Research Projects
Novel Treatment Approach for Chemoresistant Malignant Glioma

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☒ MPhil/PhD ☑ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS
About the Project

Objectives and Significance:

Malignant glioma is the commonest form of primary malignant brain tumours in adults. It is characterised by tumour invasiveness, rapid recurrence and a very poor patient prognosis. Temozolomide (TMZ) is an effective chemotherapeutic agent for glioma but drug-resistance is common and accounts for the majority of treatment failures. A better understanding of the underlying molecular mechanisms is crucial. The present project aims at identifying relevant molecular candidates that can be exploited as potential biomarkers and therapeutic targets. Several potential targets and treatments may be examined in the Supervisor ‘s laboratory. The ultimate goal is to translate laboratory findings into the effective treatment of malignant glioma with de novo or acquired TMZ-resistance.

Research Plan and Methodology:

  • Cell cultures of human glioma cells will be used to study in vitro the roles of novel molecular candidates in determining TMZ-resistance in glioma, and to develop means of overcoming such resistance. This involves the handling of cancer cell culture, the use of western blotting, PCR, and other molecular biology techniques. Once a potential therapeutic target has been identified, molecular interference will be performed to test for changes in malignant phenotypes.  Human glioma cells will then be implanted into rodent brain. The aim is to investigate the effect of any molecular intervention or exogenous treatment in vivo. This involves the performance of animal experiment, the monitoring of tumour response and functional outcome, and imaging techniques such as MRI. The tumour will also be examined afterwards using immunohistochemistry, microscopy and biochemical assays.
About the Supervisor

Professor GKK Leung, Department of Surgery


Next Step?

For more information or to express interest for this project, please email the supervisor or the specified contact point in the project description.  Interested candidates are advised to enclose with your email:

  1. your CV,
  2. a brief description of your research interest and experience, and
  3. two reference letters (not required for HKUMed UG students seeking MRes[Med]/URIS projects).

Information on the research programme, funding support and admission documentations could be referenced online at the Research Postgraduate Admissions website. General admission enquiries should be directed to

HKUMed MBBS students interested in the Master of Research in Medicine (MRes[Med]) programme may visit the programme website for more information.  

HKUMed UG students interested in the Undergraduate Research Internship Scheme (URIS) may visit the scheme’s website for more information.