Dr Cheung, Wai Ting Lydia 張慧婷
Dr. Cheung received her BSc and PhD at The University of Hong Kong. As part of her PhD training, she spent a year working on cancer endocrinology in the University of British Columbia (Vancouver, Canada). She obtained further training in cancer genomics research as a post-doctoral fellow in the MD Anderson Cancer Center (Houston, US) for 5 years and was then promoted to instructor in the same Institute.
She is presently an assistant professor in the School of Biomedical Sciences at the Faculty of Medicine. The major focus of her research is functional characterization of genomics abnormalities in cancers, with a goal of ultimately devising the optimal therapeutic strategies for cancer patients. She is the first to comprehensively characterize PI3K pathway aberrations in endometrial cancer. The findings were published in high impact journal Cancer Discovery and the paper is one of the most cited articles of the journal. Her other paper in Cancer Cell demonstrates that mutations in cancer patients can be neomorphs (gain of novel function) that activate unexpected pathways and are functionally distinct from the wild-type gene. This revolutionizes the concepts underlying personalized cancer therapy where the impact of each specific mutation in a cancer gene has to be considered rather than the cancer gene alone. It is noteworthy that this paper was discussed at the US National Cancer Advisory Board meeting as providing evidence that proves the concept and should drive future cancer therapy. Dr. Cheung has also received multiple scholarships, grants and awards in both Hong Kong and US.
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