Professor Brendan Weekes is (Foundation) Chair Professor of Communication Science in the Faculty of Education at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). He is also Chair in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences, University of Hong Kong; Founding Director of the Laboratory for Communication Science; Guest Professor, University of Science and Technology, Beijing; Primary Investigator, State Key Laboratory (SKL) in Brain and Cognitive Sciences, Hong Kong; Professorial Fellow, School of Psychological Sciences, University of Melbourne (alma mater); and Professorial Fellow, Melbourne Graduate School of Education, University of Melbourne. He has also served as the Acting Dean and Associate Dean in the Faculty of Education (HKU).
Before joining HKU, Professor Weekes was Reader in Experimental Psychology at University of Sussex (UK) with former positions at the Australian National University. He has served on committees for local and international engagement throughout his career including creation of cross-institutional degrees within the EU (Spain-UK) including postgraduate training in his laboratories of doctoral students and post-doctoral fellows supported by the British Council; Chevening Scholarships (Brazil); China-UK mobility funds, Marie Currie (EU) mobility grants; National Science Foundation, Universitas (U)21 (Amsterdam, Auckland, Connecticut, Davis, Edinburgh, Lund, Maryland, Melbourne, Queensland, UBC, Waseda and Zurich) as well as a co-supervisor of self-funded PhD students from around the world (India, Iran, Italy, Russia). As Associate Dean for Research (Higher Degrees) in the Faculty of Education at HKU, he was responsible for initiation of numerous research collaborations for junior (untenured) faculty and the development of the biannual Research Post-graduate Conference in the Faculty via initiation of exchange incoming and outgoing visits with Kings College London, UCL and U21 member universities (Melbourne, New South Wales, Queensland and Zurich) as well as the enhancement of exchange opportunities with the Universities of Illinois Urbana–Champaign, Nebraska , Gothenburg, and Monash. He has developed several links with the Association of Pacific Rim Universities (ANU, Sydney, Peking, Tsinghua, Stanford, Universities of California – including his alma mater Berkeley – Davis, Irvine, San Diego, Santa Barbara and University of Southern California). His international research expertise has attracted numerous visitors to HKU from the top 20 institutions including Cornell, ETH Zurich, Johns Hopkins, Harvard, MIT, Yale, Stanford, UCSF, with initiatives planned at Chicago, Columbia, Cornell, Imperial, McGill, Pennsylvania, Tokyo and Toronto. His laboratories have attracted 4 Distinguished University Professors to HKU: Professors Glyn Humphreys and Jane Riddoch (Oxford), William Marslen-Wilson (Cambridge) and Loraine Tyler (Cambridge). These DVPs are at the apex in their field of Communication Sciences – including Education, Linguistics, Neuroscience and Psychology.
Professor Weekes has established alumni, research, teaching and other collaborations with some of HKU’s collaborating institutions Cambridge, Kings, Sciences Po, UCL with plans for others (SusTech and Toronto) as well as scope for development with ANU and Melbourne.
Professor Weekes is able to attract and retain international networks of the highest possible calibre to HKU. His proven skill is vital for continuing the globalization of higher education in an ever-interconnected and interdependent mobile world. As noted in our Vision Statement “Internationalisation is not an end in itself but a path to augment a core mission”. Professor Weekes has demonstrated without doubt that he can “synergise Mainland and international strengths, experiences, and networks to augment opportunities … in teaching and learning, research, and knowledge exchange. Most notably, Professor Weekes has been a well-known advocate for diversity, inclusiveness, and dispersing the benefit of HKU internationalisation.
Professor Weekes is widely recognised internationally for his research achievements. With reference to recruitment of international excellence to HKU and in previous appointments, Professor Weekes has been appointed to Editorial Boards for international journals: Spain Psicologica (Spanish Experimental Psychology) 2006-present; Iran West Asian Journal of Speech-Language Pathology, 2016-present; Italy Cognitive Processes, 2015-2018; Suisse Languages, 2015-present; Denmark and UK Language Science, 2014-present; UK and USA Aphasiology, Behavioural Neurology, Bilingualism: Language and Cognition 2013-present. He has been invited as Co-Investigator on numerous applications for research funds since arriving at HKU with funding from 2010-present National Science Foundation OISE-1545900: Partnerships in International Research and Education (PIRE): Translating cognitive and brain science in laboratory and field to language environments, 2016-2021 (Co -I, US$5,000,000); 2014, ARC Centre of Excellence in the Dynamics of Language (AI, 7 years, AUS$37M); 2013, Center for Multilingualism across the Lifespan, SFF/RC Norway NK5+Billion; 2012, A Review on Early Childhood Development, DIFD, UK (Co-I, £50,000); 2010, IDEALAB (Erasmus Mundi) EU (Co-I, €3700,000) 2010, Picture naming in Chinese. Netherlands Academy (Co-I €30,000). He has received dozens of invitations to deliver invited Keynote and Plenary speeches on all continents since taking up his post at HKU e.g. as Keynote Speaker, Japan Dyslexia Research Association, Tokyo Japan, (June, 2019). Other invitations listed below were all fully funded. Keynote Speaker, TECH conference (UNESCO), Visakhapatnam, India (November, 2018) Keynote Speaker, Bilingualism and Cognition, BITAS, Goa, (November, 2018) Keynote Speaker, 5th Cognitive Science Conference, IIT Guwahati (October 2018)
Invited Speaker, Institute of Psychiatry (BIB), Kings College London (August, 2018)
