Research Projects
Development of Nucleic Acid Aptamers for Therapeutics and Diagnostics

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☒ MPhil/PhD ☑ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

Objective and Significance:

Nucleic acid aptamers are useful tools which are developed using molecular evolution approaches to provide useful molecules for application in diagnostics, therapeutics and imaging. Our team has various projects ongoing across COVID-19, malaria, infertility, pancreatic cancer, emergency medicine and regenerative medicine where we are developing aptamers often through integration with DNA nanotechnology approaches for application. The precise objectives of a student project can be decided in discussion with Professor Julian Tanner according to the student’s interest.

Research Plan and Methodology:

Our team uses a wide range of techniques across molecular biology, structural biology, electrochemistry then combine approaches of biomedical engineering and imaging for a wide variety of translational applications. The research plan can be decided according to the objective in discussion with Professor Julian Tanner.

Professor JA Tanner, School of Biomedical Sciences

Julian Tanner has expertise in chemical biology, nucleic acids and directed evolution. He leads a team at HKUMed and at the Advanced Biomedical Instrumentation Centre at the Science Park in applying nucleic acid aptamers in diagnostics and therapeutics, and in developing DNA nanostructures for biomedical applications. 

HKU Scholars Hub
Lab Homepage

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.