Department of Pathology

http://www.patho.hku.hk
What is the meaning of personalised medicine and how can it be harnessed?
How do cancers take control over the body and develop into a deadly disease?
Are immunological approaches effective for treating cancer or other diseases?
How are inherited disorders of blood and metabolism diagnosed and treated?

Major Research Areas

Gynaecological malignancies:
Molecular genetics in diseases of the female genital tract including cancers of ovary, endometrium and cervix as well as gestational trophoblastic disease. Genetic and signalling pathway studies on carcinogenesis, cancer stem cells, metastasis and chemosensitivity are some of the research topics.

Contact Person
Professor A.N.Y. Cheung
Tel: 2255 4876
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: anycheun@pathology.hku.hk

Gynaecological pathology:
Molecular mechanisms of the development and progression of uterine and ovarian  cancers and correlation with clinical features and patient outcomes. This valuable information will serve as a foundation for the development of targeted therapy and personalized medicine.

Contact Person
Dr P.P.C. Ip
Tel: 2255 4732
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: philipip@pathology.hku.hk

Molecular genetics and epigenetics of breast cancer in Chinese:
Our main research interest is focused on elucidating the molecular mechanisms leading to the development of endocrine- and chemo-resistance in breast cancer. This includes the study of candidate alternatively spliced variant and the regulation of translation by eukaryotic initiation factors.

Contact Person
Professor U.S. Khoo
Tel: 2255 4410
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: uskhoo@pathology.hku.hk

Molecular genetics in malignancies of the colon and stomach.

Contact Person
Professor S.Y. Leung
Tel: 2255 4401
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: suetyi@hku.hk

Characterisation of molecular mechanisms and signalling pathways in cancers.

Contact Person
Dr R.C.L. Lo
Tel: 2255 4858
Fax: 2218 5243
Email: reginalo@pathology.hku.hk

Molecular genetic and functional analyses of novel genes and important cellular pathways in liver cancer:
One of this laboratory’s research focuses is on the identification of tumour suppressor genes. We have previously characterised genes that may play important roles in the formation of liver cancer. We are continuing to characterise these novel tumour suppressor genes both genetically and functionally, and delineate their interacting partners and mechanisms. Characterisation of important cell signalling pathways is a major challenge in liver cancer research. We are characterising major oncogenic signalling pathways in liver cancer. We will also investigate the cooperation and crosstalk of this pathway with other critical genes and pathways.

Contact Person
Professor I.O.L. Ng
Tel: 2255 3967
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: iolng@hku.hk

Nasopharyngeal carcinoma: Pathogenetic roles of viruses in NPC and other infectious diseases of the respiratory tract.

Contact Person
Professor J.M. Nicholls
Tel: 2255 4883
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: nicholls@pathology.hku.hk

Malignant lymphoma:
Molecular pathogenic mechanisms of malignant lymphoma

Contact Person
Dr R.K.H. Au-Yeung
Tel: 2255 5659
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: rex.auyeung@hku.hk

Genetics and epigenetics of liver cancer:
Liver cancer is one of the most common malignancies worldwide and is particularly prevalent in Asia and Hong Kong. Our research focuses on studying the molecular mechanisms and implications of the genetic alterations (mutation, chromosomal gain/deletion) and epigenetic abnormalities (DNA methylation, histone modifications) in liver cancer and on deciphering novel tumour suppressor genes/microRNAs being inactivated by these genetic/epigenetic alterations.

Contact Person
Dr J.C.M. Wong
Tel: 3917 9656
Fax: 2819 5375
Email: jackwong@pathology.hku.hk

Molecular genetics of lung cancers:
The purpose of the studies is to identify cancer gene candidates and evaluate their clinical significance. Such information would be important for the development of new therapeutic approaches for lung cancer patients. The cancer gene candidates are analysed for mutations and expression profile changes as well as abnormalities in signalling pathways using clinical cancer samples. The functional effects on cell growth, senescence and other cancer-related processes are studied using transfection systems. Their clinical relevance is evaluated by studying their relation with patients’ clinical parameters, such as smoking history, gender, tumour stage and patient outcome.

Contact Person
Dr M.P. Wong
Tel: 2255 4861
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: mwpik@.hku.hk

Molecular mechanistic study of liver cancer:
Our research focuses on elucidating the functions and signalling pathways of focal adhesion molecules. These molecules are closely associated with liver cancer, and their deregulation contributes to the acquired aggressiveness of cancer cells. Our study has answered fundamental questions about the subcellular localisation, intracellular translocation and binding activity of these molecules as well as has unveiled the molecular basis that underlies liver cancer progression and metastasis. Our work also aims at providing insights into the development of new therapeutic approach.

