Why are some people more prone to develop cancers?
How can we know the functions of a gene?
How can we trace cancer cells in mice?
How can we study human cancers in animals?

Major Research Areas

Basic surgical science:
Oncology – cancer genetics; gene therapy; global gene expression profiling in human diseases by micro-array analysis; cancer proteomics; cancer biomarkers; novel therapeutics; cancer stem cells; patients’ specific induced pluripotent stem cells.

Development – developmental genetics; molecular mechanism and signalling in development; conditional knockout mouse model.

Immunology – transplantation immunology; cell adhesion molecules; leukocyte activation and migration; immune response to hepatitis.

Contact Person
Dr V.C.H.Lui
Tel: 3917 9607
Fax: 2819 9621
Email: vchlui@hku.hk

Breast cancer and surgery:
Laboratory projects – circulating biomarker discovery for breast cancer diagnosis and prognosis – molecular basis of microRNAs in breast cancer development and ovarian cancer; molecular risk panel study in Chinese breast cancer patients; functional study to evaluate mutations in BRCA1 and BRCA2 genes; an investigation into the presence of the human papilloma virus in breast cancer specimens from Hong Kong patients.

Clinical and laboratory projects – BRCA1/2 mutation carriers in Asia.

Surgical – a study on the use of accelerated partial breast irradiation (APBI) using the contura multi-lumen balloon breast brachytherapy catheter and the strut-adjusted volume implant (SAVI) in early stage breast cancer in Chinese women (funded by Hong Kong Cancer Fund); prospective randomised controlled trial comparing harmonic scalpel and electrocautery in mastectomy; prospective randomised controlled trial comparing octylcyanoacrilate tissue adhesive and suture for wound closure in breast surgery.

Psychosocial – BRCA1 and BRCA 2 genetic testing of hereditary breast and ovarian cancer among Hong Kong Chinese; a longitudinal study on its decisional considerations, psychosocial impact, behavioural impact, and implications to immediate and long-term clinical and psychological management; public perception and awareness on hereditary breast and ovarian cancer; a pioneer study on apprehension between individuals with different levels of genetic cancer risk.

Oncological – over 18 on-going oncological clinical trials running in the division.

Contact Person
Dr A. Kwong
Tel: 2255 4773
Fax: 2817 2291
Email: avakwong@hku.hk

Cardiothoracic surgery:
Clinical projects – analysis of long-term results of CABG in patients with diabetes mellitus; multivariate analysis of mortality and morbidity in redo valvular replacement, multivalent off-pump coronary bypass surgery, infective endocarditis and aortic aneurysm surgery; analysis of long-term survival in congenital cardiac surgery, such as the Fontan operation, arterial switch operation and adolescent tetralogy of Fallot; analysis of relationship between subarterial ventricular septal defect and aortic valve prolapse: determination of timing of surgical correction; correlation of intraoperative cerebral blood flow doppler assessment and postoperative psychoneurological dysfunction.

Clinical audit system using the Dendrite Clinical System (conjoint project with Prince of Wales and Queen Elizabeth Hospital Cardiothoracic Centres); short-term and long-term outcome of acute aortic dissection; aortic root replacement surgery – both valve sparing or replacing technique; complex aortic root surgery and thoracoabdominal aortic surgery – innovations and end organs protection especially cardiac and brain; complex neonatal cardiac surgery – innovations in blood preserving bypass technology and end organs protection especially cardiac and brain; minimal invasive cardiac surgery – especially in ASD, VSD, AVSD, heart valves surgery, mini thoracotomy vs robotic approach; complex valve repair surgery – mitral, tricuspid, aortic and pulmonary valves both in adult and paediatric patients; latest technology, surgical techniques and new biocompatible material for valve reconstruction; heart and lung transplantations with the latest surgical techniques, organ preservation and improvement of short- and long-term outcomes and number of successful transplantations.

Contact Person
Dr W.K.Au
Tel: 2255 5877 / 2255 5876
Fax: 2553 3436
Email: auwkt@ha.org.hk

Colorectal surgery:
Clinical projects – laparoscopic and robotic rectal resection; MRI and PET CT scan in assessing response to chemoradiation; preoperative chemoradiation and short course radiation for rectal cancer; novel techniques in laparoscopic colorectal resection; laparoscopic colorectal resection for obstructing cancer; surgical site infection; transanal endoscopic operation; advanced colonoscopic techniques; natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery; quality of life in colorectal cancer; comparison of mesh in open hernia repair; laparoscopic hernia repair in elective and emergency situations; hereditary colorectal cancer; treatment of haemorrhoids.

Laboratory projects – development of novel techniques in minimally invasive surgery; stress response following natural orifice translumenal endoscopic surgery; stem cells in colon cancer; molecular study in metastatic colorectal cancer.

Contact Person
Professor W.L. Law
Tel: 2255 4763 / 2255 4764
Fax: 2872 8425
Email: lawwl@hku.hk

Endocrine surgery:
Clinical projects – parathyroid autotransplantation: clinical and molecular studies; risk group analysis in thyroid carcinoma.

Laboratory projects – oncogene expression in thyroid and endocrine tumours; rapid PTH assay in parathyroid surgery; ret-protooncogene expression in papillary carcinoma of thyroid; genetic study of multiple endocrine neoplasia syndromes; proteomics of PTC.

