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Research Team -

Paediatric Haematology and Oncology

Principal Investigators

Research Staff

  • Dr. CHAN Yuen Yee, Kathy

  • Dr. WANG Han

  • Dr. XU Yaqun

  • Dr. ZHANG Chi, Sally

  • Ms. FOK Siu Ping, Queenie

  • Ms. LEE Po Yi, Polly

  • Mr. CHEUNG Tak Kit, John

  • Ms. WU Yixuan Victoria

  • Ms. LEUNG Wai Man, Gloria

  • Ms. HUI Yuen Ching, Tiffany

  • Mr. WANG Jiyu, Jake

Post-graduate students

  • Ms. NG Wing Hei Ng, Kobby (PhD)

  • Ms. LIN Guanglan, Christie (PhD)

  • Mr. SUN Qiwei (PhD)

  • Ms. YANG Yunni (MPhil)

  • Ms. CHUNG Kin Yi, Kella (MPhil)

Research Scope

An overview of research focus

Our team, comprises of renowned paediatric oncologists, haematologists and pathologists, has a long-standing research interest in clinical and translational haematology, and is dedicated to develop new treatment modalities for children suffering from leukemia. The research site is located at the Hong Kong Children’s Hospital where all childhood leukemia cases are now being centralized for management.

A list of research topics

  • Clinical trials for childhood leukemia

  • Leukemia immunology and chimeric antigen receptor T cells

  • Therapeutic antibodies and small-molecule inhibitors

  • Functional genomics and precision medicine

  • Single-cell transcriptomics and high-dimensional analyses

  • Molecular mechanisms of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation

Selected publications

  1. Zhang C, Chan KYY, Ng WH, Cheung JTK, Sun Q, Wang H, Chung PY, Cheng FWT, Leung AWK, Zhang XB, Lee PY, Fok SP, Lin G, Poon ENY, Feng JH, Tang YL, Luo XQ, Huang LB, Kang W, Tang PMK, Huang J, Chen C, Dong J, Mejstrikova E, Cai J, Liu Y, Shen S, Yang JJ, Yuen PMP, Li CK, Leung KT. CD9 shapes glucocorticoid sensitivity in pediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Haematologica. 2024; in press. 

  2. Leung KT, Cai J, Liu Y, Chan KYY, Shao J, Yang H, Hu Q, Xue Y, Wu X, Guo X, Zhai X, Wang N, Li X, Tian X, Li Z, Xue N, Guo Y, Wang L, Zou Y, Xiao P, He Y, Jin R, Tang J, Yang JJ, Shen S, Pui CH, Li CK. Prognostic implications of CD9 in childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia: insights from a nationwide multicenter study in China. Leukemia. 2024; 38(2):250-257.

  3. Wang H, Chan KY, Cheng CK, Ng MH, Lee PY, Cheng FW, Lam GK, Chow TW, Ha SY, Chiang AK, Leung WH, Leung AY, Wang CC, Zhang T, Zhang XB, So CC, Yuen YP, Sun Q, Zhang C, Xu Y, Cheung JT, Ng WH, Tang PM, Kang W, To KF, Lee WY, Wong RS, Poon EN, Zhao Q, Huang J, Chen C, Yuen PM, Li CK, Leung AW, Leung KT. Pharmacogenomic profiling of pediatric acute myeloid leukemia to identify therapeutic vulnerabilities and inform functional precision medicine. Blood Cancer Discov. 2022; 3(6):516-535.

  4. Yang W, Cai J, Shen S, Gao J, Yu J, Hu S, Jiang H, Fang Y, Liang C, Ju X, Wu X, Zhai X, Tian X, Wang N, Liu A, Jiang H, Jin R, Sun L, Yang M, Leung AWK, Pan K, Zhang Y, Chen J, Zhu Y, Zhang H, Li C, Yang JJ, Cheng C, Li CK, Tang J, Zhu X, Pui CH. Pulse therapy with vincristine and dexamethasone for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (CCCG-ALL-2015): an open-label, multicentre, randomised, phase 3, non-inferiority trial. Lancet Oncol.2021;22(9):1322-1332.

  5. Fan POL, Leung KT, Chan KYY, Leung AWK, Lam GKS, Chow TTW, Cheng FWT,  Yuen LYP, Moriyama T, Yang JJ, Li CK. ABCC4, ITPA, NUDT15, TPMT and their interaction as genetic predictors of 6-mercaptopurine intolerance in chinese patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2021; 1-13.

