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HKU ResearcherPage: Cheng, Y
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Cheng, Yue
  • Research Assistant Professor
  • Honorary Assistant Professor
Contact Information
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  • 2819 9861
 Professional Qualifications
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Dr. Cheng has been interested in the study of nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC), a common tumor in southern China, since he was a graduate student. Guided by the leading scientists in the field, he started a pioneering study on the exploration of tumor suppressor gene (TSG) activities in NPC at University of California, later at Hong Kong University of Science & Technology. Using cell fusion and chromosome transfer techniques, he accomplished seminal work that provided functional evidence of a TSG mapped on the chromosome 3p21.3. Currently, this area is regarded as one of the most important TSG clusters ever discovered in the human genome. He characterized known TSGs, such as p53, p16 and BRCA2, activities in NPC, and also mapped several novel tumor suppressive regions in different chromosomes (3, 9, 11, 13 and 14). These functional studies led to the identification of candidate TSGs involved in the development of NPC and other human tumors, providing therapeutic targets for future efforts. He has been very interested in doing research on stem cell-related oncogenes and mechanism of chromosomal rearrangement since his post-doctoral training at NIH. Using tumor hybrid cells and other techniques, this group recently found that Wnt pathway is a dominant signaling that regulates core self-renewal networks (receptors of LIF/FGF2/ACTIVIN/TGF-β/BMP) conserved in embryonic or adult stem cells and reprogramming somatic cells. These novel results clarify the relationships that are still controversial and rather unclear at present among physiological Wnt signaling, stemness networks, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, TSG pathways (p53, RB1 and WT1), and expression of common cancer stem cell surface markers (such as CD44, CD90 and CD133). Furthermore, these findings reveal that there are many connections between stem cells and cancer, providing a framework for future studies to define the molecular mechanisms governing cell fate determination and self-renewal capacity in human cancer cells.
 Professional Societies
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