School of Biomedical Sciences

http://www.sbms.hku.hk
What is cell signaling and how can we understand it at the molecular, genetic, structural and system levels?
How is cell signaling different in cancer, aging and neurodegenerative, skeletal and infectious diseases?
What are the genes, proteins, molecular networks and mechanisms involved in growth and development of bones, cartilage, neurons and other tissues?
Where do different types of stem cells come from and how can they be harnessed to treat human diseases?

Major Research Areas

Adhesion signalling and invadosome regulation:
The research focuses on direct visualisation of signal transduction and molecular reorganisation at integrin-mediated cell adhesion sites. Focal adhesion, podosome, and invadopodia are multi-molecular adhesion machineries that the cell uses to adhere onto extracellular ligands and initiate downstream signalling.  In particular, metastatic cancer cells form invadopodia at the cell-matrix interface and invade through the tissue. Integrin and integrin-associated molecules have been identified as therapeutic targets to inhibit cancer cell invasion. Cross talk between integrin and other membrane kinase plays critical roles in cell migration and invasion. A combination of advanced fluorescence microscopy and molecular/cell biology techniques will be utilised to decipher the adhesion-signalling network and suppress the formation of cancer invadosome.

Contact Person:
Dr C.H. Yu
Tel: 3917 9205
Fax: 28170857
Email: chyu1@hku.hk

Bioinformatics:
Computational analyses of biological sequences, structures and processes; method development

Contact Persons
Dr. L.W.T. Cheung
Tel: 3917 6908
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: lydiacwt@hku.hk

Dr. A.S.L. Wong
Tel: 3917 9208
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: aslw@hku.hk

Dr Y.Q. Song
Tel: 3917 9245
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: songy@hku.hk

Cancer:
Cancer cell biology; intracellular signalling of oncogenes and tumour suppressor genes; cancer cell invasion and motility; telomere dynamics, telomerase and cell immortalisation; DNA damage and genomic instability; tumour metabolism and micro environment;  cancer immunology and inflammation; cancer stem cells; molecular genetics of nasopharyngeal carcinoma and esophageal carcinoma; Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection and viral carcinogenesis; cancer epigenetics and molecular pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma; translational cancer medicine; precision cancer medicine; physiology and pharmacology of natural and synthetic small- and macro-molecules on normal and cancerous tissue growth

Contact Persons
Dr A. Cheung
Tel: 3917 9293
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: lmcheung@hku.hk

Dr. L.W.T. Cheung
Tel: 3917 6908
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: lydiacwt@hku.hk

Dr Y.P. Ching
Tel:3917 9434
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: ypching@hku.hk

Dr M.S.Y. Huen
Tel: 3917 6868
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: huen.michael@hku.hk

Professor D.Y. Jin
Tel: 3917 9491
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: dyjin@hku.hk

Dr S. Ma
Tel: 3917 9238
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: stefma@hku.hk

Dr S.Y.W. Shiu
Tel: 3917 9261
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: sywshiu@hku.hk

Dr. A.C.M. Tsang
Tel: 3917 9177
Fax: 28170857
Email: annatsan@hku.hk

Professor G.S.W. Tsao
Tel: 3917 9227
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: gswtsao@hku.hk

Dr C.H. Yu
Tel: 3917 9205
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: chyu1@hku.hk

Cardiovascular physiology:
Neural and endocrine control of the cardiovascular system; cardioprotection of preconditioning and sex hormones; control of blood flow in skeletal muscle, nose and salivary glands; cardiovascular responses to acute hypoxia; cardiovascular molecular and cellular biology

Contact Persons
Dr H. Ballard
Tel: 3917 9232
Fax: 2855 9730

Email: ballard@hku.hk

Professor K.R. Boheler
Tel: 2831 5405
Email: bohelerk@hku.hk

Cellular signalling and stress biology:
Biochemical basis of cell signalling; cellular response to endoplasmic reticulum stress and oxidative stress; unfolded protein response; protein post-translational modifications; protein degradation; physiological responses to hypoxia and ischaemia

Contact Persons
Professor D. Chan
Tel: 3917 9482
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: chand@hku.hk

Professor K.S.E. Cheah
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kathycheah@hku.hk

Dr Y.P. Ching
Tel: 3917 9434
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: ypching@hku.hk

Dr M.L. Fung
Tel: 3917 9234
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: fungml@hku.hk

Dr. B. Gao
Tel: 3917 6809
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: gaobo@hku.hk

Dr M.S.Y. Huen
Tel: 3917 6868
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: huen.michael@hku.hk

Professor D.Y. Jin
Tel: 3917 9491
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: dyjin@hku.hk

Dr N.S. Wong
Tel: 3917 9142
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: nswong@hku.hk

Dr K.M. Yao
Tel: 3917 9275
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kmyao@hku.hk

Chemical biology:
Structural, functional and chemical approaches to probing molecular interactions and networks to elucidate the mechanisms of disease and therapeutic treatments.

