Centre for Oncology and Immunology (COI)

For over a century, scientists and clinicians have collectively combatted cancer using a diversity of approaches, including drug treatment, surgery, radiation and chemotherapy. In spite of the advances in prognosis and therapeutics in different types of cancer, many malignancies including liver, gastric, colorectal, head/neck, breast, ovarian and lung cancers remain difficult to treat.

The long-term objective of the Centre for Oncology and Immunology is to employ novel functional screens, animal and cell models including organoids, immune-oncology approach, as well as advanced genomic and proteomic techniques down to single cell resolution to identify novel “druggable” cancer targets for hard-to-treat malignancies. The ultimate goal is to develop therapeutics against these targets and to conduct clinical trials evaluating these drugs along with biomarkers with an eye to their eventual commercialization worldwide. Success in this venture will address pressing unmet medical needs and establish Hong Kong as a leading hub of innovative anti-cancer and immuno-oncology drug development.

The Centre is led by Co-directors Professor Tak Mak and Professor SY Leung. A number of research programmes are developed under the centre to achieve the above objectives:

  1. Liver Cancer
    Programme Leader: Dr Carmen Wong
  2. Gastric and Colorectal Cancers
    Programme Leader: Professor SY Leung
  3. Hematopoietic Cancers
    Programme Leader: Professor Anskar Leung
  4. Immuno-Oncology
    Programme Leader: Professor Tak Mak
  5. Advanced Technical Platforms
    These include functional genomics (Dr Alan Wong); cancer organoid platform (Dr Helen Yan); Single Cell Technologies; T cell-based immunotherapies; Medicinal Chemistry and drug development; multi-omic profiling and bioinformatics; translational research and clinical trial; co-led by various academics from Faculty of Medicine and international collaborators.
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