Contact Person
Dr B.H.H. Lang
Tel: 2255 4232
Fax: 2817 2291
Email: blang@hku.hk

Esophageal surgery:
Clinical projects – preoperative chemoradiation for treatment of esophageal cancer; chemoradiation as definitive palliative treatment for esophageal cancer; intraluminal brachytherapy for treatment of esophageal cancer; metallic stenting for esophageal cancer; thoracoscopic esophageal resection for esophageal and hypopharyngeal cancer; minimal access surgery for achalasia; swallowing disorders: manometry; gastroesophageal reflux disease in Chinese; quality of life in patients with esophageal cancer; endoscopic ultrasound in staging of esophageal cancer.

Laboratory projects – molecular genetics of esophageal cancer; proteomic biomarkers.

Contact Person
Professor S. Law
Tel: 2255 4774
Fax: 2819 4221
Email: slaw@hku.hk

Gastroduodenal surgery:
Clinical projects – foreign body ingestion; ulcer diseases and related complications (e.g. laparoscopic surgery, therapeutic endoscopy for bleeding, management of perforated ulcer); helicobacter pylori infection; gastric tumours (adenocarcinoma, gastrointestinal stromal tumour, lymphoma); morbid obesity; upper gastrointestinal endoscopy; endoscopic therapy; small bowel endoscopy; endoscopic ultrasonography; laparoscopic and robotic upper gastrointestinal surgery.

Laboratory projects – ulcer diseases (e.g. growth factors, ulcerogenesis); gastric adenocarcinoma (e.g. molecular genetics, novel therapeutic approaches); gastric stromal tumour (e.g. molecular genetics).

Contact Person
Professor K.M. Chu
Tel: 2255 4637
Fax: 2819 4221
Email: chukm@hku.hk

Head and neck surgery:
Clinical projects – reconstructive options after major resections in the head and neck region; whole organ histological section to study patterns of tumour extension; nutritional study for patients undergoing major head and neck surgery; effects of radiotherapy on free tissue transferred with microvascular technique; nasopharyngeal cancer; hearing problems.

Contact Person
Dr J.Y.W.Chan
Tel: 2255 4583
Fax: 2818 4407

Hepatobiliary and pancreatic surgery:
Clinical projects – hepatocellular carcinoma: randomised controlled trials including non-operative treatment, surgical techniques and adjuvant therapy after hepatic resection; liver transplantation: clinical application of living related liver transplant in adults; biliary pancreatitis, acute cholangitis, intrahepatic stones, malignant biliary obstruction; endoscopic and laparoscopic ultrasonography.

Laboratory projects – liver cancer and liver transplantation; molecular biology, cancer and transplant immunology, virology (hepatitis), molecular imaging, stem cell.

Contact Person
Professor K. Man
Tel: 3917 9646
Email: kwanman@hku.hk

Translational research in neuro-oncology – epigenomics, proteomics and chemoresistance of malignant glioma; neuro-regenerative treatment for traumatic brain and spinal cord injury.
Clinical research in brain tumour pathology, epidemiology and management.

Contact Person
Dr G.K.K. Leung
Tel: 2255 3368, 2255 3773
Fax: 2818 4350
Email: gilberto@hku.hk

Otorhinolaryngology (Ear, Nose and Throat):
Clinical projects - Acoustic rhinomanometry in children; turbinectomy for hypertrophic inferior turbinate; orbital decompression for thyrotoxicosis; cochlea implant for children; otoacoustic emission for screening of high-risk newborn babies; dizziness and balance problems.

Contact Person
Dr W.K. Ho
Tel: 2255 4589
Fax: 2818 4407
Email: wkho@hku.hk

Paediatric surgery:
Clinical projects - Minimal invasive surgery; Hirschsprung’s disease; biliary atresia and choledochal cyst; childhood cancers.

Laboratory projects - Developmental and stem cell biology; modelling human disease by patient’s specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC); molecular genetics of Hirschsprung’s disease and related neural crest disorders; cellular mechanisms involved in VACTERL association; cancer stem cells; transplantation immunology.

Contact Person
Professor P.K.H. Tam
Tel: 2255 4850 / 2255 3536
Fax: 2817 3155
Email: paultam@hku.hk

Plastic and reconstructive surgery:
Clinical projects – the regenerative effect of mesenchymal stem cells in radiation damaged tissue; the reconstructive role of fat grafting

Contact Person
Dr G.K.H. Li
Tel: 22554394
Fax: 28193780
Email: georgeli@hku.hk

Clinical projects – clinical and research project on prostate cancer treatment, minimal invasive and robotic urology service and clinical research, surgical treatment of male infertility; various treatment options for erectile dysfunction; medical and surgical treatment of benign prostatic hyperplasia; drug trials for urological diseases. 

Laboratory project – molecular study of bladder cancer.

Contact Person
Dr M.K. Yiu
Tel: 2255 3023
Fax: 2872 8425
Email: yiumk2@ha.org.hk

Vascular disease and surgery:
Clinical projects – prospective study correlating demographic and biochemical risk factors and the severity and degree of progression and the long-term natural history of atherosclerosis in patients with peripheral arterial diseases; study, using ultrasonography, of the prevalence and the risks of deep-vein thrombosis in the Chinese population; computer-assisted carotid plaque morphology; progression of aortic dissection; computer-assisted analysis of aortic stent graft remodelling and migration.

Laboratory projects – study of the molecular basis, aortic dissection and cellular signalling involved in the pathogenesis of abdominal aortic aneurysms; expression of different cellular receptors and the modulators of extracellular matrix protein in human aneurismal aortic wall.

Contact Person
Professor S.W.K. Cheng
Tel: 2255 4962
Fax: 2855 4961
Email: wkcheng@hku.hk

Departmental Requirements
Students are required to attend and present at departmental research meetings and research laboratory meetings.

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Dr V.C.H.Lui
Tel: 3917 9607
Fax: 2819 9621
Email: vchlui@hku.hk

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