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Molecular and Cell Biology

Research Strategy of Molecular & Cell Biology

Molecular & Cell Biology (MCB) Division has 3 key strategic themes

Many MCB members are internationally visible and well-established researchers in endocrinology, cancer development and cell biology, as well as plant science and microbiology.

 

colorful medicine

Members of this theme (C. Chan/Chow/Lui/AOL Wong/AST Wong/Zhang) concentrate on studying the molecular mechanisms of growth, reproduction, metabolism, and homeostasis of osmoregulation using the nematode Caenorhabditis elegans, fish (carp, goldfish & zebrafish) and mouse models.

 

Through identification of target genes and proteins that regulate key processes, they are paving the way for developing gene therapy and therapeutic drugs for controlling various metabolism-related diseases in collaboration with colleagues from the Faculty of Medicine.

With advanced genetics and bioinformatics on transcriptomes and epigenomes, they are revealing the onset mechanisms of various cancers in animals (including humans) and identifying target genes and pathways that can be used for developing innovative therapy. With Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering, they are exploring the use of nanomaterials and microfluidic technologies to develop new drugs for cancer treatment. 

 

researcher with test tube

 

Members of this theme (G. Chan/Yuen/Zhai/Zheng/Zhang) investigate the fundamental molecular mechanisms of DNA replication, DNA repair, cell division, and chromosome diagenesis, with a long-term view of understanding the pathogenesis of relevant human diseases as well as identifying potential targets for their effective therapeutics.

A group of food

As part of this Theme, our plant scientists (Chye/Lim/Lo) focus on understanding plant metabolism to enhance food security and generate healthy foods as well as on plant energy/biofuel.

 

Our understanding in chloroplast bioenergetics in the past half-century has been revised recently (PNAS 2018; NSR 2019). Our microbiologists and nutritional scientists (Gu/Louie/El-Nezami/Shan/Yan) investigate how microbes can enhance food quality and improve human and animal health (i.e., probiotics), and employ advanced approaches (e.g., nutrigenomics & toxicogen-omics) in collaboration with other colleagues of the MCB Division and from the Faculties of Social Sciences and Medicine to underpin societal concerns about food safety, security, and healthy diets.