Contact Person
Dr J.A. Tanner
Tel: 3917 9472
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jatanner@hku.hk

Clinical anatomy and anatomy education:
The research interest on clinical anatomy focuses on the study of human anatomy in relation to clinical practice: clinical procedures, minimal invasive surgeries, anatomical variations, radiological anatomy, functional anatomy, etc.

The research interest on anatomy education focuses on the teaching and learning of anatomy and non-discipline related skills.

Contact Person
Dr L.K. Chan
Tel: 3917 9077
Fax: 28162293
Email: lapki@hku.hk

DNA damage response and genome stability:
This research aims to understand how mammalian cells cope with genotoxic stress via evolutionarily conserved mechanisms including cell cycle checkpoint control and DNA repair.  DNA is constantly challenged by a variety of mutagenic agents, underscoring the need for an efficient system to protect genome integrity, which is pivotal for faithful inheritance of our genetic materials. This system, collectively termed “The DNA Damage Response”, not only has been implicated as an anti-cancer barrier during early human tumourigenesis, but also is functionally coupled to diverse cellular processes, the dysregulations of which contribute to human conditions including aging-associated diseases and neurodegenerative disorders.  Basic molecular and cell biology techniques will be used to address how the components of the DNA Damage Response are connected and how they sense and transmit DNA damage signals to orchestrate appropriate cellular protocols that, in concert, promote cell survival.

Contact Person
Dr M.S.Y. Huen
Tel: 3917 6868
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: huen.michael@hku.hk

Functional and developmental genomics:
Determination and analysis of gene function by gene targeting (‘knock-out’) technology in mice; studying perturbations in developmental processes and their impact on genes and gene function by comparative analyses of transcriptomes, proteomes and epigenomes. Specific areas include craniofacial and heart development, formation of the sensory organs and the skeleton, premature aging processes, diabetic neuropathy, retinopathy, hypertension, stroke, and neurodegeneration and regeneration.

Contact Persons
Professor D. Chan
Tel: 3917 9482
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: chand@hku.hk

Professor K.S.E. Cheah
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kathycheah@hku.hk

Dr M.C.H. Cheung
Tel: 3917 6867
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: mcheung9@hku.hk

Professor S.K. Chung
Tel: 3917 9172
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: skchung@hku.hk

Dr B. Gao
Tel: 3917 6809
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: gaobo@hku.hk

Professor M.H. Sham
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: mhsham@hku.hk

Dr Y.M.E. Wong
Tel: 3917 9477
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: elainewg@hku.hk

Professor Z.J. Zhou
Tel: 3917 9542
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: zhongjun@hku.hk

Functional proteomics:
Generation and comparative analysis of proteomes using 2-D MS/MS or ICAT LC-MS/MS; proteomic changes associated with cellular changes in health and disease using in vitro and in vivo approaches.

Contact Persons
Professor D. Chan
Tel: 3917 9482
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: chand@hku.hk

Professor K.S.E. Cheah
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kathycheah@hku.hk

Dr J.A. Tanner
Tel: 3917 9472
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jatanner@hku.hk

Glycobiology of cell-matrix interactions:
Nerve repair and regeneration in glycosaminoglycan-modified environments; stem cell mechanobiology;  glycosaminoglycan intervention of respiratory tract inflammation.

Contact Person
Professor D.K.Y. Shum
Tel: 3917 9171
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: shumdkhk@hku.hk

Human molecular genetics:
Human genetic analysis and characterisation of predisposing genes for common diseases, such as degenerative disc disease, Alzheimer’s disease, nasopharyngeal carcinoma and others; identifying genetic modifiers for congenital heart disease using mouse models; use of cell and animal models to understand molecular mechanisms of diseases.