Invited Speaker, Department of Psychology, Brunel University London (August, 2018)
Invited Speaker, Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge (July, 2018)
Invited Speaker, Graduate School of Education, Peking University (June, 2018)
Keynote Speaker, Neuroscience Society of Nepal, IBRO, Kathmandu (May, 2018)
Invited Speaker, Professorial Inauguration, University of Melbourne (March, 2018)
Invited Speaker, Learning and the Brain at Fairmont, San Francisco (February, 2018)
Invited Speaker, Memory and Aging Center (MAC), UC San Francisco (February, 2018)
Invited Speaker, Brain-LENS Imaging Lab (Hoeft Lab), UC San Francisco (February, 2018)
Invited Speaker, Global Convergence in Science of Learning, Arlington (February, 2018)
Keynote, International Brain Modes Conference, Menasar India (December, 2017)
Invited Speaker, International Science of Learning Conference (September, 2017)
Keynote, International Conference on Positive Mental Health Education (May 2017)
Invited Speaker, Professorial Inauguration, University of Science and Technology (May)
Invited speaker, University of Freiburg (Germany) and Fribourg (Switzerland) (2016)
International Speaker, NSF, University of California (San Diego) (November, 2016)
International Speaker, SLRC, University of Queensland (Brisbane) (August, 2016)
Keynote, 3rd India Cognitive Science Conference, Gandhinagar, India (October, 2016)
Keynote Speaker, Australian Society for Study of Brain Impairment (September, 2016)
Keynote Speaker, Ethics of Emerging Technology, University of Queensland (March 2016)
Invited Speaker, for His Holiness the Dalai Lama, Tibet House, Delhi (February 2016)
World Federation of Neurology, Biennial meeting (all meetings between 2012- 2016)
Invited Speaker, 31st Bressanone Workshop on Cognitive Neuropsychology (2014)
Opening Keynote Address, Norwegian Research Council MultiLing (September 2013)
Keynote Speaker, Iranian Society for Language and Speech Science (May 2012)
Keynote Speaker on Bilingual Aphasia, Swiss Aphasia Association, Berne (June 2010)
Professor Weekes is Chair in the Division of Speech and Hearing Sciences and an Executive Member of the Laboratories of Communication Science and Disorders, a consortium based at HKU of Chinese campus partners and research-intensive universities in Greater China. In this role, Professor Weekes has established collaborations at the University of Science and Technology (Honorary Professor) the Graduate School of Education at Peking University and lower ranked colleges (Beijing Normal, East China Normal, South China Normal Universities). Professor Weekes currently holds (probono) consultant roles at the China Centre for Disease Control, IBM (China), National China Center of Non-Communicable Diseases (Elderly Health), Chinese Ministry of Education (Mental Health) and National Institute of Education (Haidian District Beijing). Updated information can be found at this site: https://lcs.edu.hku.hk/news/
Professor Weekes qualified in experimental psychology at the University of Melbourne (BA) and UC Berkeley and then clinical and cognitive neuropsychology (MSc & PhD) at Macquarie University. He worked at the University of Birmingham, Australian National University and Sussex prior to joining HKU as well as holding adjunct positions at University of Cambridge.
Professor Weekes’s research focuses on cognition and neuropsychology with applications to the fields of education, linguistics, mental health, psychology, and speech sciences. He is an elected fellow of the Psychonomic Society (US) and an elected member of the Experimental Psychology Society (UK) and the Academy of Aphasia (US). He elected Fellow of the College of Clinical Psychologists of the Australian Psychology Society and licensed clinical psychology practitioner with Medicare in all Australian states. His extensive involvement with medicine, regulatory and policy bureaus relevant to global health including developing countries gives him a unique capacity to administer the portfolio of Global Affairs at any tertiary institution. His laboratory is funded by the Research Grants Council of Hong Kong, the National Science Foundation as well as international and private agencies. He has published over 100 papers in peer-reviewed international journals and multiple other publications including abstracts, book chapters, and posters. He has mentored 500+ undergraduate, graduate, post-doctoral students and clinicians around the world (e.g. at Universities of Milan, Moscow and Tehran).
Professor Weekes has had a very international career, having lived and worked extensively in Asia, EU, US, and recently the UK. He speaks basic Mandarin Chinese and Spanish. He has a mission to develop education, health, international relations, world leading research and community service with an impact mostly on the third world. As one example, he initiated a research seminar on communication disorders in migrants in refugees for the International Society for Bilingualism and co-wrote a report on cognitive development in the global south for DIFD (UK Government). At HKU, he led multiple university initiatives in research specific to brain and cognitive sciences, communication disorders, healthy aging, science of learning and international engagement. He has co-directed the Sino-UK Brain and Intelligence Center since 1997. This was the first physical collaborative laboratory facility located outside the UK in the history of Sino-UK relations funded by the British Academy, Royal Society, Wellcome Trust, and UK Universities in China. He has achieved cutting-edge research and collaboration abroad within many disciplines in his career and promoted university brands internationally. Professor Weekes has strengthened his relationships with top institutions around the world and secured resources from public and private sectors as well as from alumni and university friends at some institutions (ANU, ARC, Berkeley, Cambridge, Melbourne, NSF, Oslo, Peking).