Research Projects
Use of Autologous Bone Marrow-Derived Neural Progenitors for Cell Therapy in the Injured CNS and PNS

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

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

Objective and Significance:

Preclinical studies on the transplantation of neural progenitors into the injured CNS and PNS is efficacious, but hindered by lack of an immunocompatible cell source, and in the case of spinal cord injury, a narrow therapeutic window limited to the acute phase of injury. We have demonstrated a novel means of rapidly expanding upon neural progenitors from human bone marrow, and directing them to differentiate into myelinating glia.

The objective of this project is to test for the capacity of these human cells to promote regeneration in an animal injury model, towards applying this novel cell source at the bedside.

Research Plan and Methodology:

  1. Isolation of neural progenitors from human bone marrow
  2. Differentiation of neural progenitors into glia
  3. Cell transplantation into animal model of
    1. Sciatic nerve injury
    2. Thoracic spinal cord contusion
About the Supervisor

Dr GKH Shea, Department of Orthopaedics and Traumatology

Dr Graham Shea is a young clinician scientist awarded a combined MBBS/PhD degree in 2012. He was funded by the Croucher Foundation throughout his studies. His PhD thesis was completed at the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Hong Kong in the field of regenerative medicine. After completing his medical internship in 2013, he embarked on Orthopaedic Surgery Fellowship training at Queen Mary Hospital and completed his Specialty Exam in 2019.


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.