Professor HO Wai Hung, Daniel

Dr HO Wai Hung, Daniel

Assistant Professor

  • PhD (HK)
Research Interest

My research focuses are bioinformatics analyses on high-throughput omics data and computational analysis tools development. I have particular interests on genomics studies of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) through the application of next generation sequencing, large-scale screening, liquid biopsy, and single-cell and spatial transcriptomics. I am also involved in multidisciplinary and integrative studies to investigate and understand the molecular mechanism of hepatocarcinogenesis, metastasis and treatment response of HCC.

  • Genomic and transcriptomic analyses of liver cancer using next generation sequencing, liquid biopsy, and single-cell and spatial transcriptomics
  • Bioinformatics development on computational analysis tools and database

Postgraduate positions are available. Please contact Professor Daniel Ho for inquiries.

Awards and Honors
  • Young Investigator Award, 9th Asia-Pacific Primary Liver Cancer Expert Meeting (APPLE 2018)
  • Faculty Outstanding Research Output Award (University of Hong Kong, 2018, 2021)
  • Honorary Fellow, Hong Kong Polytechnic University (Department of Health Technology and Informatics, 2012-2014)
  • Best poster award, International Society for the Study of the Lumbar Spine – Annual Meeting 2007

Editorial and Professional Activities
  • Associate Editor, Technology in Cancer Research & Treatment (2022-Present, IF=2.876)
  • Associate Editor, Frontiers in Genetics (2021-Present, IF=4.772) 
  • Editorial Board, Symmetry (2020-Present, IF=2.940)
  • Editorial Board, Hepatoma Research (2020-Present)
  • Review Editor, Frontiers in Genetics (2011-2021)

Memberships of Professional Societies
  • Principal investigator, State Key Laboratory of Liver Research, University of Hong Kong
  • Member, International Liver Cancer Association
  • Fellow, The Royal Society of Public Health, UK
  • Associate Member, The Institute of Biomedical Science (IBMS), UK

Research Grants

Research Grants Council (RGC) – Theme-based Research Scheme

  • Co-PI: 2023

Research Grants Council (RGC) – General Research Fund

  • PI: 2019,2022
  • Co-I: 2014, 2017

Health and Medical Research Fund (HMRF)

  • PI: 2016, 2020, 2023
  • Co-I: 2013

National Natural Science Fund of China

  • PI: 2019

Teaching and Supervision

Research postgraduate

Current: 2 PhD and 1 MPhil students (as Primary Supervisor).

Graduated: 1 MPhil student (as Primary Supervisor) and 3 PhD (as Co-supervisor).

One PDF and two Research Assistants under supervision.

As Primary Supervisor:

2018-2020  “Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) in liver cancer: software development and data analysis” (MPhil), Chuwdhury Gulam Sarwar

As co-supervisor:

2017-2021 “Dysregulation of Ral GTPase-Activating Protein Complex activates RalA signaling and supports metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma through intrinsic and extracellular vesicle-dependent manners”, (PhD), Tian Lu

2018-2022 “LANCL1-FAM49B axis promotes cancer stemness of hepatocellular carcinoma by reducing NADPH oxidase-mediated oxidative stress”, (PhD), Huang Hongyang

2018-2022 “Characterization of the functional roles and regulation of BAP1 in hepatocellular carcinoma”, (PhD), Xie Xiaoyu

Lecture in courses

PATH6206 Molecular genetics and cytogenetics of cancer “Cancer genomic/genetic analyses for precision treatment”

PATH6700 Recent Advances in Cancer Biology – “Cancer Genomics”


Internal examiner for 1 PhD, 4 MMedSc students and final year project of 1 BBMS student.


Click here for detail publication list on ORCID


  • A total of 46 publications including 3 book chapters and 43 peer-reviewed journal articles (excluding conference papers)
  • H-index = 23 (as of 2022 January)
  • Total citation = 3164 (as of 2022 January)

Book chapters

  • Cheung KMC, To M, Ho DW, Song YQ. (2016) Genetics. In: Akbarnia B., Yazici M., Thompson G. (eds) The Growing Spine. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.
  • Ho DW, Yip SP. Whole genome amplification: Technologies and applications. Genomics III – Methods, Techniques and Applications. 2014. iConcept Press.
  • Cheung KMC, Ho DW, Song YQ. (2011) Genetics. In: Akbarnia B.A., Yazici M., Thompson G.H. (eds) The Growing Spine. Springer, Berlin, Heidelberg.

