Research Projects
In Search for Novel Treatments for Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☒ MPhil/PhD ☑ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS


i. Identify the characteristics of leukemia stem cells (LSC)

ii. Investigate the mechanisms whereby LSC cell-fate are regulated


i. Provide new information about the pathogenesis of human leukemia from a stem cell perspective.

ii. To design novel therapeutic agents targeting specifically at LSC, thereby improving the outcome of treatment in human leukemia.

Research Plan and Methodology:

Research Plan

i. Identify the characteristics of leukemia stem cells (LSC)

Bone marrow from patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) will be fractioned into different populations based on immunophenotype and biological

characteristics. These populations will be transplanted in immunodeficient mice (xenogeneic transplantation). The engrafting population contains LSC but the

non-engrafting population does not

ii. Investigate the mechanisms whereby LSC cell-fate are regulated

Gene expression profiling will be compared between LSC and non-LSC and the genes showing differential expression will be further evaluated based on knockdown and over-expression experiments


The students will be able to learn techniques of cell processing from bone marrow specimens, flow cytometry and cell sorting, xenogeneic transplantation, molecular cloning and lentivirus transduction of hematopoietic cells.

Professor AYH Leung, Department of Medicine 


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.