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With advancements in morphologic and molecular techniques in the last few decades, the contribution of pathology to modern medicine has been enormous. Identification of the causes and pathogenesis of diseases enables focused preventive measures, better prediction of prognosis and development of personalised therapy for patients. The synergistic operation of anatomical and molecular pathology, the oldest and most advanced facets of pathology, has been the pivot stone for the modern transformation of clinical practice.
In the last decade, the incidence of “women’s cancers”, including ovarian and endometrial cancers, in Hong Kong have risen dramatically. On the other hand, while cervical cancer is a highly preventable disease, it is still a leading cause of death among Hong Kong women. Gestational trophoblastic disease, a disease that affect women of reproductive age, is locally prevalent.
Professor Annie Cheung is Clinical Professor at the Department of Pathology, The University of Hong Kong. She is the key pathologist for gynaecological histopathology and cytology in Queen Mary Hospital and the Pathologist in Charge of the HKU Cervical Cytology Laboratory, the first pathology laboratory in Hong Kong that is accredited by the College of American Pathologists. Professor Cheung is also the Director (Molecular Pathology) of the University Pathology Laboratory and the Chief of Service of Pathology, HKU-Shenzhen Hospital. To help patients on cancer prevention and treatment, state of the art laboratory techniques have been introduced.
Professor Cheung’s research focus is on genetic profiling and molecular signalling pathways, aiming at investigating diagnostic and prognostic markers as well as molecular targets for better therapy of patients with gynaecological cancers.
Professor Cheung’s research team is one of the first in the world to demonstrate the significance of genetic alterations in gestational trophoblastic disease. Significant findings in the studies of stem cell transcription factors and oncogenic signal pathways in ovarian and endometrial cancers as well as gestational trophoblastic disease have also been achieved. Her team is also successful in applying novel biomarkers for the early detection of cervical cancers.
She was a MBBS graduate of the University of Hong Kong in 1985 and continued her studies at HKU for her MD and PhD. Professor Cheung was trained in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology at Queen Mary Hospital after graduation before joining the HKU Department of Pathology. She received postgraduate pathology training in the University of Manchester, UK, as well as Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and The Armed Forces Institute of Pathology, USA. She is a Fellow of the Royal College of Pathologists (UK) and Hong Kong Academy of Medicine (Pathology). Professor Cheung was appointed Clinical Professor in 2005.
Professor Cheung is currently Council Member of the International Federation for Cervical Pathology and Colposcopy, Regional Director for Asia in the World Association of Societies of Pathology & Laboratory Medicine Bureau, as well as Medical Consultant, International Academy of Cytology. Locally, Professor Cheung is the President of the Hong Kong College of Pathologists.
Professor Cheung has produced more than 250 publications including book chapters, review and original research articles in peer reviewed journals, such as PNAS and Lancet. She has served as a reviewer for 25 international journals and been on the editorial board of six medical journals.
Professor Cheung has received competitive research funding from overseas and local organisations as well as awards on education and research including the HKU University Teaching Fellow (Outstanding Teaching Award) and the Outstanding Research Student Supervisor Award as well as the Croucher Senior Medical Research Fellowship.