Contact Persons
Professor D. Chan
Tel: 3917 9482
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: chand@hku.hk

Professor K.S.E. Cheah
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kathycheah@hku.hk

Dr B. Gao
Tel: 3917 6809
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: gaobo@hku.hk

Dr Y.Q. Song
Tel: 3917 9245
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: songy@hku.hk

Dr. A.S.L. Wong
Tel: 3917 9208
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: aslw@hku.hk

Molecular biology of the extracellular matrix:
Regulation of chondrocyte differentiation and gene expression; identification of extracellular signals, transcription factors and their target genes important for osteochondro progenitors and cartilage formation; genetic factors for the regulation of bone growth and healing; transgenic mouse models of inherited connective tissue disease in humans; regulation of matrix assembly in cartilage and bone.

Contact Persons
Professor D. Chan
Tel: 3917 9482
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: chand@hku.hk

Professor K.S.E. Cheah
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kathycheah@hku.hk

Molecular developmental biology:
Genes involved in early mammalian development, tissue regeneration and skeletal development; analysis of regulation of Hox homeobox and Sox gene expression and function; inner ear, pancreatic β-cell, neural crest and heart development. Technology platforms include mouse genetics and chick embryo injection.

Contact Persons:
Professor K.S.E. Cheah
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kathycheah@hku.hk

Dr M.C.H. Cheung
Tel: 3917 6867
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: mcheung9@hku.hk

Dr R.K. Ng
Tel: 3917 9541
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: raykitng@hku.hk

Professor M.H. Sham
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: mhsham@hku.hk

Dr K.M. Yao
Tel: 3917 9275
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kmyao@hku.hk

Molecular mechanisms of intracellular transportation and diseases:
Characterisation of the functions of intracellular transportation of proteins and organelles in neurons, melanocytes and chondrocytes; studies of the relationship between intracellular transportation and Alzheimer’s disease; cytoskeletal dynamics in neuronal motility

Contact Persons
Dr. C.W. Lee
Tel: 3917 9202
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: chiwai.lee@hku.hk

Professor J.D. Huang
Tel: 3917 6810
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jdhuang@hku.hk

Molecular medicine:
The research focuses on the signalling pathways of inflammation, oxidative stress and apoptosis in the liver. These main events could lead to the development of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), fibrosis and cancer. Understanding these underlying events would allow us to develop therapeutic targets against critical signalling pathways that regulate the progression of NAFLD. Another aspect of the research focuses on the role of cyclooxygenase (COX) and inflammasomes in liver injury. The COX gene and inflammasomes play a critical role in the inflammatory diseases of the liver through its mediation in the production of prostaglandins and cytokines, respectively.

Contact Person
Dr G.L. Tipoe
Tel: 3917 9185
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: tgeorge@hku.hk

Molecular virology:
Coronaviruses; influenza A viruses; human oncogenic viruses including Epstein-Barr virus and hepatitis B virus; molecular mechanisms of innate antiviral immunity; virus-cell interaction; antiviral aptamers; viral helicases; viral vectors; viral genome editing by CRISPR/Cas9; viral microRNAs.

Contact Persons
Dr C.P. Chan
Tel: 3917 6812
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: chancp10@hku.hk

Professor J.D. Huang
Tel: 3917 6810
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jdhuang@hku.hk

Professor D.Y. Jin
Tel: 3917 9491
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: dyjin@hku.hk

Dr J.A. Tanner
Tel: 3917 9472
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jatanner@hku.hk

Behavioral, cellular and molecular neuroscience:
Molecular control of the development and regeneration of the nervous system; nerve cell membrane functions; synaptic development and plasticity; neuron migration; neural coding of spatial navigation; role of proteoglycans in neuronal growth and regeneration; hearing and balance defects;  neural regeneration after trauma; neuroprotection of dopamine neurons in Parkinson’s disease; motor system in normal subjects and patients with motor disorder; pathogenesis of muscular dystrophy; deep brain stimulation in neurological and neuropsychiatric diseases

Contact Persons
Professor Y.S. Chan
Tel: 3917 9163
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: yschan@hku.hk

Dr C.S.W. Lai
Tel: 3917 9266
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: coraswl@hku.hk

Dr K.O. Lai
Tel: 3917 9521
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: laiko@hku.hk

Dr. C.W. Lee
Tel: 3917 9202
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: chiwai.lee@hku.hk

Dr. L.W. Lim
Tel: 3917 6830
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: limlw@hku.hk

Professor D.K.Y. Shum
Tel: 3917 9171
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: shumdkhk@hku.hk

Dr. A.S.L. Wong
Tel: 3917 9208
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: aslw@hku.hk