Journal articles (* equal contribution; # corresponding author)

  • Cheung TT*, Ho DW*, Lyu SX*, Zhang Q, Tsui YM, Yu TC, Sze KM, Lee JM, Lau VW, Chu EY, Tsang SH, She WH, Leung RC, Yau TC, Ng IO. Multimodal integrative genomics and pathology analyses in neoadjuvant nivolumab treatment for intermediate and locally-advanced HCC. Liver Cancer 2023;
  • Huang H, Tsui YM, Ho DW, Chung CY, Sze KM, Lee E, Cheung GC, Zhang VX, Wang X, Lyu X, Ng IO. LANCL1, a cell surface protein, promotes liver tumor initiation through FAM49B-Rac1 axis to suppress oxidative stress. Hepatology. 2023 Aug 7. doi: 10.1097/HEP.0000000000000523. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 37540188.
  • Kam CS, Ho DW, Ming VS, Tian L, Sze KM, Zhang VX, Tsui YM, Husain A, Lee JM, Wong CC, Chan AC, Cheung TT, Chan LK, Ng IO. PFKFB4 drives the oncogenicity in TP53-mutated hepatocellular carcinoma in a phosphatase-dependent manner. Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2023 Feb 16:S2352-345X(23)00023-1. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmgh.2023.02.004.
  • Chiu YT, Husain A, Sze KM, Ho DW, Suarez EMS, Wang X, Lee E, Ma HT, Lee JM, Chan LK, Ng IO. Mid-line 1 interacting protein 1 promotes cancer metastasis via FOS like 1-mediated matrix metalloproteinase 9 signaling in HCC. Hepatology 2023 Jan 13. doi: 10.1097/HEP.0000000000000266.
  • Suoangbaji T, Zhang VX, Ng IO#, Ho DW#. Single-Cell Analysis of Primary Liver Cancer in Mouse Models. Cells 2023; 12(3):477. doi: 10.3390/cells12030477.
  • Chuwdhury GS, Ng IO, Ho DW#. scAnalyzeR: A Comprehensive Software Package With Graphical User Interface for Single-Cell RNA Sequencing Analysis and its Application on Liver Cancer. Technology in Cancer Research & Treatment 2022; doi: 10.1177/15330338221142729.
  • Husain A, Chiu YT, Sze KM, Ho DW, Tsui YM, Suarez EMS, Zhang VX, Chan LK, Lee E, Lee JM, Cheung TT, Wong CC, Chung CY, Ng IO. Ephrin-A3/EphA2 axis regulates cellular metabolic plasticity to enhance cancer stemness in hypoxic hepatocellular carcinoma. J Hepatol 2022; 77(2):383-396. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2022.02.018.
  • Ho DW*, Lam WM*, Chan LK*, Ng IO. Investigation of Functional Synergism of CENPF and FOXM1 Identifies POLD1 as Downstream Target in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Frontiers in Medicine 2022; doi: 10.3389/fmed.2022.860395.
  • Zhang QY*, Ho DW*, Tsui YM, Ng IO. Single-Cell Transcriptomics of Liver Cancer: Hype or Insights? Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2022 May 14:S2352-345X(22)00087-X. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmgh.2022.04.014.
  • Lyu X, Tsui YM, Ho DW#, Ng IO#. Liquid Biopsy Using Cell-Free or Circulating Tumor DNA in the Management of Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Cell Mol Gastroenterol Hepatol 2022;13(6):1611-1624. doi: 10.1016/j.jcmgh.2022.02.008.
  • Ho DW, Ng IO. Single cell analysis informing therapy response in hepatocellular carcinoma and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma. Hepatobiliary Surg Nutr 2022 Feb;11(1):126-128. doi: 10.21037/hbsn-2021-27.