  6. Chan KYY, Zhang C, Wong YTS, Zhang XB, Wang CC, Ng WH, Fok SP, Tang PMK, Kang W, Feng B, Poon ENY, Lee KY, Lee CK, Chen C, Leung TY, Ng MHL, To KF, Wang H, Lam HS, Ng PC, Yuen PMP, Li K, Leung AWK, Li CK, Leung KT. R4 RGS proteins suppress engraftment of human hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells by modulating SDF-1/CXCR4 signaling. Blood Adv. 2021; 5(21):4380-4392.

  7. Leung KT, Zhang C, Chan KYY, Li K, Cheung JTK, Ng MHL, Zhang XB, Sit T, Lee WYW, Kang W, To KF, Yu JWS, Man TKF, Wang H, Tsang KS, Cheng FWT, Lam GKS, Chow TW, Leung AWK, Leung TF, Yuen PMP, Ng PC, Li CK. CD9 blockade suppresses disease progression of high-risk pediatric B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia and enhances chemosensitivity. Leukemia. 2020; 34(3):709-720.

  8. Zhu Y, Yang R, Cai J, Yu J, Tang Y, Chen Y, Wang N, He H, Wu X, Cheng FWT, Sun L, He Y, Ju X, Tian X, Hu Q, Jin R, Pan K, Fang Y, Zhai X, Jiang H, Li CK. Septicemia after chemotherapy for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia in China: A multicenter study CCCG-ALL-2015. Cancer Med. 2020; 9(6):2113-2121.

  9. Cui L, Li ZG, Chai YH, Yu J, Gao J, Zhu XF, Jin RM, Shi XD, Zhang LP, Gao YJ, Zhang RD, Zheng HY, Hu SY, Cui YH, Zhu YP, Zou Y, Ng MHL, Xiao Y, Li JH, Zhang YH, He HL, Xian Y, Wang TY, Li CK, Wu MY; Chinese Children Leukemia Group (CCLG). Outcome of children with newly diagnosed acute lymphoblastic leukemia treated with CCLG-ALL 2008: The first nation-wide prospective multicenter study in China. Am J Hematol. 2018; 93(7):913-920.

  10. Leung KT, Chan KY, Ng PC, Lau TK, Chiu WM, Tsang KS, Li CK, Kong CK, Li K. The tetraspanin CD9 regulates migration, adhesion, and homing of human cord blood CD34+ hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells. Blood. 2011; 117(6):1840-1850.


1. Study title: First-in-class CD9 inhibitor for acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Funding source: Innovation and Technology Commission – Innovation and Technology Fund (Seed Project)

Study period: 01 Feb 2023 to 31 Jul 2024

Reference number: ITS-182-21

2. Study title: Histone hypoacetylation-driven CD9 repression in pediatric acute myeloid leukemia: a new mechanism intertwining differentiation arrest and immune escape

Funding source: Research Grants Council – Early Career Scheme

Study period: 01 Jan 2023 to 30 Jun 2025

Reference number: 24121922

3. Study title: Local Manufacturing and Development of Clinical Scale Chimeric Antigen Receptor Modified T Cell (CAR T) for Treatment of Haematological Malignancies

Funding source: Innovation and Technology Commission – Innovation and Technology Fund (Platform Project)

Study period: 01 Jul 2021 to 30 Jun 2023

Reference number: ITS/153/20FP

4. Study title: Driving Therapeutic Progress of Childhood Leukemia through Advanced Translational Research with Immediate and Long-term Impact

Funding source: Food and Health Bureau – Health and Medical Research Fund (Commissioned Project)

Study period: 01 Apr 2021 to 31 Mar 2024

Reference number: PR-CUHK-1

5. Study title: Research and development of novel targeted therapeutic agents for high-risk pediatric B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia

Funding source: Innovation and Technology Commission – Innovation and Technology Fund (Partnership Project)

Study period: 01 Nov 2019 to 30 Apr 2022

Reference number: UIM/401

6. Study title: A novel preclinical treatment strategy for enhancing chemosensitivity of pediatric B-precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia by disruption of leukemia-stroma interaction using CD9-neutralizing antibody

Funding source: Research Grants Council – General Research Fund

Study period: 01 Jan 2016 to 31 Dec 2018

Reference number: 14108615

International collaborations

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital (USA), Loma Linda University (USA), University of Birmingham (UK), Medical University of Vienna (Austria)

National collaborations

Shanghai Jiaotong University (Shanghai), Sun Yat-Sen University 1st Hospital (Guangzhou), Sun Yat-Sen University 7th Hospital (Shenzhen), University of Macau

Opportunities to research students

  • 3-4 year training for PhD, 2 year training for MPhil

  • Advanced technologies in hematology/oncology

  • Cutting edge clinical and translational research in childhood leukemia

  • International exposure through exchange and conference attendance

  • Robust system of team research activities

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