Neurodegeneration:
Investigation of molecular signalling pathways leading to apoptosis, autophagy, synaptic degeneration, and dysfunction of axonal transport in neurodegenerative disorders (including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, stroke, motor neuron disease, and multiple sclerosis); neuroinflammation and neuroimmunology,; molecular and cellular mechanisms in the differentiation of endogenous neural stem cells after spinal cord injury; search for cure for paralysis associated with spinal cord injury and other central nervous system (CNS) diseases, mechanisms of neurotrophic factors and cell adhesion molecules in promoting neuronal survival and axonal outgrowth after neural injury, molecular mechanisms differentiation of stem cells in aging and damaged CNS injury, both the first and secondary degeneration of  neurons in disease conditions, such as spinal cord injury, age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and the elucidation of the factors that influence the survival of these neurons and dissection of cellular mechanisms by which these changes occur; stem cell in Parkinson’s disease and depression.

Contact Persons
Dr R.C.C. Chang
Tel: 3917 9127
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: rccchang@hku.hk

Professor S.K. Chung
Tel: 3917 9172
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: skchung@hku.hk

Professor W.T. Wu
Tel: 3917 9187
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: wtwu@hku.hk

Recombineering – mechanisms and applications:
Development of technologies for functional genomic studies and gene therapy; understanding of the mechanism underlying single strand oligonucleotide mediated homologous recombination.

Contact Person:
Professor J.D. Huang
Tel: 3917 6810
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jdhuang@hku.hk

Stem cell biology:
Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells; patient-derived iPS cells for disease modelling and therapy; neural stem cells; neural crest cells; mesenchymal stem cells; stem cell self-renewal in cancer and aging and epigenetic reprogramming in stem cells; derivation of new neurons and Schwann cells from bone marrow cells;.

Contact Persons:
Professor K.R. Boheler
Tel: 2831 5405
Fax: 3017 5508
Email: bohelerk@hku.hk

Professor D. Chan
Tel: 3917 9482
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: chand@hku.hk

Professor Y.S. Chan
Tel: 3917 9163
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: yschan@hku.hk

Professor K.S.E. Cheah
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: kathycheah@hku.hk

Dr B. Gao
Tel: 3917 6809
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: gaobo@hku.hk

Dr R.K. Ng
Tel: 3917 9541
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: raykitng@hku.hk

Professor M.H. Sham
Tel: 3917 9240
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: mhsham@hku.hk

Professor D.K.Y. Shum
Tel: 3917 9171
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: shumdkhk@hku.hk

Professor Z.J. Zhou
Tel: 3917 9542
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: zhongjun@hku.hk

Structural biology:
Development of crystallographic methods; structural/functional studies of proteins by NMR and X-ray crystallography.

Contact Persons
Professor Q. Hao
Tel: 3917 9194
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: qhao@hku.hk

Dr C.M. Qian
Tel: 3917 6820
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: cmqian@hku.hk

Structure and function of cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator

Contact Person
Dr. J.H. Chen
Tel: 3917 9512
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: jeng-haur-chen@hku.hk

Synthetic biology:
Design and fabrication of artificial biological circuits to control pattern formation and stem cell self-renewal/differentiation.

Contact Persons
Professor J.D. Huang
Tel: 3917 6810
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: jdhuang@hku.hk

Dr. A.S.L. Wong
Tel: 3917 9208
Fax: 2855 1254
Email: aslw@hku.hk

Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM):
Effect of various types of TCM on neuroprotection against neuroregeneration of central nervous system (CNS) neurons (including eye and spinal cord neurons); the role of TCM in the regulation of tumour inflammation and metabolism; mechanisms and anti-tumour effects of TCM, mechanisms of antioxidant properties of herbs on protection of the liver from carbon tetrachloride toxicity and chronic liver injury; studies of Chinese herbs that promote blood flow and/or enhance immune response in the treatment of glaucoma, stroke and spinal cord trauma.

Contact Persons
Dr R.C.C. Chang
Tel: 3917 9127
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: rccchang@hku.hk

Dr A. Cheung
Tel: 3917 9293
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: lmcheung@hku.hk

Professor S.K. Chung
Tel: 3917 9172
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: skchung@hku.hk

Dr G.L. Tipoe
Tel: 3917 9185
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: tgeorge@hku.hk

Professor G.S.W. Tsao
Tel: 3917 9227
Fax: 2817 0857
Email: gswtsao@hku.hk

Departmental Postgraduate Admission Advisor
Professor Q. Hao
Tel: 3917 9194
Fax: 2855 9730
Email: qhao@hku.hk

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