Contact Person
Dr J.W.P. Yam
Tel: 2255 4864
Fax: 2218 5212
Email: judyyam@pathology.hku.hk

Functional characterisation of novel tumour driver genes in gastrointestinal tract cancer.

Contact Person
Dr H.H.N. Yan
Tel: 2255 4557
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: yanhelen@hku.hk

Inherited Haematological Diseases:
Phenotypic and genotypic studies of inherited haematological disorders, in particular red cell disorders including thalassaemias and haemoglobinopathies, membrane and enzyme defects.

Contact Person
Dr J.C.C. So
Tel: 2255 4570
Fax: 2871 7565
Email: scc@pathology.hku.hk

Immunology:
Lymphocyte development and its dysregulation in autoimmune disease - We are interested in studying lymphocyte development and its dysregulation during the pathogenesis of autoimmune disease. Using animal models for human rheumatoid arthritis and diabetes, we are developing novel strategies for the treatment of autoimmune disorders.

Contact Person
Professor L.W. Lu
Tel: 2255 4870
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: liweilu@hku.hk

Immunology:
Immune regulation in systemic autoimmunity & tumour immunology. In brief, we study the cellular & molecular mechanisms underlying systemic autoimmune & inflammatory disorders. Based on our findings, we try to understand how the immune system is normally regulated, why dysregulation of which may cause diseases and, whether and how, the so-called "self-reactivity" (autoimmune responses) can be effectively redirected, immunologically or molecularly, against tumours (i.e. the “altered self”):

  1. Immune regulation in systemic autoimmunity: Our studies focus on the roles of dendritic cells (DC), effector & regulatory T & B cells, and different cytokines of pro- vs anti-inflammatory nature, in systemic autoimmune (lupus, RA) & inflammatory (IBD) disorders;
  2. DC-based immunotherapies against liver & skin cancers: Findings from our studies above in autoimmune mechanisms have also offered some crucial new insights into our understanding of immunity against tumours, i.e. as to why the most effective way to enhance host immunity against cancer is by targeting the negative arm of immune regulation. In this direction, we aim to develop a novel, tailor-made & functionally conditioned stem cell-derived DC-based vaccine for cancer treatment.

Contact Person 
Dr F.P. Huang 
Tel: 2831 5496 
Fax: 2872 5197 
Email: fphuang@hku.hk

Chemical pathology:
Our main research interests are focused on (1) the elucidation of the molecular basis of inherited human diseases through the identification of disease-causing genes, (2) the development of molecular diagnostics through the identification of the mutation spectrum of disease-causing genes, and (3) next generation sequencing-based and microarray-based diagnosis of human genetic diseases.

Contact Person
Professor C.W. Lam
Tel: 2255 5655
Fax: 2855 9915
Email: ching-wanlam@pathology.hku.hk

Forensic medicine/pathology:
Forensic pathology; patterns of injury in homicides in Hong Kong; patterns of injury and their prevention in traffic fatalities; craniofacial measurements and their use in human identification and recognition; medico-social aspects of victim care; injury patterns in homicides.

Contact Person
Dr P.S.L. Beh
Tel: 2255 4863
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: philipbeh@pathology.hku.hk

Molecular biology of liver cancer, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC):
Our research focuses on two emerging aspects in HCC biology -

  • Tumour microenvironment in HCC: solid tumours are made up of malignant and other non-malignant cell types (stromal cells). Solid tumours are also embedded in a remodeled extracellular matrix (ECM). We are studying the molecular mechanisms by which these cellular and non-cellular components of the microenvironment promote cancer growth and metastasis.
  • Metabolic reprogramming in HCC: how the metabolic machineries are reprogrammed during the formation of HCC is largely unknown. Our group is investigating the signalling pathways that rewire the metabolic programmes in HCC, identify novel functions of metabolic.

Contact Person
Dr C.C.L. Wong
Tel: 2255 5077
Fax: 2218 5222
Email: carmencl@pathology.hku.hk

Departmental Requirements
Presentation of research seminar before the submission of thesis: MPhil (once), 3-year and 4-year PhD programme (twice).
Attendance of at least 70% of departmental seminars held during the course of studies.

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Dr J.W.P. Yam
Tel: 2255 4882
Fax: 2872 5197
Email: postgrad@pathology.hku.hk

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