Research Projects
Integrated Functional Genomics of Liver Cancer Using Genome-Scale Technologies Coupled with Clinical Translational Studies

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☑ MPhil/PhD ☑ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

The molecular approaches include genomics, transcriptomics, and single cell analysis, to address liver cancer pathogenesis and cancer heterogeneity. 

  1. Current drug treatments for advanced HCC comprise molecular targeted drugs (MTDs) as first-line drugs and immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) as second-line ones. Last year in May 2020, as a major breakthrough, Atezolizumab (ICI, anti-PD-L1) plus bevacizumab (anti-VEGF) was given accelerated approval as first-line combo drugs. ICI therapy, which targets regulatory pathways in T cells to unleash immunosuppression and restore antitumor immune responses, has provided a paradigm shift in cancer therapy. ICI treatment has received unprecedented success in treating HCC. Though early clinical outcomes are impressive, there is still a significant proportion of patients who did not respond to this regimen. Identifying determinants/biomarkers to advise ICI responsiveness and characterizing the putative mechanisms underlying immune escape will help stratify patients for treatment and improve the success rate of ICI treatment in HCC.
  2. In HCC, establish innovative blood-based biomarker signatures using circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) and exosome profiling for prognostication, tumour recurrence detection.

Professor IOL Ng, Department of Pathology

HKU Scholars Hub
State Key Laboratory of Liver Research

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.