@ust.hk

Cassy completed her Bachelor's degree in Social Sciences, followed by two Master's degrees from a UK Business School and another in Psychology in Hong Kong. Her diverse educational background equips her with the interdisciplinary skills essential for addressing mental health issues among ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, from both micro- and macro-perspectives.

Passionate about academic research and making positive community impacts, she strives to translate her knowledge into effective solutions that address the unique mental health challenges faced by Hong Kong's ethnic minority populations. Recognizing the value of scientific research, she is committed to providing empirically-informed insights for the field, ensuring that her work is grounded in evidence-based practices.

By fostering meaningful connections and promoting well-being, Cassy uses her diverse skills and academic background to create lasting, positive change in the communities she serves.

Assistant Manager


Email: ashakurian@ust.hk

Ms. Asha Sujith is a clinical psychologist and a mental health counsellor who is passionate about using her clinical skills and expertise in community-based mental health services. Ms. Asha holds a bachelor's in psychology, a master's in clinical and counselling psychology and an MPhil in Clinical psychology. She is a certified Yoga instructor too. She is a registered clinical psychologist under the Rehabilitation Council of India and a member of the American Psychological Association.

She has worked with people from various cultural and socioeconomic backgrounds on a variety of clinical and non-clinical concerns and has provided psychotherapy and counselling services. 

She is passionate about offering mental health workshops and training and is also interested in developing evidence-based interventions that can assist people in overcoming psychological obstacles and leading fulfilling lives.

Assistant Officer

Yalan CHEN
Dr. Yalan CHEN

Email: yalan@ust.hk

Dr Chen has been involved in community-centred, cultural economics and public welfare services since her undergraduate life and served for over 10 years at Jiangnan Academy (JNSY) in Wuxi, Jiangsu, China. She was mainly responsible for academic activities, drafting/editing media reports, and media management. Moreover, she promoted the cultural, community, and activities of JNSY to the students, ethnic communities, academicians, and government leaders. 

Her passion to serve the community further thrived during her master’s education and continued even until the completion of her Ph.D. degree in Applied Economics from Nanjing University.

Currently, she works as an assistant officer at the Division of Public Policy, HKUST to continue her community services for ethnic minorities in Hong Kong to support their mental health, well-being, and cultural values.

Assistant Officer

Dr. Habeeb Ur REHMAN

Email: habeeb@ust.hk

Dr. Habeeb, holder of an MBBS degree and an ECFMG Certification, has dedicated nearly a decade to clinical practice in an underserved community in Pakistan. His work has also addressed the critical issue of 'Vaccine Hesitancy' within the community.

With a special interest in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, he is committed to the projects’ goal of enhancing the mental well-being of ethnic minorities in Hong Kong.

Assistant Officer

Assistant Officer Helen
Ms. Helen Lee Yin Kwan

Email: yinkwan@ust.hk

Helen is a distinguished graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), where she earned her Master of International Social and Public Policy degree. Helen's journey began with a Liberal Studies Education degree during her undergraduate studies, during which she actively engaged in service-based research activities. It was through these experiences that her passion for social policy advocacy was ignited.

With an unwavering commitment to community contribution and professional development, Helen joined the esteemed Mental Health Projects Team. Leveraging the knowledge and skills gained from her diverse educational background, she currently serves in the role of Assistant Officer, undertaking crucial administrative responsibilities for our mental health projects.

PhD Student

Mengyuan NIU
Ms. Mengyuan NIU

Email: mniu@connect.ust.hk

Mengyuan, a  PhD student in the Division of Public Policy at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, embarked on her academic journey as a research postgraduate student. Since being a research postgraduate student, she has cultivated her interest in the social relationships, migration, and mental health of the elderly population. Currently, she is particularly passionate about investigating the ethnic minority elderly group in Hong Kong, including their mental health, family relations, and cultural integration. 

Within the research areas, she is immersing herself in rigorous training to become a proficient researcher. This involves acquiring a strong foundation in research principles, conducting comprehensive social surveys, and conducting interviews to gather representative data for subsequent analysis.

By leveraging empirical research findings, Mengyuan will utilize her specialized knowledge and findings to support, and make valuable contributions to the ethnic minority community in Hong Kong.

PhD Student

Faisal Shaikh
Mr. Faisal Shaikh

Email: fshaikh@connect.ust.hk

Dr. Faisal Shaikh is a PhD student in the Division of Public Policy at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He holds a diverse academic background, with training in alternative medicine, emergency medicine, and public health, specializing in social epidemiology, obtained in India.

Building upon his experience as a clinician in India, Dr. Shaikh has emerged as a seasoned public health and policy professional with a deep commitment to health-related public policies. With over 13 years of experience, he has actively contributed to the design, implementation, and evaluation of a wide range of health policies and programs.

Throughout his career, Dr. Shaikh has played a pivotal role in advancing universal health coverage, strengthening health systems, and shaping primary healthcare policies and guidelines. His collaborations with governments, international NGOs, and the World Health Organization have seen him serve as a health officer, international consultant, and policy advisor.

In his academic pursuits, Dr. Shaikh focuses on researching health policies, including those related to mental health, with the aim of improving access and empowering underserved communities. He has a particular interest in developing systems interventions that strengthen primary healthcare systems, address social and community-level determinants of health, and design policies to combat health inequities.

Assistant Officer

Mr. Haoming ZHANG

Email: hmingzh@ust.hk

Ming is a Master of Public Policy graduate of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He also earned a Sociology degree and organized various service-learning activities during his undergraduate studies. His academic career and experience sparked his passion for social policy analysis and dedication to the field of social service.

Ming joined the Mental Health Projects Team with a passion for contributing to the community and developing his professional research expertise. Utilizing the knowledge and skills acquired through his diverse educational background, Ming is currently engaged in the study of mental well-being of ethnic minority elders. 

By leveraging research findings, Ming aims to raise public awareness of ethnic minority well-being in Hong Kong and provide policy recommendations to help improve the situation.