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Personal profile


Dr Shirley Ngai obtained her BSc (Hons) in Physiotherapy and PhD from The Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Dr Ngai was the recipient of 2011 Australian Endeavour Research Fellowship and 2013 Asian Pacific Society of Respirology (APSR) short-term research fellowship for pursuing research studies specialised in airway obstructive diseases at the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital and The University of Sydney. Dr Ngai’s research interests include management of patients with chronic diseases, cardiopulmonary physiotherapy, exercise physiology and assessment.

Dr Ngai is enthusiastic in education. She is the principal applicant and co-applicant for more than US$1 million of teaching and learning grants to develop teaching innovation and integrate technology enhancement tools to enhance students’ learning and cater for their learning diversity in cardiopulmonary physiotherapy and clinical education. Dr Ngai is the recipient of several teaching awards including 2013/14 RS Departmental Outstanding Teaching Award, 2013/14 Faculty Award for Outstanding Performance in Teaching, 2016 UGC Teaching Award (Early Career Faculty Member) by the University Grants Committee, Second Prize of 2018 National Teaching Achievement Award (Higher Education) by the Ministry of Education in China, and 2019/20 President’s Awards for Outstanding Achievement in Teaching by The Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

In addition to her teaching and research leadership experience, Dr Ngai contributes to the professional services. She is currently Chairperson of the International Affairs and Publications Subcommittee of the Hong Kong Physiotherapy Association, Associate Editor of Hong Kong Physiotherapy Journal, and the elected President of the International Confederation of Cardiorespiratory Physiotherapists (ICCrPT).

Research interests

  • Cardiopulmonary Physiotherapy
  • Effect of Acu-TENS in chronic disease management
  • Exercise physiology and cardiopulmonary assessments in healthy and disease populations
  • Assessment of cerebral and tissue oxygenation using Near-Infrared Spectroscopy

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Education/Academic qualification

Postgraduate Diploma in Epidemiology and Biostatistics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

Bachelor of Science in Physiotherapy, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Doctor of Philosophy, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University

Diploma in Clinical Acupuncture, The University of Hong Kong, School of Professional and Continuing Education


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