Research Projects
Biomolecular Studies in Gynaecological Cancers

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☒ MPhil/PhD ☑ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

Objective and Significance:

Biomolcular studies in gynaecological cancers improve our understanding of pathogenesis of cancers, provide novel biomarkers for prediction of tumour response to treatment and prognosis. The objective of this course is to develop therapeutic targets or biomarkers to help in clinical management of gynaecological cancers.

Research Plan and Methodology:

The candidate is expected to review the literature and drawn up a detailed research proposal to his/her project under supervision during the first month.

Biomolecular techniques include quantitative RT-PCR, western blot, DNA sequencing, molecular cloning, immunohistochemistry, cell culture, cell transfection, RNA/DNA/protein extraction, confocal microscopy, in vitro and in vivo tumorigenic assays. Details on which technique to use are related to the requirement of the individual project.

The candidate will take part in the laboratory work under supervision for 10 months. Data analysis will be performed under supervision to answer questions formulated in the proposal prepared by the candidate in the last month.

Professor KKL Chan, Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology

After graduating in medicine from the University of Cambridge, UK, Prof. Karen KL Chan completed her specialty training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology in both UK and Hong Kong. She obtained the fellowship of the Hong Kong College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (HKCOG) in 2005 and completed her subspecialty training in Gynaecological Oncology in 2008. She has obtained HKCOG accreditation as a specialist colposcopy trainer and advanced laparoscopy surgeon. She is a fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists ( RCOG ) since 2012. She obtained a Doctor of Medicine from the University of Hong Kong in 2022.

She is currently a clinical professor and chairperson at the Department of O&G, the University of Hong Kong. Apart from the clinical work at a tertiary gynecological oncology referral center, she is involved in both clinical and basic research, mainly in the area of gynecological malignancies. Her research interests include investigating effective treatment strategies for ovarian cancer with fewer side effects. Her basic research group is working on the delineation of underlying molecular mechanisms associated with tumorigenesis and chemoresistance of ovarian cancer. Her team is also investigating the possibility of dual targeted immunotherapy against ovarian cancer. She has published 148 peer-reviewed articles. The total number of citations exceeded 2909 and the h-index was 34. 

Prof Chan serves as an active member of the editorial board of the Journal of Paediatrics, Obstetrics and Gynaecology, ISRN Obstetrics, and Gynaecology. She is also a reviewer for a number of international journals. She is the President of the Hong Kong Society of Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology and a council member of the Hong Kong College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. She is involved in several HKCOG committees for the improvement of clinical service and training in Hong Kong, as well as the secretary general for AOGIN (Asia-Oceania Organisation in Genital Infection and Neoplasia).

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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.