  • Zhang VX, Sze KM, Chan LK, Ho DW, Tsui YM, Chiu YT, Lee E, Husain A, Huang H, Tian L, Wong CC, Ng IO. Antioxidant supplements promote tumor formation and growth and confer drug resistance in hepatocellular carcinoma by reducing intracellular ROS and induction of TMBIM1. Cell Biosci. 2021 Dec 19;11(1):217. doi: 10.1186/s13578-021-00731-0. (IF=7.133)
  • Tian L, Zhao L, Sze KM, Kam CS, Ming VS, Wang X, Zhang VX, Ho DW, Cheung TT, Chan LK, Ng IO. Dysregulation of RalA signaling through dual regulatory mechanisms exerts its oncogenic functions in hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatology 2021 Nov 12. doi: 10.1002/hep.32236. (IF=17.425)
  • Liu BH, Tey SK, Mao X, Ma AP, Yeung CL, Wong SW, Ng TH, Xu Y, Yao Y, Fung EY, Tan KV, Khong PL, Ho DW, Ng IO, Tang AH, Cai SH, Yun JP, Yam JW. (2021). TPI1-reduced extracellular vesicles mediated by Rab20 downregulation promotes aerobic glycolysis to drive hepatocarcinogenesis. Journal of Extracellular Vesicles 2021; 10:e12135. (IF=25.841)
  • Ho DW#, Tsui YM, Chan LK, Sze KM, Zhang X, Cheu JW, Chiu YT, Lee JM, Chan AC, Cheung ET, Yau DT, Chia NH, Lo IL, Sham PC, Cheung TT, Wong CC, Ng IO#. Single-cell RNA sequencing unravels the immunosuppressive landscape and tumor heterogeneity of HBV-associated hepatocellular carcinoma. Nature Communications 2021; 12(1):3684. doi: 10.1038/s41467-021-24010-1. (IF=14.919)
  • Ho DW*, Lyu X*, Ng IOL. Viral integration detection strategies and a technical update on Virus-Clip. Biocell 2021; doi:10.32604/biocell.2021.017227. (IF=1.254)
  • Chan LK, Tsui YM, Ho DW, Ng IO. Cellular heterogeneity and plasticity in liver cancer. Seminars in Cancer Biology 2021; doi:10.1016/j.semcancer.2021.02.015. (IF=15.707)
  • Chan LK, Ho DW, Kam CS, Chiu EY, Lo IL, Yau DT, Cheung ET, Tang CN, Tang VW, Lee TK, Wong CC, Chok KS, Chan AC, Cheung TT, Wong CM, Ng IO. RSK2-inactivating mutations potentiate MAPK signaling and support cholesterol metabolism in hepatocellular carcinoma. J Hepatol 2021; 74(2):360-371. doi:10.1016/j.jhep.2020.08.036. (IF=25.083; ranks 1st in the category of Gastroenterology and Hepatology)
  • Sze KM*, Ho DW*, Chiu YT, Tsui YM, Chan LK, Lee JM, Chok KS, Chan AC, Tang CN, Tang VW, Lo IL, Yau DT, Cheung TT, Ng IO. Hepatitis B Virus-Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase Promoter Integration Harnesses Host ELF4, Resulting in Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase Gene Transcription in Hepatocellular Carcinoma. Hepatology 2021; 73(1):23-40. doi:10.1002/hep.31231. (IF=17.425; ranks 5th in the category of Gastroenterology and Hepatology)
  • Chiu DK, Tse AP, Law CT, Xu IM, Lee D, Chen M, Lai RK, Yuen VW, Cheu JW, Ho DW, Wong CM, Zhang H, Ng IO, Wong CC. Hypoxia regulates the mitochondrial activity of hepatocellular carcinoma cells through HIF/HEY1/PINK1 pathway. Cell Death Dis 2019; 10(12):934. doi:10.1038/s41419-019-2155-3. (IF=6.304)
