Research Projects
Understanding the Interplay Between Host Immunity and Tumour Cells in Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma

Programme(s) to which this project applies:

☒ MPhil/PhD ☑ MRes[Med] ☒ URIS

Objective and Significance:

  • Understand the basics of tumor immunity;
  • Determine the strategies that immune and tumor cells interfere with to dampen the inflammatory responses of NPC patients and the consequences of such situation on cytotoxic CD8+ T lymphocytes;
  • Characterize residential and peripheral immune cell subsets in NPC patients

Research Plan and Methodology:

  • Nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC)
  • One of the major cancers in HK and characterized by heavily infiltration of immune cells
  • Correlating immunological responses with clinical outcomes may identify immunological biomarkers predicting for clinical response/severe AE for patients and thus help us to select patients who will most likely benefit from current treatment
  • We shall acquire both tumor tissue and peripheral blood in order to:
    • Identify changes in cellular phenotypes and cytokines upon anti-PD-1 blockade/galectin-9 overexpressing tumor cells/cancer associated fibroblasts (CAF);
    • Evaluate therapy/biomodulator/CAF-induced immunological responses in terms of T cells proliferation/activation/exhaustion/cytokines/chemokines production;
    • Characterize immune cells infiltration in NPC and correlate with the clinical outcome

Professor DLW Kwong, Department of Clinical Oncology


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.