Our Team

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Professor Tak MAK

Co-Director/ Programme Leader

Prof. MAK is a Senior Scientist at Princess Margaret Cancer Centre, a University Professor in the Departments of Medical Biophysics and Immunology at The University of Toronto, and a Full Professor in the Department of Pathology at HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine. He is a world-renowned expert in cancer immunology and has led the development of first-in-class anticancer drugs. For example, his team has generated a PLK4 inhibitor and a TTK inhibitor designed to disable tumour cells exhibiting aneuploidy. Prof. MAK was also the Vice President of Research for Amgen Inc. and co-founded several biotech companies specializing in oncology, including Miikana Therapeutics (now CASI Inc.), T Cell Sciences, Rigel Inc., and Agios Pharmaceuticals. He has extensive contacts in the venture capital markets and holds dozens of patents that have been granted or are currently pending. 

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Professor Suet Yi LEUNG

Managing Director/ Programme Leader

Prof. LEUNG is a Croucher Award recipient, the Y.W. Kan Professor of Natural Sciences (HKU), and the Head of Department of Pathology at HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine. She is also a Chair Professor of Gastrointestinal Cancer Genetics and Genomics (HKU), and the Director of the Centre for PanorOmic Sciences (HKU). Prof. LEUNG's research interests are focused on the molecular genetics and genomics of gastric and colorectal cancers, and the application of molecular classification and genetic diagnosis of these malignancies to facilitate cancer prevention and treatment. She has developed a diagnostic test for Lynch Syndrome and has received extensive funding from the pharmaceutical industry to define the genomic roadmap of GI cancers. 

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Dr. Carmen WONG

Principal Investigator/ Programme Leader

Dr. WONG is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Pathology at HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine. Her research focuses on two emerging and fundamental aspects in Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), which are Tumor microenvironment in HCC and Metabolic reprogramming in HCC. For tumor microenvironment in HCC, her research focuses on the molecular mechanisms involved in the formation of tumor microenvironment of HCC. Currently, her team is investigating the clinical implications, regulations, and roles of hypoxia (oxygen deprivation) in ECM modification in HCC. For Metabolic reprogramming in HCC, her group is investigating the signaling pathways that rewire the metabolic programs in HCC. They are identifying novel functions of metabolic enzymes in HCC and studying the therapeutic potential of drugs that target the metabolic machinery of HCC. 

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Professor Anskar LEUNG

Principal Investigator/ Programme Leader

Prof. LEUNG is the Li Shu Fan Medical Foundation Professor in Haematology at HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, and a Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellow. His research focuses on the pathogenesis, development of zebrafish models and clinical management of acute myeloid leukaemia (AML). He has published more than 170 peer review articles including Nature, Blood, Leukemia, and Developmental Biology and has been serving as Editorial Board Member of BLOOD, the official journal of the American Society of Hematology, since 2018. At professional level, Prof. LEUNG is currently the Honorary Consultant at Queen Mary Hospital, University of Hong Kong – Shenzhen Hospital and Hong Kong Sanatorium & Hospital.

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Dr. Alan WONG

Principal Investigator/ Team Leader

Dr. WONG is currently an Assistant Professor of the School of Biomedical Sciences at HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine. His current research focuses on developing and applying cutting-edge technologies for studying complex disease biology and devise new therapeutic strategies. His research team takes an integrative approach leveraging on various techniques in synthetic biology, CRISPR-based genome engineering, high-throughput sequencing, molecular biology, and genetics to decode the complex genetic bases of human diseases including cancers and neurodegenerative disorders. His laboratory aims to develop and apply new technologies to interrogate and understand the complex biological systems, and rationally design and engineer genetic circuits for providing new biomedical and biotechnological solutions.

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Dr. Helen YAN

Principal Investigator/ Team Leader

Dr. YAN is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine. Her research work focuses on the molecular pathogenesis of gastrointestinal tract cancers. Her team is currently establishing cancer and paired normal organoids derived from freshly resected patient’s specimens and building up a “living biobank”. The technique for growing organoids was invented by Lab of Hans Clevers in 2010 and it was named by The Scientist as one of the biggest scientific advancements of 2013. Her team uses this ever-growing 3D organoid culture as a model together with gene transfection and genome-editing via CRISPR/Cas9 to study the functional roles of newly identified tumor driver genes such as RHOA in gastric cancer.

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Professor Liwei LU

Principal Investigator 

Prof. LU is a Professor of Immunology in the Department of Pathology at HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine. He has been awarded a Leukemia Research Fund of Canada Award, a Croucher Senior Researcher Fellowship, an HKU Outstanding Researcher Award, and a Beijing Science and Technology Award. His research has been focusing on lymphocyte development and its dysregulation in autoimmune diseases. His team is interested in studying the dysregulated cytokine production and lymphocyte function during the pathogenesis of autoimmune disorders. Using an animal model for human rheumatoid arthritis, his team is developing novel strategies for targeting TNF family cytokines in treating autoimmune arthritis. Further knowledge of the regulatory mechanisms underlying lymphocyte development and function should shed light on the prophylaxis and therapy of immune diseases.

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Dr. Rex AU YEUNG

Principal Investigator 

Dr. AU YEUNG is an anatomical pathologist specializing in lymphoma diagnostics and immune checkpoint therapy. He is currently a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pathology at HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine. His research interests are lymphoma pathology and computational pathology. He joined the Department of Pathology at HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine in 2014, where he completed his higher pathology training and is now involved in lymphoma diagnostics in Queen Mary Hospital, the teaching hospital of HKU. In 2018, under the sponsorship of the Li Shu Pui Medical Foundation and the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst, he was a Visiting Scientist in the University of Kiel, Germany, where he completed translational research projects in lymphoma pathology, as well as training in digital analysis of histology images.