Research Projects
Molecular signaling in gynaecological cancers as biomarkers in outcome prediction and therapeutic targets

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☑ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

Ovarian and endometrial cancers are the most lethal and common malignancies of the female genital tract, respectively, in many countries with increasing incidence in Hong Kong.

The options of targeted therapy for ovarian cancer at the moment are limited. Our laboratory has been conducting molecular signalling studies to identify novel potentially druggable targets for ovarian cancer therapy. Kinases are relatively common to be adopted as targets for cancer treatment. NUAK Family Kinase 2 (NUAK2) is a kinase sharing substantial sequence homology with the physiologically important 5’AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK), thus a member of the AMPK-related kinase (ARK) family. Our team has been investigating the role of NUAK2 in ovarian carcinogenesis including the unfolded protein response (UPR) pathway. Successful evasion of regulated cell death is a hallmark of cancer. Our team has been active in the study on the regulatory mechanisms of apoptosis and autophagy in relation to clinical and pathological parameters. Ferroptosis is a recently described form of regulated cell death. We are investigating the role of ferroptosis in ovarian cancer development and response to therapy.

Genetic classification of endometrial cancer based on the The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) findings is enables more precise prediction of clinical outcome and guidance to therapy. The POLEmut (pathogenic mutation in the exonuclease domain of POLE), MMRd (mismatch repair deficient), NSMP (no specific molecular profile) and p53mut serous like group have different molecular features, risk factors, prognosis and response to treatment. Genetic and epigenetic studies in endometrial cancers are being conducted in our laboratory.

Professor ANY Cheung, Department of Pathology

Scholars Hub

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.