Research Projects
Functional Characterisation of Patient-Derived Aberrated Genes In Gynaecological Cancers

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☑ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

Objective and Significance:

Precision cancer medicine is the tailoring of therapeutic strategies based on the genomic profile of the tumor. Successful implementation of precision cancer medicine requires identification and characterization of genomic aberrations that can be markers to effectively guide therapeutic decisions. The project aims to identify such genomic aberrations that promote tumorigenesis and alter responses to drugs.

Research Plan and Methodology:

Functional consequences downstream of the aberrations will be examined through analysis of omics data and experimental investigations including cell-based functional assays, expression/signaling profiling and drug sensitivity assays.

Professor LWT Cheung, School of Biomedical Sciences

Professor Lydia Cheung has a keen interest in genomic characterization and the associated signalling of cancer, through which we will understand the biology of treatment response and drug resistance. We have identified a number of genomic alterations that may inform therapeutic responses. 


Selected references

  1. Li X et al. Cancer-associated mutations in the p85α N-terminal SH2 domain activate a spectrum of receptor tyrosine kinases. 2021. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A.
  2. Rao L et al. p85β regulates autophagic degradation of AXL to activate oncogenic signaling. 2020. Nature Communications 11(1):2291. 
  3. Li X et al. Deregulated Gab2 phosphorylation mediates aberrant AKT and STAT3 signaling upon PIK3R1 loss in ovarian cancer. 2019. Nature Communications 10(1):716. 
  4. Cheung LW et al. Naturally occurring neomorphic PIK3R1 mutations activate the MAPK pathway, dictating therapeutic response to MAPK pathway inhibitors. 2014. Cancer Cell 26(4):479-494. 


Google Scholar

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.