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Dr YAM Wai Ping, Judy |
Associate Professor
BSc Washington; MSc HK; PhD HK

Molecular cancer biology

Research Description

Metastasis is a key event at the advanced stage of hepatocarcinogenesis. High rate of recurrence and metastasis have made the overall prognosis of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) unsatisfactorily, necessitating a better understanding about the mechanistic basis of HCC metastasis. My research interest focuses on the functional characterization of tumor suppressors and oncogenes and elucidation of cellular signaling pathways which contribute to the pathogenesis of HCC, particularly in cancer metastasis. Our lab has a long standing interest in the study of DLC (deleted in liver cancer) family of tumor suppressors. Our study has contributed to the understanding of the functional roles, associated signaling pathways and post-translational regulations of DLC1. Using gene expression profiling, our team identified key molecular players of cancer metastasis in HCC. Dysregulation of these molecular players has contributed to the acquired metastatic behavior of cancer cells.


Awards and Honors

Outstanding Young Researcher Award (2008-2009), The University of Hong Kong

Research Grants

RGC – General Research Fund (2016, 2015,2014,2013, 2010, 2007, 2006)

Health and Medical Research Fund (2014, 2013)

Team Members

Frankie Ko (Post-doctoral fellow)
Mao Xiaowen (Post-doctoral fellow)
Tey Sze Keong (Post-doctoral fellow)
Zoe Leung (PhD student)
Bonnie Liu (PhD student)
Angel Ma (PhD student)

Student Supervision

Current student:

  • Angel Ma (PhD; 2016-present)
  • Bonnie Liu (PhD; 2016-present)
  • Zoe Leung (PhD; 2014-present)                   

Graduated student:            

  • Tey Sze Keong (PhD; 2011-2015)
  • Sivia Wong (MPhil; 2009-2011)
  • Jenny Chan (MPhil; 2008-2010)
  • Edith Tse (PhD; 2008-2010)
  • Frankie Ko (PhD; 2005-2008)
  • Chan Lo Kong (PhD; 2004-2008)
  • Liu Hei Man Bonnie (MMedSc; 2014-2015)
  • Lee Ka Wai Jenny (MMedSc; 2013-2015)
  • Christina Cheung (MMedSc; 2009-2011)
  • Winnie Wing Sum Wong (MMedSc; 2009-2011)
  • Dick Ka Tik Cheung (MMedSc; 2005-2007)

Achievements of Team Members

Bonnie Hei Man Liu

  • University Postgraduate Fellowship

Tey Sze Keong

  • Travel award, The Liver Week 2016 “Next wave in hepatology” June 16-18, Korea
  • Graduate students travel scholarship, Tigris Educational Fund, 2015
  • Best Presentation Award, Research Postgraduate Retreat, Department of Pathology, 2013
  • Best Presentation Award, 19th Research Postgraduate Symposium, Faculty of Medicine, 2014

Edith Yuk Ting Tse

  • Best Presentation Award, Research Postgraduate Retreat, Department of Pathology, 2010
  • YS and Christabel Lung Postgraduate Scholarship 2008-2009
  • Young Investigator Award, 15th Hong Kong International Cancer Congress, 2008

Chan Lo Kong

  • Best Presentation Award, Research Postgraduate Retreat, Department of Pathology, 2008
  • Outstanding Oral Presentation Award (Cancer session), 12th Research Postgraduate Symposium, Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, 2007

Selected Publications

Researcher Profile on HKU Scholars Hub

Mao XW, Wong SYS, Tse EYT, Ko FCF, Tey SK, Yeung YS, Man K, Lo RCL, Ng IOL, Yam JWP. 2016. Mechanisms through which hypoxia-induced caveolin-1 drives tumorigenesis and metastasis in hepatocellular carcinoma. Cancer Res 76(24):7242-7253.

Tong M, Fung TM, Luk ST, Ng KY, Lee TK, Lin CH, Yam JWP, Chan KW, Ng F, Zheng BJ, Yuan YF, Xie D, Lo CM, Man K, Guan XY, Ma S. 2015. ANXA3/JNK signaling promotes self-renewal and tumor growth, and its blockade provides a therapeutic target for hepatocellular carcinoma. Stem Cell Reports 5(1):45-59.