  • Ho DW*, Tsui YM*, Sze KM, Chan LK, Cheung TT, Lee E, Sham PC, Tsui SK, Lee TK, Ng IO. Single-cell transcriptomics reveals the landscape of intra-tumoral heterogeneity and stemness-related subpopulations in liver cancer. Cancer Letters 2019; 459:176-185. (IF=7.360)
  • Ma W*, Ho DW*, Sze KM*, Tsui YM, Chan LK, Lee JM, Ng IO. APOBEC3B promotes hepatocarcinogenesis and metastasis through novel deaminase-independent activity. Mol Carcinog 2019; 58(5):643-653. (IF=3.825)
  • Tan HW, Leung CO, Chan KK, Ho DW, Leung MS, Wong CM, Ng IO, Lo R. Deregulated GATA6 modulates stem cell-like properties and metabolic phenotype in hepatocellular carcinoma. Int J Cancer 2019; 145(7):1860–1873. doi:10.1002/ijc.32248. (IF=5.145)
  • Law CT, Wei L, Tsang FH, Chan CY, Xu IM, Lai RK, Ho DW, Lee JM, Wong CC, Ng IO, Wong CM. HELLS regulates chromatin remodeling and epigenetic silencing of multiple tumor suppressor genes in human hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatology 2019; 69(5):2013–2030. doi:10.1002/hep.30414. (IF=14.679)
  • Lo RC, Leung CO, Chan KK, Ho DW, Wong CM, Lee TK, Ng IO. Cripto-1 contributes to stemness in hepatocellular carcinoma by stabilizing Dishevelled-3 and activating Wnt/β-catenin pathway. Cell Death Differ 2018; 25(8):1426-1441. doi: 10.1038/s41418-018-0059-x. (IF=10.717)
  • Chen M, Wei L, Law CT, Tsang FH, Shen J, Cheng CL, Tsang LH, Ho DW, Chiu DK, Lee JM, Wong CC, Ng IO, Wong CM. RNA N6-methyladenosine methyltransferase METTL3 promotes liver cancer progression through YTHDF2 dependent post-transcriptional silencing of SOCS2. Hepatology 2018; 67(6):2254-2270. doi:10.1002/hep.29683. (IF=14.679)
  • Ho DW*, Chan LK*, Chiu YT, Xu IM, Poon RT, Cheung TT, Tang CN, Tang VW, Lo IL, Lam PW, Yau DT, Li MX, Wong CM, Ng IO. TSC1/2 mutations define a molecular subset of HCC with aggressive behavior and treatment implication. Gut 2017; 66:1496-1506. (IF=19.819; ranks 2nd in the category of Gastroenterology and Hepatology; featured by an editorial commentary in Gut)
  • Cui CP, Wong CC, Kai AK, Ho DW, Lau EY, Tsui YM, Chan LK, Cheung TT, Chok KS, Chan AC, Lo RC, Lee JM, Lee TK, Ng IO. SENP1 promotes hypoxia-induced cancer stemness by HIF-1α deSUMOylation and SENP1/HIF-1α positive feedback loop. Gut 2017; 66:2149-2159. (IF=19.819)
  • Chan KK, Leung CO, Wong CC, Ho DW, Chok KS, Lai CL, Ng IO, Lo RC. Secretory Stanniocalcin 1 promotes metastasis of hepatocellular carcinoma through activation of JNK signaling pathway. Cancer Letters 2017; 403:330-338. (IF=7.360)
  • Tsui YM, Sze KM, Tung EK, Ho DW, Lee TK, Ng IO. Dishevelled-3 phosphorylation is governed by HIPK2/PP1Cα/ITCH axis and the non-phosphorylated form promotes cancer stemness via LGR5 in hepatocellular carcinoma. Oncotarget 2017; 8:39430-39442. (IF=5.168)
  • Chiu YT, Wong JK, Choi SW, Sze KM, Ho DW, Chan LK, Lee JM, Man K, Cherny S, Yang WL, Wong CM, Sham PC, Ng IO. Novel pre-mRNA splicing of intronically integrated HBV generates oncogenic chimera in hepatocellular carcinoma. J Hepatol 2016; 64:1256-64. (IF=20.582; ranks 1st in the category of Gastroenterology and Hepatology)
