Research Projects
In Search for Novel Combination Therapies for Cancers

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☒ MPhil/PhD ☑ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

Objective and Significance:

Therapeutic agents when applied in combination can exhibit synergistic effects and improve treatment efficacy. However, the discovery of effective combination therapy is hindered by the limited throughput and prohibitively high cost to assay every possible drug combination using conventional approaches. We have developed new high-throughput technology for the rapid discovery of two-way and three-way therapeutic combinations that inhibit cancer cell growth. We focus our combinatorial perturbation on druggable target genes, and thus the disease-alleviating genetic combinations can be readily translated into matching drugs for testing as potential treatment regimens. This project aims to identify and characterize novel combination regimens for improving efficacy of treating cancers.

Research Plan and Methodology:

This project will apply state-of-the-art technology including CRISPR and CombiGEM to enable high-throughput profiling of combinations. Various cancer models will be used in search for novel therapeutic combinations against a broad range of cancer types and validation. Drug synergy models will also be applied in evaluating therapeutic efficacy.

Dr ASL Wong, School of Biomedical Sciences

Dr Alan Siu-lun Wong is an Assistant Professor of the School of Biomedical Sciences at the University of Hong Kong (HKU). Before he joined HKU, he obtained his BSc and MPhil degrees in Biochemistry and Molecular Biotechnology from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2005 and 2007 respectively, and completed his PhD in Biochemistry at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology in 2011. He joined the Synthetic Biology Group at Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 2012-2016 for postdoctoral training. Dr Wong was awarded with the Croucher Foundation Studentship (2008), the Butterfield-Croucher Award (2008), the Croucher Foundation Fellowship (2012), the Hong Kong Institution of Science Young Scientist Award in life science (2011), RGC Early Career Award (2016/2017), and NSFC Excellent Young Scientists Award (Hong Kong and Macau) (2020).


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.