Ko FCF and Yam JWP. 2014. Regulation of Deleted in Liver Cancer 1 tumor suppressor by protein-protein interactions and phosphorylation. Intl J Cancer 135:264-269.

Liu MX, Siu MK, Liu SS, Yam JWP, Ngan HY, Chan DW. 2014. Epigenetic silencing of microRNA-199b-5p is associated with acquired chemoresistance via activation of JAG1-Notch1 signaling in ovarian cancer. Oncotarget 5(4):944-958.

Lam SS, Mak AS, Yam JWP, Cheung AN, Ngan HY, Wong AST. 2014. Targeting estrogen-related receptor alpha inhibits epithelial to mesenchymal transition and stem cell properties of ovarian cancer cells. Molecular Therapy 22(4):743-751.

Ko FCF, Chan LK, Sze KMF, Yeung YS, Tse EYT, Lu P, Yu MH, Ng IOL, Yam JWP. 2013. Induced dimerization of DLC1 by PKA contributes to the tumorigenesis and metastasis inhibitory activities of DLC1 via enhanced RhoGAP activity. Nat Commun 4:1618. [selected as featured article in NPG journals in cancer]

Chen L, Liu C, Ko FCF, Xu N, Ng IOL, Yam JWP*, Zhu G*. 2012. Solution structure of the PTB domain of human Tensin2 in complex with deleted in liver cancer 1 (DLC1) peptide reveals a novel peptide binding mode. J Biol Chem 287(31):26104-26114. *Co-corresponding author

Tse EYT, Ko FCF, Tung EKK, Chan LK, Lee TKW, Ngan ESW, Man K, Wong AST, Ng IOL, Yam JWP. 2012. Caveolin-1 is overexpressed and associated with hepatocellular carcinoma tumorigenesis and metastasis. J Pathol 226:645-653.

Ko FCF, Chan LK, Tung EKK, Lowe SW, Ng IOL, Yam JWP. 2010. Akt phosphorylation of Deleted in Liver Cancer 1 deregulates its suppression of liver cancer tumorigenesis and metastasis. Gastroenterology 139(4):1397-1407.

Yam JWP, Ko FCF, Chan CY, Yau TO, Tung EKK, Leung THY, Jin DY, Ng IOL. 2006. Tensin2 variant 3 is associated with aggressive tumor behavior in human hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatology 44:881-890.

Yam JWP, Ko FCF, Chan CY, Jin DY, Ng IOL. 2006. Interaction of DLC1-tensin2 complex with caveolin-1 and implications in tumor suppression. Cancer Research 66:8367-8372.

Wong CM*, Yam JWP*, Ching YP, Yau TO, Leung HY, Jin DY, Ng IOL. 2005. Rho GTPase activating protein DLC1 (deleted in liver cancer 1) suppresses cell proliferation and invasion in hepatocellular carcinoma. Cancer Research 65:8861-8868. *Both contributed equally

Leung THY, Ching YP, Yam JWP, Wong CM, Yau TO, Jin DY, Ng IOL. 2005. Deleted in liver cancer 2, DLC2, suppresses cell transformation via inhibition of RhoA activity. Proc Natl Acad Sci USA 102:15207-15212.

Yam JWP, Jin DY, So CW, Chan LC. 2004. Identification and characterization of EBP, a novel EEN binding protein that inhibits ras signaling and is recruited into the nucleus by the MLL-EEN fusion protein. Blood 103:1445-1453.

Yam JWP, Chan KW, Hsiao WLW. 2003. Transcriptional regulation of rat frizzled related protein gene promoter by CREB. Oncogene 22:3901-3910.

Yam JWP, Chan KW, Hsiao WLW. 2001. Suppression of the tumorigenicity of mutant p53-transformed rat embryo fibroblasts through expression of a newly cloned rat nonmuscle myosin heavy chain-B. Oncogene 20:58-68.