  • Wong CM, Wei L, Law CT, Ho DW, Tsang FH, Au SL, Sze KM, Lee JM, Wong CC, Ng IO. Up-regulation of histone methyltransferase SETDB1 by multiple mechanisms in hepatocellular carcinoma promotes cancer metastasis. Hepatology 2016; 63:474-87. (IF=14.679)
  • Ho DW, Lo RC, Chan LK, Ng IO. Molecular pathogenesis of hepatocellular carcinoma. Liver Cancer 2016; 5:290-302. (IF=9.720; editor's choice)
  • Ho DW#, Sze MF, Ng IO#. Virus-Clip: a fast and memory-efficient viral integration site detection tool at single-base resolution with annotation capability. Oncotarget 2015; 6:20959-63. (IF=5.168)
  • Ho DW#, Ng IO#. uGPA: unified Gene Pathway Analyzer package for high-throughput genome-wide screening data provides mechanistic overview on human diseases. Clinica Chimica Acta 2015; 441:105-108. (IF=2.615)
  • Ho DW, Kai AK, Ng IO. TCGA whole-transcriptome sequencing data reveals significantly dysregulated genes and signaling pathways in hepatocellular carcinoma. Front Med 2015; 9:322-30. (IF=3.421)
  • Ho DW, Mak VT, Kwok TC, Au AM, Ho FK. Development of a web-based training program for dementia caregivers in Hong Kong. Clin Gerontol 2015; 38:211-223. (IF=1.375)
  • Kwok T, Ho DW, Chan G, Ip I, Wong B, Ho F. Evaluation of day care services for demented clients in Hong Kong. Asian J Gerontol Geriatrics 2014; 9:5-9.
  • Bai X, Ho DW, Fung K, Tang L, He M, Young D, Kwok T, Ho F. Effectiveness of a Life Story Work program on Older Adults with Intellectual Disabilities. Clin Interv Aging 2014; 9:1865-72. (IF=3.023)
  • Verhoeven VJ, Hysi PG, Wojciechowski R, Fan Q, Guggenheim JA, Höhn R, MacGregor S, Hewitt AW, Nag A, Cheng CY, Yonova-Doing E, Zhou X, Ikram MK, Buitendijk GH, McMahon G, Kemp JP, Pourcain BS, Simpson CL, Mäkelä KM, Lehtimäki T, Kähönen M, Paterson AD, Hosseini SM, Wong HS, Xu L, Jonas JB, Pärssinen O, Wedenoja J, Yip SP, Ho DW, Pang CP, Chen LJ, Burdon KP, Craig JE, Klein BE, Klein R, Haller T, Metspalu A, Khor CC, Tai ES, Aung T, Vithana E, Tay WT, Barathi VA, Consortium for Refractive Error and Myopia (CREAM), Chen P, Li R, Liao J, Zheng Y, Ong RT, Döring A, Diabetes Control and Complications Trial/Epidemiology of Diabetes Interventions and Complications (DCCT/EDIC) Research Group, Evans DM, Timpson NJ, Verkerk AJ, Meitinger T, Raitakari O, Hawthorne F, Spector TD, Karssen LC, Pirastu M, Murgia F, Ang W, Wellcome Trust Case Control Consortium 2 (WTCCC2), Mishra A, Montgomery GW, Pennell CE, Cumberland PM, Cotlarciuc I, Mitchell P, Wang JJ, Schache M, Janmahasatian S, Igo RP Jr, Lass JH, Chew E, Iyengar SK, Fuchs' Genetics Multi-Center Study Group, Gorgels TG, Rudan I, Hayward C, Wright AF, Polasek O, Vatavuk Z, Wilson JF, Fleck B, Zeller T, Mirshahi A, Müller C, Uitterlinden AG, Rivadeneira F, Vingerling JR, Hofman A, Oostra BA, Amin N, Bergen AA, Teo YY, Rahi JS, Vitart V, Williams C, Baird PN, Wong TY, Oexle K, Pfeiffer N, Mackey DA, Young TL, van Duijn CM, Saw SM, Bailey-Wilson JE, Stambolian D, Klaver CC, Hammond CJ. Genome-wide meta-analyses of multi-ethnic cohorts identify multiple new susceptibility loci for refractive error and myopia. Nat Genet 2013; 45:314-8. (IF=27.603)
  • Song YQ, Karasugi T, Cheung KMC, Chiba K, Ho DW, Miyake A, et al. Lumbar disc degeneration is linked to a carbohydrate sulfotransferase 3 variant. J Clin Invest 2013; 123:4909-17. (IF=11.864)
  • Kwok TC, Wong AY, Chan GM, Shiu RY, Lam KC, Young DK, Ho DW, Ho FK. Effectiveness of Cognitive Training for Chinese Elderly in Hong Kong. Clin Interv Aging 2013; 8:213-9. (IF=3.023)
  • Kwok T, Leung PC, Wing YK, Ip I, Wong B, Ho DW, Wong WM, Ho F. The effectiveness of acupuncture on the sleep quality of elderly with dementia: A within-subjects trial. Clin Interv Aging 2013; 8:923-9. (IF=3.023)
  • Ho DW, Yiu WC, Yap MK, Fung WY, Ng PW, Yip SP. Association of High Myopia with Crystallin Beta A4 (CRYBA4) Gene Polymorphisms in the Linkage-identified MYP6 Locus. PLoS ONE 2012; 7:e40238. (IF=2.740)
  • Ho DW, Yap MK, Yip SP. UPDG: Utilities package for data analysis of pooled DNA GWAS. BMC Genetics 2012; 13:1. (IF=2.567)
  • Kwok TC, Bai X, Chui MY, Lai CK, Ho DW, Ho FK, Woo J. Effect of physical restraint reduction on older patients’ hospital length of stay. J Am Med Dir Assoc 2012; 13:645-50. (IF=4.367)
  • Zhu M, Yap MK, Ho DW, Fung WY, Ng PW, Gu Y, Yip SP. Investigating the relationship between UMODL1 gene polymorphisms and high myopia: a case-control study in Chinese. BMC Med Genet 2012; 13:64. (IF=1.585)
  • Ho DW, Yiu WC, Yap MK, Fung WY, Ng PW, Yip SP. Genotyping performance assessment of whole genome amplified DNA with respect to multiplexing level of assay and its period of storage. PLoS ONE 2011; 6:e26119. (IF=2.740)
  • Cheung KMC, Samartzis D, Karppinen J, Mok FPS, Ho DW, Fong DYT, Luk KDK. Intervertebral disc degeneration: new insights based on "skipped" level disc pathology. Arthritis Rheum 2010; 62:2392-400. (IF= 9.586)
  • Cheung KM, Karppinen J, Chan D, Ho DW, Song YQ, Sham P, Cheah KS, Leong JC, Luk KD. Prevalence and pattern of lumbar magnetic resonance imaging changes in a population study of one thousand forty-three individuals. Spine 2009; 34:934-40. (IF=2.646)
  • Song YQ*, Ho DW*, Karppinen J, Kao PY, Fan BJ, Luk KD, et al. Association between promoter -1607 polymorphism of MMP1 and Lumbar Disc Disease in Southern Chinese. BMC Med Genet 2008; 9:38. (IF=1.585)
  • Song YQ, Cheung KM, Ho DW, Poon SC, Chiba K, Kawaguchi Y, Hirose Y, Alini M, Grad S, Yee AF, Leong JC, Luk KD, Yip SP, Karppinen J, Cheah KS, Sham P, Ikegawa S, Chan D. Association of the asporin D14 allele with lumbar-disc degeneration in Asians. Am J Hum Genet 2008; 82:744-7. (IF=10.502)
  • Ho DW, Chan D, Cheung KM, Sham P, Song YQ. Family-based linkage and case-control association studies. Curr Orthop 2008; 22:245-50. (IF=0.288)
  • Virtanen IM, Song YQ, Cheung KM, Ala-Kokko L, Karppinen J, Ho DW, Luk KD, Yip SP, Leong JC, Cheah KS, Sham P, Chan D. Phenotypic and population differences in the association between CILP and lumbar disc disease. J Med Genet 2007; 44:285-8. (IF=4.943)